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USA | What is going on at TRU Colors Brewing, a Wilmington, North Carolina-based brewery, renowned for its mission to end gang violence by employing active, rival gang members? Only in July had its founder, George Taylor, bid USD 20 million for San Diego’s struggling craft brewer Modern Times. And on 9 September he closed TRU Colors’ doors.

USA | Is there a San Diego curse going around? After brewers Ballast Point, Saint Archer, Modern Times, Green Flash, Alpine and Stone faced major problems and sold themselves, Mikkeller announced in August that it will close its brewery, blaming two years of Covid and rising costs. About half of Mikkeller’s US employees – 25 – will be laid off. Mikkeller is seeking an immediate sale of its brewery and warehouse.


USA | On 31 August, Sapporo USA completed its USD 165 million buyout of Stone Brewing. The sale was announced in June. Stone’s well-known founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner are no longer in the picture. But little else has changed, at least for now.


Canada | Same strategy, different targets. After Japan's Sapporo snapped up US craft brewer Stone to localise the production of its own brands, Denmark's beer and beverage producer Royal Unibrew is seeking to overcome supply chain glitches by establishing a foothold in North America.


Mexico | President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants beer production in northern Mexico to stop due to drought. The city of Monterrey, a big industrial hub, and located some 240 km south of the Texan border, is rationing water. But Mexico is also the world’s largest exporter of beer, shipping over USD 5 billion of beer in 2021.


USA | Back in March, Stone won its lawsuit against Molson Coors. The jury awarded Stone USD 56 million in damages, which fell short of the USD 174 million that Stone said it lost in sales because of Molson Coors’ use of the word Stone in the rebranding of Keystone Light.


USA | And here goes another US craft brewer. The sale of San Diego’s craft brewer Stone to Japan’s fourth-ranking Big Brewer Sapporo was not exactly predictable but certainly plausible. Think of it: Who else would buy a largeish craft brewer these days?


USA | And this despite Greg Koch touting that he will never sell: On 24 June 2022 Sapporo Holdings announced that it will acquire craft brewer Stone for USD 168 million. Based on Stone’s 2021 beer production of 326,000 barrels (380,000 hl), the deal puts a USD 505-per-barrel price tag on the company.


USA | During a 17 June auction for San Diego’s craft brewer Modern Times, the Californian Brewery X from Anaheim emerged as the winning bidder for USD 20 million. Founded in 2019, Brewery X offered more than twice as much as an initial “stalking horse” bid made by Hawaii’s craft brewer Maui Brewing for a reported USD 7.6 million.


Canada | Have consumers not heard the message that cannabis beverages are providing an accessible new route to legal cannabis enjoyment for those reluctant to chew an infused gummy or light a pre-roll? Besides, they tend to onset quicker, hit lighter, and do not last as long as edibles do.


USA | Charlotte’s craft brewer Sycamore and San Diego’s Stone have agreed to end their trademark infringement lawsuit over the phrase “Keep It Juicy”, according to a 13 May 2022 court filing. Both Stone and Sycamore Brewing walked away without paying damages but will need to pay their own attorneys’ fees.