Brewbound Podcast Episode 009: Victory Brewing’s Bill Covaleski on M&A and Future Growth Opportunities

When Brewbound sat down with Victory Brewing co-founder Bill Covaleski in late August, the longtime industry veteran wouldn’t quite tip his hand about potential future acquisitions within the craft beer space after his company partnered up with the family office-backed brewery collective Artisanal Brewing Ventures.

“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,” he said, noting that ABV had an interest in adding more partners to the collective.

Covaleski declined to share what criteria the company used to determine who those partners might be, but he did suggest that geography played a role.

“In terms of protecting or preserving geography, I think the term relevance is used too often,” he said. “I think the term defensible should be used. Or executable.”

So, in an effort to defend ABV’s strong East Coast presence – it also owns Southern Tier Brewing in Lakewood, New York, and operates breweries and taprooms in Charlotte, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cleveland, Ohio – ABV yesterday announced the purchase of New York City’s Sixpoint Brewery.

“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 a press release.

According to ABV, the addition of Sixpoint will give the rollup a “strong presence in the fast-growing New York City market.”

Sixpoint, which is on pace to produce more than 50,000 barrels in 2018, most of it under contract at City Brewing in Memphis, is based in Brooklyn. The deal with ABV will enable the company to build a new brewery and taproom at a yet-to-be-determined location in a borough which has become a hotbed for craft beer. In addition to stalwart Brooklyn Brewery, popular craft producers Threes Brewing, Other Half Brewing, Grimm Brewing and Evil Twin, among others, are located in the area.

In episode nine of the Brewbound Podcast, Covaleski discusses ABV’s appetite for M&A, and shares his thoughts on how craft breweries can reach a broader base of beer consumers as well as opportunities he sees ahead for the Victory brand.

Also in this episode: Brewbound editors Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall discuss the proposed changes to the Brewers Association’s (BA) craft brewer definition, and rundown a grab bag of segments.

Listen to episode nine of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes. The episode is also available on Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Furnari and Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode 10, featuring Independence Brewing co-founder Amy Cartwright, will be released on Thursday, November 15.

For questions, comments or suggestions, please email podcast@brewbound.com.

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Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.