NEW YORK Feb 5 Anheuser-Busch InBev SA
struck a deal to buy New York microbrewery Blue Point Brewing
Co, as the world's largest beer maker seeks to increase its
offerings in the fast-growing craft-beer segment.
The companies, which announced the deal in a statement on
Wednesday, did not disclose terms of the deal. Blue Point sold
around 60,000 barrels of beer in 2013, with sales concentrated
along the U.S. East Coast.
While still accounting for just a small part of U.S. beer
sales, the craft brewing industry has grown from a niche market
20 years ago into a nearly $12 billion business in 2012,
according to the Boulder, Colorado-based Brewers Association.
Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2012 was 15 percent
by volume, compared with 0.9 percent growth for overall beer
sales, the Brewers Association said.
Some of the world's top brewers have taken notice, snapping
up independent brewers around the United States. For instance,
AB Inbev bought Chicago-based brewer Goose Island in 2011 and
Belgium's Duvel Moorgat bought Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing
Co in October.
Blue Point was founded 15 years go in Patchogue, New York.
Among its top brands are its flagship Blue Point Toasted Lager,
Hoptical Illusion, and Blueberry Ale.
The companies said the deal will provide the brewer with
more resources to meet growing demand for its beers.