Artisanal Brewing Ventures Acquires 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, today announced 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.”

Additional details are available in the press release, below.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Nov. 7, 2018 – Sixpoint Brewery has signed a partnership agreement to become part of Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV), a unique company created to support the growth ambitions of leading regional craft breweries. Located in Brooklyn, New York, Sixpoint is an acclaimed producer of some of New York’s most recognizable craft beer brands. As part of the partnership, Sixpoint plans to open its first taproom and new production brewing facility in Brooklyn. This facility will serve as Sixpoint’s innovation brewery, headquarters, and a much-anticipated location where consumers can experience the Sixpoint brand as well as sample and celebrate Sixpoint beers. Through this partnership, Sixpoint becomes a sister brewery to ABV’s other brands, Victory Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing Company.

“I am truly excited to be joining ABV,” Eric Bachli, Sixpoint’s brewmaster and chief product officer said. “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. Sixpoint has so much opportunity ahead of it, and our partnership with ABV will help us reach our full potential.”

The partnership provides ABV with a strong presence in the fast-growing New York City market and makes the company one of the nation’s top ten regional craft brewers. With Sixpoint a part of its portfolio, ABV has a leadership position in six of the country’s top 50 markets for craft beer.

“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,” said John Coleman, CEO, Artisanal Brewing Ventures. “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.”

In addition to the new Brooklyn brewery, Sixpoint will gain access to ABV’s network of world-class production facilities and talented brewers. Sixpoint will also partner with Southern Tier and Victory to leverage their collective consumer data and insights to build an impactful innovation program and marketing approach, while also creating a unique selling structure and go-to-market strategy.

Eric Bachli will play a vital role on the ABV team. He will partner with ABV’s existing executive team to lead the Sixpoint operation in Brooklyn. Before he joined Sixpoint in 2017, Bachli was head brewer at Trillium Brewing Company in Massachusetts where he was integral in building Trillium into one of the nation’s leading hyper-local “Craft 3.0” brands.

Founded in 2004, Sixpoint is one of the New York-area’s longest-running and most highly regarded craft breweries. Its stable of four core brands are well known across the metro New York market. Sixpoint also produces premium limited-release and seasonal offerings out of their current Brooklyn location.

Shane Welch, a pioneer in the craft beer industry, founded Sixpoint and built it into one of the area’s leading and most-respected craft breweries. Shane will now take the opportunity to focus exclusively on a host of other craft beer related businesses, including an innovative app for direct to consumer engagement and e-commerce.

Sixpoint and ABV remain committed to the three-tier distribution system. ABV will partner with key three-tier distributor partners to bring a strong portfolio of brands to their operations helping to reduce complexity and costs while increasing distribution and sales opportunities across all of ABV’s partner brands. The Brooklyn taproom also represents an investment in the three-tier system in metro New York. Like other successful ABV taprooms and production facilities in Lakewood, Charlotte, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, the Brooklyn project is designed to attract new customers, drive trial and create passionate advocates for ABV brands, and increase Sixpoint’s presence in the surrounding market.

“The taproom and production brewery are investments in Sixpoint’s growth,” said Coleman. “Taprooms give us the opportunity to connect with consumers in a unique way. They can try our beers, and hopefully leave the taproom as an advocate of our brands which ultimately helps us to grow in the surrounding market.”

About Artisanal Brewing Ventures

Artisanal Brewing Ventures was founded in 2014 to bring expertise and resources to the business side of the craft beer industry. ABV brings top-tier craft beer brands together and unlocks their potential for growth. Through mergers and partnerships in high-volume, craft beer-centric markets, ABV is building a portfolio of breweries and brands, including Sixpoint, Southern Tier, and Victory. It gives brewers professional resources, expertise and support, while safeguarding the independence and authenticity of their brands. The company is a top ten regional craft brewer in the U.S. and has a leadership position in six of the county’s top 50 markets for craft beers. ABV is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to Brooklyn, ABV has operations in Lakewood, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and metro Philadelphia.

About Sixpoint

Founded in 2004, Sixpoint is one of the New York-area’s longest-running and most well-regarded craft breweries. Based in Brooklyn, the brewery produces more than 50,000 barrels of craft beer a year, with four core brands: Sweet Action, Bengali, The Crisp, and Resin, as well as limited-release and seasonal products. Sixpoint has been named best craft brewer in New York on multiple occasions.

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