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Cantwell Resigns from Anheuser-Busch

Dick Cantwell Elysian Brewing


Dick Cantwell has resigned from his position with Anheuser-Busch three months after the brewery he co-founded, Elysian Brewing Company, was acquired by AB InBev. One of three partners at the Seattle brewery, Cantwell was against the sale but was outvoted by his two partners. He signed a contract to work for Anheuser-Busch, but has elected to move on. It remains unclear how that will affect an agreement not to launch a competing brewery or the duration of that agreeement.

Cantwell announced his decision via e-mail on Monday at the Washington Beer Blog.

“Just wanted to let you know that about half an hour ago I resigned from Anheuser Busch,” he wrote. “The tenor of the deal, mainly from the point of view of my former partners and me, was such that I can’t possibly work with them into a future of any duration. My concerns were never even considered as a factor of whether we should or shouldn’t. From the start it was me against everyone else, with no regrets expressed. Enough about that.”

“In the past few months AB has treated me with consideration and seriousness, and they’ve presented me some pretty exciting future possibilities, should I be able to see my way clear to working for them. But I can’t. I am a craft brewer, past, present and future, no matter what I end up doing. Naturally I’m not one to whine about the Definition, about being on the wrong side of it, etc. I helped craft the thing while I was on the BA Board, and while I have my own personal reservations about some aspects, I think it’s important to recognize some differences in realms of the market.”