Union Beverage Gets Golden Egg

Illinois distributor sells rights to Goose and Grolsch for $9.1 million

Union Beverage of Chicago announced that it has finalized the sale of the distribution rights for Goose Island Beer and Grolsch Beer to the Anheuser-Busch distribution network for the state of Illinois. The final price tag for the two brands was $9.1 million.

The transfer of the two brands into the A-B network follows the recent purchase of Grolsch by A-B and the acquisition of a portion of Goose Island Beer Co. by Widmer Brothers Brewing Company which is partially owned by A-B.

The infusion of two specialty brands into the A-B wholesale network is one step forward for the St. Louis brewer, who is attempting to shore up discontent by their distributors facing a decline in both margin and volume. Some industry accounts have stated that the A-B wholesalers were down as much as 20% in profit last year nationally.