Virtue Cider was founded by a former Goose Island brewmaster

Virtue Cider was founded by a former Goose Island brewmaster

Anheuser-Busch InBev has taken majority control of Michigan cider maker Virtue Cider.

The acquisition is the first in the cider category for A-B InBev's expanding high-end division, which is led by craft brewer Goose Island. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but Goose Island, which is also based in Michigan, is named as the majority shareholder.

Virtue Cider founders Gregory Hall - a former brewmaster at Goose Island - and Stephen Schmakel will continue to be the “creative and operational team” behind the business, A-B InBev said.

“We're excited to welcome Greg Hall back into the Goose Island family,” said Goose Island's GM, Ken Stout. “Virtue Cider produces amazing barrel-aged ciders and with our combined resources we look forward to innovating and growing the business together.”

Virtue Cider will continue production in Fennville, Michigan but will use facilities at Goose Island's Fulton Street brewery for packaging needs, including bottling and kegging, and as a hub for increased distribution, A-B InBev said.

A-B InBev's craft division also includes 10 Barrel Brewing, Blue Point Brewing and Elysian Brewing, all of which were bought in the past two years. Goose Island was acquired in 2011.

A-B InBev already owns a cider through its Stella Artois Cidre brand, which gained full US distribution at the start of last year.