Anheuser-Busch InBev's venture capital arm last week finalized a deal to acquire the nation's largest supplier of equipment for home brewing.
Chris Farley, the founder of Minnesota-based Northern Brewer, wrote in a blog post that the agreement with ZX Ventures represented "an important moment in our shared passion for brewing great beer."
Northern Brewer sells everything from equipment to ingredients to full kits for small-batch beer. Observers said that the deal could allow AB InBev to capitalize on the home brewing market — and potentially identify nascent trends in the burgeoning craft beer sector.
"We understand the consumer need is changing, and we want to keep up with the evolving beer landscape," Cassiano Hissnauer, global vice president of ZX's home brewing operation, told Bloomberg.
Farley stressed that the company's independent culture and leadership team would remain intact while ZA provides additional capacity "to pursue our passion with even greater focus, better tools and ingredients."
"Someday we want home brewing to be as common a household craft in America as cooking or gardening," Farley wrote. "But we all know that we won’t get there through complacency."
Terms of the deal, which also includes sister company Midwest Supplies, were not disclosed.