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MillerCoors buys the Crispin Cider Company.

MillerCoors LLC has bought the Crispin Cider Company of Minneapolis, MN, for an undisclosed sum. Crispin, the U.S.'s third-largest cider producer, will operate as a unit of MillerCoors's Tenth and Blake.

Cider sales in the U.S. have increased 72% since 2005, according to figures cited by MillerCoors.

"We were looking at the best way to participate in that growth," Tom Cardella, chief executive officer of Tenth and Blake, said in a statement. "As we explored the category, Crispin stood out. We love their energy, creativity and unsurpassed innovation capability. They make us an even better company right away."

The acquisition includes Crispin's affiliate, Fox Barrel Cider Company, which makes pear ciders. Crispin will continue to make hard apple ciders in Colfax, California, and all workers will become employees of Tenth and Blake, the company said.

Crispin competes with number one producer Vermont Hard Cider Company and number two producer Hornsby's, which C&C Group Group Plc bought from E&J Gallo in November 2011.

Minneapolis-based Crispin sold its first cases on St. Crispin's Day, October 25, 2008. The company reported growth of approximately 200 percent in 2011, outpacing the overall cider category's 26 percent growth during the same period.

"We're thrilled to be part of the Tenth and Blake family," said Joe Heron, Crispin's CEO. "We've always had very ambitious plans, and we're proud of what we're achieving with great products and an unrivaled creativity that mirrors the inspirational American craft-beer ethos. Tenth and Blake provides us the capability to scale up at the same pace as our increasingly accelerating demand in the U.S. and beyond."

Crispin produces European-style natural hard apple ciders using fermented unpasteurized fresh-pressed apple juice in Original, Light and Brut varietals, as well as additional unfiltered Artisanal Reserves--Honey Crisp, Lansdowne, The Saint and Cho-tokkyu, and also imports an English Dry Cider, Crispin Browns Lane.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Feb 6, 2012
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