Southern Tier and Victory to Open Innovation Brewery in Charlotte

It’s been about 18 months since Southern Tier Brewing Company and Victory Brewing combined operations under the family-office backed Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV) and today, the two breweries announced plans to open a jointly run innovation brewery and taproom in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“With our commitment to the East Coast, Charlotte was a natural choice for this expansion,” Artisanal Brewing Ventures CEO John Coleman said via a press release.

Brewers from Southern Tier and Victory will collaborate and create new beers “specific to Charlotte and the Carolinas” that may become national releases. The new space will also serve flagship brands such as Southern Tier’s Nu Skool IPA and Pumking along with Victory’s Golden Monkey and Prima Pils.

In describing its decision to build in North Carolina, ABV said an influx of people moving to Charlotte from Southern Tier’s and Victory’s core territories of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Ohio contributed to the two companies’ interest in the area.

“There is so much migration from our core markets,” Victory co-founder Bill Covaleski told Brewbound. “By no means are we chasing those consumers, but this is an opportunity to stay relevant.”

Located in a 28,000 sq. ft. facility, the two breweries plan to operate a 25-barrel brewhouse capable of producing approximately 10,000 barrels annually. The facility will include a fermentation cellar, quality lab and packaging hall along with a beer garden and indoor/outdoor private event spaces.

“Charlotte is a great brewing neighborhood in the making,” Covaleski told Brewbound. “Asheville gets all of the attention, but there is a lot of momentum there and some great brewers in NODA and Sugar Creek. We are looking to add to that.”

Victory has sold beer in North Carolina, via Tryon Distributing, since 2005, Covaleski added. Southern Tier entered the market in 2011, signing a distribution agreement with Adams Beverages.

“Since then it’s become one of our top states and one of our fastest growing, so it seemed natural to take that next step of laying roots here,” Covaleski said in the release.

ABV already maintains its headquarters in Charlotte, Covaleski said. Coleman, along with CFO Jim Shiller and at least eight other employees currently work out of that space, which will be relocated to the brewery upon its opening next March.

The company also plans to add more than 100 full- and part-time workers.

Beer sales for both New York-based Southern Tier and Pennsylvania-based Victory declined 11 percent and 2 percent, respectively, last year. Combined, the two companies sold more than 234,000 barrels, according to Brewers Association data.

More details are included in a press release below.

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named Bill Wild as the CFO of ABV. Wild departed the organization in January, 2017 and was replaced by Jim Shiller. The story has also been updated to more accurately reflect the number of employees (10) currently working out of ABV’s Charlotte headquarters.)

Southern Tier and Victory Brewing Companies unite to open a unique Artisanal Brewing location including brewhouse, taproom & corporate offices in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, North Carolina (August 29, 2017) – Having joined forces under the Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV) umbrella in 2016, Southern Tier and Victory is now currently ranked 13th overall in total annual production among craft breweries. Now the two brewers are teaming up in the Queen City to create a truly unique brewery experience. Located in Charlotte’s Lower South End neighborhood, this family of breweries will open a one-of-a-kind concept on the corner of Yancey Rd. and Old Pineville Rd.

The 28,000 sq. ft. facility will feature a production brewhouse, fermentation cellar and packaging lines, a fully equipped quality assurance lab, an expansive tasting room, a front patio with skyline view, indoor/outdoor private event space, a flexible beer garden and ABV’s corporate offices. Its anticipated total capacity of nearly 700 guests and will feature a custom-built 25BBL brewhouse from JV Northwest as well as a packaging hall.

Within this brewhouse, Southern Tier and Victory will craft new innovations specific to Charlotte and the Carolinas. These beers will be poured locally, allowing for incubation of new brands, some of which may become regional releases. Southern Tier and Victory brewers will work together on in-house collaborations. In addition to these innovations and collaborations, guests can expect to sip favorites from each brand such as Southern Tier’s Nu Skool IPA and Pumking alongside classic Victory beers like Golden Monkey and Prima Pils. Craft beer fans can expect the same commitment to quality and relentless innovation that Victory and Southern Tier have come to embody.

Artisanal Brewing Ventures CEO, John Coleman notes, “It’s an exciting time here at ABV. With our commitment to the east coast, Charlotte was a natural choice for this expansion. Charlotte is a world-class city with a thriving craft beer community and great quality of life. Having already opened a corporate office and created nearly a dozen jobs in the state, we’re excited to hire in excess of 100 more full and part time employees. We can’t wait to open our doors and deepen our roots in one of our favorite beer-loving cities.”

The decision to choose the Charlotte location was based on a number of factors. Charlotte’s central east coast location has seen a major influx of relocation from Southern Tier and Victory’s core markets of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Ohio. The Lower South End neighborhood is rapidly turning into a major destination with thriving entertainment, beverage and dining options. The location is conveniently accessible by public transportation by way of Charlotte’s light rail and will feature a unique pick-up/drop-off driveway for ridesharing travelers.

“Our team at ABV is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the burgeoning craft beer community in Charlotte. Victory has been in North Carolina since 2005 and Southern Tier entered in 2011. Since then it’s become one of our top states and one of our fastest growing, so it seemed natural to take that next step of laying roots here,” said Victory co-founder, Bill Covaleski.

“There are a lot of great Carolina brewers doing justice to their craft and we look forward to furthering Charlotte’s local beer culture through collaboration and education. It is very important to us that we understand, respect, and reinforce the craft beer community in Charlotte. We will truly be in good company,” added Southern Tier co-founder, Phin DeMink.

In Charlotte, Southern Tier is distributed by Adams Beverages while Victory is distributed by Tryon Distributors. This project is made possible through the ongoing efforts of Architects Billy Algiere and Greg Zirkle of REDLINE Design Group, Erik Johnson and Jay Levell or White Point Partners, Hunter Barron (formerly CBRE) of HFF, Brian Bradley, Jr. of CBRE, and Barringer Construction.

About Artisanal Brewing Ventures

Artisanal Brewing Ventures is located in Charlotte, NC and was formed by Phin and Sara DeMink and Ulysses Management LLC; a New York based family office, with the vision of creating a home for like-minded, best-in-class craft breweries in close partnership with their founders. Ulysses Management was founded 20 years ago by Joshua Nash as the successor firm to the pioneering investment firm Odyssey Partners, LP. Ulysses invests in profitable, well-established companies with tangible, competitive advantages with the goal to build long-term value that benefits all stakeholders. To learn more about Ulysses Management please visit www.ulyssesmgmt.com.

About Southern Tier Brewing Company

In 2002, Phin and Sara DeMink founded Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York with the vision of reviving the practice of small batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition. Following several expansions from 2009 through 2013, Southern Tier now ships over 100,000 barrels annually to 33 states to meet growing demand for Southern Tier’s diverse portfolio of innovative beers that embody the spirit of American craft brewing. In 2015, Southern Tier Distilling Company was formed to create innovative small batch spirits using unique local ingredients under a New York farm distilling license. To learn more about Southern Tier Brewing Company please visit www.stbcbeer.com.

About Victory Brewing Company

Headquartered in Downingtown, PA, Victory Brewing Company is a craft brewery founded by Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet. In 1996, Victory opened its doors to serve full-flavored, innovative beers melding European ingredients and technology with American creativity. By 2014 Victory outgrew the original Downingtown brewery and opened a second brewery in Parkesburg, PA. Victory operates three brewpubs; the original Downingtown site, Victory at Magnolia in Kennett Square and Parkesburg featuring self-guided brewery tours. Victory products are distributed to nine countries, 35 states across the US, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Victory Brewing Company please visit www.victorybeer.com.

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