A-B Grabs Another

Starr Hill Brewery of Charlottesville, Virginia announced yesterday that Anheuser-Busch has taken a minority ownership in the 5,000 barrel a year brewery and will become the master distributor for Starr Hill nationally.

Founder and owner Mark Thompson said the distribution deal is a dream come true.

“We’re honored and humbled and thankful to be chosen,” Thompson told the local Daily Progress newspaper..

The brewery, which was founded in 1999 has been working on the deal for more than a year. Details of the deal were not disclosed, but it was reported that Starr Hill will continue to be responsible for all brewing and marketing.

The company’s three-year plan is to have its beers available from New York to Atlanta. Thompson hopes the brews go nationwide in five to 10 years.

Keeping up production at Starr Hill will require a few extra people. Thompson said the company would need to purchase more fermenters and hire another brewer in the next year. The brewery has the capacity to produce up to 60,000 barrels a year.

While Starr Hill is rolling out its distribution plan slowly, Thompson has an idea of what he would like to see Starr Hill become – a nationally sold craft beer.

“We want to be the next Sierra Nevada,” Thompson said.