Is Your Favorite Microbrewery Really Micro?

By Chris Mah |
FWX 10 BARREL BEER

© Seth Smoot

The craft beer world experienced a collective “Is this for real?” moment earlier this week when Bend, Oregon’s beloved 10 Barrel Brewing announced it would be acquired by Anheuser-Busch. Fans of 10 Barrel shouldn’t worry: Apocalypse IPA won’t turn into Apocalypse IPA Lime. The brewery doesn’t anticipate any changes to the recipes or brewing personnel.

But in light of this news, here are some other popular breweries that you may not realize are owned by bigger players.

Goose Island

Anheuser-Busch’s 2011 acquisition of the maker of one of the country’s most-beloved barrel-aged beers, Bourbon County Stout, is well known in beer circles, but not to many casual drinkers. One of the most interesting things about the acquisition is that it gave AB the distinction of having the largest difference in BeerAdvocate scores between its worst beer (Natty Light, with a score of 44) and its best (Bourbon County Coffee Stout, with a perfect score of 100).

Magic Hat Brewing

This Vermont favorite has changed hands a few times, and is currently owned by Cerveceria Costa Rica. Fret not, Vermonters, The Alchemist and it’s show stopping Heady Topper is as independent as ever.

Redhook Ale Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing & Kona Brewing

These guys (along with Square Mile Cider and gluten-free Omission Beer) compose the Craft Brew Alliance. Though it might look like more of a beer collective, it is one of the largest breweries in the country in sales and production volume. Also, about a third of the company is owned by, you guessed it, Anheuser-Busch.

Leinenkugel Brewing

This Wisconsin-based brewery has blue-collar America written all over it, but in reality it’s a subsidiary of the South African beverage giant SABMiller.

Boulevard Brewing & Brewery Ommegang

What do Kansas City–based Boulevard Brewery and Cooperstown, New York’s Brewery Ommegang have in common? Belgium’s Duvel brewery acquired them both. They also both still make fantastic beer.

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