Victory Brewing Co. and Southern Tier Brewing Co. have announced that they will be joining Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV), a new venture associated with New York-based hedge fund Ulysses Management LLC.
Under the new company, both Southern Tier and Victory will continue to operate their breweries independently, but they will collaborate on both “sales and marketing efforts to strengthen, support and expand its distributor and retail partnerships.” In addition, both brands will be able to take advantage of each other’s distribution networks, allowing each brewery to expand into new markets.
Combined, the breweries are expected to produce more than 250,000 barrels of beer annually. That combined figure would make them one of the 15 largest craft beer companies in terms of production based on the annual list published by the Brewers’ Association.
In 2014 Victory produced 125,711 barrels, while Southern Tier claimed 98,617.
“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,” said Bill Covaleski, founder and brewmaster at Victory, in a press release. “Like-minded brewers such as Victory and Southern Tier can preserve our character, culture and products by banding together.”
According to a press release, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet of Victory as well as Phin DeMink, founder of Southern Tier, will all become “major shareholders” in the new alliance.
“This is exactly the kind of alliance we imagined when we created Artisanal Brewing Ventures in 2014,” said Phin DeMink, founder of Southern Tier, in a press release. “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. I’m proud to see this model validated and am grateful that my friends Ron and Bill have become our partners.”
The transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days. Ownership breakdowns have not been announced.
Southern Tier sold a minority steak to Ulysses back in 2014. That transaction created ABV.