Anheuser-Busch InBev Acquires Platform Beer Co.

Anheuser-Busch InBev announced today the acquisition of fast-growing Ohio craft brewery Platform Beer Co.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In a press release, A-B noted that Platform was “the fastest growing regional brewery in the United States in 2017.” According to data from the Brewers Association, the Cleveland craft brewery increased production from 6,500 barrels to 20,000 barrels that year.

Platform will join A-B’s “Brewers Collective” of acquired craft breweries. Brewers Collective members include 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Blue Point Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Elysian Brewing Company, Four Peaks Brewing Co., Golden Road Brewing, Goose Island Beer Company, Karbach Brewing Co., Veza Sur Brewing Co., Virtue Cider, and Wicked Weed Brewing.

“In speaking with the other craft brewery founders in Brewers Collective, we know partnering with Anheuser-Busch means we will have the resources and the autonomy to bring our vision for Platform Beer Co. to life,” Platform co-founder Paul Benner said in the release. “Being able to continue leading the day-to-day operations was an important factor in our decision and we have no doubt that this partnership will benefit our loyal staff and passionate customer base”.

Benner and Justin Carson founded Platform in 2014. The company operates four facilities in Ohio, including a tasting room in Cleveland, a 60-barrel brewhouse in Cleveland, and tasting rooms in Columbus and Cincinnati. The company also plans to open a dedicated sour beer brewing facility and tasting room called the “Phunkenship” in Cleveland, and a 10-barrel brewery and tasting room in Pittsburgh.

“We are excited to invest even more into our local economy through capital improvements and job creation,” co-founder Justin Carson said in the release. “We will be able to provide our staff with resources like robust healthcare benefits including parental leave, 401K and growth opportunities that we currently don’t have and will make Platform an even better place to work and grow.”

Brewers Collective president Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis added that the world’s largest beer manufacturer was attracted to Platform’s “experiential mindset.”

“[W]e look forward to supporting their growth plans as they continue to push boundaries through their intrinsic craft values of education, connection and collaboration. It’s this growth that will give beer drinkers access to even more choices in today’s competitive and dynamic beer market,” he added.

According to A-B, it has invested more than $130 million in its craft breweries following acquisition, allowing those companies to hire more employees, open new facilities and expand production volume.

The acquisition of Platform ends a two-year period in which the company had not acquired a craft brewery since purchasing Wicked Weed in May 2017.

Brewbound profiled Platform in January. At the time, the company said it was targeting 40,000 barrels in 2019. According to national trade group the Brewers Association, Platform’s production increased 35 percent, to 27,000 barrels, in 2018. Read more about Platform’s 2019 plans here.

A press release with additional details is included on the next page.

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