The article below has been updated to reflect comment from Stone co-founder, Greg Koch.
The official Stone Brewing Co. Twitter account tweeted the following early in the day: “High on list of things we’ll never do. SELL OUT! That is all. #craftbeer”
This came after Stone co-founder and CEO, Greg Koch, tweeted on Thursday, “I will never sell out. Set the co up so it will continue? Yes.”
Neither tweet would be all that special if they didn’t come within 24 hours of the news that Duvel Moortgat had acquired Boulevard Brewing Company, likely to be the largest craft beer acquisition of the year.
While Koch’s tweet remains, Stone’s tweet on Friday has been removed following a flurry of mixed reactions, including a tweet from Boulevard brewer, Jeremy Danner, “Sick burn, bro.”
Update per Koch on Twitter: “Ill-timed on our part. NOT directed at [Boulevard]. Apologies that it seemed so.”
Tensions were already high on Thursday with mixed reactions to the deal itself. Despite breweries being active on Twitter, they did not publicly comment on the sale using the service, perhaps indicative of the taboo topic around craft M&A deals and “independence.”
Update 1: A Twitter search bug prevented the discovery of this tweet from Boulevard friend and Missouri neighbor, Schlafly.*
Update 2: The bug is specifically when searching for a term and clicking ‘People you follow’. This only brings up a sample of results. We confirmed that no other regional U.S. breweries issued public comment on the sale on their social media feeds by setting up custom lists. Correspondence has since been out to more than half of the regional breweries in the U.S. for direct comment on the sale.
Stone Brewing’s distribution arm in San Diego County carries the Duvel Moortgat portfolio. Boulevard is carried by Young’s Market in that region.
Stone did not immediately return a request for comment.