Consolidation continues. This week we talked about New Belgium Brewing basically selling to Kirin and Molson Coors investing in non-alcoholic health bev incubator L.A. Libations. Last week, we detailed Anheuser-Busch InBev purchasing the rest of Craft Brew Alliance it didn’t already own for a modest $222 million — after initially declining to do so in August and (gasp!) that drove down the price. Well, back to this week (we’re not finished yet).
Bold Rock, which touts itself as the No. 2 cider brand in the United States, has announced it will join Artisanal Brewing Ventures, a holding company and partnership with some of craft’s biggest brands including Sixpoint Brewery, Southern Tier Brewing Co. and Victory Brewing Co.
Why the move? Well, the variety of non-traditional beer brands Bold Rock brings to the bar, fridge and portfolio. In 2019, Bold Rock also launched a line of hard seltzers that feature a unique apple-based alcohol, as well as a line of premium ready-to-drink canned cocktails. To the press release I say!
“The founders of Bold Rock should be incredibly proud of what they and their hard-working, dedicated team have created — the No. 2 cider brand in the country,” said John Coleman, CEO, Artisanal Brewing Ventures. “With the addition of Bold Rock, ABV is strongly positioned to address the evolving needs of the craft consumer. Bold Rock’s portfolio is a perfect complement to ABV’s other partner breweries by bringing consumers a leading hard cider, a new hard seltzer and a line of canned cocktails. Adding Bold Rock to the ABV family shows a commitment to bring craft consumers great brands across segments to best meet the needs in all of their drinking occasions.”
The partnership certainly signals Artisanal Brewing Ventures moving to extend beyond craft beer. Bold Rock, which launched in 2012, touts a production capacity of 80,000 bbls of craft cider and seltzer, and Artisanal Brewing Ventures’ touts a leadership position in eight of the country’s top 50 markets for craft beer, hard cider, hard seltzer and other premium spirits-based canned cocktails. Bold Rock will now gain access to Artisanal Brewing Ventures’ shared network of production facilities, sales team and distribution footprint.
“Our dream was to bring people together to create special memories and meaningful experiences while enjoying our products. Since then, we have formed a number of phenomenal relationships with consumers, distributors, and retail partners, as well as with our own employees. Now, by joining ABV, a very talented, passionate, and high performing beverage company, we can extend our brand to new consumers up and down the east coast, creating more special memories and unique experiences,” said Washburn, who along with Shanks, will remain with the company in leadership roles.
What about those taprooms?
In addition, Bold Rock’s four taproom locations will be added to Artisanal Brewing Ventures’ current footprint of nine open or announced taprooms, giving the company access to over two million customers a year. Bold Rock will also partner with Sixpoint, Southern Tier and Victory to leverage their collective consumer data and insights to build an impactful innovation program and marketing approach. And as we all know, data is the new oil. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.
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