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Bud Light Boomerang: Anheuser-Busch selling 8 craft brew brands amid plummeting profits

The major domestic brewing company had been losing support and profit prior to the agreement of sale

Published: August 10, 2023 11:29pm

Updated: August 11, 2023 1:01pm

Still reeling from the Bud Light controversy, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is selling eight of its craft brands, including Shock Top and Blue Point, to Tilray Brands, a Canadian cannabis company which dabbles in craft brewing.

AB InBev did not disclose the price of the sale will but it will be in cash and is expected to occur in September of this year.

The sale is likely related to a nearly 30% drop in sales of Bud Light versus a year ago spurred on by consumers' reaction to Bud Light's promotions that included transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. Due to the boycott, Bud Light has lost its 20-year reign as America No. 1 selling beer to Modelo Especial.

In addition to the sale of these 8 brands and the major decline in sales, AB InBev fired hundreds of U.S. workers, amounting to almost 2% of its workforce. Bud Light also had to buy back its unsold product earlier this year after it was overstocked in many stores.

The deal is expected to triple Tilray's beer production, from 4 to 12 million cases per year, which the Canadian cannabis brand plans on using to increase it U.S. footprint.

"In a matter of three years, Tilray has solidified its leadership position in the craft beer industry, and we fully intend to be that change agent that reinvigorates the sector," the company’s CEO and chairman Irwan D. Simon reportedly said.

"Upon federal cannabis legalization, we expect to leverage our leadership position, wide distribution network and portfolio of beloved beverage and wellness brands to include THC-based products and maximize all commercial opportunities."

The deal includes Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company, and Hiball Energy, which AB Inbev discontinued in May.

The transaction includes all the breweries and brewpubs, and current employees for those brands. 

All the production locations Tilray will acquire are AB Inbev's brewing facilities in Portland and Bend, Oregon; Littleton, Colorado; and Patchogue, New York, as well as eight brewpubs.