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Wicked Weed Brewing Brings Flavor and Funk to The High End

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Keene, May 3, 2017.

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  1. Keene

    Keene Editorial Director (871) Sep 11, 2009 Washington

    New York and Asheville, NC, May 3, 2017 – Wicked Weed Brewing, one of Asheville’s most creative and fastest-growing craft breweries will be joining The High End, Anheuser-Busch’s business unit focused on its craft and import brands.

    Wicked Weed, founded in Asheville in 2012 by Walt and Luke Dickinson and lifelong friends Ryan, Rick and Denise Guthy, has created over 500 different beers since it opened almost five years ago. Starting with clean West Coast IPAs and authentic Belgian ales, Wicked Weed has progressively moved into creating sours. Now, Wicked Weed is widely known for their west coast style IPA’s including GABF silver medal winners Pernicious IPA, Lunatic Belgian Blonde as well as a wide range of award winning barrel-aged sour and farmhouse ales.

    “This is an exciting time for the entire brewing team,” said co-founder Walt Dickinson. “Our ability to create a wide range of really well executed beers that are focused on creativity, quality and drinkability is what makes Wicked Weed great. We have chosen to partner with The High End to position ourselves to make Wicked Weed what we imagined it could be when we first sat at a craft beer bar and talked about opening a brewery. As a brewer, giving our team more resources to continue innovating our portfolio and the ability to reach more craft drinkers, allows us to keep putting the beer and the people first.”

    Wicked Weed Brewing owns and operates four facilities in Asheville: their original Downtown brewpub where they produce over 150 different beers a year, the “Funkatorium,” the first dedicated sour beer taproom and barrel house on the East Coast, a 50-barrel production brewery in West Asheville, and the “Funk House and company headquarters,” a custom-designed brewhouse and training facility.

    “Asheville has been our home for almost thirty years, and we believe this partnership will benefit our entire community, which has a deeply rooted passion for beer,” added co-founder Rick Guthy. “With our team’s heightened ability to innovate our hoppy and sour styles using the highest-quality ingredients around, we hope more and more beer drinkers will flock to Asheville to taste what we have to offer. Our pub and Funkatorium will stay focused on producing creative beers and will be part of Asheville’s beer tourism for years to come.”

    “We are excited to welcome Walt, Luke, Ryan, Rick, Denise, and the entire Wicked Weed team into our High End family, said Felipe Szpigel, president, The High End. “It’s clear to me Wicked Weed is redefining what sophistication in beer can mean, with their amazing offerings being relevant in a wide variety of occasions. Their ability to brew the highest quality beers, in a variety of styles, along with their exciting barrel program, leads me to be optimistic about what our futures hold together."

    Anheuser-Busch's partnership with Wicked Weed is subject to regulatory approval. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    About Wicked Weed Brewing
    Wicked Weed Brewing is based in Asheville, North Carolina. Founded in December 2012, the original brewpub consistently hosts 25+ beers on tap including hop-forward, West Coast-style ales, open fermented Belgians, and barrel-aged beers. With the opening of the second location, The Funkatorium, in October 2013, Wicked Weed is striving to become one of the leading producers of barrel-aged sour and wild beers in the Southeastern United States.

    Wicked Weed Brewing was awarded a gold medal for both 100% Brettanomyces Serenity in 2013, Mompara Honey Ale in 2014, a silver medal for Pernicious IPA in 2015, and a silver medal for Lunatic Belgian Blonde at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery also received a bronze medal for Tyrant Double Red IPA in 2014, a bronze medal for La Bonté Pear in 2016 and a bronze medal for Red Angel in 2016 at the World Beer Cup. Wicked Weed continued its expansion in summer 2015 with a 50-barrel production brewery allowing for a wider distribution footprint in select states, and added a sour and wild dedicated brewery and barrel-house in South Asheville in fall 2016. Learn more at www.wickedweedbrewing.com

    About Anheuser-Busch
    For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch and its world-class brewmasters have carried on a legacy of brewing America’s most-popular beers. Starting with the finest ingredients sourced from Anheuser-Busch’s family of growers, every batch is crafted using the same exacting standards and time-honored traditions passed down through generations of proud Anheuser-Busch brewmasters and employees. Anheuser-Busch owns and operates 19 breweries, 21 distributorships and 22 agricultural and packaging facilities, employing more than 16,000 people across the United States. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.

    About The High End
    The High End is a business unit of Anheuser-Busch, created to provide its unique craft and European import brands with autonomy and support for growth, while fostering a collaborative environment for the brightest brewers in the beer community. The High End brings dedicated resources to support the growth of its brands, create successful partnerships and deliver more variety to consumers. Established in 2015, The High End includes brands such as Stella Artois and Shock Top, along with craft partners Goose Island, Blue Point, 10 Barrel, Elysian, Golden Road, Virtue Cider, Four Peaks, Breckenridge Brewery, Devils Backbone, SpikedSeltzer and Karbach Brewing Co.

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  2. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (463) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    So is this technically a "buyout"? Not sure I completely understand what this is...

    Could someone explain?
  3. FrankenMiller

    FrankenMiller Initiate (164) Mar 5, 2014 Florida

  4. HeyLady

    HeyLady Aspirant (291) Sep 17, 2015 New York

    Good for them. Work hard, build an awesome brand and cash out.
  5. OldManMetal

    OldManMetal Devotee (477) Jun 5, 2015 North Carolina

  6. newbrews

    newbrews Aspirant (216) Jul 24, 2010 Florida

  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,412) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    So, Wicked Weed is "partnering / joining" Anheuser-Busch's High End "family". :rolling_eyes:

    Are the being adopted, becoming foster kids or maybe marrying into the family?

    No, just bought out:
    Anheuser-Busch to Purchase Wicked Weed Brewing
    66jzmstr, 5thOhio, FFFjunkie and 31 others like this.
  8. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (140) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    Thank you Rick Guthy for cashing out. F-You.
    FFFjunkie, nvbrew, BStrummin and 10 others like this.
  9. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,272) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Wow. Didn't really see that coming.
    FFFjunkie, Brolo75, swolepeer and 6 others like this.
  10. JdoubleA

    JdoubleA Aspirant (252) Apr 27, 2011 North Carolina


    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, locally.
  11. NGennaroL777

    NGennaroL777 Initiate (94) Aug 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    What I assume is that they'll continue brewing their beer, but with big brother A-B behind them financially. That also must come w/ the ability to say no to any idea WW's brewers have for beer. Not completely sure.

    What's this inherent need to flood the market with your beer? Why sell out? In WW's case you have four flourishing locations, you're essentially printing money.. why alienate the small community of your most loyal supporters by selling out? I'll never understand it. Unless WW has lost the passion to brew, I just don't get it..
    5thOhio, nvbrew, DWheeler379 and 16 others like this.
  12. MarshallBirdhouse

    MarshallBirdhouse Devotee (428) Feb 19, 2013 South Carolina

    Wow what the fuck
    bet1212, FFFjunkie, strohme2 and 3 others like this.
  13. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Aspirant (237) Jan 18, 2016 Florida

    Damn that's crazy
    bet1212 and Geuzedad like this.
  14. JerryIsAlive

    JerryIsAlive Initiate (151) May 30, 2012 Florida

    Here's to distro in Florida coming sooner than later and quality isn't affected. *wishful thinking*
  15. Brent272smith

    Brent272smith Initiate (26) Nov 4, 2015 Georgia

    Fuck em. Better beer being made in and around AVL anyways
  16. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Meyvn (1,366) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina

    I mean I would be more worried about freshness than quality. Ive never seen old WW here in NC, like not even close.

    Now I cant for the life of me find a fresh bottle of Elysian here to save my life.
  17. zp6167a

    zp6167a Aspirant (248) Apr 19, 2011 District of Columbia

    At least now Wicked Weed beer will be "funked" the hard way.
    FFFjunkie, uncleheck, rather and 21 others like this.
  18. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (5,966) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado

    Hope the brew does not change. Prices. Not really liking this idea, but it's done with.

    Geuzedad and Dragginballs76 like this.
  19. HeyLady

    HeyLady Aspirant (291) Sep 17, 2015 New York

    Money, financial security for multiple generation. There are no guarantees in life, no guarantee craft beer will continue to be what it is and no guarantee Wicked Weed will continue to grow. Why not take the millions and secure your family's future.
    DVMin98, Tdizzle, jbakajust1 and 17 others like this.
  20. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Meyvn (1,314) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina

    I thought Wicked Weed brewed the kind of beer AB criticized in the Super Bowl commercials
  21. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (5,684) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio

    Does ABInbev have another sour focused brewery under its belt?
  22. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (213) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    I didn't understand their move last year to begin distribution in NY and CO. Those markets are full of popular local and regional breweries, why be another face in the crowd? The southeast has 3 major craft breweries (Sweetwater, Terrapin, and Abita) and I think southern craft beer fans would buy WW beers 10:1 compared to those brands. They are growing at a frenzied pace as it is, why involve AB-InBev? I guess I just don't understand some people's ambition.
  23. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (5,684) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio

    Worried about freshness, with WW? I mean sure they do a few beers that are better fresh, but not many. It's kind of their thing to sell you old ass beer.
    lateralusbeer and dogleg_left like this.
  24. ndepriest

    ndepriest Aspirant (207) Feb 21, 2012 Georgia

    Given how anti-corporate much of Asheville, I imagine there's going to be a fair amount of blowback from this, especially locally.
  25. NoleBeerNoleFun

    NoleBeerNoleFun Aspirant (286) Aug 17, 2015 Florida
    Society Trader

    That sucks..plenty of other local options in Asheville to go to though
    5thOhio, Mantooth, swolepeer and 5 others like this.
  26. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (324) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    Judging from history and the price increases of BCBS, there every day canned beer and IPA prices might remain steady or decrease, but the sours and barrel aged beers will go up. I already had a tough time paying WW prices and if the prices go up, my purchases will go down.
    Geuzedad and Wasatch like this.
  27. NGennaroL777

    NGennaroL777 Initiate (94) Aug 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    Sure. Financial motivation is the only reason I see. They act as if the motivation to sell was to get beer in the hands of as many people as possible; you could've built that yourself, you didn't need AB to do it. Good for them, get your money, but they lost a huge segment of their fan base.
    strohme2, HeyLady and Wasatch like this.
  28. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,012) May 13, 2011 North Carolina

    I did, just not so soon. I've lived in Asheville for 3 years and have seen a decline in respect for Wicked Weed amongst the locals simply because of the company's financial origins and its rapid growth that, while bringing tons of tourist dollars to the town, doesn't seem to garner any long-term community. While breweries like Burial and Hi-Wire are taking it slow and steady and creating more events and projects designed to generate sustainable growth within the community, it seems like WW has only really been concerned with the bottom line since just about day one.
    #28 Immortale25, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  29. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (5,684) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio

    Do tell...
  30. Franziskaner

    Franziskaner Poo-Bah (3,643) May 27, 2005 Missouri

    Still haven't tried anything by them, but I think I'm picking some up in San Diego this week (yup not in Missouri but I can get it in CA?!). I suspect the selfish side of me wins out. This means I will likely buy it in MO so I'm happy. I do know which beers I drink in general are independently owned (and I support plenty of them), but I know the average consumer doesn't.
  31. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (213) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    I wonder what getting bought out by AB really entails? It seems to get you into more markets but not in the best way. Elysian slunk into AL recently without a peep. Just went to the store one day and there were a 3 month old 6 packs of Space Dust on the shelf.
    uncleheck, Badfish, Mantooth and 3 others like this.
  32. NGennaroL777

    NGennaroL777 Initiate (94) Aug 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    And that's ultimately who they're trying to cater to; the average consumer. Which is fine if that's your goal but as another poster mentioned, the idea they've given is that they're about the bottom line and not the community. I'll never bash a company for wanting to grow quickly or selling out, do your thing. What I will do is bash a company for lying. You aren't concerned w/ expanding distro -- you're about that money.
  33. Bfairhurst74

    Bfairhurst74 Initiate (149) Nov 16, 2014 North Carolina

    As someone who lived in Asheville for 15 years and NC for almost 20 this is really saddening. I have worked with and known a lot of the people from WW over the years and really just can't believe this. I've heard them preach against this very thing but then they turn around and do it. Walt releases a statement about how great this is and blah blah. It's such BS!! We all know how much money was behind them and it's not like they needed the money. I guess they were really into it for all the wrong reasons.
  34. Slowdive

    Slowdive Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2015 North Carolina

    A few? They seem to have a good bit of beers in cans and bottled 4/6 packs these days.
    Badfish and IllaDub like this.
  35. andyctree

    andyctree Aspirant (223) Apr 20, 2010 North Carolina

    This is not going to go over well with locals.
    5thOhio, Mantooth, swolepeer and 7 others like this.
  36. ndepriest

    ndepriest Aspirant (207) Feb 21, 2012 Georgia

    On the plus side, I can't wait to try foeder-rested Lime-a-Rita™️!
  37. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Initiate (161) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina

    If this surprises you, you haven't been paying attention. This place was born to be flipped.
  38. JohnnyMc

    JohnnyMc Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2012 Ohio

    This is fucked up. Makes me so sad coming from Asheville originally to see this happen.
  39. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,390) Jul 13, 2010 Florida

    It'll be interesting to see how it plays out in general. WW is the first of ABInbev's acquisitions that really has national cred as a destination brewery that caters to beer geeks in particular.
  40. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (5,684) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio

    When I was last there in March, at the main brewery, it was Pernicious, Freak of Nature, and Lt. Dank. The rest were sours, small and big, saisons, or barrel aged stouts...
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