Elysian Brewing Sold to Anheuser-Busch

January 23rd, 2015 · 8 Comments · Washington Breweries

When Bend’s 10 Barrel Brewing was recently sold to beer giant Anheuser-Busch, the buzz around the industry was that we should all expect this to happen more often in the coming years. I agreed, but I just didn’t necessarily expect it to happen soon here in Seattle. But, it has. Dick Cantwell confirmed in an email this morning that “Elysian is now part of ABI.”

Since opening their original Capitol Hill brewpub in 1996, Elysian has been a favorite of local beer drinkers. They’ve expanded slowly, but surely, over the years, and they now have 3 brewpubs, a bar and a production facility all located in Seattle. Owners Dick Cantwell, Joe Bisacca and David Buhler have all been involved from the beginning. Cantwell has been the Head Brewer since the start and is the face of the business. He has the respect of many friends and colleagues throughout the industry, and I’m sure this decision will come as a shock to many of them.

I love Elysian now…and I expect that I always will. Don’t expect this to change the great beer we see on tap at the pubs here in Seattle. I understand that a lot of people will hate this deal, but get used to it.

Press Release:

St. LOUIS and SEATTLE (January 23, 2015) – Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase Elysian Brewing Company, based in Seattle, Washington. For nearly 20 years, Elysian has brewed an award-winning portfolio of beers, including Immortal IPA and some of the industry’s most innovative and sophisticated brands.

“For two decades, we’ve welcomed guests into our brewpubs and served them creative and impeccably crafted beers,” said Joe Bisacca, Elysian ?CEO and co-founder, who will continue with Elysian along with his partners, Dick Cantwell and David Buhler. “After a lot of hard work, we’ve grown from one Seattle brewpub to four pub locations and a production brewery. With the support of Anheuser-Busch, we will build on past successes and share our beers with more beer lovers moving forward.”

Dick Cantwell, Elysian co-founder and Head Brewer added, “Throughout our journey we’ve been focused on brewing a portfolio of both classic and groundbreaking beers and supporting innovation and camaraderie in the beer industry through collaboration and experimentation. By joining with Anheuser-Busch we’ll be able to take the next steps to bring that energy and commitment to a larger audience.”

Elysian sold more than 50,000 barrels of beer in 2014, with Immortal IPA accounting for more than a quarter of the company’s total volume.

“Elysian’s story includes everything we look for in a partner,” said Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, Anheuser-Busch. “The team has spent their careers brewing distinctive beers in the thriving West Coast beer community and building unique venues that celebrate beer. As the fastest growing brewer in Washington, their recipe is working. Elysian’s brands are an important addition to our high-end beer portfolio, and we look forward to working together.”

In addition to the Seattle Airport Way brewery, the acquisition includes the company’s four Seattle brewpubs, Elysian Capitol Hill, Elysian Tangletown, Elysian Fields and Elysian BAR.

Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Elysian is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2015. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Elysian Brewing Co.

Elysian Brewing is a Seattle, Wash., based brewery founded in 1995 by principals Dick Cantwell, Joe Bisacca and David Buhler. Elysian’s first Seattle location, a 220-seat beer hall and main brewery, opened in 1996 on Capitol Hill, Seattle’s most populous neighborhood. Known for variety, Elysian has brewed more than 350 beers since it opened. The brewer currently distributes its brands in 11 states: Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and New York, as well as internationally in Vancouver BC and Alberta, Canada; Taiwan; Australia and Japan. For more information, check outwww.elysianbrewing.com or be social at fb.com/ElysianBrewingCompany and @ElysianBrewing on Instagram and Twitter.

About Anheuser-Busch

For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch and its world-class brewmasters have carried on a legacy of brewing America’s most-popular beers. Starting with the finest ingredients sourced from Anheuser-Busch’s family of growers, every batch is hand-crafted using the same exacting standards and time-honored traditions passed down through generations of proud Anheuser-Busch brewmasters and employees. Best known for its fine American-style lagers, Budweiser and Bud Light, the company’s beers lead numerous beer segments and combined hold 47.2 percent share of the U.S. beer market. Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev and operates 15 breweries, 17 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities across the United States, representing a capital investment of more than $15.5 billion. Its flagship brewery remains in St. Louis, Mo., and is among the global company’s largest and most technologically capable breweries. Visitor and special beermaster tours are available at its St. Louis and four other Anheuser-Busch breweries. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.




8 Comments so far ↓

  • GBallard

    They’re great people and I wish them well; but I’m still a little sad…

  • John C

    If they continue making the same beers with the same ingredients and recipes, then fine, who really cares.

    My big worry here is that a huge corporation like ABI will be more focused on squeezing every last cent of profit from Elysian that it can, leading to lower quality…well, everything.

    Anyone experienced enough with Goose Island to know how the transition went?

  • jason weiss

    The problem, assuming they adhere to their usual business practices, is that they’ll cut the price of their kegs to bars and restaurants making it more difficult for the other great local breweries to get their products in those same establishments.

  • Kurt

    Just look to Goose Island to see how AB nurtures their craft brands. Ever wonder why you see so much Goose Island on tap in Seattle? It’s because for the past year, AB has been selling bars Goose Island kegs for half the price of a normal keg. Total desperation move that has bastardized the brand.

    We can now enjoy local craft beer and see the profits transferred to an overseas mega conglomerate.

  • Some Reader

    So, who all has AB bought up? In addition to Elysian, I can think of Red Hook, Goose Island, and 10 Barrel. What have I missed?

  • Greg beed

    These guys have seen the mico boom and bust, 254 WA breweries! Good timing!

  • SteveE

    Every thing I read was Goose Island went downhill. I couldn’t care less about 10 barrel, they are good, but I would rather others from bend. This hurts though. I just worry they will not be the quality and have the insane creations they always do. IF they don’t change anything and can continue, just bigger and elsewhere, then I am fine. IF ABI does what everyone thinks, then I will lose one of my favorites

  • SteveE

    Well did they fully buy Red Hook just 32%. Because it is Red Hook/Kona/Whidmer/Omission/Square Mile Cider as the Craft Brew Alliance. They bought a good chunk so they could use them for distribution right? Vs this is full sale

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