03 May Wicked Weed Bought out by Anheuser Busch
Wicked Weed Bought out by Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch InBev is in the process of making their first U.S. craft brewery buyout of 2017, today they announced: Wicked Weed Bought out by Anheuser Busch.
Yet again, it’s a sad day for craft beer. Just one day before May the 4th, the darkside rears it’s ugly head. Again. News was released at 9:35am today by BevNet: Wicked Weed Bought out by Anheuser Busch, and Twitter’s already starting to heat up with public backlash.
There’s always a bit of a mixed feeling when this stuff happens, but when it’s AB, the sentiment always leans a little towards, DAAMMNNN YOOUUU! Craft beer’s a business just like anything else, and lofty goals are often made more attainable when a brewery has access to the purse strings of the world’s biggest brewing company.
But on the other hand, it sucks for everybody else that’s grinding to make great beer for their patrons. Wicked Weed is just one more that “bites the dust,” except in this case, they don’t actually die.
When this happens some folks are quick to say, “If you got a check that big, you’d do the same thing! Just make sure there’s a non-compete clause that allows you to start again.” That’s an easy reply for those of us regular-working-joes, but what about Oskar Blues, Saint Arnold, and a host of others that stood firm?
I guess at the end of the day, all that should really matter is whether or not Wicked Weed will still be able to continue producing the award-winning, world-class beers like Pernicious IPA, Black Angel Cherry Sour, Oblivion Sour Red, and a host of other wildly popular sours.
Wicked Weed has made a hell of a name for themselves in Asheville, North Carolina since opening just 5 years ago. 2012 marked a boom for craft nationwide, and these guys were a big part of it. They’ve brewed over 500 beers since opening up.
Reed Ramsay of Beer Street Journal mentions, “Walt and Luke Dickinson, along with Ryan Guthy started work on the plan that would eventually be nationally known Wicked Weed. The brewery started as brewpub in downtown Asheville, and eventually expanded into the all-oak ‘Funkatorium’. From there, the brewery added a production facility just outside of Asheville, and in 2016, announced a second sour facility. That’s four facilities in nearly 4 years.”
Wicked Weed Bought out by Anheuser Busch – The Owner’s Side of the Story
This is an exciting time for the entire brewing team. Our ability to create a wide range of really well executed beers that are focused on creativity, quality and drinkability is what makes Wicked Weed great. We have chosen to partner with The High End to position ourselves to make Wicked Weed what we imagined it could be when we first sat at a craft beer bar and talked about opening a brewery. As a brewer, giving our team more resources to continue innovating our portfolio and the ability to reach more craft drinkers, allows us to keep putting the beer and the people first.
Nobody knows just yet how much cash is trading hands, as there are regulatory approvals that have to go through the fine-tooth comb, but it’s surely got a handful of 0s on the end.
Wicked Weed will be joining AB’s High End division, their gang of craft acquisitions. Wicked Weed being bought out by Anheuser-Busch marks the tenth major purchase since 2011. The High End brand includes major craft breweries including Goose Island, Blue Point, 10 Barrel, Elysian, Golden Road, Virtue Cider, Four Peaks, Breckenridge Brewery, Devils Backbone and SpikedSeltzer, and our good old friends at Karbach.
Most people were suspecting Anheuser-Bush’s next target would be a big brewery in Florida, as that makes the most sense for their geographic strategy. Although Wicked Weed is on the East Coast, maybe it’s possible that AB’s strategy has as much to do with variety as it does geography? We’re all just speculating at this point.
It’s always a little heartbreaking to hear this type of news. As purveyors of craft beer, we feel as though the breweries we love are the David’s, building up to one day slay Goliath. When they join Goliath, it’s never cool.
Now that you’re done reading a post with the headline “Wicked Weed bought out by Anheuser-Busch”. What do you think about the buyout? Let us know below, and Beers to you, Houston!