New York, April 20th 2016 – Cathay Capital North America (“Cathay Capital”) is pleased to announce that it has completed a growth capital investment in Artisanal Brewing Ventures (“ABV”). ABV, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, was formed in 2014 by Phin and Sara DeMink, Founders of Southern Tier Brewing Company (“Southern Tier”), and Ulysses Management LLC, a well-respected New York based family office, with the vision of creating a dynamic platform for best-in-class craft breweries in close partnership with their founders. Cathay Capital’s investment was made in tandem with the closing of the unique alliance between Southern Tier (under parent company ABV) and Victory Brewing Company (“Victory”), headquartered in Downingtown, PA. This union presents a new model for craft beer partnerships by preserving brewery independence while pooling and capitalizing upon deep collective sales, marketing and administrative resources.
The new strategic framework between ABV, Victory and Southern Tier provides capital, security and a well-developed vision for the future. Under the umbrella of ABV, Victory and Southern Tier will independently operate their breweries, with an annual production capacity of over 800,000 barrels. This alliance creates one of the largest brewers in the US Northeast and ranks within the top craft brewing companies in the United States, according to Brewers Association criteria with combined 2015 shipments of over 250,000 barrels.
With a world-class roster of complementary beer brands and an even stronger standing in the marketplace, ABV will shepherd Victory and Southern Tier to strengthen, support and expand its distributor and retail partnerships. Victory and Southern Tier brands will become increasingly available to loyal and new consumers across their combined markets as a direct result of this union. Representative brands produced by Southern Tier include: IPA, 2XIPA, Pumking, Warlock, Live, Tangier and Choklat; representative brands produced by Victory include: HopDevil IPA, Headwaters Ale, Golden Monkey, Prima Pils, DirtWolf Double IPA, Helles Lager and Storm King Stout.
Along with its investment in ABV, Cathay Capital will provide special expertise and resources to help ABV pursue cross border business development opportunities in China, the world’s largest beer market. “The craft beer movement in China, while in its infancy, is poised to accelerate given the Chinese middle class which desires premium and authentic alternatives to traditional beer choices as well as authentic dining experiences” said Mingpo Cai, Co-Founder and President of Cathay Capital.
“We are thrilled to be investing in ABV which is now a leading Northeastern true craft brewer – a platform with tremendous potential in both the United States and the emerging China craft beer market” added both David G. Hoffman, Managing Partner, and Mark Woods, Investment Director, of Cathay Capital North America.
“We are very pleased to be adding Cathay Capital to our investor group given its unique cross border skillset and track record of building bridges between the West and China, which we view as being quite relevant for the craft brewery industry and for ABV” said John Coleman, ABV’s CEO.