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As craft beer flourishes, Big Beer continues to buy in and blur the lines

““With craft beer and all the excitement the industry has brought … it has reignited beer,” said Felipe Szpigel, president of the High-End Business Unit at Anheuser-Busch. “Now you should expect to go into a fine dining (restaurant) and not only see a wine list but see a well-curated beer list. For us, we see no reason we shouldn’t have our own portfolio of partners and offer consumers, retailers and wholesalers what they want.”

Critics, however, see it as smash-and-grab or a Trojan horse strategy – plunk down cash for a popular craft brewery and get a toehold in this hip and thriving industry, all the while omitting any mention of who now owns the business. It has happened with Chicago’s Goose Island, brewers of the renowned series of Bourbon County barrel-aged beers; San Diego’s Ballast Point, makers of a benchmark India pale ale called Sculpin; and scores of others.”

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As craft beer flourishes, Big Beer continues to buy in and blur the lines