Cleveland, OH, August 7, 2019 – Carleton McKenna & Co. (“CM&Co.) acted as exclusive financial advisor to local craft brewery, Platform Beer Co. (“Platform”) and its founders Paul Benner and Justin Carson in the Company’s sale to Anheuser-Busch’s Brewers Collective. Platform, the fastest growing regional brewery in the United States in 2017, operates in Ohio’s three largest metropolitan cities: Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus. According to Anheuser-Busch, the partnership will “continue Anheuser-Busch’s long track record of working with their craft partners to make the U.S. beer category stronger and more vibrant.” The acquisition price was not disclosed.
Founded with a home-brew inspiration, Platform began as a brewery incubator in 2014, devoted to outreach and education for aspiring professional brewers. In just five years, owners Benner and Carson were able to create a uniquely innovative brand and following, focusing on deep growth in their own backyard – a rising theme among successful craft breweries. Platform is known throughout Ohio for its vast beverage portfolio of award-winning products and fun taproom customer experience. Platform offers innovative and trending products including Hazy IPAs, Unique Seasonals, Sours, Ciders and Fruit Ales, Barrel-Aged Beers, and a line of canned and on-tap Hard Seltzer.
“We are excited to invest even more into our local economy through capital improvements and job creation… We will be able to provide our staff with resources like robust healthcare benefits including parental leave, 401K and growth opportunities that we currently don’t have and will make Platform an even better place to work and grow,” commented Carson.
The partnership allows the Company to continue operating independently as the Platform brand. Brewers Collective president Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis looks “forward to supporting their growth plans as they continue to push boundaries through their intrinsic craft values of education, connection and collaboration.” In fact, Anheuser-Busch has invested more than $130 million in its craft breweries following acquisition, allowing those companies to hire more employees, open new facilities and expand production volume.
“Any time a thriving Cleveland business is recognized by the largest player in the industry, it is a compliment to the founding entrepreneurs but also a great signal for the economic development of the community. This partnership should have a significantly positive impact not only for Platform, but for Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio region,” said CM&Co. Managing Director, Chris McKenna.
The CM&Co. team represented Platform as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor, providing sell-side merger and acquisition advisory services to the Company. “The team at Carleton McKenna acted as true professionals in assisting with the completion of our deal. Their attention to detail, work ethic and creativity was a key component to our success,” Benner commented.
About Carleton McKenna & Co.
For more than thirty years, Carleton McKenna & Co. and predecessor firms have provided merger and acquisition advisory, capital raising and pre-transition advisory services for small to mid-cap regional clients – both public and private – with expertise across a broad array of industries. For further information about Carleton McKenna & Co., please visit www.carletonmckenna.com.
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About Platform Beer Co.
Platform Beer Co. is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and was founded in 2014 by local entrepreneurs Paul Benner and Justin Carson. Originally conceived as a homebrew-inspired educational brewery, Platform’s business is rooted in community-centric entrepreneurialism and data-driven innovation. Platform is widely known in its local market for their innovative seasonal offerings, limited taproom releases and seltzers.
Platform has received awards for its beers at the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, U.S. Open Cider Competition, among others, and was named the fastest growing regional craft brewery in the United States in 2017. Platform operates four facilities in Ohio, including a tasting room and brewhouse in Cleveland, tasting room in Columbus, and tasting room concept in Cincinnati. For more information, visit https://platformbeer.co/.
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 12 flagship breweries, 12 craft partners, 14 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 employees across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry.
From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home.
About Brewers Collective
Brewers Collective, a business unit of Anheuser-Busch, is on a mission to energize how people view, consume and experience beer by sharing our joy of brewing. We have an unwavering devotion to our beer, brands, people and communities, and are on a continued pursuit of making the next beer our best one yet. We believe that quality is not an exception, innovation is a standard, and that everyone is welcome within the world of beer. Our craft partners include: 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Blue Point Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Elysian Brewing Company, Four Peaks Brewing Co., Golden Road Brewing, Goose Island Beer Company, Karbach Brewing Co., Veza Sur Brewing Co., Virtue Cider, and Wicked Weed Brewing.