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Aldrige Beer

In: Business and Management

Submitted By rajeev78
Words 5809
Pages 24
ALRIDGE BREWING COMPANY

Craft Brewing Goes Public In August 1995, Paul Shipman, the CEO of Alridge Brewing (AB) prepared himself to enter uncharted territory. A craft brewing operation had never before been taken public in the United States, and he and his management team were about to do just that. Sure, there were massive large-batch breweries like Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Company that were profitable, publicly traded firms—but there was something different about Alridge: it embodied the ethos and grassroots beginnings of the microbrew movement, and Shipman was confident that widespread market demand for craft beer was set to explode. He and the team had steadily developed their premium-quality handmade ales for nearly fifteen years, and their loyal customer base was strong. In the last year alone, he’d forged alliances with both Starbucks (for the purposes of co- branding a coffee- flavored brew) and A-B that had purchased a capped 25% interest in AB in exchange for access to its national distribution networks and accounting systems. Shipman had overseen significant capacity increases, with plans on the horizon for yet another brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He had worked hard to position AB favorably for expansion, and the public offering would provide the necessary capital. But how would the “microbrew” feel of AB translate to the largescale commercialization and growth pressures of the open market? Producing and distributing microbrews on a large scale was a new concept—and like any new concept, it would have to be sold. Shipman hoped to sell craft beer—and lots of it—in the heartland of America. Revolutionary Beginnings Shipman thought back through the determined, tumultuous beginnings of the company he had helped to found after graduating from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 1980. AB was brought to life in 1981...

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