Fans of Asheville, NC brewery Wicked Weed woke up to shocking news this morning: Anheuser-Busch has finalized a plan to acquire the beloved, funky brand.
“This is an exciting time for the entire brewing team,” said co-founder Walt Dickinson. “Our ability to create a wide range of really well executed beers that are focused on creativity, quality and drinkability is what makes Wicked Weed great.”
Wicked Weed will join breweries like Goose Island, Breckenridge and Devil’s Backbone in A-B’s The High End division dedicated to high end craft and import beers.
“We have chosen to partner with The High End to position ourselves to make Wicked Weed what we imagined it could be when we first sat at a craft beer bar and talked about opening a brewery,” Dickenson said. “As a brewer, giving our team more resources to continue innovating our portfolio and the ability to reach more craft drinkers, allows us to keep putting the beer and the people first.”
While financial details were not released, it is sure to be significant due to the brewery’s four-brewery foot print — the original brewery, Funkatorium (all oak-aged brews), a 40,000 square foot satellite 50-barrel brewery and their new 57,000 square foot brewery dedicated exclusively to the production of sour, farmhouse and wild-fermented beers.
“It’s clear to me Wicked Weed is redefining what sophistication in beer can mean,” said Felipe Szpigel, president of The High End. “With their amazing offerings being relevant in a wide variety of occasions. Their ability to brew the highest quality beers, in a variety of styles, along with their exciting barrel program, leads me to be optimistic about what our futures hold together.”
If the model to manage craft beer acquisitions by A-B holds true, production of core beers will be handed off to A-B while specialty beer innovation will be retained by the team at Wicked Weed. In addition to an influx in operating capital, A-B provides Wicked Weed with the ability to take advantage of economy of scale purchasing for raw materials that could significantly improve the small brewer’s bottom line.
The sale is subject to regulatory approval.