Just marking its 20 years in the craft beer business, Victory Brewing Company announces that’ll join fellow East Coast brewery, Southern Tier Brewing Company, under the newly formed parent company Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV), headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. ABV’s CEO, John Coleman, relays that this new union is “the ultimate craft beer collaboration,” identifying Victory and Southern Tier as two of nation’s “pioneering entrepreneurs” who have significantly contributed to the industry since the beginning stages of craft.
ABV, formed to unify independent craft brewers, embraces the collaborative craft spirit while administering crucial growth resources. As a key partner in this formation, Arlington Capital Advisors, of a private equity firm in Manhattan, acted as exclusive financial consultant to Victory.
“I believe this is a watershed transaction for the craft brewing world,” elaborated Vann Russell, Managing Director and Founder of Arlington Capital. “This union of two great regional players preserves their independence and distinct cultures while sharing administrative and management functions to support deeper investment in sales, marketing and innovation.”
This newfound alliance, first announced to Victory staff today, Feb. 16, marks the first major transaction of 2016 in the national beer industry. The new strategic union presents a fresh model for brewing company partnerships, in hopes to preserve brewery independence while pooling collective resources, including capital, security and future visions.
“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. “Allied we can continue to innovate and best serve the audience who fueled our growth through their loyal thirst.”
Under the new umbrella of ABV, Victory and Southern Tier will independently operate their breweries, commanding a joint capacity of over 800,000 barrels of potential annual production. This alliance will create one of largest brewers in the Northeast and will collectively rank them within the top 15 craft brewing companies in the United States. ABV will also shepherd Victory and Southern Tier in collaborative sales and marketing efforts to strengthen, support and expand its distributor and retail partnerships. Expect both brands to become increasingly more available to existing and new consumers across their combined markets.
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. John Coleman, CEO and Bill Wild, CFO will lead ABV’s management team.
“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 also a 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. I’m proud to see this model validated and am grateful that my friends Ron and Bill have become our partners.”
Stay tuned to Philly Beer Scene for developments on 2016’s newest partnership.