The Lakeland brewery — the first of five contract facilities Brew Hub plans to open throughout the country — is slated to be fully operational by sometime this August.
The partnership will “immediately expand” Green Man’s distribution footprint throughout Florida, according to a statement issued by Brew Hub, with more southeastern states to follow.
Tim Schoen, founder and CEO of Brew Hub, said Green Man — the company’s fourth brewing client — “fits the bill” as a brand he thinks Brew Hub can help grow as a regional player.
“They’re from Asheville, North Carolina, a hot-bed area, their brands are starting to do well, they’ve won a couple statewide awards. They’re basically in a really interesting position to grow,” Schoen told Brewbound. “Putting all those things together, we felt they were the right next step, next partner.”
Beyond that, Schoen said, Green Man appealed as a company outside of Fla. that was looking to break into the market.
Jon Spath, Green Man’s operations manager, called the partnership a “major milestone” for his company.
“Brew Hub has built a state-of-the-art craft brewery and has a brewing staff led by Dr. Paul Farnsworth that’s second to none in the craft beer industry,” he said in the statement. “Later this year, craft beer drinkers in Florida will begin enjoying our beers for the first time, and we believe this is only the beginning of this partnership.”
Brew Hub will also be expanding capacity at its Lakeland brewery to 75,000 barrels, 10,000 of which will be allocated toward Green Man’s annual production.
In December, Brew Hub announced its first three partnerships with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, Orlando’s Orange Blossom Pilsner, and BJ’s Restaurants. Schoen said that, ideally, the company would partner with between five and eight breweries for each facility, with some overlap when it comes to brands with national potential.
Schoen added that the company does have some potential partners in the pipeline as well, but would not disclose any specific companies. He did say, however, that the company is looking at brands both small and large.
How many exactly? “More than you can imagine,” Schoen said.
“I would say — are we looking at some more regional players? Yes. But I’d also quickly tell you there’s a ton of other folks in more geographically dispersed areas, hot beds of craft very far from the southeast [that we’re looking at],” he said. “I’ll throw it out there. There are some global craft guys that really want to get in the states and they’re very, very interested.”
Schoen added, the company is “real close” to announcing a “couple more” partnerships.
In addition to creating these new partnerships, Brew Hub is also working to secure a location for its second facility, a deal for which is expected to come within 30-60 days, though Schoen would not disclose where the company is looking. That said, Brewbound has reported previously that, on top of its Lakeland facility, Brew Hub has its sights set on the mid-Atlantic or Northeast, the Midwest, Texas and the West Coast or Pacific Northwest.
The goal of it all, said Schoen, is to help brewers grow their businesses in a world with finite capacity for production as craft continues to gobble share of the overall beer market.
“Hopefully one, two, three, four, five years from now, if we can say we grew your business, and made it more economical, and produced quality beer with your supervision, all of these key points, then it’s a win for everybody,” said Schoen.