10 Barrel Brewing sold to Anheuser-Busch

Huge news to hit the craft beer world in Oregon today: Anheuser-Busch InBev is acquiring Bend’s own 10 Barrel Brewing! This news came as a big surprise to the craft beer community, local and otherwise, and the (predictable) backlash is already raging on social media.

Here’s the video that the 10 Barrel founders posted this morning to announce the news:

Shortly thereafter I first saw the story and press release hit the Brewbound site; here is the full press release:

Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase 10 Barrel Brewing Company, located in Bend, Ore. One of the country’s fastest-growing and most innovative breweries, 10 Barrel was one of only four U.S. breweries to win three medals and tied for most medals won at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the world.

“For the past eight years, we’ve been brewing beer, drinking beer and having fun doing it.” said co-founder Jeremy Cox, who will continue to lead 10 Barrel along with his partners, co-founder and brother Chris Cox, and Garrett Wales. “We are excited to stay focused on brewing cool beers, get our beers in more hands, and make the most of the operational and distribution expertise of Anheuser-Busch,” said Cox.

10 Barrel expects to sell approximately 40,000 barrels of beer in 2014. Apocalypse IPA, the brewer’s most popular beer, accounts for nearly half of the company’s total volume.

“10 Barrel, its brewers, and their high-quality beers are an exciting addition to our high-end portfolio,” said Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, Anheuser-Busch. “The brewery is a major contender in the Northwest, an area with a large number of craft breweries. We see tremendous value in the brewery’s unique offerings and differentiated style, which 10 Barrel fans know and love.”

In addition to the Bend brewery, the acquisition will include the company’s existing brewpubs in Bend and Boise, Idaho; and a Portland brewpub scheduled to open in early 2015.

Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of 10 Barrel is expected to close by the end of 2014. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

First Beverage Group acted as financial adviser to 10 Barrel, and Spencer Fane Britt & Browne provided legal counsel.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be so surprising as 10 Barrel already had connections with AB (distribution).

And regarding that backlash in the community, this is a similar situation to when AB bought Chicago’s Goose Island in 2011. So far that has worked out well for Goose Island despite the doubts, and there’s no reason not to think the same for 10 Barrel—though of course, only time will tell.

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