Sierra Nevada owners donate $2 million to UC Davis program

Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and his wife, Katie Gonser, have presented UC Davis with a $2 million gift to support the campus’s brewing science program. The gift establishes an endowment to provide ongoing funding for a full-time staff brewing position, focused on excellence in hands-on brewing education in the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology.

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Endowed Brewer position will be dedicated to mentoring and managing students and teaching assistants, maintaining the campus brewery and its equipment, and assisting in teaching brewing classes.

“This endowed brewer position will allow us to provide outstanding practical brewing experiences for our students as we continue to align hands-on training with the best theoretical education,” Charlie Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC-Davis, said for a press release. “Students don’t get that combination in most other brewing programs.”

“My family and I have supported the brewing program at UC Davis for nearly two decades,” Grossman said. “Charlie Bamforth is not only an expert in brewing science, technology and engineering, but a frequent guest speaker at our brewery and a close, personal friend. The ideals that he and the rest of the staff instill in the students are the very same principles that have guided our success in craft brewing for the past 36 years.”

The first Sierra Nevada Endowed Brewer will be Joe Williams, who has been serving as a staff researcher at UC Davis.


Pabst to distribute New Holland beers

New Holland Brewing Co. in Michigan and Pabst Brewing Co. announced today they will enter into a partnership agreement that focuses on the national distribution and sales of New Holland’s full portfolio of craft beer.

“This partnership allows us to distribute our beer brands to more consumers throughout the country by leveraging PBC’s robust sales and distribution platform,” said New Holland president Brett VanderKamp.

Once the partnership is fully implemented, Pabst’s sales force will sell all of New Holland’s beers to wholesalers nationwide. New Holland, entering its 20th year, will remain independent and will continue to manage all other business functions for its beers, including production, marketing, and finance. All beers will continue to be brewed in Holland, Michigan, and New Holland’s spirits, restaurant and retail operations will continue to operate as they currently do.

Pabst will not take an equity statke in New Holland and currently there are no plans in place for Pabst to invest in additional brewing capacity at New Holland. However, the partnership arrangement does contemplate the opportunity for expanded production of New Holland brands at facilities where Pabst already has contract brewing agreements in place, Pabst CEO Simon Thorpe said.


Asahi buys Pilsner Urquell, other brands from A-B InBev

Asahi Group Holdings has struck a deal to acquire five eastern European beer brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev, including Pilsner Urquell. The €7.3 billion ($7.8 billion) purchase is the largest ever made by a Japanese brewing company. A-B InBev is selling the brands to allay the concerns of European competition regulators after it completed its merger with SABMiller.

The sale includes Czech brewer Plzensky Prazdroy, which brews Pilsner Urquell, and Polish beer brands e Tyskie and Lech. The brands will give more international heft to Japan’s Asahi, which is one of the top beer makers in its home market but only a small player globally.

Asahi spent much more than initially expected – the price driven up from an an anticipated $3 billion to $4 billion by other bidders. Asahi previously bought Peroni and Grolsch from SABMiller, as the company made divestitures to get regulatory clearance for its sale to A-B InBev.