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Home | News | Breweries | AB details capex spend plans

AB details capex spend plans

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In St Louis: beechwood aging tanks updated

$2 billion to be invested in the US network through 2020

Anheuser-Busch is adding muscle to its already considerable might, unveiling a capex figure of US $2 billion to be invested from now through 2020.

The spend will be spread across all of its 12 industrial scale breweries along with its nine craft breweries – subsequent to this announcement 10, with the acquisition of Wicked Weed Brewing of Asheville, North Carolina earlier this month.

And while the headline figure is impressive in isolation, given the extent of its network, by the end of 2020 AB will have lavished an average of US $450 million a year on its breweries. It's not really an indication of increased spend but rather substantial capex acivity as usual.

AB’s vice-president for supply, Dave Taylor, said, “We are focusing on investments which empower our employees to do what they do best – brewing the best beer.”

For 2017 Anheuser-Busch has earmarked close to US $500 million to projects. The highlights include:

* New state-of-the-art distribution facilities in Los Angeles (Van Nuys) and Columbus, OH ($82m).

* Expanded production of aluminium bottle filling and dry hop capabilities at Fort Collins CO ($28m).

* Unspecified new technology and equipment to ensure product quality plus new labelling machines at Williamsburg, VA ($18m).

* At Cartersville, GA, a new multi-packer to diversify packaging options plus new programming and meters to increase energy efficiency ($12m).

* In St Louis, updates to the beechwood-aging tanks plus initiatives to be able to brew new brands ($13m).

* As with Fort Collins, at Jacksonville, FL an expansion of aluminium bottling capabilities plus upgrades to improve energy efficiency ($11m).

* Returning to Los Angeles, continued investments to improve water efficiency and treatment facilities ($10m).

* At Baldwinsville, NY there’s a multipacker on order plus a reconfiguration to be able to produce non-alcoholic beverages, namely Teavana ($10m).

* In Houston there’ll be changes made to be able to start brewing Michelob Ultra Lime cactus plus an expansion of aluminium bottle production ($8m).

* And in Columbus there’s $7m earmarked for improvements to improve resource conservation and to develop and integrate new products.

While there’s copious detail on what’s being invested in the industrial scale brewery, not so much has been offered regarding AB’s investment plans for its recently acquired craft brewers.

That said, there are mentions of investments that will tie the two parts of the network together.

* Fairfield, CA is to begin “innovative cross brewing capabilities” with Elysian Brewing, suggesting that the Seattle-based craft brewer will start having its brands brewed in northern California.

* And in Merrimack, NH, $11m is also being invested in the same “innovative cross-brewing capabilities” alongside unspecified AB-owned craft brewers.

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