Anheuser-Busch scoops up another craft brewer – CNBC

Golden Road’s Gill said the acquisition will mean “business as usual” for the company, but things will be “amplified” now that it has access to Anheuser-Busch’s resources.

“We didn’t have a for-sale sign in the ground. We weren’t looking to sell our business,” Gill said in a video conversation with Goeler after the deal was announced. “But we started looking at the landscape, and what AB was doing with their craft brands … this is an opportunity we can’t pass up.”

The Golden Road acquisition is the latest in series of deals and announcements in what is shaping up to make 2015 a memorable year in the craft beer industry.

Already this year, Anheuser-Busch acquired Elysian; Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California, sold a 50 percent stake to Heineken; MillerCoors purchased a majority stake in San Diego-based Saint Archer Brewing; and Escondido, California-based Stone Brewing Co.’s founder, Greg Koch, announced he will be give up the CEO title after 19 years.

Craft beer has been a bright spot during a period when market leaders Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have been fighting declining sales. According to the Brewers Association, craft beer hit 11 percent market share by volume in 2014, the first time it hit double digits. That’s up from 5 percent in 2010.