Karbach Sale: Spring Branch Industrial Street Name To Become Anheuser Busch Brand

KARBACH SALE: SPRING BRANCH INDUSTRIAL STREET NAME TO BECOME ANHEUSER BUSCH BRAND Karbach Brewing Co., 2032 Karbach St., Eureka Acres, Houston, 77092 Word comes from both parties this morning that local craft beer staple Karbach Brewing Co.will be bought by global beer conglomerate Anheuser Busch-InBev (also currently in the process of buying parts of fellow megabrewer SABMiller’s holdings). The 5-year-old microbrewery, which rapidly outgrew its original warehouse setup on Karbach St. in the industrial sliver between 290 and Hempstead Rd. just outside the Loop, added a new restaurant and more brewing equipment (with room for further future increases) as part of a 2014 overhaul of the property. The brewers told Chris Crowell in April that the annual output had reached around 55,000 barrels by the end of last year; based on their estimated expansion capacity, it doesn’t look like AB-Inbev’s plan to bump up production to 150,000 barrels per year by 2019 would require any major property changes or a move — just some retrofitting. [Anheuser Busch; Previously on Swamplot] Image of new brewery building at 2032 Karbach St.: Andrew M.

15 Comment

  • Now I’m not one of those purists that rails away about how Karbach is technically not “craft” anymore, that is a silly and academic exercise, but I’ve got to say I’m still a bit disappointed. I’m sure they got offered a truck-load of cash and who could say no, but the political tactics that AB-Inbev regularly resorts to (see distribution and stifling competition) means I’m just not going to enjoy Hopadillo or any of their other fine beers in the future. Instead I’ll spend my beer money on one of the multitude of other small, local breweries in Houston (winkin at you 8th wonder).

  • I’m not exactly a leftist liberal but I’ll be looking at other local beers whenever I’m at a bar or in a grocery store. Goof for the owners for cashing in but InBev acquisition products go to crap after they’ve touched it.

    Also, there are rumors in the Reddit thread that Silver Eagle (giant distributor) bankrolled Karbach the initial $15M and that this was InBev’s plan all along.

  • Karbach used to be really good at promoting bikes locally. Somehow I doubt Anheuser Busch InBev will have much use for such a program—much as I have no use for ABI beers.

    It’s interesting that this is the first craft brewery ABI has purchased since the DOJ’s antitrust investigation and promise to “carefully scrutinize any future craft acquisitions” after ABI bought of Devil’s Backbone. I guess ABI was undeterred.

  • RIP local brew.

  • Pssst, Houstonians, Deep Ellum Brewing makes better beer *ducks* *hides*

  • Saint Arnold.

  • These guys took a chance in building a business. No nasty comments, No hard feelings, go forth and prosper or take a vacation, retire.

  • Most of Karbach’s beers have always struck me as a bet to see how many hops they can cram in and still get people to drink it.

  • This news will negatively influence my enjoyment of Karbach beer which will impact my purchase choices.

    Independent Craft Brewery is just that…”independent”. Karbach will no longer be that.

    Good news is that there is a still a feast of indie brewers in our bayou city.

    Great financial decision for the Karbach “owners” who ever they really were/are.

  • Very disappointed to lose one of my go-to beers to the borg. Goodbye Karbach.

  • Reading the article that Bocepheus posted, it looks like Silver Eagle has done a lot to expand St. Arnold’s. I hope that InBev’s local muscle does nothing to endanger St. Arnold’s, i.e. if Karbach starts getting preferential treatment from Silver Eagle.
    From having lived in Dallas and Austin the past 5 years, Houston basically has two beers with strong statewide recognition: St. Arnold’s and Karbach. Others like Buffalo Bayou are on shelves but not well known. Compare with Dallas at around 5: Deep Ellum, Lakewood, Community, Franconia, Rahr & Sons. Hopefully Karbach’s money and distribution power doesn’t overshadow other (better) Houston breweries.
    meh – couldn’t agree more on the hops thing

  • I agree with everyone, I lament the sale as a craft brew supporter but am happy for the owners. I will say, that I have mostly really enjoyed the impact of Karbach on Houston. Mainly, I think St. Arnolds was caught flat footed as the only craft beer in town till Karbach showed up and started pumping out new brews at a great frequency. Now I feel St. Arnolds has caught up and restarted the innovation engine for mass market beers and not the small limited edition spin offs (bishops, DR etc). Additionally, Karbach showed the rest of Houston that you can penetrate the market here, giving rise to all the other great ICB that we enjoy today. No one can deny Karbach’s role in making all Houston beer drinker’s lives better. Cheers!

  • I think this was the intention from the beginning. An astonishing amount of funding, marketing, and expansion over a short period of time. The better question is if we’ve been hoodwinked by funding from money tied back to big dogs from the beginning.

    Craft beer I think begins its slow decline from here. Can’t keep up with conglomerate steered “sold out” craft breweries who are going to be attached like pork barrel funding to bar distribution. Its going to edge out anyone new without a foot in the door. When there is nothing new and cool, it’ll fade.

  • I’ve never been a fan of Karbach. Way too much hops in everything. They’ve had some bright points, but overall meh.
    I can’t fault the owners for taking the money. I’d do the same.