Food Service & Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Retail

Anheuser-Busch InBev acquires remaining stake in hard cider maker

September 26, 2017
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Anheuser-Busch InBev acquires hard cider maker
Fennville-based Virtue Cider, founded in 2011, is a hard cider maker. Photo via fb.com

Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired the remaining stake in a West Michigan hard cider maker.

AB InBev, through its High End division, recently bought the outstanding ownership share of Fennville-based Virtue Cider, according to a report yesterday by Brewbound, a craft beer news outlet.

AB InBev announced in September 2015 it had acquired majority ownership of Virtue Cider.

The Business Journal reported in 2015 a partnership between Virtue Cider and AB InBev’s Goose Island Brewing Co. in Chicago. The deal gave AB InBev a majority ownership share of Virtue Cider and allowed Virtue Cider to use Goose Island’s Chicago brewery for packaging and as a hub for increased distribution. AB InBev purchased Goose Island in 2011 for $38.8 million.

“Since we started Virtue Cider in 2011, we’ve committed ourselves to producing traditional European-style farmhouse ciders, using Michigan apples pressed at our farm in Fennville,” Greg Hall, founder of Virtue Cider, told the Business Journal previously.

The Business Journal reported that Hall, the former brew master at Goose Island, and partner Steve Schmakel left Goose Island and formed Virtue Cider shortly after the acquisition.

According to Brewbound, now that AB InBev owns 100 percent of the Virtue Cider, it can “fully integrate” the brand into its wholesale network, AB InBev High End President Felipe Szpigel said. Virtue Cider also has a Chicago office, which will be relocated to the Goose Island office in Chicago.

AB InBev was launched in 2014 and has since acquired 10 craft breweries, with Virtue Cider being AB InBev’s first Michigan beverage company, according to Brewbound.

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