Thursday, December 20, 2007

VA craft brewery Starr Hill signs on with A-B

Well before Old Dominion Brewery's recent 49% buyout by Anheuser-Busch, Dominion had signed a long-time distributor agreement with the A-B network. In fact, many believe that that relationship, begun in the early 1990s, is what had placed Dominion on the map.

The press release below announces a new distributor arrangement between A-B and Starr Hill Brewery near Charlottesville, Virginia. It mentions only a distribution agreement, and nothing about ownership.

Starr Hill Enters Distribution Agreement with Anheuser-Busch
Dec. 18, 2007

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Dec. 18, 2007) – Starr Hill Brewery announced today that Anheuser-Busch will become the master distributor for Starr Hill, giving it the benefit of Anheuser-Busch’s logistical expertise in managing distribution, as well as access to more independent and chain retail accounts.

“We’re proud that our products have been added to Anheuser-Busch’s select list of craft beers offered through its world-class distribution network,” said Mark Thompson, founder and president of Starr Hill Brewery.

From Musings Over a Pint, I have been alerted to a confirmation of Anheuser-Busch minority ownership. In an on-line article dated 18 December, posted by the C-ville Charlottesville Newsweekly:

The deal's financial details aren't yet available, but C-VILLE's Restaurantarama spoke with Starr Hill Brewmaster Mark Thompson soon after it was announced. Thompson told Restaurantarama that Anheuser-Busch acquired a minority stake in Starr Hill as part of the deal, though Starr Hill will maintain control. All operations, Thompson said, will remain in Crozet.

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