Northern Brewer acquired by Anheuser-Busch

Northern Brewer has been acquired by the venture capital arm of Anheuser-Busch. By this time, another acquisition in the beer industry isn’t really news, but as far as we know this is A-B’s first foray into the world of homebrewing. Northern Brewer is one of the country’s leading homebrew ingredients and equipment suppliers. In addition to its sizable online presence, the company also operates three brick and mortar locations, two in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin (St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee).

The news started to trickle out a couple weeks ago on homebrewing forums. Yesterday, Chris Farley, the founder/owner of Northern Brewer, released a statement on the company’s website.

“Many of you have seen the news that we’ve closed a deal to be acquired by ZX Ventures, the global Disruptive Growth Unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev,” said Farley. “I’ll admit, we didn’t share this with you the way we should and for that, I apologize. I think this is a really important moment in our company’s history and an important moment in our shared passion for brewing great beer.”

According to the ZX Ventures website, the company is a a global disruptive growth group, incubator, and venture capital team backed by one of the largest multinational companies in the world, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Farley says that nothing at Northern Brewer will change fundamentally. “Our entire leadership team will remain intact and our company will continue to be independent,” he said. “Our staff of dedicated employees will continue to serve our customers and help our industry innovate. Our culture will remain as it is today: vibrant, energetic, fair and dedicated to our mission and to you.”

“This partnership with ZX Ventures is about growing our company and providing our customers with unparalleled opportunities. This deal will make us stronger and able to pursue our passion with even greater focus, better tools and ingredients.”

“We are convinced that this partnership will be good for us and great for you,” said Farley.

Read Chris Farley’s complete statement about the acquisition here.


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  1. Well I guess that’s one more reason to buy from good local shops. I occasionally bought equipment from the you couldn’t get locally. No more. Thanks ABInbev, one more thing ruined by you.

  2. Yeah, they’ve lost my minuscule amount of sales (probably two years since my last sub-4100 order) but I’m mystified as to why this ever appealed to AB.

    1. From AB’s perspective, they get a new profitable business unit and now have access to a ton of new data on trends in the homebrew market. It’s like having a crowd sourced pilot brewing system that gives you money.

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