Anheuser-Busch Announces $2 Billion US Capital Expenditure Program

In a move aimed at upgrading its U.S. operations and “strengthening” its core brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev today said it would spend $2 billion on numerous brewing, packaging, supply chain and sustainability projects over the next four years.

In 2017 alone, A-B said it plans to invest $500 million into various brewery, distribution, packaging and innovation initiatives.

“We are focusing on investments which empower our employees to do what they do best – brewing the best beer,” Dave Taylor, the company’s vice president of supply said via a release. “Ninety-eight percent of the beer we sell in America is proudly made here at our 21 breweries using the highest quality ingredients.”

The investments underscore how A-B has been forced to adapt to changing consumer taste preferences; its breweries were largely engineered to produce large quantities of lager and light lager beer, and the upgrades will allow the company to produce a broader range of products — including hard seltzers, sodas, flavored malt beverages and craft beers – at its 12 major breweries across the country.

Some of the more notable investments include $82 million to build a pair of distribution facilities near its breweries in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio.

A-B will also spent $28 million at its Fort Collins, Colo. brewery to expand production of aluminum bottles and increase the types of products it can brew at that plant.

The Fort Collins facility upgrades will also enable A-B to scale up production of various craft offerings, including those from its High End division as well as beers from Craft Brew Alliance, president and CEO João Castro Neves told Brewbound.

The company will also spend $15 million on infrastructure improvements at its Fairfield, Calif. brewery, and $11 million at its Merrimack, N.H. brewery, investments that are intended to support “cross brewing” capabilities for its craft partners.

A-B is also planning to invest $10 million into its Baldwinsville, NY brewery to support the expanded production of Starbucks’ Teavana products.

“These investments will prepare our breweries and warehouses for a more fragmented industry,” Castro Neves told Brewbound.

A portion of the $2 billion it plans to spend will also go toward expansions at its 10 craft breweries, Castro Neves added.

Today’s announcement builds on a 2015 commitment to invest $1.7 billion by 2018. Between 2011 and 2020, A-B said its U.S. investments would total $4.5 billion.

A press release with additional information is included below.

ST LOUIS, MO (May 15, 2017) – Anheuser-Busch today delivered a resounding vote of confidence in American brewing, announcing a major capital expenditure program across the country.

As America’s leading brewer, we will invest close to $500 million in 2017, and $2 billion through 2020 – among the largest ever capital investment programs in U.S. brewing history. Our 2017 investments include:

  • Over $200 million for brewery and distribution projects
  • $180 million for product packaging and innovation initiatives
  • $58 million to improve and increase sustainability at our facilities

Today’s announcement is the next phase in a period of extensive, ongoing investment by Anheuser-Busch, with investments totaling $4.5 billion from 2011 to 2020.

The new capital expenditure program will expand Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. operations, bolster local and state economies, and support over 17,000 jobs in the United States. It will help drive forward the company’s growth strategy, including through new and innovative collaborations with companies like Teavana.

“Since Anheuser-Busch was founded 165 years ago, our company has been deeply rooted in America’s economic and cultural life. Our love of great beer and bringing people together is part of the American story,” said João Castro Neves, President and CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “We are making these investments in our business, and the communities where we live and work, for the next 165 years.”

“We are focusing on investments which empower our employees to do what they do best – brewing the best beer,” said Dave Taylor, Vice President of Supply for Anheuser-Busch. “Ninety-eight percent of the beer we sell in America is proudly made here at our 21 breweries using the highest quality ingredients.”

Key individual investments in the new capital expenditure program include:

  • $82 million to enhance nationwide supply chain operations and to build new, state-of-the-art distribution facilities in Los Angeles and Columbus.
  • $28 million at the Fort Collins brewery to expand production of popular aluminum bottle products and increase diversity of products through installation of dry hop capabilities.
  • $18 million at the Williamsburg brewery on new technology and equipment to maintain quality, and to install new labeling machines.
  • $15 million to begin innovative cross brewing capabilities at the Fairfield brewery through Elysian partnership, including significant updates to brewery infrastructure.
  • $13 million to the St. Louis brewery, including updates to the beechwood-aging tanks and several other initiatives that allow for production capability of new brands, as well as investments to increase sustainability.
  • $12 million for the Cartersville brewery to install a new multi-packer to diversify packaging capabilities, as well as new programming and metering devices to increase energy efficiency. $11 million to expand aluminum bottling capabilities at the Jacksonville brewery, as well as upgrades to improve energy efficiency.
  • $11 million to begin innovative cross brewing capabilities at the Merrimack brewery alongside craft partners.
  • $10 million in continued investments at the Los Angeles brewery to add water efficiency and treatment capabilities.
  • $10 million to the Baldwinsville brewery to increase production of non-alcoholic product offerings, mainly Teavana, and to install a new multi-packer.
  • $8 million to the Houston brewery to begin brewing the popular Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus product and to expand aluminum bottle production.
  • $7 million to the Columbus brewery to support various improvements, including projects to conserve resources and to develop and integrate new products.

For more information on Anheuser-Busch’s investments and impact across America, visit: www.usofbeer.com.

About Anheuser-Busch

For 165 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 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. Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev and operates 21 local breweries, 21 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities across the United States. Visitor and special beermaster tours are available at its St. Louis and five other Anheuser-Busch breweries. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.

Brewbound Job Board

The leading job board for the beer industry. Featuring hundreds of jobs from leading breweries and associated companies.

Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.