’Tis the season … for more brewery acquisitions by Anheuser-Busch InBev. This morning, the beer behemoth announced it will acquire Breckenridge Brewery. Opened in 1990, Colorado-based Breckenridge brews beer, paced by flagship Vanilla Porter, that’s distributed across 35 states.
The move comes just four days after AB InBev announced its purchase of Arizona-based Four Peaks Brewing Co. and a day after news of its acquisition of London-based Camden Town Brewery. Breckenridge will become the seventh American craft brewery, and the fourth this year, to join AB’s The High End business unit with the likes of Goose Island Beer Co., Elysian Brewing Co. and Golden Road Brewing.
Editor’s update, Dec. 21: On a conference call, Breckenridge president Todd Usry and George O’Neill, director of sales and marketing, say they were initially skeptical when representatives of The High End approached the brewery this past summer. But talks with the employees of AB’s craft and import group, along with breweries already in The High End fold, alleviated their concerns. “I was less than sold going into it,” Usry says. “If you would have asked me six months or even a month earlier, I would have said ‘I have a hard time with that.’ But in meeting and talking with these guys, it became apparent quickly that they were focused on not messing with us, [rather] helping us and being a resource for us.”
Usry states the acquisition will not affect recipes, ingredients or personnel at Breckenridge, and the purchase only covers the production brewery and Farm House restaurant in Littleton, and the original brewpub in the town of Breckenridge; the Breckenridge-Wynkoop management group will retain control of the remaining businesses, including Breckenridge Colorado Craft and Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver.
“There are going to be some folks out there that nay-say and hate a little bit,” Usry says. “But we’re looking forward to proving this was a good decision on our part and we’re going to remain to be Breckenridge Brewery.”