CHICAGO & DETROIT — Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the US craft division of Molson Coors Beverage Company, announced Tuesday an agreement 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 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 revived Detroit's proud brewing tradition from its location in the historic Rivertown district. After investing in the brewery in 2002, Mark 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. Other brands, such as Better Life Choices (an American IPA that was named a top-10 IPA by Beer Connoisseur magazine), and Decadent Dark Chocolate (which won bronze in the World Beer Cup), augment Atwater’s portfolio.
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. “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 crafts 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. Tenth and Blake has a proven 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.
This is the latest example of Molson Coors Beverage Company executing its revitalization plan, which was launched in October 2019 to generate savings that are being 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.