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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com
08 November, 2018

Brewing news USA, NY: Artisanal Brewing Ventures acquires New York-based Sixpoint Brewery

Artisanal Brewing Ventures, the family office-backed holding company formed in early 2016 via the merger of Victory Brewing and Southern Tier Brewing, announced on November 7 the acquisition of New York-based Sixpoint Brewery.

Specific financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In a press release, ABV, which is backed by Ulysses Management, said the addition of Sixpoint would give the rollup a “strong presence in the fast-growing New York City market.”

“Adding Sixpoint to the ABV family is consistent with our strategy of working with successful regional brands that have great local market penetration, passionate fans, and opportunity to grow,” John Coleman, the CEO of Artisanal Brewing Ventures, said via the release. “Our resources, expertise in craft beer and high operating standards can unlock Sixpoint’s growth potential, improve its productivity, and allow their team to focus on what makes Sixpoint special and successful: brewing great beer, creating strong local relevance and building an authentic brand.”

Sixpoint did not report its production figures to the Brewers Association last year, but in 2016 the company produced 74,500 barrels. In an interview with Brewbound last November, Sixpoint founder Shane Welch said the company was on pace to sell about 90,000 barrels of beer across its 18-state distribution footprint.

A majority of the company’s core offerings — Sweet Action Ale, Bengali IPA, The Crisp Pilz, and Resin double IPA — are produced via a contract brewing arrangement at City Brewing Company in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to ABV, Sixpoint will “gain access” to the Southern Tier and Victory Brewing facilities, but it is unclear if production will continue at City. The company’s contract with the Memphis brewery is currently “under review,” according to Coleman.

“With the buildout of the brewery in Brooklyn, it gives us a lot of options,” he told Brewbound.

In a press release, Eric Bachli, Sixpoint’s brewmaster, and chief product officer expressed his excitement for the deal.

“This is a world-class organization and they bring expertise in the business side of craft beer, so we can focus on our craft and on creating great-tasting, innovative beers,” he said.

Over the last year, Sixpoint has shifted some of its focus toward producing small-batches of New England-style IPAs, and other innovative offerings, that are sold directly to consumers via a mobile application that facilitates pickup at its small brewery in Brooklyn.

Last August, Sixpoint hired Bachli away from popular Massachusetts craft brewery, Trillium Brewing, to oversee that facility and lead its innovation efforts.

Meanwhile, Sixpoint founder Welch will depart to “focus exclusively on a host of other craft beer-related businesses, including an innovative app for direct to consumer engagement and e-commerce.”

Victory co-founder Bill Covaleski recently discussed ABV’s appetite for dealmaking during a forthcoming Brewbound Podcast interview, which will be released on Thursday. Covaleski said the brewery founders within ABV generate leads and help vet potential partners, but others in the organization take the lead. He added that there’s also “a lot of inbound interest.”

“We sort of see ourselves as a safe harbor for breweries that want to stay in the game but at the same time want to do so with a platform that gives them more stability,” Covaleski said. “So that part of it has been really, really exciting because we’re very happy being two but we know all kinds of folks that we could see fitting into this and working really well with us.”


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