Big Cannabis Comes For Big Beer: Tilray Buys 8 A-B Craft Beer Brands



Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to sell eight properties from its Brewers Collective craft brewing unit to Tilray Brands, a company listed as the world’s’ largest cannabis company by total assets, and also a player in the craft beer arena.

The Anheuser-Busch portfolio includes the Shock Top brand it introduced in 1996 to compete with MillerCoors’ Blue Moon, as well as its initial craft beer acquisition, Redhook Brewery. There’s also the Blue Point Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, and Widmer Brothers Brewing, as well as non-beer brands HiBall Energy and Square Mile Cider Company.

The acquisition sees Tilray Brands add to a beverage portfolio that already included breweries Alpine Beer Company, Green Flash Brewing Company,Montauk Brewing Company, and SweetWater Brewing Company. Tilray Brands also owns spirits brand Breckenridge Distillery, and the Happy Flower brand of CBD sparkling non-alcoholic cocktails.



“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,” Tilray Brands Chairman and CEO Irwin D. Simon said in a statement.

The company intends to significantly expand “national distribution to coveted markets across the U.S. and internationally,” and intends to act as a “change agent that reinvigorates the sector.”

And yes, that may (eventually) include THC-infused brews. “Upon [U.S.] federal cannabis legalization, we expect to leverage our leadership position [and] wide distribution network…to include THC-based products and maximize all commercial opportunities,” Simon added. Notably, cannabis is already legal in the company’s home country of Canada.

On an investors’ call regarding the announcement, Simon said Tilray hoped to close the deal in 60-90 days. In response to a question regarding AB InBev’s craft portfolio seeing consecutive years of revenue declines as a whole, Simon said, “The way we looked at it was not what the brands were doing before…but what we could do with them as they complement our current brands.”

With the increased production and sales volume following the completion of the acquisition, Tilray anticipates becoming the fifth largest maker of craft beer in the U.S., based on 2022 Beer Institute data, with 5% market share of the craft beer market.

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