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AB InBev acquires SpikedSeltzer maker to foray into fizzy alcoholic beverage segment

DBR Staff Writer Published 12 September 2016

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has acquired Norwalk, Connecticut-based Boathouse Beverage, the maker of SpikedSeltzer, a carbonated-water beverage having 6% alcohol by volume, for undisclosed sum.

While the financial aspects of the acquisition deal haven’t been revealed, the acquisition move is part of the Budweiser brand owner’s plans to expand its portfolio beyond the beer category,  The Wall Street Journal reported.

Both the companies revealed that the deal will enable SpikedSeltzer to expand its capacity which would help it meet current demand.

Boathouse Beverage cofounder Dave Holmes has been quoted by Brewbound as saying: “We were running this with our own resources and realized that if we wanted to grow and meet the demand, we were best served in finding a partner that would help us.”

Boathouse Beverage began manufacturing alcoholic carbonated-water beverages three years ago and has since increased sales to more than 36,000 barrels.

Following the acquisition, the production of the beverage will shift to AB InBev’s New York based brewery in Baldwinsville. Currently, it is manufactured by Boathouse Beverage’s producers- Blues City Brewery and North American Breweries.

As of now, SpikedSeltzer is available in 14 US states and generates a significant part of its sales from Northeastern states like Connecticut and Massachusetts.

AB InBev is planning to boost SpikedSeltzer sales by pushing it across its US network comprising more than 500 distributors.

SpikedSeltzer comes in different flavors that include Cape Cod Cranberry, West Indies Lime, Valencia Orange and Indian River Grapefruit.

The deal marks AB InBev’s first craft acquisition following its agreement with the Justice Department in August which asked the distillery to seek its approval for any brewer acquisition that generates minimum annual gross revenue of $7.5m.

Starting with Goose Island, AB InBev has bought eight craft brewers in the last five years.

Image: Budweiser owner Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired SpikedSeltzer maker Boathouse Beverage. Photo: courtesy of Dorisall and Wikipedia.