Craft Brewers Alliance to push Kona brand in US

Craft Brewers Alliance to push Kona brand in US

Craft Brewers Alliance has agreed to acquire Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Co in a merger deal for an undisclosed fee.

Kona Brewing will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Craft Brewers Alliance (CBA) after completion of the merger deal, CBA said late last week. Financial details were not disclosed, but CBA said that it has agreed to yield an unspecified minority stake in its business to Kona.

The move comes at the end of a nine-year strategic partnership between the two brewing firms.

Terry Michaelson, CEO of CBA, said: "Over the past nine years, we have worked alongside Kona to help build the brand in Hawaii and on the mainland, and we have been continuously impressed by the quality of Kona's hand-crafted beers and their reflection of Hawaii's heritage and culture. We look forward to new opportunities to grow the Kona brand."

CBA said that it plans to position Kona's namesake brand "for long-term growth on the US mainland".

Mattson Davis will continue to serve as president and CEO of Kona, while Rich Tucciarione will remain brewmaster at Kona and the brewery's operations will remain in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii's Big Island, said CBA.

The deal comes amid ongoing strong demand for craft beers in the US. Craft beer sales rose by 12% in value for the first six months of 2010, outpacing a stagnant US beer market, the Brewers Association said last week.