Beverage News

Anheuser-Busch acquires Chicago craft brewer

March 28, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Goose Island, a Chicago-based craft brewer, agreed to be acquired by its current distribution partner Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis. Goose Island is a craft brewer with sales concentrated in the Midwest. The acquisition will bring additional capital to Goose Island’s operations and meet growing consumer demand for its brands, the company said.

Anheuser-Busch will purchase a 58 percent equity stake in Fulton Street Brewery LLC (FSB), which is Goose Island’s legal name, from its founders and investors, which is held in Goose Holdings Inc. for $22.5 million.

Goose Island brands have been distributed by Anheuser-Busch since 2006 as part of an agreement with Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., a co-founder of the Craft Brewers Alliance (CBA), the Portland, Ore.-based company that owns the remaining 42 percent of FSB. CBA agreed in principle to sell its minority stake in Goose Island to Anheuser-Busch for $16.3 million. Anheuser-Busch holds a 32.25 stake in CBA.

In 2010, Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of its signature beers, which include Honkers Ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale and Matilda.

“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers and beer lovers,” said John Hall, Goose Island founder and president, in a statement. “This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch will bring resources to brew more beer here in Chicago to reach more beer drinkers, while continuing our development of new beer styles. This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success.”

Hall will continue as Goose Island chief executive officer and will be responsible for Goose Island beer production and the expansion of the Goose Island’s Chicago brewery, which will remain the base for the company and its production. To help meet immediate demand, an additional $1.3 million will be invested to increase Goose Island’s Fulton Street brewery’s production as early as this summer, the company said.

As part of the CBA’s agreement to sell its 42 percent stake in Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch will provide enhanced retail selling support of CBA brands, will reduce distribution fees payable by CBA to Anheuser-Busch and will provide CBA additional flexibility with respect to future acquisitions and divestures, the company said.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including obtaining required regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.

 Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Beverage Industry.  

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

International Pineapple Day at Bahama Breeze

In celebration of International Pineapple Day on April 2, Bahama Breeze locations across the country invited the media and consumers to celebrate with cocktails that feature the tropical flavor of the pineapple. (Photos by Liz Parker and Jennifer Haderspeck)

10/10/13 2:00 pm EDT

Ditch the weighting agents: A cost effective solution for delivering flavors and actives

Available On Demand Learn how to reduce costs and energy use by enabling high oil load emulsions, eliminating the need for weighting agents like brominated vegetable oil (BVO).

Beverage Industry Magazine

BI April 2014 cover

2014 April

The April 2014 Beverage Industry includes a cover story on moonshine, as well as articles about CSD brands, whiskey, and more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Beverage Insider eNewsletter

Are you an Insider? Subscribe to Beverage Industry’s weekly e-newsletter to receive news headlines, new product information and magazine highlights.   

Spirits Segments

Which spirits segment will perform the best in 2014?
View Results Poll Archive


Cleaning-in-Place: Dairy, Food and Beverage Operations, 3rd Edition

This book addresses the principles of cleaning operations, water supply issues and the science of detergents and disinfectants.

More Products


Beverage Industry Webinars are an easy, effective and convenient way to get educated and informed on the latest industry trends and topics. All Webinars are FREE unless indicated. For more information, check out our Events page!


facebook40 twitter    youtubelinked