There’s a new brewery in St. Louis. And it has some familiar names attached.
William K. Busch Brewing Co., was started by Jim Hoffmeister, a former top executive at Anheuser-Busch and William K. “Billy” Busch, a son of August “Gussie” Busch Jr.
And they have huge ambitions. Huge as in, mega-huge.
The two are rolling out a Bud-like beer (yellow-fizzy lager – but it is all-malt) called Kräftig.
The goal: to brew beers that will compete with national brands. Like not craft-sized ambitions.
Kräftig has already brewed 7,200 barrels and has said they are aiming to hit 2 million barrels every year, the bulk of it at a brewing facility it plans to build in St. Louis within three years. The ultimate goal is to get into the 10-20 million barrel range, still a far cry from the 102 million barrels AB currently produces – but still not too shy of a goal for a brand new brand.
The price point will be near premium mainstream beer at about $6.70 a six pack.
The industry will be watching this strategy closely as major brands continue to decline while craft surges.
“This one is very different in that they’re not talking about growing slow and organically,” explained Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association.