Tenth and Blake Beer Co., the Chicago-based U.S. craft division of Molson Coors Beverage Co., has agreed to acquire Detroit-based Atwater Brewery. Atwater Brewery is highly regarded in the Michigan craft beer community for its traditional German-style lagers and unique ales.
"The agreement with Tenth and Blake is both the culmination of our past and the catapult to our future," said Atwater Brewery Owner Mark Rieth in a statement. "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 revived Detroit's proud brewing tradition from its location in the historic Rivertown district. After investing in the brewery in 2002, Rieth purchased the brewery outright in 2005, setting off several years of booming growth. Led by top-selling beers Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater became a cornerstone of Michigan’s brewing scene.
The brewer, which also produces hard seltzers and craft spirits, also operates three unique 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,” said Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth and Blake, in a statement. “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 leading crafts in the Tenth and Blake portfolio, including the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., AC Golden Brewing Co., Saint Archer Brewing Co., Terrapin Beer Co., Hop Valley Brewing Co. and Revolver Brewing. Tenth and Blake touts its track record of success, with the organization’s regional crafts posting volume growth of more than 16% in 2019, while the overall craft segment was just above flat.
Molson Coors Beverage Co. launched a revitalization plan in October 2019 with the goal of generating savings that could be reinvested across its entire portfolio. Since announcing the plan, the company has expanded its ability to innovate in the non-alcohol space by taking a stake in beverage incubator L.A. Libations; announced it will air ads during the pro football championship for the first time in years; and launched new creative campaigns for a broad range of its brands.
The transaction is expected to be completed within the next couple of months. Terms 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 adviser to Atwater in this transaction.