"They ramped-up the spending to build future growth," Peterson said. "I think HOOK's management sees they have two fast-growing beers in Widmer Drifter and Kona Longboard Island Lager, plus many great seasonal beers, and decided to invest money today to build the brand for tomorrow."

Anheuser-Busch own 35.6% of Craft, according to an April 9 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer, founders of Widmer Brothers beer, own a combined 18% of Craft shares.

Craft announced earlier this month that Kona Brewing, a craft brewer based in Hawaii, would become its wholly-owned subsidiary for the purchase price of $13.9 million.

Shares of Craft fell 3.7% to $5.74 at midday, off earlier lows.

Do you think Budweiser is developing a taste for Craft Brewers? Take our poll below and see what readers of TheStreet think.

Is Anheuser-Busch Angling to Acquire Craft Brewers Alliance?

Yes -- Anheuser-Busch sees long-term potential in Craft's growing corner of the market.
No -- Anheuser-Busch wouldn't bother with such a small-time player.

-- Reported by Miriam Marcus Reimer from New York.

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