AB InBev acquires Platform Beer Co to expand capabilities in US

USA – Belgium based multinational drink and brewing holdings company Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev) has acquired Cleveland-based Platform Beer Co as it seeks to tighten its grip in the US craft beer sector.

The deal, whose financial terms have not been disclosed, will see Platform Beer Co join Brewers Collective, a business unit of Anheuser-Busch US division which currently has a dozen craft beer partners.

Founded in 2014, Platform Beer Co started as a homebrew-inspired brewery and has progressively expanded its portfolio to include seasonal beverages, sour beer, ciders, fruit ales, barrel-aged beers and a line of hard seltzer.

Platform now has four facilities in Ohio and creates more than 200 unique beers per year. AB InBev notes that the brewery’s “unparalleled creativity and experimentation” has resulted in more than 600 recipes.”

In addition to tasting rooms in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Platform plans to open a sour beer brewing facility and tasting room in Cleveland and a brewery and tasting room in Pittsburgh.

Paul Benner, one of Platform’s founder said: “In speaking with the other craft brewery founders in Brewers Collective, we know partnering with Anheuser-Busch means we will have the resources and the autonomy to bring our vision for Platform Beer Co to life.”

“Being able to continue leading the day-to-day operations was an important factor in our decision and we have no doubt that this partnership will benefit our loyal staff and passionate customer base.”

AB InBev also owns Goose Island Beer, Devils Backbone, Wicked Weed Brewing and Karbach Brewing, among others. Platform will be the 13th craft brand in the group when the acquisition is complete.

Marcelo ‘Mika’ Michaelis, president, Brewers Collective, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Paul, Justin and the entire Platform team to Brewers Collective.

“We are inspired by their experiential mindset, and we look forward to supporting their growth plans as they continue to push boundaries through their intrinsic craft values of education, connection and collaboration.

“It’s this growth that will give beer drinkers access to even more choices in today’s competitive and dynamic beer market.” 

In the past three years, AB InBev said it has spent more than US$130 million into craft partners, enabling them to hire almost 1,000 new workers, open new facilities and brew more beer.

The deals have also helped the world’s largest brewer to further diversify into sour beer, fruit ales and hard seltzer where trendy flavors and styles have been noted to potentially lure in more young consumers.

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