Last Call: Alabama Breweries Merge; Truly Hard Seltzer to be Available on American Airlines Flights; Local Roots Acquires Latitude 33’s Facility

Alabama Breweries Merge to Achieve Growth

Two Alabama craft breweries announced their merger on December 9, according to AL.com.

Straight to Ale, a microbrewery based in Huntsville, will merge with Druid City Brewing of Tuscaloosa, the owners of both companies announced on Monday.

The deal will create a partnership that will allow Druid City to grow and enter distribution in the state, Druid City co-owner Bo Hicks told AL.com. Hicks co-founded Druid City in 2012 with Elliott Roberts and will retain ownership of the brewery post-merger.

Under the terms of the deal, Druid City will receive investment from Straight to Ale owner Dan Perry and other investors..

Perry started Straight to Ale in 2009 and has expanded distribution to Atlanta, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2018, Straight to Ale sold 4,800 barrels, while Druid City sold 360 barrels, according to not-for-profit trade group the Brewers Association.

Truly Hard Seltzer Takes Flight; Sponsors NHL Winter Classic PreGame Celebration

Truly Hard Seltzer will be available on American Airlines flights beginning January 1, according to a spokesperson for the Boston Beer Company.

Truly Wild Berry will be available for purchase in 12 oz. cans on all flights that offer alcoholic beverages.

This is Truly’s second placement in the skies, following last month’s announcement that it would be available on JetBlue flights. The brand is currently the only hard seltzer available on U.S. flights.

In other Truly news, Truly is the lead sponsor of the NHL Winter Classic’s PreGame party, which will take place on January 1 in Dallas, Texas.

White Claw Hard Seltzer Enters Trader Joe’s

Mark Anthony Brands’ White Claw Hard Seltzer is now available at Trader Joe’s locations that sell alcoholic beverages, according to Delish.

The grocery chain is carrying 12-pack variety packs, which include black cherry, natural lime, raspberry and ruby grapefruit. Delish reported that the pack costs $15.99.

Producers Scale Back 3.2 Beer

With only one state left to require it, brewers of 3.2% alcohol by weight beer are scaling back production, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Both Heineken and Constellation Brands announced they will no longer brew the weaker beer, which Minnesota grocery and convenience stores are limited to selling.

Utah loosened laws to permit sales of 4% alcohol by weight beer last month, leaving Minnesota the only 3.2 state left.

San Diego-Based Local Roots Hard Kombucha Acquires Latitude 33 Brewing’s Production Facility

Local Roots, a San Diego-based hard kombucha brewer, announced its acquisition of Latitude 33 Brewing’s production facility in Vista, California and its equipment, according to SanDiegoville.com.

Latitude 33 will maintain its taproom space in Vista but will partner with Green Flash Brewing and Alpine Brewing to brew its beer at Green Flash’s brewery in San Diego’s Miramar section.

Australia Antitrust Regulators Concerned About A-B Sale of Carlton & United Breweries to Asahi

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned sale of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) in Australia to Asahi Group Holdings has drawn criticism from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), according to Reuters.

The ACCC said that the $11 billion deal, struck in July, could hurt beer and cider competition in Australia.

The Japan-based Asahi has spent more than $20 billion on acquisitions since 2015.

A-B Partners Tilray and Fluent Beverages Announce CBD-Infused Tea

Anheuser-Busch InBev joint venture Fluent Beverages and its Toronto-based cannabis partner Tilray, announced Everie, a new ready-to-brew, CBD-infused tea, according to FoodBev Media.

Everie will be available in biodegradable tea bags, each with 10 milligrams of CBD and fewer than 0.05 milligrams of THC. The tea comes in three flavors: lavender chamomile, vanilla rooibos, and peach ginger green.

The tea is available in select provinces in Canada; a line of sparkling beverages is planned for early next year.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Seeking to Divest Packaging Operations

Anheuser-Busch InBev has hired Deutsche Bank to help it find a buyer or partner for its U.S.-based packaging operations, according to Reuters.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters estimated that North American bottling and canning operations for world’s largest beer manufacturer could be worth $5-6 billion.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Strikes Sponsorship Deals with NHL and NBA’s Brooklyn Nets

After an eight-year absence, Anheuser-Busch InBev has returned as the official beer sponsor of the National Hockey League, according to Sports Pro Media.

The brewer of Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra had been the NHL’s beer sponsor from the mid-1990s, but was edged out after the league struck a deal with MillerCoors in 2011.

Boston Beer Company’s Truly Hard Seltzer became the league’s official hard seltzer in a non-exclusive deal this season.

In other sports sponsorship news for the world’s largest beer manufacturer, A-B also struck a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets, according to the Sports Business Journal.

A-B is the team’s official domestic beer partner, a sponsorship that comes with branded spaces in the team’s home arena, the Barclays Center, and brand integration on social media channels.

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