Victory Joins with Southern Tier in Private Equity Deal

Photo by Bradley Maule

Photo by Bradley Maule

Don Russell reports the Downingtown’s Victory Brewing Company and New York’s Southern Tier Brewing are joining forces in a deal that is funded by Manhattan hedge fund, Ulysses Management.

The deal comes at a time when craft breweries are being snatched up by macro brewers at an increasing rate and at bigger and bigger price tags. Victory brewmaster and owner Bill Covaleski tells Russell, “For us to sit and see the competitive clouds forming on the horizon, and just fold our arms as if nothing was happening, that would be irresponsible.”

Some big name craft breweries have gone the acquisition route, Ballast Point Brewing was acquired by Constellation Brands for over $1 billion; Lagunitas was acquired by Heineken; Anheuser Busch purchased Breckenridge, Elysian and Four Peaks Brewing in 2015, adding to a craft brewery stable that already includes Goose Island and Blue Point Brewing. Other companies like Delaware’s Dogfish Head have gone the private equity route, selling 15% to a private equity company.

Based on 2014 brewing numbers published by the Brewers Association, Southern Tier was 35th largest craft brewery in the US while Victory Brewing was the 29th biggest, and that was before Victory’s Parkesburg brewery was fully online. Russell reports the new company will crack the top 15 craft beer producers in the US.

EXCLUSIVE: Victory sells stake, joins Southern Tier in private equity deal [Joe Sixpack]