Anheuser-Busch to Acquire Virginia Craft Brewer

Anheuser-Busch this week announced the acquisition of an eighth craft brewer for its The High End division.

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Anheuser-Busch this week announced the acquisition of an eighth craft brewer for its The High End division.

The beer giant, which snapped up several growing brands amid a sluggish overall domestic beer market, agreed to purchase Virginia-based Devils Backbone Brewing Company for an undisclosed amount.

Devils Backbone was founded in 2008. It includes its original Basecamp brew pub in rural western Virginia and the Outpost brewery in Lexington, which dramatically exceeded its initial production forecast with the help of a heavily Anheuser-Busch-affiliated distributor network.

The company's flagship Vienna Lager announced for nearly 60 percent of its volume in 2015. Devils Backbone's founders vowed to retain its autonomy as it expands its footprint in the U.S.

"The existing management team plans to stay on board for many years while continuing to innovate and bring locally crafted Virginia beer to the nation," co-founder and CEO Steve Crandall said in a statement.

Devils Backbone joins past High End acquisitions Goose Island, Blue Point, 10 Barrel, Elysian, Golden Road, Four Peaks and Breckenridge. The division also includes Belgian giant Stella Artois, AB's Shock Top brand and Virtue Cider.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, already the world's largest brewer, is currently seeking a merger with top rival MillerCoors in order to expand its presence in emerging markets.

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