Another beloved craft brewer has been acquired by a beer-industry giant.
Funky Buddha is the fastest-growing craft brewery in Florida, winning over beer fans with brews like the Florida Hefeweizen and Hop Gun IPA. The brewer was founded in 2010 in Boca Raton.
The acquisition by Constellation, which raked in $7.3 billion in sales in fiscal 2017, is a controversial decision in craft-beer circles.
Many fans of Funky Buddha spoke out on social media against the deal:
So long, Funky Buddha. It was nice knowing you. https://t.co/7erojvQay3
— Monk's Cafe (@MonksCafePhilly) August 10, 2017
NOT FUNKY BUDDHA!!!!
— Ken Goyette (@kgoyette) August 10, 2017
Another one bites the dust – Funky Buddha brewery bought by Constellation Brands.
— m/ (???) m/ (@EdVanTassell) August 10, 2017
“Just saw the news that you’ve been bought out by Constellation Brands. This sucks,” one person wrote on Funky Buddha’s Facebook page. “I’m not sure I can continue buying FB brands now that I know my dollars will be going towards the destruction of the independent craft beer industry.”
Some people pushed back against the backlash:
Have we reached a point (hopefully) where beer Twitter won't go into a total meltdown over a purchase? Re: Funky Buddha (probably not)
— Matt (@thedudeabides81) August 10, 2017
As in every sale: good for the folks at Funky Buddha. They took all the risk and it paid. Doesn't mean you have to buy it anymore.
— Ryan Self (@ryan1self) August 10, 2017
Good for the owners. I go to funky Buddha all the time when I'm in FL and I'd love to see wider distribution of hop gun, last snow, etc.
— Alison P. (@ChicagoAli) August 10, 2017
“Constellation and Funky Buddha share a lot of the same ideals and passion for philanthropy, entrepreneurship and the art of craft beer,” Ryan Sentz, Funky Buddha’s head brewer and president, said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we just really like the people we have met within the organization, each of whom share our dedication to making outstanding beer.”
Beer-industry giants have invested heavily in craft beer over the past few years.
AB InBev, the parent company of Budweiser and the largest beer company in the US, has made deals with craft brewers including Goose Island, Blue Point, and Wicked Weed. No. 2 MillerCoors has acquired brewers such as Revolver Brewing, Hop Valley Brewing Company, and Terrapin. And Constellation made headlines when it acquired Ballast Point in 2015.
“Adding a fantastic regional brand such as Funky Buddha to our craft beer portfolio, along with Ballast Point, advances our strategy in continuing to lead the high-end beer segment,” Paul Hetterich, the president of Constellation’s beer division, said in a statement.