ABInBev Spreads Craft Shopping Spree

Birra del Borgo has announced a deal that makes it a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev. The Italian brewery characterized this as a partnership in the press release announcing the sale. AB InBev will provide the support to allow Birra del Borgo to expand its brewery know how and infrastructure, continue to innovate and bring new great beers on the market through its distribution system. Founder Leonardo Di Vincenzo will continue to lead Birra Del Borgo as CEO of the company.

Di Vincenzo started his brewery in 2005 in Borgorose, a small town in the province of Rieti on the border between Lazio and Abruzzo in Italy. Di Vincrnzo’s initial inspiration comes from English and Belgian beers, but he then reworked them to become a part of the Italian gastronomy culture. He is one of “Birreria Brother Brewers” — along with Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Teo Musso of Birra Baladin Italy — behind the brewpub within each Eataly location.

For the press release, Di Vincenzo said: “Our voyage since we started in 2005 has been a great adventure. Today the beer sector has become very competitive and it necessary for us to make a next step to ensure that we can continue to evolve in terms of brewing techniques and in terms of the complexity and taste variation we can offer to consumers. We believe partnering with AB InBev is a great opportunity to do exactly that: it will allow Birra del Borgo to grow in a sustainable way while staying true to our unique identity and the philosophy that we have followed since the very beginning.”

Simon Wuestenberg, country director for AB InBev Italia, said: “We have been very impressed by what Leonardo and his team have built since 2005. They have been at the forefront of redefining beer in Italy, bringing a unique mix of inspired innovation, quality and consistency. Leonardo’s vision for beer and his passion for brewing will be great inspirations to our whole team, and we’re very excited about partnering up and growing together.”

The press release did not mention A-B’s High End division — which includes Goose Island Beer Co., Blue Point Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Virtue Cider, Four Peaks Brewing and Breckenridge Brewery — so at first glance it appears Birra del Borgo will operate separately.