AB InBev adding Texas craft brewery to High End Division

Karbach Brewing // Photo via facebook.com/karbachbrewing

Karbach Brewing // Photo via facebook.com/karbachbrewing

Fresh off Anheuser-Busch InBev’s merger with SABMiller, the world’s largest brewer announced it is adding another craft brewery to its The High End division. Karbach Brewing Company of Houston, Texas, will be the ninth craft brewery added to The High End division, which also includes Goose Island, 10 Barrel, Elysian, and Devil’s Backbone, among others.

According to a statement from AB InBev, Karbach launched in 2011 and grew to produce over 40,000 barrels in 2014. Since then, the brewery expanded its brewing capacity with new equipemtn, and added an on-site restaurant, taproom, and beer garden. AB InBev plans to invest in Karbach to grow the brewery’s capacity to 150,000 barrels per year by 2019.

“We’re excited to announce that we’ve entered into a partnership with Anheuser-Busch to join their High End division,” Karbach said in a Facebook post. “In the 5 years we’ve been in business, we’ve been blown away by the outpouring of support for our beers and culture. In fact, we’ve been overwhelmed with brewing and selling quality beer to drinkers across Texas. This partnership will allow us to continue to grow and focus more on brewing new and exciting beers for you to enjoy. We’re still a Texas brewery, with Texas employees, making great Texas beer on Karbach Street.”

It’s possible that the partnership could see a delay, however. After closing its investigation into AB InBev’s purchase of Devil’s Backbone Brewing, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Juan Arteaga of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division announced in September that the division would consider whether future acquisitions by AB InBev, “either singularly or collectively, are likely to harm competition by, among other things, giving ABI the ability to prevent its craft rivals from effectively getting their products to the market […] If the division sees evidence that ABI may be circumventing its distribution obligations or has used multiple craft acquisitions to impair competition, it will consider all its enforcement options—including re-opening its investigation of ABI’s acquisition of Devils Backbone—and all appropriate relief.”

The Antitrust Division has not released a statement on whether or not it will review the Karbach Brewing acquisition. Terms of the deal have not been released.


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