After slowdown in recent time in terms of Big Beer buying up craft breweries, news broke this week that Molson Coors has purchased Atwater Brewery of Detroit.
Atwater will join Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the U.S. craft division of Molson Coors Beverage Company. Atwater is known for its German-style lagers and modern ales.
“The agreement with Tenth and Blake is both the culmination of our past and the catapult to our future,” says Mark Rieth, Atwater Brewery owner. “For Atwater to continue to grow, it will require both capital and brewing expertise. Tenth and Blake brings both, which makes them the ideal strategic partner to help us continue to live our mantra ‘Born in Detroit. Raised Everywhere’.”
Founded in 1997, Atwater Block Brewery first opened in Detroit’s historic Rivertown district. After investing in the brewery in 2002, Rieth purchased the brewery outright in 2005. Led by top-selling beers Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater became a cornerstone of Michigan’s brewing scene.
Other brands, such as Better Life Choices (an American IPA) and Decadent Dark Chocolate, augment Atwater’s portfolio. The brewer, which also produces hard seltzers and craft spirits, operates three taphouse and biergarden locations in Detroit, Grosse Pointe Park and Grand Rapids.
“Atwater has been a staple and a leader in the Michigan craft community for more than two decades, and we’re thrilled to have them join Tenth and Blake,” says Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth and Blake. “Our priority is to make sure their beer is enjoyed by consumers throughout their core markets and eventually across the Great Lakes region.”
Atwater Brewery joins other companies in the Tenth and Blake portfolio, including the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, AC Golden Brewing Company, Saint Archer Brewing Company, Terrapin Beer Company, Hop Valley Brewing Company and Revolver Brewing.
This is the latest example of Molson Coors Beverage Company executing on its revitalization plan, the company says, which launched in October 2019 to generate savings that are being reinvested across its entire portfolio.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rieth and his management team will continue to lead Atwater’s day-to-day operations. Arlington Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Atwater in this transaction.