Another Anheuser-Busch InBev craft beer acquisition appears to be headed to the United States, according to labels approved by federal regulators this month.
Spanish brewer Cervezas La Virgen, which Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired in January 2017 via its New York-based ZX Ventures arm, gained approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on labels for four draft beers: an IPA, a pale ale, a Helles-style lager and an amber ale.
For now, each of the beers will be imported only in 30-liter Euro kegs, per regulatory filings. A company spokesman declined to comment.
When its beers hit the U.S. market, Madrid-based Cervezas La Virgen will become the third ABI-acquired international craft brewery to begin selling beer in the U.S. this year, joining the Australian brand 4 Pines and Mexican import Bocanegra.
Cervezas La Virgen was founded in 2011 by three Spaniards who hatched the idea while living in San Francisco. The company now operates six taprooms and brewpubs in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Its broad portfolio spans styles familiar to the typical U.S. craft consumer. The beers it plans to import to the U.S. include La Virgen IPA, which checks in at 6.5 percent alcohol-by-volume and is brewed with Tomahawk, Cascade and Citra hops; a 5.5-percent ABV amber ale called Jamonera, which takes its name from its natural pairing with ham; a 5.5-percent ABV extra-hopped pale ale called 360 and a 5.2-percent Helles-style lager called Madrid.
It is among several international beer companies snapped up over the past three years by ZX Ventures, the ABI arm launched in 2015 that houses the company’s international craft and specialty beers. Some of its brands include Australia’s Pirate Life, Colombia’s Cervejaria Colorado, Brazil’s Cervejaria Wäls, Belgium’s Brouwerij Bosteels, Italy’s Birra del Borgo and London’s Camden Town Brewery.
Anheuser-Busch also holds a portfolio of U.S. craft brands organized under the banner, The High End, including Goose Island Beer Co., Blue Point Brewing Co., 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Wicked Weed Brewing and Elysian Brewing.
Anheuser-Busch said in April that its New South Wales, Australia-based craft brewery 4 Pines will enter the U.S. this year with an IPA, a summer ale and a stout contract brewed by Sleeping Giant Brewing Company in Denver. Initially, 4 Pines will be sold only in select markets, with a focus on California and Florida.
Earlier in April, the company also confirmed its plans to import a Pilsner and a dunkelweizen from Bocanegra, a Mexican craft beer brand it acquired in 2016.
They each are or will be imported by St. Louis-based ABI subsidiary Import Brands Alliance, the unit that also imports Stella Artois, Estrella Jalisco and Leffe, among other brands.