Unable to Come About, Fat Point Climbs Aboard Seaboard Craft Beer Holdings

Florida’s Fat Point Brewing has finalized its sale to Seaboard Craft Beer Holdings, the parent company of Tampa Bay’s Big Storm Brewing.

A purchase price was not disclosed, but Seaboard co-founder L.J. Govoni told Brewbound that the transaction included various brewery assets as well as the rights to the Fat Point brand.

A deal between the two-year-old Fat Point, based in Punta Gorda, Fla., and Seaboard — which also owns a minority stake in a third, undisclosed Florida brewery — began to take shape in February, when word spread that Fat Point would be closing its doors.

According to Fat Point founder Bill Frazer, who will remain with the brewery in business development and leadership roles, the company struggled to maintain profitability as the craft beer marketplace became more competitive.

“Between the marketing, sales, production and general operations – this is a difficult business,” he told Brewbound.

“A lot of the small or medium sized things would have been too much to fix,” he added, noting that the resources and funding needed to turn a struggling business around weren’t immediately available to Fat Point until Seaboard stepped up and expressed interest in acquiring the distressed brand.

“The concern really was – if Punta Gorda lost its craft brewery, what would happen to the rest of the market,” Govani explained. “We saw a business opportunity that reminded us of where Big Storm was around the time that founder Mike Bishop asked us to join the business with him.”

As part of the deal, Fat Point – which operates out of a 12,000 sq. ft. brewing facility and has a 1,500 sq. ft. taproom — will downsize its own brewery operations, replacing 30-barrel fermentation tanks with 15-barrel tanks in an effort to offer greater variety in smaller batches.

At the same time, however, the smaller Fat Point will get access to capacity at Big Storm Brewing’s production facility in Clearwater, Fla.

“Fat Point has instant scalability that it didn’t have before,” Govani said.

For Seaboard, the Fat Point purchase could be the first in a series of partnerships the holding company is looking to establish throughout Florida and the Gulf Coast.

“We are focusing on Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas,” Govani told Brewbound.

Announcements regarding additional craft brewery partnerships, as well as new Big Storm Brewing taproom outposts, are expected to be made the coming months, Govani said.

“We have a captive audience of capital that believes in everything we are doing,” he said. “But, like any business, you are going to need capital to grow. We have an eye toward the future and at some point, we will be forced to find additional capital if we want to keep growing the brands we have or acquiring more.”

Additional information is included in the press release below.

Fat Point Brewing joins Big Storm Brewing Co under Seaboard Craft Beer Holdings

Punta Gorda, FL – There’s something brewing that Florida craft beer aficionados are going to love. Punta Gorda-based Fat Point Brewing has finalized a deal to associate with Big Storm Brewing Co. based in Tampa Bay.

The two breweries will be associated together under Big Storm’s parent company Seaboard Craft Beer Holdings.

“We are all very excited about our new affiliation with Big Storm, and throughout this process have discovered several similarities in our culture and goals. Our values and vision have not faltered, which is to continue to deliver a great beer and customer experience,” said Fat Point Brewing founder Bill Frazer.

Earlier this year, Fat Point Brewing announced it would be closing its production facility and taproom in Punta Gorda. But under the new partnership, the brewery and taproom will remain open and Fat Point will continue production of its fresh, local handcrafted beers.

“We believe in protecting and nurturing the local craft beer industry and it was vitally important we preserve the quality beers Fat Point is producing,” said Seaboard co-founder L.J. Govoni. “We are truly excited to partner with Frazer and his staff and our main priority will be to support their efforts of producing innovative beers while making sure more Florida consumers are exposed to the Fat Point name and product,” Govoni added.

Frazer, who will remain with Fat Point, says they will continue producing the company’s four signature craft beers which include Big Boca Ale, Reyght Angle IPA, the Belgian-style tripel Bru Man Chu and Going Mintal, a Belgian-style wheat beer featuring subtle hints of lemon and mint.

Earlier this year Fat Point celebrated its 2-year anniversary. The company’s beers are available throughout southwest Florida including Tampa, Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral.

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