DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired Breckenridge Brewery, making the 25-year-old Littleton-based beer maker the first Colorado craft brewery the international giant has bought during a year-long spree of gobbling up local breweries to create its craft-style division.
Financial terms of the sale were not announced, but the Belgian-headquartered AB-InBev said it will operate Breckenridge Brewery's new $36 million production brewery in Littleton and its original brewpub in the town of Breckenridge. Breckenridge-Wynkoop — a joint venture between the brewery and the Denver-based Wynkoop Brewing that was signed in 2011— will keep seven other brewery and restaurant properties, including Breckenridge Colorado Craft pub and Amato's in Denver, Wynkoop Brewing and Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs.
Breckenridge becomes the seventh former craft brewery — but sixth in just the past 12 months — to join The High End, AB-InBev's unit of craft and import brands. The Boulder-based Brewers Association defines a craft brewery as one that makes less than 6 million barrels of beer annually and is owned by no more than 25 percent by non-craft-brewing interests.
Breckenridge president Todd Usry said he does not expect major changes to his lineup of beers, which include brews like Avalanche Ale, Vanilla Porter and 471 Small Batch IPA. Usry, who has been with the brewery since its inception, will stay on with the new ownership.
"We're excited about the partnership and have been encouraged to continue on our path and become more innovative moving forward," he said. "I'm a believer in what The High End is focused on accomplishing, and we are flattered that our team was chosen to help guide that journey. We're looking forward to utilizing resources like decades of research and brewing expertise as we continue to create new beers."
So what does everyone think? Will anything change?