New Belgium Brewing Co. is leading a group that has agreed to acquire the assets of San Francisco-based Magnolia Brewing Co. as part of a bankruptcy proceeding.
According to a press release, New Belgium will own a majority share of the partnership, while Elysian Brewing Co. founder Dick Cantwell and Belgium-based Oud Beersel will be on board as minority partners. Cantrell—who left Elysian in April 2015 after the brewery was purchased by AB InBev—will be head of brewing operations, while Magnolia founder Dave McLean will be an employee of the partnership.
“We’ve been looking for ways to diversify our assets and expand our community,” said Kim Jordan, co-founder and executive chair at New Belgium, in a press release. “These two tap rooms are right in the heart of historic San Francisco neighborhoods, a place Dick (Cantwell) and I call home. Magnolia makes excellent beer and plays an important role in the community. We’re excited about the possibilities and look forward to continuing our journey while honoring Magnolia’s history and presence.”
In addition, Oud Beersel will join the partnership as a “contributing experimenter, with the goal of eventually shipping containers of its traditionally-produced and spontaneously fermented beers for blending with Magnolia-crafted beers.” In order to be called lambic, the beer must be produced in Belgium, and the partnership is planning on establishing “the world’s first dedicated lambic blendery outside of Belgium” by shipping lambic produced at Oud Beersel to San Francisco.
Founded by McLean in 1997, Magnolia Brewing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Nov. 2015. As part of the acquisition, there will be no change in either the existing staff or beer releases.
While financial details have not been released, the deal is expected to close in September.