Tilray Brands acquires eight craft beer & beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Craft beer Cannabis Hemp Us Anheuser busch Ab inbev

Cannabis and consumer packaged goods company Tilray Brands is acquiring eight beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch – including Blue Point Brewing Company and 10 Barrel Brewing Company – in a move that will catapult it into becoming the fifth largest craft beer brewer in the US.

The acquisition covers Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company, and HiBall Energy. The $85m transaction includes current employees, breweries and brewpubs associated with the brands.

“These beer and beverage brands possess the hallmarks of strong consumer loyalty and further diversify Tilray’s growing US beverage alcohol segment,” says Tilray.

'Major step forward' in diversification strategy

Positioning itself a pioneer in cannabis research, cultivation and distribution, Tilray also has a number of hemp-based foods and craft beverages: including SweetWater Brewing Company, Montauk Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company and Green Flash Brewing Company. It also owns Breckenridge Distillery and Happy Flower CBD sparkling non-alcoholic cocktails.

The acquisition of the Anheuser-Busch brands will take it from the ninth largest craft brewer to fifth largest in terms of sales volume: accounting for around a 5% market share of the market.

Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and CEO, Tilray Brands, said, “This announcement both solidifies our national leadership position and share in the U.S. craft brewing market and marks a major step forward in our diversification strategy. We are excited to work with the teams behind these iconic brands that command great consumer loyalty and have a history of delivering strong award-winning products with tremendous growth opportunities.

"Tilray is fully committed to invest in and champion the future of the U.S. craft beer industry by fueling new innovation that excites and further accelerates the growth of its consumer base.

“Leveraging the deep CPG expertise of Tilray’s leadership team and acquisition integration track record, we intend to drive both revenue and cost synergies, while significantly expanding national distribution to coveted markets across the U.S. and internationally. In a matter of three years, Tilray has solidified its leadership position in the craft beer industry, and we fully intend to be that change agent that reinvigorates the sector.

"Upon federal cannabis legalization, we expect to leverage our leadership position, wide distribution network and portfolio of beloved beverage and wellness brands to include THC-based products and maximize all commercial opportunities.”

Tilray Brands approached Anheuser-Busch early this year over its interest in the brands; leading to yesterday’s acquisition announcement.

  • Shock Top​ is an award winning traditional Belgian-style wheat ale that was originally introduced in 2006 as a seasonal offering. After taking home the gold medal at the North American Beer Awards in the Belgian White category, it became a year-round offering. Shock Top Belgian White is a spiced wheat ale brewed with coriander spice and the peels of three different citrus fruits: orange, lemon, and lime. This uniquely crafted ale is unfiltered to create a naturally cloudy brew with a light golden color and a smooth, refreshing finish. Shock Top also has a seasonal line-up that excites consumers every year, led by the Twisted Pretzel Wheat, delivering delicious taste and aroma of bakery-fresh pretzels.
  • Breckenridge Brewery​ opened its doors in 1990 in the ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado and has grown into one of the most recognized craft breweries in the U.S. Today, Breckenridge Brewery has two locations to visit – the original brewpub in Breckenridge and its renowned Farm House restaurant in Littleton, CO, outside Denver. With a focus on balanced, approachable, and interesting beer, the brewery’s portfolio includes Avalanche Amber Ale, Palisade Peach Wheat, Juice Drop Hazy IPA, Funslinger Lager, Vanilla Porter, Hop Peak IPA, Juice Drop Imperial Hazy IPA, Strawberry Sky, Mountain Beach Session Sour, Agave Wheat, Palisade Peach Light, Nitro Vanilla Porter, Nitro Irish Stout, and Christmas Ale (seasonal). In 2022, Breckenridge Agave Wheat won a Bronze medal in the American Wheat Beer category at the Great American Beer Festival.
  • Blue Point Brewing Company​ was founded in 1998 by two friends who wanted to bring local craft beer to Long Island. Today, Blue Point has grown into one of the largest breweries in New York State, offering a lineup of easy-drinking and innovative craft beers. Its product portfolio includes Toasted Lager, Hoptical Illusion, Imperial Sunshine, Pinstripe Pils, as well as a rotating line of Innovation Beers. Blue Point has won numerous awards over the years that highlight the quality of innovation at forums such as the World Beer Cup, the Great American Beer Festival, the New York Craft Beer Competition, the Australian International Beer Awards, and the Atlantic City Beer Festival.
  • 10 Barrel Brewing Company​ was founded in 2006 in Bend, Oregon by a team who shared one simple mindset: brew beer, drink beer, and have fun doing it. Today, 10 Barrel boasts an award-winning team of brewers and has four brewpub locations: Bend West (Bend, OR), Bend East (Bend, OR), Portland, OR and Boise, ID. 10 Barrel is one of the most acclaimed breweries in the U.S., winning a gold medal at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival in the Specialty Berliner-Style Weisse category and a bronze medal in the German Sour Ale Category. 10 Barrel is consistently a top medal winner at the Oregon Beer Awards. Its products include Apocalypse IPA, Nature Calls, Profuse Juice, Rock Hop IPA, All Ways Down, Club Tread Mandarin IPA, Pilsner, Pub Beer, and Cucumber Crush. 10 Barrel took home three Gold and one Silver medal at the 2023 World Beer Cup.
  • Redhook Brewery​, founded in Seattle, Washington, is one of the nation’s original craft breweries, crafting better beer since 1981. Four decades later, one thing has never changed—Redhook is still brewing great beers. Its award-winning beers include Big Ballard Imperial IPA, Hazy Big Ballard Imperial IPA, Tropical Big Ballard Imperial IPA, Storm Surge Hazy IPA, Lagersquatch Lager, and Long Hammer IPA. Redhook Brewlab opened in 2017 in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. It has an 8-barrel brewing system where consumers can taste the latest experiments. In 2023, Redhook launched its Big Ballard IPA Variety Pack, the industry’s first Imperial Craft 18pk.
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing​, founded in Portland, Oregon in 1984, is one of the largest craft breweries in the Pacific Northwest. In 1986, Widmer Brothers introduced its Hefe beer, an American variant on the traditional Hefeweizen, which spread widely across the country. In the 2023 Best of Craft Beer Awards, Hefe won Gold in the American Wheat category and Widmer Brothers was awarded “Large Brewery of the Year”. Its award-winning beers include Hefe, Drop Top Amber, Deadlift Imperial IPA, Hopcadia NW IPA, Cold Waters Cold IPA, Juicy Sunrise IPA, and Green Skies Hazy IPA.
  • Square Mile Cider Company​, launched in 2013, offers ciders made with pure Pacific Northwest apples and lager yeast to create a perfectly crisp, clean, and semi-dry hard cider. Its offerings include Original Hard Cider, Rosé Apple Cider, Peach Lemonade Cider, Raspberry Lemonade Cider, and Imperial Blackberry Pie.
  • HiBall Energy​ was founded in 2005 as a clean energy seltzer made with zero sugar, zero calories, and organic caffeine. HiBall’s products have included Grapefruit, Watermelon Mint, Wild Berry, Black Berry, Lemon Lime, Peach, and Vanilla – all crafted with a proprietary, organic-certified energy blend, consisting of caffeine, guarana, and ginseng.

“The talented people behind these brands and breweries, along with our significant investments in them over the years, have positioned them for a bright future with Tilray Brands,” said Andy Thomas, President, The High End at Anheuser-Busch.

“We are committed to working with Tilray Brands over the coming months to ensure this is a smooth transition for the people who are working every day to get these amazing beers and beverages to consumers across the U.S.”

Ty Gilmore, President, U.S. Beer at Tilray Brands, added, "With this transaction, our beer business is expected to triple in size from 4 million cases to 12 million cases annually. Looking ahead, we will further capitalize on the potential of these brands through product innovation, retailer partnerships and expanded distribution into key markets, including the Pacific Northwest and California.”

Tilray also benefits from distribution relationships with the Anheuser-Busch system, strengthening its distribution footprint across the US.

The company also highlights modern facilities and operations that ‘fuel innovation and commercial growth opportunities’: including four production facilities across the U.S. (Portland, OR, Bend, OR, Littleton, CO and Patchogue, NY) and eight brewpub locations (Seattle, WA, Bend, OR (2), Portland, OR, Boise, ID, Littleton, CO, Breckenridge, CO, and Patchogue, NY).

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