By William Brand
Sunday, May 6th, 2007 at 7:06 pm in Uncategorized.
align=”left” />One of my ace beer scouts, Tim White, called me with a blockbuster last night. He heard that Brauerei Trumer, the Berkeley brewery that makes the stellar Trumer Pils****, has been sold to Anheuser-Busch.
Blew me away. Thank God, the rumor’s not true. There’s been no sale. Tim’s info was solid: His source said someone known to the source had gotten laid off two weeks ago along with the entire staff.
He did get laid off and so did several others – the people who drive Trumer Pils distribution trucks. Trumer’s ended self-distribution, Trumer’s sales manager Jim Crudo said Sunday.
I know A-B’s hungry for craft beer acquisitions; they own minority interests in Redhook Ale co.Red Hook Ale Co. (Seattle), Widmer Brothers (Portland) and they have a distribution agreement with Goose Island (Chicago). Meanwhile, sales of Bud and company, although in the hundreds of millions of barrels category, are flat.
According to Crudo, Brauerei Trumer Berkeley, which is a joint venture of Carlos Alvarez, the Corona importer, and Josef Sigel, the Austrian brewer of Trumer Pils, has cut a deal with Horizon Beverages Co., the A-B distributor in Oakland, to distribute Trumer Pils in the East Bay. Trumer’s also made a deal with Markstein Sales, Pittsburg, the Contra Costa A-B distributor and with Matagrano, South San Francisco, the SF distributor.
But a Coors distributor handles Trumer in San Jose, Crudo said.
“We’ve been brewing at capacity,” Crudo said. The brewery produced about 18,000 barrels last year and just added new fermenters that will double capacity. “Trumer Pils is a winner. We make a really quality product and people get behind it.
He said emphatically that as far as he knows there’s no under the table deal with Anheuser-Busch. “Quite frankly, we had become more of a delivery service than a sales service,” he said. Trumer needed to do more selling and less delivering as distribution widens to all of Northern California.
What about a secret, under-the-table deal with Anheuser-Busch for eventual sale of the company. “No,” Crudo said. “I cannot envision Mr. Alvarez (Carlos Alvarez, the company owner) selling it. He big ambitions for this brand.”
Curious about Trumer Pils. Check out the article I wrote for Northwest Brew News and another I wrote for the Oakland Tribune/MediaNews Group. They’re posted here.