AB InBev, through its High End division, has announced it has acquired the remaining stake in US cider maker Virtue Cider, taking full control of the company.
Gregory Hall, a former brewmaster at Chicago brewery Goose Island, which is also owned by AB InBev, founded Virtue Cider in 2011.
In 2015, AB InBev bought a majority stake in the company, and has since quadrupled cider production and expanded distribution thanks to the use of Goose Island’s warehouse facilities. Virtue will now move into Goose Island offices in Chicago.
Speaking of the deal, Gregory Hall said: “I’m passionate about making proper farmhouse ciders. Since 2015, our partnership has helped us connect with more craft cider drinkers at our Tasting Room in Fennville and beyond. This move will help us show even more drinkers how complex, exciting, and innovative cider can be.”
President of AB InBev’s The High End Felipe Szpigel added: “Our evolved partnership will enable Virtue to fully integrate with our industry-leading wholesaler network and functional expertise, while continuing to build and grow their remarkable portfolio.”
Earlier this year Anheuser-Busch revealed it had ‘ambitious plans’ to grow sales of its Goose Island beer in the UK, by investing in greater education and understanding of its craft range.
In a series of structural changes following the Virtue deal, Szpigel announced that Ken Stout has been appointed president of Goose Island International, leading the brand’s expansion abroad.
Todd Ashmann will take over from Stout as general manager of Goose Island’s US business.
The deal follows AB InBev’s announcement last week that it acquired Australian beer brand 4 Pines as it continues its investment in craft breweries around the world.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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