Victory Brewing (Downingtown, PA) and Southern Tier Brewing (Lakewood, NY) have united under a new holding company – Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV). This new partnership marks the first major brewery financial transaction of 2016.
As Artisanal Brewing Ventures, both Victory Brewing and Southern Tier will independently operate their breweries, which in whole, constitutes 800,000 barrels in potential annual production. The alliance would rank in the top 15 craft brewing companies in the United States (in production volume).
The leadership teams, and employees will remain in tact across both companies.
“Having gotten to know Phin, John and the whole management team, I am more excited than ever about the innovations that lie in our collective futures. One walk through their brewery and I knew that Southern Tier had the same belief in quality and excellence that has driven our culture for 20 years,” explains Ron Barchet, COO of Victory Brewing Company”
Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet of Victory will be significant shareholders in ABV, and join the Board of Directors. CEO John Coleman and CFO Bill Wild will lead ABV’s management team. The transaction is expected to close in the next 60 days; the final amount of it was not disclosed.
Beer Street Journal spoke with both Victory co-founder Bill Covaleski, and Southern Tier’s Phin DeMink this afternoon. By now, the readers of this site have seen many brewery purchases over the past few years. The influx of money into the small brewery system has changed the competitive climate in Covaleski’s eyes. As the industry evolves, his greatest fear is that some of the United State’s best small brewers may end up competitive enemies, rather than collaborative friends.
Forming a partnership with Southern Tier allows two small/craft breweries to share ideas, collaborate on common goals, and to stay competitive against the new entities with new money and a new edge.
Covaleski spoke very highly of his employees. His commitment to making Victory successful in the future for the staff and fans alike is a main concern. Southern Tier’s DeMink possesses that same commitment. As DeMink puts it, Victory and Southern Tier share the same backyard. This new venture secures the backyard a bit more. ABV and the board will be in charge of the 10,000 foot pieces of the business, including capital expansions, distributor relations, market growth.
Both breweries will operate independently day-to-day -all the way down to the paychecks,