Mergers and acquisitions have become dirty words in the world of craft beer, but unique alliances like the one Victory Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing Company just inked are likely the new norm in this growing industry.
The two respected craft beer companies will merge under a new holding company by the name of Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV), according to a press release today. The group is presenting the alliance as “a new model for craft beer partnerships [that preserves] brewery independence while pooling deep collective resources.”
Though sharing resources under the umbrella of ABV, Victory and Southern Tier will continue to operate their breweries independently, but the familiar Victory and Southern Tier brands will immediately become increasingly available to consumers across their current combined markets.
“This is exactly the kind of alliance we imagined when we created Artisanal Brewing Ventures in 2014,” said Phin DeMink, founder of Southern Tier Brewing Company and major shareholder in ABV. “This is a concept that was specifically designed by and for craft brewers, so we can focus on the things we’re best at while creating meaningful scale advantages.
The Victory and Southern Tier leadership teams and employees will remain intact. Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet of Victory, who will become significant shareholders in ABV, will join the Artisanal Brewing Ventures’ Board of Directors. CEO John Coleman and CFO Bill Wild will lead ABV’s management team.
“The craft beer community is at its most critical moment since its inception as larger brewing corporations have bought into our grassroots movement, irrevocably changing the marketplace. Like-minded brewers such as Victory and Southern Tier can preserve our character, culture and products by banding together,” said Bill Covaleski, Founder and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company.
The new joint venture will mean the new group now shares a combined brewing capacity of over 800,000 barrels of potential annual production, effectively creating one of the larger craft brewing companies in the United States.