By Katy Savage and John McCright
Mass. Bay Brewing Company, the parent company of Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, has acquired Long Trail Brewing Company, Harpoon CEO and cofounder Dan Kenary announced Friday, June 17.
“As part of the agreement, we will continue to operate the Long Trail Riverside Pub in Bridgewater Corners, but will begin brewing Long Trail, Otter Creek, and Shed beers at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor,” Kenary said in a statement.
Kenary said he has been friends with Daniel Fulham, CEO of Long Trail, for 35 years. “Through talks about all the ways we could potentially partner, it became clear that we’d be stronger together, ” Kenary said in the statement.
Fulham, who will lose his own job as head of Long Trail, told the Addison County Independent that the sale of his company to Harpoon reflects a long-term trend in the craft beer industry. The consumer taste for beer is changing while the number of craft brewers has ballooned.
“Nationally (the craft beer industry) is a decline as people are looking for healthier options — drinks with no alcohol, hard ciders… The market has shifted,” he said
“And when Harpoon and Long Trail got started there were 700 craft brewers in United States, now there are 9,000.”
He said the consolidation of Harpoon, Otter Creek and Long Trail brands under one company made sense financially. “You need a critical mass with retailers and distribution partners,” Fulham said. “Craft beer is facing some headwinds.”
It’s unclear what the acquisition means for employees.
“I speak on behalf of all the employee owners at Mass. Bay Brewing Company when I say that we are looking forward to the opportunity to carry on the Long Trail legacy in partnership with the folks in production, sales, and support functions who will be staying on as part of the transition,”Kenary said.