February 5, 2014 / 5:20 PM / 4 years ago

Anheuser Busch buys New York craft brewer Blue Point

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (ABI.BR) 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.

    Reporting by Michael Erman, Editing by Tom Brown

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