Just two days after Cigar City Brewing held this year’s Hunahpu’s Day, the brewery has agreed to be purchased.
Fireman Capital Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, has agreed to purchase a controlling interest in Cigar City Brewing. The Tampa, Fla.-based brewery will join Oskar Blues, Perrin Brewing and the Utah Brewers Cooperative in Fireman’s portfolio. The companies will be held by a Fireman subsidiary, United Craft Brews LLC, which will be made up of all of the firm’s craft brewery acquisitions.
The news was first reported by Brew Bound.
“Cigar City is facing next-level challenges and we needed to develop next-level skills and resources to meet them,” said says Joey Redner, founder of Cigar City Brewing, in a press release. “But, we got into beer out of passion and an unwavering desire to travel our own path. We didn’t want to just shove our round peg into some f*cking square hole and hope for the best. Florida craft beer drinkers want something they can proudly stand behind. These guys get that. They wrote the book on keeping it real.”
While a sale of Cigar City might not be unexpected, the buyer might come as a bit of surprise. For the last year, Cigar City has been the subject of a rumored acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Much of this speculation was caused by Redner himself, who went on record saying that the company had met with AB InBev.
A press release indicated Cigar City produced 60,000 barrels of beer in 2015.
Based on 2015 figures, the five breweries under United Craft Brews combined to produce a total of 320,000 barrels of beer in 2015, likely making it one of the top 10 craft beer producers in the country. In comparison, the recently announced Artisanal Brewing Ventures, which includes both Victory Brewing Co. and Southern Tier Brewing Co., is expected to produce approximately 250,000 barrels of beer annually.
Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, Redner will remain as ceo of Cigar City and the transaction is expected to close within the next 90 days.
An email sent to Cigar City for additional information was not immediately returned.