Industry veteran to acquire Anderson Valley brewery

BOONVILLE -- Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (link), maker of craft beers Boont Amber Ale and Hop Ottin’ IPA, today announced it reached a definitive purchase agreement with HMB Holdings LLC, a new company led by a former beer marketing company executive.

The deal, the terms of which weren't disclosed, is set to close in April 2010, pending regulatory approval.

HMB plans to retain the current brewing and production facilities while expanding the sales and marketing capabilities, according to today's announcement.

Anderson Valley Brewing founder Ken Allen, 70, started the company in 1987 and became one of the pioneers in craft beer. The Brewers Association trade group almost a year ago recognized his impact on the growth of that niche of the industry, including leading the formation of a predecessor to that group.

“I have enjoyed immensely growing the Anderson Valley Brewery from a start-up operating a modest brew pub in Boonville into a world class regional craft brewery," he said in a statement. "The people and friends I have made in the industry will last a lifetime. I want to thank the many customers and brewery fans who have become key parts of the Anderson Valley Brewery family."

He said he "searched long and hard" for a buyer who would respect the brands and allow him to plan for retirement, according to brewery spokeswoman Debi Paslay. Mr. Allen had been talking to HMB owner Trey White about a possible sale for two years, she said.

Mr. White has 15 years of experience in the alcoholic beverage industry and started the venture "to bringing hand-crafted, small batch produced beer to as many American consumers as possible." Previously, he was executive vice president at Connecticut-based craft and imported beer marketer United States Beverage. While there he worked with American craft beers including Goose Island, Rogue, Ipswich and SLO as well as imports such as Grolsch from Holland.

“Ken Allen is a true leader within the American craft beer industry,” Mr. White said. “The beers created by Anderson Valley are amongst the premier craft beers available in the world. Ken’s high-quality craftsmanship combined with his respect for the environment is a legacy we will respect and uphold. HMB is thrilled with the opportunity to grow consumer awareness and expand the distribution of the Anderson Valley family of world class award winning craft beers.”

Anderson Valley Brewing produces 25,000 barrels a year and employs 45.

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