USA: Craft Brew Alliance acquires three partner brands

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), one of the major craft brewing groups in the United States in which AB InBev holds a 31.4 percent stake, announced today to fully acquire three breweries. The company had formed separate strategic partnerships with Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB)  in Boone Creek, North Carolina in 2014, Cisco Brewers, in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 2015 and Wynwood Brewing Company in Miami, Florida in 2016. So far CBA held only a minority share in those companies if at all.(, 17.12.2016)

With three separate purchase agreements CBA has now taken full control of those breweries, adding them to the portfolio which already consists of Kona Brewing Company, a dynamic, growing national craft beer brand, and strong regional breweries like Omission Brewing Co.Redhook BrewerySquare Mile Cider Co. and Widmer Brothers Brewing.

“We are thrilled to welcome AMB, Cisco, and Wynwood fully into the CBA family,” said CBA CEO Andy Thomas whose company is headquartered in Portland and sells its beer in all 50 U.S. states and 30 countries around the world. “From the beginning we knew that our shared values and complementary interests gave us a platform to grow together. Over the past few years, as we’ve gotten to know each of these exceptional breweries and their passionate teams, it became increasingly clear that the future would be brighter for all of us working together as one. In addition to Kona and the rest of the CBA portfolio, Cisco, AMB, and Wynwood will all play an important role as CBA focuses on sustainable topline growth for the future.”

Under the unique agreement between CBA and Cisco Brewers, which closed today, the two companies will continue to work closely and collaboratively together in the future and going forward CBA will pay $23 million for the brand and beer business of the brewer based on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. The Cisco founders Randy and Wendy Hudson will continue to own and operate the Cisco Brewers brewpub properties and retail merchandising, including the original brewery and grounds in Nantucket.

Financial terms for the other two transactions were not disclosed, however, the combined cost of all three breweries will be less than $45 million.

Under the purchase agreement with Appalachian Mountain Brewery, CBA will acquire the AMB brand, brewery, and pub and will continue to invest in the local community through ongoing support of We Can So You Can Foundation and other nonprofits. AMB Brewmaster Nathan Kelischek will continue to manage the brewery. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Under CBA’s agreement with Wynwood Brewing Co., which also closed today, CBA purchased the remaining 75.5 percent interest in the Miami-based brewery, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CBA. Co-founders Luis and his father “Pops” Brignoni will continue to lead Wynwood’s operations autonomously.

About Cisco Brewers

Located near Cisco Beach on the island of Nantucket, Cisco Brewers is Nantucket’s first craft brewery. Founded by hard-working, entrepreneurial islanders who started selling beer from their outdoor brewery in 1995, Cisco has carved out its own special place where they tough out winters to celebrate summers. Over the years, Cisco has attracted a cult following among visitors and opens its doors to anyone making the trek. Named a top travel destination by Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, Travel & Leisure, and Men’s Journal, which called the brewery “the happiest place on earth,” Cisco’s Nantucket brewery is a common ground where people from all walks of life connect over classic and approachable craft beers like Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, Grey Lady, Indie IPA, Shark Tracker, and Sankaty Light Lager. In addition to its Nantucket location, the brewery operates a brewpub in Portsmouth, NH and a pop-up pub in Boston, MA.

Jay Harman, CEO of Cisco Brewers, commented on the deal:  “By having CBA invest in our beer brands we’ll be able to serve our customers better than ever on Nantucket and take the island experience on the road to more fun-loving people and dogs. This past summer, we helped transition CBA’s pub in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to a Cisco pub and opened a pop-up in Boston’s Seaport district, and the positive reception has been really encouraging. Our founders will remain personally involved with CBA’s team on the wholesale business while operating the retail side independently, and we’re all psyched because everyone sees this as a win-win.”

About Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Nestled in the High Country of North Carolina, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Inc., a Florida Public Company and Boone, NC’s Beer Pioneer. The brewery is dedicated to making seriously delicious craft beer while focusing its business model on community, sustainability, and philanthropy. They support the We Can So You Can Foundation, started by AMB CEO Sean Spiegelman, and also help local nonprofits via their Pints for Non-Profits program within the taproom. These are integral parts of AMB’s commitment to empowering local organizations working to enrich the land, water, air, and people of the High Country. Appalachian Mountain Brewery has earned numerous awards for its innovative craft beers and ciders, including Not an IPA, which won a gold medal at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, and Boone Creek Blonde Ale, which earned gold medals at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival Competition and 2015 U.S. Open Beer Championships. The brewery’s core portfolio also includes Long Leaf IPA, Spoaty Oaty Pale Ale, and Porter, a gold medal winner at the Great International Beer and Cider Competition.

“From the beginning, AMB’s mission has been to brew quality beer while focusing on our core tenets of sustainability, community, and philanthropy here in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s about sharing our passion and fulfilling our potential while inspiring others to do the same. In every way, this partnership with CBA has embodied that mission,” said AMB Brewmaster Nathan Kelischek. “We’re so excited to be taking this next step and continue working more closely with Andy, Scott, and the entire team at CBA to keep fulfilling our vision.”

About Wynwood Brewing Company

Wynwood Brewing Company is Miami’s first craft production brewery, based in the heart of the Wynwood Art District. Family owned and operated since 2011, they are best known for flagship La Rubia Blonde Ale and GABF gold medalist Pops Porter, as well as their creative small-batch and limited release beers that reflect the rich culture and heritage of their founders. Wynwood operates a 15-barrel brewhouse and pub in South Miami and distributes its beers throughout South Florida.

“Today is a great day for Pops, myself, and our entire Wynwood Family,” said Luis Brignoni, co-founder of Wynwood Brewing Co. “Since day one we’ve worked hard to instill a family culture, and we’re excited to now be part of a larger family. Since the beginning of our relationship with CBA we’ve felt at home, and we look forward to continuing to work together in growing our family and brands.”

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