Corona's $7.3 billion parent company acquired a beloved craft brewer — and furious customers are threatening to ditch the beer
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, Florida.
Funky Buddha's acquisition by the third-largest beer company in the US, with Constellation racking in $7.3 billion in sales in 2016, is a controversial decision in craft beer circles.
Many fans of Funky Buddha spoke out against the deal on social media.
"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."
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Some people pushed back against the backlash.
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.
"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 made serious investments in craft beer over the last 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.
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