Anheuser-Busch Heir Invests in Idaho-Based Craft Brewery

Any way you look at it, it’s a crafty investment.

Adolphus A. Busch IV, the son of legendary Anheuser-Busch CEO Gussie Busch Jr., has purchased a minority stake in Salmon River Brewery, a brewpub in McCall, Id., according to the St. Louis Business Journal. The deal sprung from a meeting between Salmon River owner Matt Ganz and Busch, who was impressed with the brewery’s signature Udaho Gold beer.

Busch now owns 49 percent of Salmon River, which was founded in 2008 and produced just over 500 barrels of beer in 2012. The company averages $350,000 in sales and beer accounts for 60 percent of its revenue. With the infusion of cash from Busch, the draft-only brewery has purchased a range of new brewing equipment, including 260 new kegs, a keg washer, two 15-barrel brew tanks and two seven-barrel tanks. Salmon River is aiming to bring its beer production up to 1,500 barrels this year.

Ganz did not reveal the actual amount of Busch’s investment, however, he noted that the money also enabled Salmon River to pay back a $290,000 bank loan, which company founders acquired to launch the brewery, in full.

While Busch is not a silent partner — he offers advice on marketing and distribution — he is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the brewery.

“It’s our vision and dream,” Ganz told the Journal. “He trusts what we’re doing. It’s the beer he loves.”

The Journal also noted that Busch is also an investor in fellow Anheuser-Busch heir Billy Busch’s William K. Busch Brewing Co., which is based in St. Louis, Mo.