Beer Man

The Oskar Blues-Centered Canarchy Collective Buys Another Brewery

Part of the Canarchy portfolio.
Part of the Canarchy portfolio. Canarchy
The Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective, a private equity-backed group of craft breweries across the country, has acquired yet another beer maker, this one in Texas. Dallas-based Deep Ellum Brewing, which was founded in 2011 by John Reardon, will join the group, which is led by Longmont's Oskar Blues Brewery. Deep Ellum is the third-largest independent brewery in Texas, so the move is a big one for Canarchy.

”We’ve been looking for the right partner to grow the Deep Ellum brand, and I believe we’ve found that with CANarchy," Reardon says in a statement. "They’re a group of like-minded people that have not conformed to the status quo and have hit critical mass on the path of coming together and remaining independent. We’re all in.” Deep Ellum made 45,000 barrels of beer in 2017, up 37 percent from the year before.

click to enlarge Deep Ellum founder John Reardon. - CANARCHY
Deep Ellum founder John Reardon.
Canarchy was created in December after its financial backer, Fireman Capital Partners, changed the name from Oskar Blues Holdings in order to "better reflect the goal of the collective." Fireman, a Massachusetts-based private equity firm, bought Squatters Craft Beer and Wasatch Brewery, both in Utah, in 2011. It then purchased Oskar Blues in 2015. Since then, it has added Michigan's Perrin Brewing and Florida's Cigar City Brewing.

Before the Deep Ellum purchase, Canarchy was ranked ninth on the Brewers Association's 2017 list of the fifty largest craft brewers in the United States. It may now rise on that list, since Deep Ellum is expanding and adding a second location in Fort Worth.

Being part of the Canarchy collective gives brewers access to better resources and the ability to grow and distribute more quickly. Cigar City, for instance, has increased beer shipments by 43 percent, from 65,000 barrels in 2016 to 92,000 barrels last year.

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes