Jason Oliver on the Devils Backbone Sale

by Charlottesville29


Yesterday, Anheuser-Busch announced it is acquiring Virginia’s largest brewery, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, which will become part of Anheuser-Busch’s High End business unit. The High End, Anheuser-Busch says, was created “to provide its unique craft and European import brands with autonomy and support for growth, while fostering a collaborative environment for the brightest brewers in the beer community.”

We caught up with Jason Oliver, longtime Brewmaster of Devils Backbone, for his perspective on the sale and to confirm he plans to remain with the brewery.  “I am staying on and have no interest in going anywhere,” says Oliver.  “We were courted by several groups and I advocated for ABI (Anheuser-Busch) since the beginning.  I knew we would lose street cred but what we would gain outweighed that.”  One gain, Oliver says, is even better beer. “The beer will continue to improve and be better for this deal. It may seem weird to say that the beer will improve but that should be the goal of every brewery.  To think your beer is perfect is to assert it isn’t, in my opinion.”  How can the beer improve?  “The shelf life can always increase, the consistency can always be improved,” says Oliver.  As for other advantages: “We will have access to a network of both craft & macro breweries which have so much technical expertise,” Oliver says.  “And, we will get improved access to raw ingredients.”

In sum, says Oliver: “I’m looking forward to this chapter because I love to travel, learn, and share, and I will continue to have that opportunity.”