As a growing craft beer market has chipped away at the American dominance of Anheuser-Busch InBev and its signature brands like Budweiser and Bud Light, the international beer giant has increasingly looked for ways to compete with these sexier suds on their own terms — by introducing “crafty” brands made in-house like Shock Top, as well as controversially buying out small, formerly independent breweries like Goose Island, 10 Barrel, and Wicked Weed. Now, AB InBev is apparently prepared to further work the craft angle from another approach: importing more of the craft beer brands it owns abroad into the U.S.
AB InBev has gotten the go-ahead from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to bring six more of its foreign craft brands into the American market this year, according to the Drinks Insight Network. Those brands reportedly include England’s Camden Town Brewery, Brazil’s Cervejaria Colorado, Mexico’s Artesanas de Malta y Cebada, South Africa’s Newlands Spring Brewing, Canada’s Archibald Microbrewery, and Belgium’s Belle-Vue Brouwerij. All of the beers will apparently be available exclusively on draft, except for the Canadian beers which will be packaged as well.
The six brands are slated to appear at OctFest 2018 — a two-day beer and music festival on NYC’s Governors Island held on September 8 and 9. The event is sponsored by the beer website October, which is co-owned music website Pitchfork and ZX Ventures, AB InBev’s venture capital arm. The fest will also feature over 40 other beers from breweries of all sizes and ownership tights, as well as bands like The Flaming Lips and Vince Staples.
Drinks Insights says this isn’t the first time AB InBev has brought its foreign craft brands to U.S. shores. Australia’s 4 Pines, Spain’s Cervezas La Virgen, and Mexico’s Bocanegra are currently already available to some extent in the States.