Anheuser-Busch will begin selling in the U.S. a trio of beers from a recently acquired Australian craft brewery, 4 Pines, the company confirmed.
The New South Wales-based brewing company, which Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired in September via its New York-based ZX Ventures arm, intends to enter the U.S. with an IPA, a summer ale and a stout. For now, the beers will be sold only in select markets, with focus on California and Florida. There are no immediate plans for a larger expansion into the U.S., the company said.
Each of the beers will be contract brewed in Denver by Sleeping Giant Brewing Company, an independent contract-only brewer, according to regulatory documents posted to a federal website.
Ten-year-old 4 Pines, which operates four venues in the Sydney area including breweries in Brookvale and Manly, said at the time of its sale to ABI that the deal would enable it to expand its brand in its native Australia as well as to overseas markets.
The brewery began working with Sleeping Giant prior to its sale to Anheuser-Busch, the company said.
Upon its launch in the U.S., 4 Pines becomes the second international craft brand ABI’s ZX Ventures will bring to the U.S. this year. The company confirmed earlier this month its plans to import Bocanegra, a Mexican craft beer brand it acquired in 2016.
Bocanegra plans to launch this spring in New York City and Los Angeles with two beers: a Pilsner and a dunkel weizen.
Unlike Bocanegra, which will give Anhesuer-Busch a unique additional entry into the sizzling market for Mexican imports, 4 Pines is coming to the U.S. with three relatively standard craft styles at a time of fragmentation.
Its Indian Summer Ale, at 4.2 percent alcohol-by-volume, has aromas of passion fruit and honeydew and is made with hops exclusively from Australia and New Zealand. The Down Under IPA, which checks in at 6.3 percent ABV, is hopped using only Australian hops, including Vic Secret, Galaxy and Enigma. The 5.1 percent ABV stout has flavors of coffee and chocolate.
Each will be packed in 16-ounce cans.
Aside from its Australian roots, it’s unclear how the brand intends to differentiate itself from a growing number of U.S.-based craft competitors, including many owned by ABI.
Through subsidiaries, ABI is rolling up craft brands around the world. Its U.S. brands organized under the banner, The High End, include Goose Island Beer Co., Blue Point Brewing Co., 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Wicked Weed Brewing and Elysian Brewing.
ZX Ventures, the ABI arm that houses the company’s international craft and specialty beers, has made a string of acquisitions since its launch in 2015. ZX has purchased breweries and other beer-related concerns in Spain, Belgium, Italy, China, Brazil, Colombia, the U.S. and the U.K.