Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”) (Nasdaq: BREW) and Wynwood Brewing Co., an award-winning craft brewery based in the heart of Miami’s vibrant Wynwood Art District, announced today their intent to enter a strategic partnership. Through the partnership, Wynwood Brewing Co. would gain access to CBA’s state-of-the-art production capabilities and regional sales and marketing infrastructure, with a focus on meeting increased demand throughout the craft brewer’s home state of Florida. Additionally, under the terms of the partnership agreement, CBA would take a minority 24.5% stake in Wynwood Brewing Co., which will enable the pioneering Miami craft brewery to expand its local production brewery and tap room.
Founded by Luis Brignoni and his father Luis Brignoni Sr. (“Pops”), Wynwood Brewing Co. is deeply rooted in its founders’ Puerto Rican heritage and namesake neighborhood, Wynwood. The neighborhood is renowned as one of the most vibrant and artistic communities in the country and attracts artists and influencers from around the world. The brewery has doubled its production every year since it released its first beers in 2013, drawing inspiration from its location within Miami’s thriving local and international art hub.
“We’ve been vocal about finding the right strategic partners in the right geographies to expand CBA’s distinctive portfolio that combines fast-growing national brands like Kona Brewing Co. with strong regional craft breweries,” said Andy Thomas, chief executive officer, CBA. “With Wynwood, we’re able to round out our portfolio of exceptional craft brands in the east, which includes our partners Appalachian Mountain Brewery in North Carolina and Nantucket Island-based Cisco Brewers in New England. We’re looking forward to helping the great team at Wynwood bring more of their special brand, steeped in Puerto Rican culture and a love of great beer, to more beer lovers throughout Florida.”
“Our success over the past several years hasn’t come without its challenges, and we’re now at a turning point if we want to fully satisfy our growing customer base,” said Luis G. Brignoni, co-founder, Wynwood Brewing Co. “While exploring our options, we wanted to find a way to meet demand without sacrificing creative control over our day to day. Meeting the team at CBA made our next step forward so much clearer. Not only are they serious experts at craft brewing and marketing, they have an amazing track record nurturing family-founded brewers such as Kona Brewing Co. as well as newer partnerships like Appalachian Mountain Brewery. My father and I are really excited about the opportunities this partnership will create for our loyal staff, customers and accounts, who can look forward to many more years of great Wynwood beers.”
As Miami’s first craft production brewery, Wynwood Brewing Co. operates a 15-barrel brew house and tap room. The brewery’s core portfolio includes La Rubia Blonde Ale, Wynwood IPA, Magic City Pale Ale, and Pops Porter, which earned a gold medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, along with a rotation of creative seasonal beers.
Wynwood Brewing Company and Craft Brew Alliance met through the Startup Brewery Challenge – a unique business pitch competition created by Brewbound with the help of CBA and Widmer Brothers Brewing to foster business growth of emerging craft brewers. As a Startup Brewery Challenge winner, Wynwood’s founders and brewmaster traveled to Portland to brew a collaboration beer with CBA’s Innovation Brewing Team, and during that trip it became clear that the Brignonis’ aspirations for their company aligned with CBA’s strategic partnership model. The collaboration beer, known as the Portland Cuddle, won best overall IPA and Gold in the Specialty IPA category at the Copa Cervezas de America, the most important beer competition in Latin America, this past October.
Wynwood Brewing Company is CBA’s third partnership forged as part of the company’s strategy to expand the Alliance with distinctive, storied craft breweries in key beer geographies. CBA partners are able to leverage the company’s national brewing footprint and sales and marketing infrastructure while retaining ownership of their brands and having more resources to support their home markets. CBA and Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB) partnered in 2014 to expand the Boone, N.C. brewery across its home state. With the partnership, CBA invested in a canning line at its Portsmouth brewery which has supported AMB’s growth from 1,000 to more than 6,000 barrels in less than two years. CBA’s second partnership with Cisco Brewers in 2015 has enabled the Nantucket Island brewery to expand production of its core portfolio in CBA’s Portsmouth brewery and grow volume across their home market of Massachusetts.
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