Mixed Reactions To Anheuser-Busch's Plans To Buy Four Peaks Brewing Company

Published: Friday, December 18, 2015 - 4:09pm
Updated: Friday, December 18, 2015 - 4:34pm
(Photo by Steve Goldstein - KJZZ)
Inside Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe.
(Photo by Steve Goldstein - KJZZ)
Inside Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe.

When many people hear Anheuser-Busch they think of the American brewer of Budweiser, but the company is actually called Anheuser-Busch InBev and from its headquarters in Belgium, it controls more than 200 brands.

Now, it wants to add Tempe-based Four Peaks Brewing Company.

”They’ve done a lot for the brewing industry and they helped Arizona grow as a brewing culture,” said Rob Fullmer, executive director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.

While Fullmer said he is happy for Four Peaks owners and employees, he is also worried about the impact on Arizona’s other 74 craft brewers.

Consolidation, he said could limit their access to raw ingredients, resources and local markets.

"These very large companies can secure hop contracts, malt contracts. They have enormous buying power,” Fullmer said.

He is especially concerned about access to local markets.

"Each of these stores has a certain amount of shelf space and that is managed by distributors. If they’re incentivized or they have more Anheuser-Busch products in their portfolio they’re going to more frequently choose those products over our products," he said.

According to a press release posted on the company’s website, Anheuser-Busch’s acquisition of Four Peaks is expected to close early next year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Four Peaks would become the sixth operation to join Anheuser Busch’s unit focused on craft and import brands. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. On its Twitter page, Four Peaks says Arizona is home and they’ll continue to brew in the state.

Four Peaks has two Tempe pubs, one in Scottsdale and a location at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill in March increasing the production cap for state microbreweries as Four Peaks neared the old limit. The microbrewery got the cap changed twice previously to allow it to keep its license and still own and run restaurants.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the name of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.

Updated 12/18/2015 at 4:33 p.m.

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