Elysian Co-Founder Dick Cantwell is Done with AB InBev

By Frazer Jones
Earlier this year, beer goliath Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired Seattle craft beer favorite Elysian Brewing Company. But the merger between the two entiti...

Earlier this year, beer goliath Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired Seattle craft beer favorite Elysian Brewing Company. But the merger between the two entities hasn’t turned out to be the smoothest transition—the Superbowl ad, anyone? (Especially when it turned out that Elysian has actually made a pumpkin peach ale?) Now one of Elysian Brewing Company’s heads of state is getting out entirely: this week co-founder Dick Cantwell announced his resignation from Elysian, and thereby AB InBev as well.

As Brewbound reports, Cantwell made a very polite statement for the press indicating that he doesn’t seem to be harboring any animosity or ill will toward the macrobrewery that took Elysian Brewing Company over:

“I am a craft brewer, however you cut it,” he wrote to Brewbound in an email. “A-B has been extremely courteous through all of this, presenting exciting opportunities to me and my brewing folks, but I can’t do it.”


Those pleasantries were reciprocated, as Anheuser-Busch CEO of Craft Andy Goeler also offered up a statement referring to Cantwell as “a true pioneer within the craft beer industry” and expressing hopes to work with him again in the future. But while Cantwell’s relationship with AB InBev remains civil, it doesn’t appear that the same can be said for his relationship with Elysian Brewing Company co-founders Joe Bisacca and David Buhler, who both seem to have been much more enthusiastic about the AB InBev acquisition than Cantwell was:

In the months since the deal was announced, the relationship between Cantwell and Elysian’s two other founding partners — Joe Bisacca and David Buhler — deteriorated to the point where there was little, if any, communication, Cantwell said. “Working with them into a future of any duration is an intolerable prospect for me,” he told Brewbound.


Reports also indicate that Cantwell is locked into a non-compete clause forbidding him from starting “a new brewing operation” anywhere in the Pacific Northwest for an undisclosed amount of time, and that he will spend at least part of that time working on a wood and barrel-aged beer reference book with New Belgium Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert. But it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect that Cantwell will be getting back into the brewing game as soon as that non-compete clause expires, if not beforehand in a new locale.


[SOURCE: Brewbound]


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