The news is all over the internet and social media this morning: Anheuser-Busch is buying Seattle’s Elysian Brewing! I am completely stunned by this news, even moreso than the 10 Barrel news from last year—I never would have though Elysian would sell to AB.
From the AB press release:
Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase Elysian Brewing Company, based in Seattle, Washington. For nearly 20 years, Elysian has brewed an award-winning portfolio of beers, including Immortal IPA and some of the industry’s most innovative and sophisticated brands.
“For two decades, we’ve welcomed guests into our brewpubs and served them creative and impeccably crafted beers,” said Joe Bisacca, Elysian CEO and co-founder, who will continue with Elysian along with his partners, Dick Cantwell and David Buhler. “After a lot of hard work, we’ve grown from one Seattle brewpub to four pub locations and a production brewery. With the support of Anheuser-Busch, we will build on past successes and share our beers with more beer lovers moving forward.”
Dick Cantwell, Elysian co-founder and Head Brewer added, “Throughout our journey we’ve been focused on brewing a portfolio of both classic and groundbreaking beers and supporting innovation and camaraderie in the beer industry through collaboration and experimentation. By joining with Anheuser-Busch we’ll be able to take the next steps to bring that energy and commitment to a larger audience.”
Elysian sold more than 50,000 barrels of beer in 2014, with Immortal IPA accounting for more than a quarter of the company’s total volume.
“Elysian’s story includes everything we look for in a partner,” said Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, Anheuser-Busch. “The team has spent their careers brewing distinctive beers in the thriving West Coast beer community and building unique venues that celebrate beer. As the fastest growing brewer in Washington, their recipe is working. Elysian’s brands are an important addition to our high-end beer portfolio, and we look forward to working together.”
In addition to the Seattle Airport Way brewery, the acquisition includes the company’s four Seattle brewpubs, Elysian Capitol Hill, Elysian Tangletown, Elysian Fields and Elysian BAR.
Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Elysian is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2015. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
And Ezra has a cryptic comment on the New School about this:
Word has come to us that the majority partner in Elysian Brewing has sold the company, possibly without the full blessing of partner Dick Cantwell. I have been hearing rumors for months that a Washington brewery was soon to sell but did not guess it would be the from the fiercely independent Dick Cantwell of Elysian, it makes sense that his majority partner may have been the one to pull the trigger.
I have no clue yet what this means for events like the Great Pumpkin Beer Fest and more. We’ll just have to watch and see.
And on an editorial note, I find it interesting that people who dismissed the 10 Barrel sale to AB as just the future of business, etc. etc., but are now suddenly alarmed that Elysian is the next to go…