NEW YORK — Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) and Anheuser-Busch (A-B) finalized their partnership agreement on Wednesday, less than two weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice cleared the merger.
CBA—the Portland, Ore.-based craft brewing company that brews, brands and brings American craft beers to market—joins A-B’s Brewers Collective. The collective consists of craft partners committed to providing consumers with innovative, quality beers and investing in their local communities, according to A-B, New York.
CBA’s brands include Kona Brewing Co.’s mainland and international operations and regional brands Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, Omission Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing and Wynwood Brewing Co. CBA sold Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii to PV Brewing Partners, Overland Park, Kansas, to alleviate potential regulatory concerns regarding the proposed partnership with themselves and A-B, the companies said.
"Connecting with consumers through our brands is at the forefront of everything we do," said Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. "After a successful partnership that spans more than 25 years, we are excited to now fully welcome CBA into the A-B family and continue to work together to bring more consumers, in more communities, even more choices for every occasion."
Former CBA employees will join A-B in various functions within the organization. Andy Thomas, formerly CEO of CBA, will serve as general manager of Kona Brewing’s mainland operations and regional Brewers Collective brands based in the eastern United States. Christine Perich, formerly chief financial and strategy officer for CBA, will be the general manager of regional breweries on the West Coast.
Most of CBA’s brands are already distributed through A-B’s network of independent wholesalers.
A-B’s beer brands include Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois, as well as regional brands. Its Brewer’s Collective craft business unit now employs more than 3,200 people at more than 40 breweries and other facilities.