Beer founders from North Carolina bought their brand back from Bud Light’s parent company, AB Inbev.
Cousins Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber, co-founders of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountain Brewery, are the first craft brewers to “ever buy themselves back from Anheuser-Busch,” Hannah Kaminer, a contracted spokeswoman for AMB told the Winston-Salem Journal.
The brewery was sold in 2018 to Portland, Oregon-based Craft Brew Alliance. Three years ago, AB Inbev purchased the remainder of Craft Brew Alliance for $220 million, Forbes reported.
“We’re grateful to have spent the last two years as active founders within A-B’s craft portfolio and want to thank the people at A-B, including our fellow craft brewery founders, for the support, collaboration and friendship that we’ve enjoyed during our time together,” the founders said in a press release.
Popular beers from AMB are Long Leaf IPA, Boone Creek Blonde, and Mystic Dragon Cider. This May, the North Carolina brewery brought home two medals from the 2023 World Beer Cup. The brewery said it will be focusing on opening a taproom in Mills River, North Carolina, and “continuing our investment in sustainability and philanthropy efforts that make a difference in our North Carolina communities.”
The sale comes in the aftermath of Bud Light’s controversial partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, costing the beer giant $27 billion in market value, Fox Business reported. In preparation for Memorial Day weekend, the company was practically giving the beer away for free by offering customers rebates. Sales have been in such steep decline that AB Inbev offered to buy back expired beer from distributers.
For six weeks straight, sales of Bud Light have failed to improve. Last week, sales were down by 25.7%, coming out of a week with 24.6% decline, NewsMax reported.
Timothy Calkins, associate chair of the marketing department at Northwestern Kellogg, said we are going to see more brands practice more caution in light of the Dylan Mulvaney scandal.
“The problem is it just takes your brand into a space that it doesn’t need to be, and it just creates a lot of strong feelings about something that isn’t really related to the product or its brand,” Calkins told Fox Business.