SpikedSeltzer Is Anheuser-Busch’s Latest High End Acquisition

Connecticut-based Boathouse Beverage has sold its boozy brand of bubbles to the makers of Budweiser, but the cofounders plan to stay involved.


Edward Garrity for SpikedSeltzer

The logical next step following consumers’ growing thirst for seltzer water is to make it boozy, and Connecticut company Boathouse Beverage LLC was on the forefront with their SpikedSeltzer line. Today, the company announced it has sold to Anheuser-Busch’s craft division, called the High End.

“We were running this with our own resources and realized that if we wanted to grow and meet the demand, we were best served in finding a partner that would help us,” Boathouse cofounder Dave Holmes told Brewbound.

SpikedSeltzer, which launched in 2013 in cranberry, lime, grapefruit, and orange flavors, is on the market in 14 states. Its low-calorie, gluten-free cans were the first boozy seltzers on the market. This summer, Wachusett Brewing and Boston Beer Co. launched their own brands, plus other national market entries. Before striking the deal with Boathouse Beverages, Anheuser-Busch was developing its own alcoholic seltzer.

The companies have not disclosed to purchase price. Holmes and his partner, Nick Shields, will continue to be involved with SpikedSeltzer.

“We intend to stick around and lead this brand with the help of the High End into the future,” Shields told Brewbound.

SpikedSeltzer is currently on track to produce 40,000 barrels this year. The product is currently made t partner breweries in Rochester, N.Y., and Memphis, but with the acquisition, it will eventually move to Anheuser-Busch’s Baldwinsville, N.Y., facility.

A-B’s High End division is steadily growing, with eight U.S. craft brands in its portfolio so far: Goose Island, Blue Point Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Four Peaks Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, and Devils Backbone. It also includes Stella Artois and Shock Top, and it has a stake in Michigan’s Virtue Cider, Brewbound reports.