Molson Coors and Yuengling join forces in biggest beer deal of the year
D.G. Yuengling & Son—the self-proclaimed oldest brewery in America—is poised to expand westward after striking a deal to form a joint venture with Molson Coors Beverage Company.
The 191-year-old Yuengling has historically taken a plodding approach to expansion, slowly adding contiguous states to its base in the eastern and southern U.S. It currently sells its brews in 22 states with its westernmost state being Louisiana. Under the deal announced today, the joint venture would oversee expansion beyond Yuengling’s existing footprint. Both brewers are battling long-term sales headwinds as drinkers gravitate away from traditional lagers to spirits, wines and hard seltzers.
“Both Molson Coors and Yuengling declined in recent years, so this long-awaited development really is welcome news for both cos,” Beer Marketer’s Insights reported today. “It will bring a significant new stream of growth.” The trade publication noted that when Yuengling enters new states it typically gets up to 3 percent market share. While the companies will have to split the profit margins, “at least this remains genuine growth opportunity for both,” according to Beer Marketer's, which called the pact the biggest beer deal of the year.
“This is a huge growth opportunity for Yuengling, it’s a huge growth opportunity for Molson Coors, and we’re going to make a whole lot of Yuengling fans out west really happy,” Gavin Hattersley, president and CEO of Molson Coors Beverage Company, said in a statement.
Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer and a sixth-generation family member of D.G. Yuengling & Son, added that “this partnership is a great opportunity for us to grow our distribution footprint for the long-term, while continuing to support our existing markets and the communities in which we operate.”
The joint venture is expected to begin in the second half of 2021. It will be overseen by a board of directors, consisting evenly of Yuengling and Molson Coors family members and executives.