Craft Brew Alliance Inc. (CBA) signed a letter of intent to form a strategic partnership with Boone, N.C.-based Appalachian Mountain Brewery Inc. Under the terms of the letter, the two publicly traded companies will explore potential opportunities to drive business growth and shareholder value through sharing resources in key strategic areas, such as brewing, purchasing, distribution and sales.
The prospective partnership also gives Appalachian’s employees access to CBA’s thought leadership, technical resources and 30+ years of experience in brewing, branding and bringing beers to market.
“This kind of partnership aligns perfectly with what we’re building CBA to do: help bring authentic craft beers and brands to beer lovers from coast to coast. As we look to the future, we’re excited to broaden the alliance with real brands that are steeped in place and legacy and nurture their ability to serve today’s increasing demand for great-tasting, local craft beers in emerging markets like North Carolina and the Southeast,” said Andy Thomas, chief executive officer, Craft Brew Alliance. “Sean and the entire team at AMB have already begun to build an amazing company, known just as much for its innovative award-winning beers and ciders as its leadership in sustainability and community involvement. We are thrilled to support their ongoing innovation and look forward to exploring opportunities to share CBA’s knowledge and resources, not to mention enjoy some great beers with a genuinely wonderful and talented group of people.”
CBA discovered Appalachian during a brewery startup contest in May and felt the two companies shared a strong cultural similarity and mutual interest in exploring a longer-term partnership that would align with both companies’ values and business objectives.
“Since AMB was founded, we have been consciously committed to finding ways to sustainably brew high-quality beer and give back to our communities in the Appalachian Mountains so that future generations can prosper and enjoy these great resources that we’re borrowing from them,” said Sean Spiegelman, chief executive officer, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Inc. “I can think of no better path forward for our company than to create a strategic partnership with a respected leader like CBA. We are extremely excited to look at how AMB can leverage their technical expertise and extensive experience helping brands grow while maintaining their focus on local community, philanthropy and the environment. We’re also looking forward to brewing a collaboration on both coasts in a much larger format so that more of our consumers can enjoy the outstanding craft beer.”
Appalachian Mountain Brewery has recently begun canning on its Cask Semi-Automated Canning System, supporting AMB’s objectives to expand distribution of three of its beer styles in cans throughout North Carolina. The company is initially focused on canning its flagships, Long Leaf IPA, Blonde Ale and Porter. Added Spiegelman, “Can packaging is a turning point in our history as a small-scale brewery. We will look back at 2014 as the year that put us on the craft beer map.”
Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Inc. operates three wholly-owned subsidiaries: the Appalachian Mountain Brewery, LLC, the Official Brewery of the Appalachian Mountains, not only makes seriously delicious craft beer, but focuses its business model on community, sustainability and philanthropy; Farm To Flame LLC, a food truck that features a unique wood-fired oven in the truck and allows AMB to enhance its experience for customers with a casual dining experience that balances innovation and sustainability; Hard Mountain Cider LLC, which currently holds a permit with the TTB and expects to finish construction of its facility and begin production in Q4. HMC will operate four 10-barrel fermenters, three 10-barrel single wall brite tanks and one 20-barrel jacketed brite tank. Additional capacity is being explored for 2015 with plans to bottle and can for self-distribution.