Anheuser-Busch Adds Golden Road Brewing To Its Overstuffed Roster Of Beers

Just a week after Anheuser-Busch InBev confirmed it was looking to enter a long-term relationship with rival SABMiller, the company continued to pad its portfolio with the purchase of California craft brewer Golden Road Brewing.

Anheuser-Busch announced the transaction on Wednesday, noting that it would allow the company – which is behind dozens of brands, including Budweiser, Rolling Rock, and Stella Artois – to increase its stake in the craft beer market – an area its top brand, Budweiser, roundly mocked just months ago.

While the financial details of the deal weren’t released, the companies say it will enable Golden Road – which produces Point the Way IPA, Wolf Among Weeds IPA, Golden Road Hefeweizen and 329 Days of Sun Lager – to increase its footprint in 2016.

“Our team worked hard to build Golden Road from the ground up and we are proud of the growth we’ve achieved in such a short time,” Meg Gill, ‎president and co-founder at Golden Road Brewing, said in a statement about the transaction. “California is an exciting and competitive market for beer and I see endless opportunities in partnering with Anheuser-Busch and their incredible distribution network to bring our beers to more people.”

Golden Road opened for business in 2011 and has become the largest craft brewery in Los Angeles County. The company expects to sell 45,000 barrels of beer in 2015 and can be found in more than 4,000 retail locations, according to a statement.

“Golden Road’s commitment to making great beer, their pioneering spirit and the passionate beer culture built within the company is what appealed to us,” Andy Goeler, CEO of Craft, Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. “Their focus on giving back to the community and impact on the Los Angeles craft market in four short years makes Golden Road a strong addition to our craft portfolio.”

This acquisition is just the latest in the beer giant’s attempt to get drunk on the craft beer business. In 2011, the company bought Goose Island Brewery and has purchased Blue Point Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewery and Elysian Brewery in recent years.

Still the beverage makers largest purchase could still be in the making. Last week, it announced it had approached SABMiller about a merger that would create one gigantic beer Voltron.

While AB InBev said the move wasn’t a firm merger offer, the “intention is to work with SABMiller’s Board toward a recommended transaction,” but notes, “There can be no certainty that this approach will result in an offer or agreement.”

If a merger between the two companies does materialize, it’s likely they would have to sell off some of their U.S. brands in order to receive regulatory approval.

The two companies are already the world’s first- and second-largest beer makers. If they were to combine without having to shed any of their brands, they would control around 70% of the American beer market, and 30% of the global market.

[via The Los Angeles Times]

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