Anheuser-Busch Selling 8 Beer, Drink Brands to Tilray Brands

Cannabis company to acquire Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, more in $85 million deal
Anheuser-Busch's Shock Top beer can
Photograph: Shutterstock

Anheuser-Busch is selling eight of its beer and other beverage brands to cannabis and consumer packaged goods company Tilray Brands. The $85-million deal is expected to close in 2023, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing and a news release from Tilray Brands.

Upon closing, Tilray will acquire Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Co., 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Co. and HiBall Energy, New York-based Tilray Brands said. The acquisition includes current employees, breweries and brewpubs associated with these brands.

These beer and beverage brands will further diversify Tilray’s growing U.S. alcohol segment. The expected sales volume of the acquired brands will elevate Tilray Brands to the fifth largest craft beer business position in the United States, the company said.

Tilray’s current U.S. brands include SweetWater Brewing Co., Montauk Brewing Co., Alpine Beer Co. and Green Flash Brewing Co. It also owns Breckenridge Distillery and Happy Flower CBD sparkling non-alcohol cocktails.

“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,” said Irwin Simon, chairman and CEO, Tilray Brands. “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.”

Andy Thomas, president of The High End business unit at A-B, said Tilray Brands reached out to the company early this year with interest in purchasing these brands and breweries.

“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,” Thomas said. “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.”

Winning in craft beer remains a key pillar of A-B's strategy to lead and develop the premium beer segment, Thomas said.

"We remain committed to the amazing craft brewery partners in our portfolio and focused on working with them to lead growth in the segment," he said.

Tilray Brands Inc., which is listed on the Nasdaq and Toronto stock exchanges, is a leading global cannabis-lifestyle and CPG company with operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and Latin America, the company said. Its brands include cannabis offerings, hemp-based foods and craft beverages.

St. Louis-based beer maker Anheuser-Busch is coming off a challenging period.

In July, it announced it would lay off hundreds of employees across its U.S. corporate staff as part of a restructuring intended to “simplify and reduce layers within its organization,” according to a company statement. Prior to that, A-B was the subject of a consumer boycott of its Bud Light in response to the brand partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Bud Light had been the best-selling beer in the United States for more than two decades until earlier this year when Mexican import Modelo Especial took the top spot.

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