USA – Anheuser-Busch, the America subsidiary of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBeV) has announced that it will acquire the outstanding 68.8% stake in Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) for about US$321 million.

Anheuser-Busch currently holds 31.2% stake in the Kona Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers and Square Mile Cider brands owner, headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Post transaction CBA’s portfolio will join Brewers Collective, the craft business unit of Anheuser-Busch, which also includes brands such as Platform Beer Co and Elysian Brewing Company.

Anheuser-Busch said that Craft Brew’s portfolio of regional breweries and lifestyle brands is an addition to its and will help fuel the growth of craft beer category in the competitive beer industry in the United States.

“Anheuser-Busch has a long track record of working with its craft partners to help make the US beer category stronger and more vibrant,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch.

“Our partnership with CBA goes back many years and we look forward to supporting CBA as they continue to bring great products to beer drinkers across the US.”

Marcelo ‘Mika’ Michaelis, president, Brewers Collective, Anheuser-Busch, added: “The beer industry in the US is competitive and dynamic, with more choices available to consumers than ever before.

“CBA’s diverse portfolio of regional breweries and innovative lifestyle brands is an excellent complement to our family of craft partners and would continue to help fuel the growth of the craft beer category.”

CBA was formed in 2008 through a combination of Widmer Brothers and Redhook Brewing, each of whom had preexisting distribution agreements with Anheuser-Busch, which also owned a minority stake in each business.

Anheuser-Busch said it has invested more than US$130 million in its craft partners in the last three years, allowing them to expand their production volume by an average of 31%.

Employing more than 650 people, CBA produced more than 719,000 barrels in 2018, according to regulatory filings, making it the 12th-largest brewer in the US. It reported US$206.2 million in revenue last year.

“By combining our resources, our talented teammates, and dynamic brands, we will look to nurture the growth of CBA’s existing portfolio as we continue investing in innovation to meet the changing needs of today’s beverage consumers,” said Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA.

“[This] announcement represents an exciting next step in a long and successful partnership with Anheuser-Busch, whose support for the growth of our business and brands traces back over 25 years.”