Anheuser-Busch purchases Wicked Weed craft brewery

Markets Associated Press

Anheuser-Busch InBev will purchase North Carolina brewery Wicked Weed and add it to its craft and import brand unit.

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The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the beverage giant announced the acquisition Wednesday. Wicked Weed, established in 2012, will join brands such as Stella Artois and Devils Backbone in The High End business unit, founded in 2015.

Wicked Weed co-founder and head blender Walt Dickinson says the Asheville brewery doesn't anticipate major changes or limitation to its creative freedom and will continue to retain significant autonomy upon finalization of the sale. Co-founder and sales head Ryan Guthy says the brand's distribution footprint will expand, but its imaging won't change.

The North Carolina brewery has created nearly 600 different beers since its founding and owns and operates four facilities in Asheville.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com