Tilray Brands Inc., New York, announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire eight beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis. Upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions, 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. The transaction includes current employees, breweries and brewpubs associated with these brands. The purchase price will be paid in all cash and the transaction is expected to close in 2023.

These beer and beverage brands possess the hallmarks of strong consumer loyalty and further diversify Tilray’s growing U.S. beverage 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, up from the ninth, with current brands SweetWater Brewing Co., Montauk Brewing Co., Alpine Beer Co. and Green Flash Brewing Co. Tilray Brands also owns Breckenridge Distillery, the award-winning spirits brand and the World’s Best Blended Whisky, and Happy Flower CBD sparkling non-alcoholic cocktails.

Irwin D. Simon, chairman and CEO at Tilray Brands, said: “Today’s 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.”

Simon continued: “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.”

Andy Thomas, president of The High End at Anheuser-Busch said: “Tilray Brands reached out to us early this year with interest in purchasing these brands and breweries, and since then, we’ve had many positive conversations that led to today’s announcement. 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. 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 of 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 Brands noted the following ways this acquisition will strengthen the company’s position within craft brewing market:

•    Established brand portfolio with loyal consumer base and growth upside from synergies and expanded capabilities in alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages

•    Projected to generate craft beer pro forma revenue of $250 million

•    Distribution relationships through the Anheuser-Busch system, strengthening our distribution footprint nationwide

The company now boosts the following facilities and growth opportunities:

•    Four production facilities across the United States: Portland, Ore.; Bend, Ore.; Littleton, Colo.; and Patchogue, N.Y.

•    Eight vibrant brewpub locations: Seattle, Wash.; Bend, Ore. (2); Portland, Ore.; Boise, Idaho; Littleton, Colo.; Breckenridge, Colo.; and Patchogue, N.Y.

•    Provides additional manufacturing capacity and innovation capabilities for commercial expansion opportunities

•    Additional synergies being identified to increase profitability