AB InBev spin-off partners with Miami craft brewery

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), which claims to be the fifth largest craft brewing company in the U.S. but is in fact controlled by the world’s largest brewing company AB InBev, adds another piece to its U.S. wide net of craft breweries.

On Thursday Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA signed a letter of intent to purchase a 24.5 percent stake in Miami’s three years old Wynwood Brewing Company. According to sources, the “strategic partnership” is valued “less than $30 million” and the deal will be closed in the first quarter of 2017.

Wynwood Brewing was founded by Luis Brignoni (31) and his father Luis Brignoni Sr. (64, “Pops”) in 2011 but started production not earlier than October 2013. This makes it Miami’s first craft brewery. The brewery is deeply rooted in Miami’s Puerto Rican community. This might be also part of the enormous success, which helped the brewery to outgrow its current 15-barrel brewhouse and taproom within three years.

The partnership with CBA will allow Wynwood to tap into the company’s nationwide network of Anheuser-Busch wholesalers and to utilze Redhook Ales’ brewing capacity in Portsmouth / New Hampshire. Production of two of Wynwood’s most successful brands, La Rubia and Pops Porter, is scheduled to start in April 2017. Pops Porter earned a gold medal and attracted a lot of attention at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.

CBA already owns Redhook Ale Brewery in Seattle / Washington (2008), Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland / Oregon (2008); Kona Brewing Company in Kona /Hawaii (2010) and has formed strategic partnerships with Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone Creek / North Carolina (2014), Cisco Brewers, Nantucket / Massachusetts (2015) and an agreement with Resignation Brewery in Austin / Texas (2013) to brew and market their very successful KCCO brand.

Wynwood Brewing is now the third partner with a strategic partnership to CBA. Andy Thomas explains the reasons: “With Wynwood, we’re able to round out our portfolio of exceptional craft brands in the east, which includes our partners Appalachian Mountain Brewery in North Carolina and Nantucket Island-based Cisco Brewers in New England. We’re looking forward to helping the great team at Wynwood bring more of their special brand, steeped in Puerto Rican culture and a love of great beer, to more beer lovers throughout Florida.”

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