Anheuser-Busch’s Felipe Szpigel to Launch New ‘Beyond Beer’ Venture

Another round of leadership changes is on tap at Anheuser-Busch.

Months after splitting its so-called “High End” craft and import division into two separate business units, and after it reorganized its North American sales and marketing teams, Anheuser-Busch today announced that Felipe Szpigel would leave his post as president of the craft business unit for a newly created position within the company.

In a press release, the company said Szpigel, who had led A-B’s High End and craft business units since October 2014, would depart his current position to launch a “new drinks venture” in the “beyond beer” space.

Supplanting Szpigel is Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, the current vice president of sales overseeing “region 7,” which includes California, Nevada and Arizona.

A transition is expected to take place during the fourth quarter. Michaelis, who has been with A-B for 16 years, will officially take over as the president of the craft business unit on January 1, 2019.

He will relocate to New York in the coming weeks, the company added.

Meanwhile, little is known about the Szpigel’s new endeavor, but A-B’s own “Beyond Beer” division includes brands such as non-alcoholic energy drink Hiball, which it acquired last year, and flavored malt beverage offerings like Spiked Seltzer.

Speaking to Brewbound, a spokeswoman said the new venture would be launched out of Miami, where Szpigel resides part-time, and that more details will be shared in the coming months.

During his four years as the president of the High End business unit, Szpigel helped engineer the purchase of nine craft brands, including Virtue Cider (Michigan), Wicked Weed Brewing (North Carolina), Karbach Brewing (Texas), Devils Backbone (Virginia), Four Peaks Brewing (Arizona), Breckenridge Brewery (Colorado), Golden Road (Los Angeles), Elysian Brewing (Seattle), and 10 Barrel Brewing (Oregon).

Szpigel also helped A-B create Veza Sur Brewing, a Latin American-inspired craft beer brand that opened in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District last August, and was involved in the purchase of SpikedSeltzer.

A-B also owns Goose Island Brewing (Illinois) and Blue Point Brewing (New York), brands that were acquired before Szpigel was named the president of the company’s High End division.

Last September, A-B laid off upwards of 350 employees, many from within its High End division.

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