Tilroy Brands announced Tuesday that Anheuser-Bush will sell several beer brands later this year—amid the continuing Bud Light boycott.
- The Canadian cannabis and consumer goods company finalized an agreement this week to purchase eight craft beer brands and breweries for an initially undisclosed cash offer.
- The brands include Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company, and HiBall Energy.
- Anheuser-Busch President Andy Thomas tells The Wall Street Journal that the deal has been in the works since earlier this year but did not clarify how or when the deal solidified.
- The sale is reportedly expected to be finalized in September for $85 million, according to Tilroy’s 8-K filings.
Why It’s Important
On April 1, transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney released a cross-promotional Instagram video with Bud Light. Subsequently, an interview with Bud Light Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid revealed that she was attempting to shift the brand away from its “fratboy” image toward a new audience of young progressive beer drinkers. Within two weeks, Bud Light’s sales precipitously dropped and have continued to do so.
Bud Light retail sales had dropped 42% by the week of July 22 in some cities, according to Nielsen IQ. Sales have decreased for 17 consecutive weeks and are down 29% year-over-year. The July 4 weekend saw a 26.4% year-over-year decline. Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. revenue was down 10% percent last quarter, in contrast to the same quarter the year prior.
It remains unclear just how much the boycott has directly contributed to the craft beer sale, but The Daily Caller alleges that it is a symptom of the larger slow-motion collapse of Bud Light’s parent company. As we previously reported, Anheuser-Busch InBev took a moderate hit in the second quarter but performed above expectations thanks to solid sales of other beer brands. However, the company was forced to lay off 2% of its U.S. work staff due to the boycott.
Economists have been confused by the enduring success of the boycott and have noted that the company is facing sustained brand damage if it does not recover soon. One anonymous beer distributor told the New York Post recently that Bud Light sales may never recover from the ongoing controversy.
Ansheuser-Busch heir Billy Busch blasted the company last week in a TMZ interview for alienating customers, saying, “My ancestors would have rolled over in their graves.”
Mulvaney has also been very critical of Bud Light, saying, “For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse, in my opinion than not hiring a trans person at all,” later noting that they have endured intense “transphobia and bullying” as a result of the boycott.