Appalachian Mountain Brewery’s original crew is back in control.

Founders Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber have purchased the North Carolina brand back from Anheuser-Busch, according to a press release. Anheuser-Busch acquired the growing craft brewery in 2020, partnering with the founding pair to launch national partnerships and expand distribution.

Financial details of the recent deal were not disclosed.

The craft brewer partnered with the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) in 2014 to “increase production and expand distribution across the Carolinas.” CBA acquired the brand in 2018, and AMB became part of Anhesuer-Busch’s portfolio when CBA expanded its AB partnership in 2021.

“We’re grateful to have spent the last two years as active founders within A-B’s craft portfolio and want to thank the people at A-B, including our fellow craft brewery founders, for the support, collaboration, and friendship that we’ve enjoyed during our time together,” Kelischeck and Zieber said in the release.

The AMB founders are shifting their strategy to focus on the brand’s new taproom in North Carolina, as well as growing its local brewery team. The brand remains headquartered at its original brewery in Boone, N.C., and distribution will continue throughout North and South Carolina.

VP Pro Take

It’s surprising to see a small brewery purchase its brand back from a beer giant — especially in today’s craft beer market. Acquisitions of craft brands have slowed in the past five years, as large corps find less success in sales. Kelischeck and Zieber didn’t divulge their reasoning for purchasing the brand back from A-B, but it’s a strategy that stands out among a sea of corporation-held craft beer portfolios.

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