Anderson Valley Brewing Sold to New Owners

Nearly 32-year-old northern California craft brewery Anderson Valley Brewing has been sold to the McGee family. After the Ballast Point sale to Chicago-based Kings & Convicts, this is another example of a much smaller brewer purchasing a much larger and established brewery in turmoil. Kevin McGee is a successful attorney who opened the nano one-barrel Healdsburg Beer Company out of his garage in 2007, and it doesn’t even have a website.

Anderson Valley Brewing is known for their Boont Amber Ale, but also has gained notroriety for seasonals like Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice. While those beers may be considered old-school to today’s beer fans, the brewery reinvented themselves as an early adapter to kettle sours with their Gose fruited sour line of beers.

The transaction is scheduled to close on December 13th, with all employees expected to be retained. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Northern California-based business executive and family member Kevin McGee will be named as the new President and CEO. It will be interesting to see if Anderson Valley’s well respected longtime brewmaster Fal Allen will stay with the company.

More from a press release:

A pioneer of the craft beer movement 
Since its founding in 1987, AVBC’s innovative beers helped to define craft brewing. Credited as one of the original catalysts of the modern craft beer movement, AVBC’s commitment to community, philanthropy and environmental stewardship influenced the values of a generation of brewers.  

“We are proud of what the brewery employees built, and the McGee family shares our passion for the brand, the beer, and the ethos,” said current owner Trey White. “We believe we’ve found an outstanding steward to lead the company forward.”

Classified by the Brewers Association as a regional craft brewer, AVBC is one of the 75 largest craft breweries in the U.S. and is distributed in over 30 states. When founded in 1987 AVBC was one of only 20 craft breweries in the country and is now widely recognized as one of the craft beer industry’s true pioneers. Outside of its flagship Boont Amber Ale and renowned barrel aged beers, AVBC is perhaps most well-known for its goses, gaining national recognition for reviving the classic German style and introducing it to a new generation of beer enthusiasts. 

“Anderson Valley Brewing Company is a very special place. For over three decades the brewery and the people there have consistently produced world-class beer and my family and I are very excited to be a part of its future,” said Kevin McGee. “The pioneering and innovative spirit is a critical part of what makes Anderson so special, and we’ll focus on amplifying that spirit rather than changing anything. There’s a nearly limitless appreciation for delicious beer, and despite huge growth in the craft category it still only represents 14% of the overall beer market. With its tremendous product and culture, Anderson Valley and small independent breweries like it are very well positioned now and moving forward.” 

Kevin McGee brings passion for craft brewing to AVBC 
A 17-year veteran of the Northern California wine and beer industries, Kevin McGee is a graduate of the Executive Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and has been an attorney for over 20 years. In 2007 McGee took an innovative path to entering the craft beer industry by turning his garage into a licensed and bonded commercial brewery. McGee has been running a one-barrel brewhouse out of it for the past 12 years as the Healdsburg Beer Company (HBC). From this garage, HBC has produced a number of award-winning beers and his golden ale, English-style IPA and porter have each placed in the top three at the U.S. Open Beer Championships.  

Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association, said: “I’ve known Kevin McGee for a number of years going back to the early days of HBC. At the time he was strapping his highly sought after kegs into the front seat of his Subaru and delivering them to local pubs. He’s always been about quality and his beer reflected that. And he has always cared about the integrity of the industry as a whole. AVBC and the larger craft brewing community will benefit from his vision and leadership.” 

“I have very dear feelings for AVBC, dating back to the days I helped get it up and running 32 years ago” said Brian Hunt, founder of Moonlight Brewing Company. “I’ve known Kevin McGee for many years and I’ve seen in him a dedication to understanding the heart of a business, to figuring out what is right for each individual situation and a passion for quality beer. Kevin and his family will bring continuity and welcome new visions to one of my favorite breweries in a time of great changes in the brewing world.” 

Anderson Valley Brewing Company is located at 17700 HWY 253, Boonville, CA. The Tap Room and Beer Garden are open to the public daily from 11:00am – 6:00pm and feature 20 tap handles of the brewery’s classic and seasonal beers as well as hard-to-find specialty and barrel-aged releases. Brewery facility tours are offered through the Tap Room Monday – Friday at 2:30pm.  

About Anderson Valley Brewing Company 
For over 32 years, Anderson Valley Brewing Company has sustainably hand-crafted authentic ales and lagers with balance and complexity. Founded in 1987 in the lower level of Boonville CA’s Buckhorn Saloon, Anderson Valley Brewing Company has grown to be widely recognized as one of the true pioneers in craft brewing. From the flagship Boont Amber Ale to innovative seasonal offerings like the blood orange Gose, every Anderson Valley Brewing Company beer is crafted with purpose and an unwavering commitment to producing world-class beer. Anderson Valley Brewing Company is available in 33 states and in the Boonville Taproom where it all started. For more information visit our website. Stay up to date with the latest from AVBC via Facebook and Instagram.  

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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