I almost made the title of this article “Beau’s Announces Intent To Sell Brewery”, but then I couldn’t stand the inevitable click-bait accusations.
With a raucous battle cry, Tim and Steve announced to employees on May 16 that, as of July 1, 2016, Beau’s will begin selling the entirety of it’s brewery to its employees via an Employee Share Ownership Plan, or ESOP, and employees will buy shares over time.
With that said, speaking with Steve Beauchesne this morning on an early phone call, it seems he wants everyone to know how proud he is of their brewery, and that he wants it to remain independent and “cement that independence, not for the next 10 years, but for the next 100”, he affirmed.
“It seemed an appropriate gesture for our upcoming 10-year anniversary” Steve explained. “News about craft breweries is dominated in the news by selling out, and not for their beer. To me, it has been important for me to find a way to give back to the employees, and I feel this is now the time to stand up and say that independence is a viable business.” Steve has no plans to leave the business.
Late last year, Toronto brewery Mill Street was purchased by Labatt, which shook up the Ontario craft beer world and made a lot of beer nerds and writers alike think, for the first time that this could happen to any of them.
Beau’s was particularly vocal, issuing a press release touting themselves as “Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer” and encouraging Mill Street employees to apply for their open positions. Independence has always been at the forefront of the Beau’s organization, and this move indeed signals an affirmation of independent existence forever.
Steve went on in our chat to talk about the fans – “The people who have supported us have been the reason for our success, and all they’re asking for is for us to always be around for them the way we are now. The comments from fans are always, you know ‘please, never sell out!’, and this is how we’re giving back to them.”
Announcement video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDzK4MOJO0
Full text of the press release below!
BIG NEWS BREWING AT BEAU’S ALL NATURAL:
CANADIAN CRAFT BREWERY ANOUNCES INTENT TO SELL
Vankleek Hill, May 17, 2016 – Yesterday morning, Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer, took centre stage in Ottawa’s ByTowne Cinema amidst the brewery’s employees to announce the news of its imminent sale under an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Since its inception in 2006, Beau’s has experienced rapid growth at a compounded rate of 45 per cent year-over-year, and now employs approximately 150 full time staff. The offering of the ESOP is in keeping with Beau’s legacy as a fiercely independent, Canadian owned and family-run operation. The employees will become co-owners and an even greater part of the Beau’s family, with shared responsibility for the brewery’s future and continued growth as it sets to expand across the country by the end of the year.
“My Dad and I started Beau’s ten years ago with the promise of making excellent, flavourful beer, and using our brewery as a force for good,” says Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. “Our success during this time is strongly rooted in the support of our employees and fans, who have always believed in our promise.”
On July 1, 2016, Beau’s tenth anniversary, the company will start the process of selling the brewery to its employees.
ESOP offerings are particularly rare in the craft beer category, with only a select handful across North America, signaling Beau’s fearlessness to go against the grain in order to maintain the integrity and independence of their company.
“By handing the reins over to our employees we are saying this changes everything, because this change is everything,” adds Beauchesne. “We look forward to our expansion and success across Canada, with the help of our new company stewards.”
2016 marks an exciting year for Beau’s. This announcement comes as Beau’s reaches the milestone of ten years, and will be followed by a series of commemorative initiatives – from now through June 2017 – including philanthropic projects, community recognition, merchant appreciation, limited-edition brews, and a fresh new brand look and feel.
About Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company
Founded on July 1, 2006, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company (Beau’s) is an independent, Canadian craft brewery run by a close-knit family and friends. Beau’s is Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer. The Certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) produces certified organic beer including its flagship Lug-Tread, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, and The Tom Green Beer. The company supports hundreds of independent arts and community-building charitable organizations every year. Founded by father and son, Tim and Steve Beauchesne, the independent brewery will be rolling out its portfolio of craft beers across the country, expanding into major markets from the west to the east coast. Beau’s is currently available in Ontario, Québec and New York.