Anheuser-Busch has acquired US alcohol company Cutwater Spirits, as it expands its business in the spirits and canned cocktail category.
The deal will see Cutwater join Anheuser-Busch’s Beyond Beer portfolio – a unit which also includes the Babe Rose, HiBall and Spiked Seltzer brands.
Anheuser-Busch’s parent company, AB InBev, acquired energy drink brand Hiball in 2017 to boost its non-alcohol portfolio. And last year, AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito said 20% of the company’s sales volumes will come from its low- or no-alcohol portfolio by 2025.
However, the Cutwater deal marks a shift in strategy, as the world’s largest beer maker targets growth in the spirits segment.
Founded in 2016 by former Ballast Point executives, Cutwater Spirits has seven mixers, 14 canned cocktails and 16 types of spirits encompassing variations of whiskey, vodka, gin and rum. The firm currently distributes to 34 US states.
Based in San Diego, Cutwater operates out a 50,000-square-foot production facility. The company, which will continue to be led by Yuseff Cherney, Earl Kight, and other senior-level managers, will now look to leverage Anheuser-Busch’s knowledge in logistics and distribution, brand building and packaging to scale the brand even faster.
“We’re thrilled to have found a partner that understands our vision for Cutwater Spirits and will give us the tools and resources to grow and thrive,” said Cutwater Spirits founder Yuseff Cherney.
“We’re excited to join Anheuser-Busch and work with the team there to bring our spirits and canned cocktails to the world.”
Marina Hahn, new business co-founder at Anheuser-Busch, added: “We’re excited to welcome the Cutwater Spirits team to the Anheuser-Busch family. We have tremendous respect for the brand that Cutwater Spirits has created and cultivated in just a few years and look forward to working with them to expand their premium canned cocktails to consumers across the US.”
By Jules Scully
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