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A-B Launches Effort to 'Elevate' Craft Beer

Move comes as Brewers Association ends Take Craft Back crowdfunding campaign

ST. LOUIS -- The same day a coalition of craft beer brewers threw in the towel on their tongue-in-cheek effort to purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev, A-B's High End is launching a new effort to move closer to the craft-beer community.

The largest beer brewer in the world on Dec. 12 launched Elevate, a new program that A-B said is intended "to raise the bar in craft brewing."

"We and all our craft partners are committed to lifting up the beer category through measurable actions, on behalf of an industry only scratching the surface of what is possible," A-B said on its Elevate webpage. "Elevate is our way of forging a new collaborative path forward for the entire industry."

Elevate stated that A-B and its "craft partners"—the St. Louis-based brewer has purchased outright or bought equity in more than a dozen craft brewers in recent years—are committed to the things they and their customers care about most: beer, environment, communities and industry. (See infographic below for details.)

"Each pillar is equally important and has goals that show our skin in the game while hopefully inspiring others to join us on our journey to a stronger, healthier category," A-B's High End said in a press release.

The company is working with auditing group KPMG to "measure our progress to keep us on track and accountable" and invites consumers to follow the results on the Elevate website.

Meanwhile that same day, the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit organization that represents America’s small and independent brewers, ended its Take Craft Back crowdfunding campaign that sought to raise the $213 billion necessary to purchase AB InBev. The campaign raised a surprising $3,808,660 in pledges, "demonstrating that people really do care about protecting independent beer," the association said. Watch the final video in the Take Craft Back campaign below.

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