Anheuser-Busch InBev is buying Arizona’s largest craft brewer and brewpub owner, Four Peaks Brewing Co. Founded in 1996, Four Peaks produced 70,000 barrels of beer this year. Financial terms of the sale set to close in the first quarter of 2016 were not disclosed. Four Peaks is the sixth brewer to join A-B’s craft and imports portfolio, The High End. The other craft brewers A-B has acquired in recent years are: Goose Island Beer Co., Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing, Elysian Brewing Company and Golden Road Brewing.
At this point, the only game worth playing is guessing (1) what AB’s ultimate strategy is, and (2) which states they’ll target next. Here’s the current state-by-state map of Bud Micros (Little Buds?)–and you can see that Four Peaks marks ABI’s first foray into a red state. I do find it interesting that their focus has been on the West Coast.
I wonder if this has to do with distribution complexity. Do these states have more distributors? If so, it would make sense that Bud is using the Little Buds to coax their distributors into dropping independent craft breweries. Any theories?