Anheuser-Busch InBev last purchased a craft brewery in May 2017 when it acquired the North Carolina-based Wicked Weed. The gulf between purchases wasn't a sign that AB InBev was done adding to its Brewers Collective roster. On August 7, Ohio's Platform Beer Co. entered a "partnership" with the world's largest beer company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition brings Platform into AB's Brewers Collective with other craft breweries purchased by the behemoth, such as Goose Island, Elysian, Breckenridge Brewery, 10 Barrel, Blue Point, and Golden Road. Between 2010 and 2017, AB InBev purchased 10 independent breweries in the US. The new status bumps Platform from being an independent, craft brewery as defined by the Brewers Association.
Platform was the nation's fastest-growing regional brewery in 2017, according to AB's announcement. That's an increase from 6,500 barrels to 20,000 barrels that year, according to data from the Brewers Association. The brewery offers AB a brewery that's not on one of the coasts like many of its recent acquisitions. It also gives them a foothold across Ohio. Platform has taprooms in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, as well as a 60-barrel production brewery in Cleveland and a sour-production brewery that is in planning.
InBev also acquires the huge list of recipes Platform has built up. According to the announcement, that's more than 600 recipes in total.
Additionally, Platform makes hard seltzer, which may be appealing to Anheuser Busch. Anheuser-Busch has yet to steal the explosive hard seltzer market with White Claw (owned by Mike's Hard Lemonade) and Truly (owned by Boston Beer Co) topping sales lists currently. Anheuser Busch bought Spiked Seltzer in 2016 and rebranded it as Bon & Viv before giving it the first-ever Super Bowl commercial for a hard seltzer brand. But the key for AB might be taking as many shots as possible. They're certainly on their way with the announcement on August 12 that Natural Light would be making a hard seltzer in an attempt to provide a more affordable seltzer option.
"In speaking with the other craft brewery founders in Brewers Collective, we know partnering with Anheuser-Busch means we will have the resources and the autonomy to bring our vision for Platform Beer Co. to life," Platform co-founder Paul Benner said in a statement. "Being able to continue leading the day-to-day operations was an important factor in our decision and we have no doubt that this partnership will benefit our loyal staff and passionate customer base."
If you haven't had a Platform beer yet, you're probably going to be able to find it in your neighborhood liquor store before too long.