Blue Point Brewery Purchased by Anheuser-Busch

Food, Wine, & Dining, Local News, Business & Finance

Long Island’s oldest and largest microbrewery has agreed to an acquisition by the world’s largest beer conglomerate and owner of numerous brands including Budweiser.

Long Island’s oldest and most established independent brewery is no longer independent. Blue Point Brewing Company announced yesterday, February 5th that it has agreed to be purchased by Anheuser-Busch.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev—the world’s largest brewing company with a 25% claim over the global beer market. It operates 13 breweries in the US, supplying brands such as Budweiser, Beck’s, Stella Artois, Shock Top, and most recently acquired Grupo Modelo—the makers of Corona.

Blue Point Brewing Company was founded in Patchogue in 1998, becoming one of the first microbreweries on Long Island. The brewery quickly became well established in the region, winning numerous awards in both local and international beer competitions and rankings along the way.

The company now counts over 40 different craft brews and seasonal beers among its wares, including its Blueberry Ale, Hoptical Illusion, Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, and Toxic Sludge IPA. In 2013 alone Blue Point sold around 60,000 barrels of beer, nearly half of which came from its flagship Toasted Lager. When the acquisition by Anheuser-Busch in the second quarter of 2014 is finalized, Blue Point hopes it will be able to expand its reach and grow its product line even further.

“Together, our talented brewing team and Anheuser-Busch will have the resources to create new and exciting beers and share our portfolio with even more beer lovers,” said founder Mark Burford.

“We are deeply grateful to our family of loyal employees and customers. Our success was made possible by the hard work of good people and good beer in Patchogue,” added co-founder Peter Cotter.

For its part, Anheuser-Busch has promised to keep the craft spirit of Blue Point alive and well, keeping Burford and Cotter on as leaders of Blue Point’s continued operations.

“As we welcome Blue Point into the Anheuser-Busch family of brands, we look forward to working with Mark and Peter to accelerate the growth of the Blue Point portfolio and expand to new markets, while preserving the heritage and innovation of the brands,” said Luiz Edmond, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “With Anheuser-Busch’s strong beer credentials, we share a commitment to offering high-quality beers that excite consumers. Blue Point brands have a strong following and even more potential.”

A blog post on Blue Point’s website titled “We’re not going. We’re growing.” expressed similar sentiments, stating “The new relationship with Anheuser-Busch is a huge step for Blue Point Brewing Company and everyone here is on board and looking forward to the future. We’ve always focused on our employees, the community, and, of course, the beer–and that will not change.”

Beer aficionados should be able to rest easy then, secure in the promise that Blue Point will stay true to its roots for the foreseeable future, steering clear of the already well trodden territory of not-quite craft beers also sold by its new parent company, even if the label “microbrewery” no longer quite fits.  

Still, for those looking for wholly independent breweries to quell their thirst for craft brews, Long Island continues to provide plenty of options. Great South Bay Brewery and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company both offer around a dozen different beers to tingle the palate; Blind Bat Brewery and Long Ireland Beer Company take the “micro” aspect of being a microbrewery to heart; Oyster Bay Brewing Company, one of the Island’s youngest brewers, has been making waves since opening its doors last year; and the Island even features a few brew houses that serve up their own special beers alongside a variety of food and other drinks.

[Source: Blue Point Brewing Company

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