Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Bud Light on the Island of Geese

It's old news now, but Anheuser-Busch has bought Goose Island for $38.8 million. The deal was announced Monday, and signals a blow to the craft brewing market. I fear other macro-breweries will attempt to cash in on the success of micro brews by buying up solid brands.

Goose Islands certainly never knocked me out with their creative brews, but most flavors were a solid choice when faced with limited options. Now, who knows what will happen to the quality.

The mega-super-ultra conglomerate beer company now owns:

  • Budweiser 
  • Michelob
  • Busch
  • Natural Light
  • Natural Ice
  • Shock Top
  • Beach Bum
  • Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale
  • Hop Hound Amber Wheat
  • Winter Bourbon Cask Ale
  • Bass
  • Becks
  • Boddingtons
  • Czechvar
  • Hoegaarden
  • Kirin
  • Leffe
  • Stella Artois
  • Redbridge
  • Rolling Rock
  • Wild Blue
  • Ziegen Bock
  • King Cobra
  • Bacardi
  • Tilt 
  • Redhook
  • And there's more ... 
Scrolling through Anheuser-Busch's holdings, I was surprised by a few beers that I didn't know were kin to the King of Beers. And that's my point. These large brewing corporations are savvy marketers, and those of us with a palate for craft brewing need to beware of these business deals. 

While overall beer sales were down 1 percent last year, craft beer sales were up 11 percent. Don't doubt that similar deals may soon be in the headlines. 


Sun Runner said...

I am quite fond of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout and their Matilda Belgian-style beer. I'm disappointed that AB decided to swallow them up, and I hope they don't change the GI beers I do enjoy.

The Sean said...

I wasn't aware Redhook was taken over by the King? of Beers... hmmm...

gin hall said...

In similar "big beer" news, did you hear about this ? Brewmasters canceled and Bourdain comments

Al's CL Reviews said...

You forgot to mention that "little" AB was bought out by "big" InBev in 2008.

Buying GI doesn't really bug me. A 2-man crew can produce just as shitty a brew as the big guys.

Also imo, it is like liking an indie band who gets signed to a big label and no longer liking them. Let time tell if they will suck or not.

misszippy said...

I'm actually so far out of this loop that this is all news to me. I guess, however, that it's the way so many industries are going that it was inevitable, albeit unfortunate.

KW said...

Actually Stella Artois bought out Annheiser Busch a couple of years ago. It was a big deal and people in STL started shaking in their boots for fear of layoffs. But SA stayed true and kept AB doing what they do. So, blame SA and not AB.

Jess said...

As people already pointed out, even Bud is owned by a bigger conglomerate.

BrianFlash said...

As long as the big guy continues to make good beer, I don't particularly have an issue with purchases like this. But when they buy the brewer and ruin the product, that's another story.

Goose Island was never one of my favorites which is probably one reason why In Bev decided to buy it :)

Laura said...

I too did not know that Bud owned all of those. Leffe is quality beer, and I usually think of Anheuser Busch as being terrible!