The craft beer industry continues its trend towards consolidation today as Boston based Harpoon Brewery recently announced their acquisition of Clown Shoes Brewing Company. Clown Shoes Brewing Company based out of Ipswitch, Massichuestes is known for their interesting and eclectic label art as well as their diverse portfolio of beers. The move is intended to create regional synergies that should allow for some cost savings while enabling Clown Shoes to bring more beer to market in less time. In fact in a recent blog post, Clown Shoes founder Gregg Berman indicated that this new effort would allow clown shoes to “ in fact create small batch, state specific, and barrel aged beers at an accelerated rate in 2018.”
Gregg also went on the offensive, in the same blog post, in an effort to preempt critics that may claim Clown Shoes is selling out, “ What the hell? Really? Sellouts! They’re going to be “Harpoonized!” Ok, everybody, please take a breath. Yes, Clown Shoes has been acquired by Harpoon. No, we are not going to lose our identity and no, we are not “selling out”.
It also appears from Gregg’s blog post that Clown Shoes employees will continue as an independent brewing operation where employees will have the opportunity to enjoy an equity stake in the consolidated venture. As 2017 winds down I would expect there to be a few more whispers of well known craft beer brands consolidating operations in an effort to reduce costs and increase capacity, while also preserving the unique characteristics that make each brewery great.
We look forward to more insanely interesting brews and cosmically cool art from Clown Shoes.