Posted in Anheuser-Busch, Headlines, Wicked Weed Brewing Co

Wicked Weed Brewing acquired by Anheuser-Busch

This might come as a shock for some. Asheville, North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing has been acquired by Anheuser-Busch.

Walt and Luke Dickinson, along with Ryan Guthy, started work on a plan that would eventually become nationally known Wicked Weed in 2009. The brewery started as small brewpub in downtown Asheville and eventually expanded into the all-oak wild and sour “Funkatorium.” Shortly after that build, the brewery added a full production facility just outside of Asheville. Then in 2016, Wicked Weed announced a second sour facility located near Asheville’s airport. That’s four facilities in nearly 4 years.

“This is an exciting time for the entire brewing team. Our ability to create a wide range of really well executed beers that are focused on creativity, quality and drinkability is what makes Wicked Weed great. We have chosen to partner with The High End to position ourselves to make Wicked Weed what we imagined it could be when we first sat at a craft beer bar and talked about opening a brewery. As a brewer, giving our team more resources to continue innovating our portfolio and the ability to reach more craft drinkers, allows us to keep putting the beer and the people first.” Co-founder Walt Dickinson

Today Wicked Weed Brewing becomes the next multi-million dollar acquisition by the world’s largest brewery Anheuser-Busch. Their purchase expands A-B’s “High End” division which includes Goose Island, Blue Point Brewing, Breckenridge Brewing, Golden Road, 10 Barrel Brewing, Elysian, and Four Peaks Brewing.

Plus… they just dropped over $104 billion on SABMiller.

Wicked Weed’s lineup will join the brewery’s ever expanding “High End” portfolio. Wicked Weed Brewing employs more than 200 people across their four facilities. According the brewery, the founding ownership will continue to lead the brewery.

Interestingly, the downtown brewpub is closed until 5pm today for “Staff Training”.

The sum of the deal was not disclosed.

  • Wayne Fuller

    This makes me sad 🙁

  • Matt Hawes

    sellout…all about the Benjamins

  • Dennis Pepperack

    More $$$ to spend at Green Man & Burial…

    • Wonder what is going through Burial’s mind today…

      • Lex

        They announced that they were starting a sour program a day or two after the WW news broke. What was going through their very advanced and business savvy minds is “time to step up!” They are another great brewery a stone’s throw from the Funkatorium, a sour program was the only thing they were really missing, because why compete with the powerhouse of Wicked Weed. But I guess they realized it was time (because it was already in the works) and couldn’t have picked a better time to announce, haha.

  • hlaxness

    This is the most depressing thing I have heard in a while…really bummed out.

  • Josh

    Thank goodness there are several other good breweries around that area. So disappointing!!!

  • hubiestevens

    It’s probably wise to wait and see if the product quality changes. Until then, it’s a flat earth society argument.

  • ChrisR00

    While it is a bummer for the craft beer industry, when Blue Point was purchased it meant their distribution network exploded. Now I can get my favorite Long Island beer in Tucson, AZ. And it still tastes the same. I hope the upshot of the Wicked Weed acquisition is that more people get to experience Wicked Weed’s fantastic offerings.

    • ChrisR00

      I redact my statement in light of the news about AB InBev shutting out craft brewers from the SA hop market. I don’t think I will be buying anymore Blue Point, certainly not any Wicked Weed. Crap, I guess not Elysian either. It’s not cool what they’re doing.

  • Adam Reep

    While this is incredibly bad news, it was made all the worse by the horrendous grammar and spelling within the article.

    • drinkingego
      • Adam Reep

        “Beer Street Journal has the largest online collection of original content dedicated to covering beer culture, education, and the advancement of the craft beer…”

        This isn’t someone’s shitty blog.

        • This was a failure on my part. This news swelled to a head so quickly, I was writing it as fast as it could be written. The article went live before copy check could look it over.

          • Adam Reep

            Cool. That’s understandable. It’s nice to be heard. This is sad and breaking news for a lot of people. Thanks for getting it out quickly.

          • Adam Reep

            I was really hoping that Stone would put a stop to this garbage. The bottom line is that sometimes breweries (businesses in general, really) need an influx of cash or better distribution to make it to the next level. If given the viable option, one would think they’d go with a craft company’s loan or avenues for additional distribution rather than a mega company where of course their customers will cry “sell out” afterwards. It’s just sad. It would seem that there’s a major market gap for financing of established craft breweries if AB InBev can continue to do this.

          • Something I can understand about this. They’ve built four facilities in four years with very little debt spending. There’s high demand for the lineup, and as we understand it, a good bit of family cash to put into the business (as they are involved). If you had asked us before today, we would have said they didn’t need this.

  • Joseph Scarano

    Just the other day I Googled “microbrewries” owned by InBev (AB), Miller/Coors to see which microbreweries to cross off my list to buy. Sad to see Wicked Weed as been added to that list. Brew local, buy local.

  • Oscar Porras

    I wonder if some of the brewery owners just want to brew more than run a brewing business. Makes a big difference.

  • Michelle

    HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. And I’m real tired of these guys saying “but we are doing this to open our distribution channels” The fun of craft beer is that I CAN’T get them all over the country. I don’t want to buy Wicked Weed all over the country. I want to wait till I can make an awesome trip to Asheville and be able to go to their restaurant or location and enjoy whatever cool beer they have designed at that time. That is the FUN of craft beer. Not to mention, when they go corporate, quality goes down. Every. Single. Time. The beer is never as good as when the brewery was private. Never. it is the corporate way to start cutting corners to save money and make more profit wherever they can and that is why quality goes down. They are dead to me now and it pisses me off that so many brewers are willing to sell out. Cash is king…obviously…..

  • Ed Avila

    At some point, in the very near future the bubble is going to burst, the market is reaching terminal velocity. Craft sales are now on the decline and only so much support, the big guys have figured this out. WW and the like are not going to turn into watered down versions of Bud fer christsakes. They will have huge financial backing to keep what they’ve been doing, you won’t notice a thing. I think more of this outrage is just the outrage against Capitalism and how the Bernie fans of this country can’t handle the truth to hard work pays off. Of course Bernie owns 3 homes, one on an island on Lake Champlain…you paid his salary so it’s ok.
    Good for Wicked Weed, they are now as rich Chelsea Clinton….LOL, just kidding, not even close.

    • DE OPPRESSO LIBER

      can you provide data that supports your position that craft beer sales are declining?

  • Bill Poteat

    So now Wicked Weed is a Belgian/Brazilian owned brewery not Ameican

  • Lex

    Has anyone heard the details on exactly how much the brewery sold for? I’ve been super curious, as painful as it is for me. I figure it must’ve taken A LOT to lose all these friends and fans over.