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AB InBev Expands In Craft With Oregon’s 10 Barrel, Looks To Launch Tequila-Inspired Brew

November 6, 2014

Anheuser-Busch InBev is set to acquire Bend, Oregon-based craft brewer 10 Barrel Brewing for an undisclosed sum. The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, includes the brewery’s two brewpubs in Bend and Boise, Idaho, as well as a Portland, Oregon brewpub slated to open in early 2015. 10 Barrel founders Jeremy Cox, Chris Cox and Garrett Wales will stay onboard and continue to lead the company.

Established in 2006, 10 Barrel currently brews around 40,000 barrels annually, with its flagship Apocalypse IPA accounting for around 50% of sales. The 10 Barrel portfolio also includes its Sinister Black Ale and OG Wheat IPA labels. The brewery marks AB InBev’s second craft brewery buy this year, following its purchase of Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Co. in February. The company’s craft stable also includes Chicago’s Goose Island.

Meanwhile, AB InBev is planning to launch a Tequila-flavored beer, Oculto, in the U.S. market next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper said Oculto—which is 6% abv and made with blue agave—will debut next spring as a buffer against beer drinkers joining the spirits segment. Heineken is also reportedly eyeing a national launch in 2015 for its own Tequila-inspired offering, Desperados, which is currently limited to Florida and Georgia. Anheuser-Busch marketed a 4.5%-abv Tequiza brand from 1998 through 2009, before the Tequila-and-lime flavored brew gave way to the popular Bud Light Lime franchise.

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