Royal Oak’s three-year-old brewery Roak Brewing is plotting a big buyout of fellow craft beer maker Right Brain Brewery in northern Michigan. The deal is expected to take place within the next three months, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Roak co-owner John Leone characterized the move as an effort to strengthen smaller craft breweries in Michigan. Smaller breweries often have difficulty developing avenues for distribution and are vulnerable to acquisition by larger commercial brewers such as AB-InBev. For example, one of Michigan’s largest brewers sold a 30 percent share of its business to Spanish company Mahou San Miguel in 2014 in an effort to break into international distribution.
While Roak is technically a younger brewery than Right Brain, was more adept early on at scaling for distribution. If the deal goes through, the merger with Roak will allow Traverse City-based Right Brain to distribute outside of Michigan. Roak and Right Brain also plan to carry both brands of beer at their taprooms. It might even mean some some future brewery collaborations.