Karbach Brewing Co. bought by beer giant Anheuser-Busch

HOUSTON – A local brewing company is being bought out by a global brewing giant.

Karbach Brewing Co. announced Thursday that it will partner with Anheuser-Busch and join its “high end” division.


The company posted the announcement on its Facebook page:

“In the 5 years we’ve in business, we’ve been blown away by the outpouring of support for our beers and culture.
In fact, we’ve been overwhelmed with brewing and selling quality beer to drinkers across Texas. This partnership will allow us to continue to grow and focus more on brewing new and exciting beers for you to enjoy.”

The post said that Karbach will still be a “Texas brewery, with Texas employees, making great Texas beer on Karbach Street."

After that post, a line formed outside The Hay Merchant and Underbelly at Westheimer and Waugh in Montrose. 

"You know what?  I had it with these breweries like Karbach treating their locals like this.  I just think that it's utterly unacceptable to do this to local customers.  Sell out.  Make all of this money after we've been supporting them from Day One," customer Isaiah Warner said. 

The owner said his first thought was to pour out the Karbach beer. Instead, he decided to sell it cheap.

"It's really important to support local," said Kevin  Floyd, owner of the Hat Merchant and Underbelly restaurants. "It's really important to support independent brewers.  If you look at AB's ad campaign over the last year and a half, it's pretty clear that they don't want to support independent brewers.  They don't support craft. They don't want to support local.  They want to acquire.  They want to buy that."

Throughout the afternoon Thursday, the beer kept flowing.  Some customers came out of respect.  Others saw a really good deal. 

"It doesn't bother me.  You know?  We love beer.  And they're in it for the money," customer Davey Ferry said. 

After the announcement, Floyd said he is pulling Karbach beer from both of his restaurants.

Floyd wrote on The Hay Merchant Facebook page, "It's a sad day. I wish I could say I was surprised....but I'm not. On the upside, I am pulling all Karbach out of Hay Merchant and Underbelly. My first impulse was to dump it all, but, realizing that everything I have in stock was brewed while they were a true independently-owned Texas craft brewer, I decided to celebrate who Karbach was by selling everything we have for as cheap as possible. All drafts are $1. All cans are $1.50, and all 22oz are $3. Feel free to take it home. 1/2 growlers are $3, and growlers are $6. We are working hard to pull all the kegs out of the cellar, and as soon as we have a full draft list, we'll post it here."

Anheuser-Busch said it plans to expand Barbach's brewing capacity to 150,000 barrels annually by 2019.

The flash sale tap list: - Available 3pm - Weisse Versa Hopadillo RND Honey Jasmine Saison 5th Anniversary 22oz bottles (limited) Rodeo Clown Cans - Available 4pm - 2015 Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter w/Chocolate Cask 2015 Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter w/ Vanilla Cask - Available 6pm (from the cellar) - FUN Series 2012 5th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter 2015 Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter with Vanilla Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter 2014 FUN Series 2014 3 Legged Lab Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter with Chocolate

Posted by The Hay Merchant on Thursday, November 3, 2016

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