Detroit’s Atwater Brewery has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Chicago’s Tenth and Blake Beer Co., the U.S. craft division of Colorado’s Molson Coors Beverage Co. Atwater is known in Michigan for its ales and traditional German-style lagers. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
“The agreement with Tenth and Blake is both the culmination of our past and the catapult to our future,” says Mark Rieth, owner of Atwater. “For Atwater to continue to grow, it will require both capital and brewing expertise. Tenth and Blake brings both, which makes them the ideal strategic partner to help us continue to live our mantra, ‘Born in Detroit. Raised everywhere.’”
Rieth and his team will continue to lead Atwater’s day-to-day operations.
Atwater Block Brewery was founded in 1997 and revived Detroit’s brewing tradition from its location in the historic Rivertown district. After investing in the brewery in 2002, Rieth purchased it outright in 2005. Its best-selling beers include Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter. Other brands such as Better Life Choices and Decadent Dark Chocolate are also in the Atwater portfolio.
The brewer also produces hard seltzers and craft spirits. It operates three tap house and biergarten locations in Detroit, Grosse Pointe Park, and Grand Rapids.
“Atwater has been a staple and a leader in the Michigan craft community for more than two decades, and we’re thrilled to have them join Tenth and Blake,” says Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth and Blake. “Our priority is to make sure their beer is enjoyed by consumers throughout their core markets and eventually across the Great Lakes region.”
Other crafts in the Tenth and Blake portfolio include the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., AC Golden Brewing Co., Saint Archer Brewing Co., Terrapin Beer Co., Hop Valley Brewing Co., and Revolver Brewing. Tenth and Blake’s regional crafts posted volume growth higher than 16 percent in 2019.
The transaction is expected to be completed within the next couple of months. Arlington Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial adviser to Atwater.
Molson Coors Beverage Co. has been in business for more than 200 years and launched its revitalization plan in October to generate savings that are being reinvested across its portfolio. Since announcing the plan, the company has expanded its ability to innovate in the non-alcohol space by taking a stake in beverage incubator L.A. Libations, plans to air ads during the pro football championship for the first time in years, and launch new creative campaigns for a range of its brands.