Oh, you thought the Friday before Christmas would be a slow one for beer news? Psh. This morning, Anheuser-Busch (which will buy up SABMiller next year) announced its purchase of Tempe, Arizona-based Four Peaks Brewing Co., one of the Phoenix area’s stalwart breweries. Founded in 1996, Four Peaks is best known for Kilt Lifter, a Scottish-style beer that makes up about 60 percent of the brewery’s sales and can be found on draft at most bars in Arizona. Four Peaks joins Elysian Brewing Co., 10 Barrel Brewing and Goose Island Beer Co. among others in AB’s The High End portfolio of craft and international breweries.
In other sale news, Reuters reports this morning that New Belgium, an employee-owned brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, is weighing a sale. Reuters sources say the brewery is working with an advisory firm on the potential sale. Reuters also puts the brewery’s value around $1 billion, the price at which Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Co. recently sold to Constellation Brands.
We’ll update this post as new information develops.
Editor’s update, Dec. 18: Four Peaks’ founders Jim Scussel, Andy Ingram and Randy Schultz reiterate their commitment to the local Arizona beer community, saying that they’ll stay on with the brewery and have no plans to change staffing or cede control of Four Peaks’ restaurant. “It’s going to continue as it always has. We’re going to continue taking care of our local fans and being part of the local community,” says Ingram. “We’ll stay autonomous in terms of decision-making and product quality, but also sharing our beer with people outside of our state.” The trio says they traveled to 10 Barrel Brewing and Elysian Brewing Co. and found the beer quality to be the same or better than before those breweries sold to Anheuser-Busch. They say they did their due diligence in speaking with those breweries’ founders: “We talked to the 10 Barrel and Elysian folks and the biggest question we had was: ‘Are you still happy now?’ And they overwhelmingly were.”