We’ve seen our share of ‘buyouts’ in the craft beer World. You know the feeling – that heartbreaking moment when you realize that one of your favorite craft breweries has ‘sold out’ to the big boys: InBev or SABMiller. This is NOT one of those moments.
Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company, the first cidery in Seattle since the days of prohibition, are pleased to announce that they have formed a partnership with French, farmer-run cooperative Agrial. They’ve struck a great deal that allows for additional expansion of both Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider, without giving up any control. Both brands will continue to operate completely independently, right here in Seattle.
Here is the full press release from Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company:
SEATTLE (September 27, 2016) – Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing have announced a merger with French farmer-run cooperative Agrial. The two Seattle based companies – which share the same leadership team and have seen immense growth over the past few years – will continue to operate independently in Seattle, while merging with the leading French cider producer.
The merger and further partnership will help Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing grow through Agrial’s international distribution network, gaining access to developing craft beer and cider communities around the world. It will also allow for needed capital expansion projects for the growing brewery and the cidery. Additionally, the partnership provides Agrial with the opportunity to gain access to the American craft cider and beer market, as well as distribute a selection of its French cidre brand, Louis Raison, to the US.
“The amazing growth and expansion we’ve seen over the past three years has taken us by surprise, and as I looked at where I wanted to take Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing into the future, I knew we would need a partner to be able to achieve our long term goals,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder and CEO of Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing. “Agrial has impressed me with their belief in our mission and vision, and even more so with their desire to support Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing Co. as we continue to grow our brands the way we have in the past.”
Through the partnership, Seattle Cider Company, Two Beers Brewing and Agrial remain dedicated to product quality, as well as maintaining the culture and dedication to craft built by Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing. Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing will continue to operate independently in Seattle, maintaining control of the day-to-day operations. Joel VandenBrink, founder of both companies, will remain as CEO. Leadership, staff, brewers, cidermakers, distributors and most importantly, the beer and cider people have come to know and love from the two companies will also remain the same.
“Seattle Cider Company has changed the face of cider in the United States in the past three years and it’s been exciting to watch. We’re thrilled to now be a part of it, and watch the companies continue to push the boundaries of cider and beer in the US and beyond. We feel strongly about the success of these brands, and share the same vision and mindset Joel has set forth for the companies,” added Franck Malinowski, the historical CEO of Agrial’s beverage division.
Seattle Cider Company, which celebrated three years in August, has quickly grown to become Washington’s largest cidery, seeing an expected production of 21,000 barrels in 2016. Now available in 12 states, it continues to push the boundaries of craft cider. Two Beers Brewing, nearing its ninth anniversary in November, continues to grow as one of Seattle’s beloved craft breweries, expecting to reach 8,000 barrels in 2016.
Famous for traditional French cidre, as well as a variety of brands valuing farmer developed products, Agrial is the number one cidre producer and seller in France. One of its missions is to support entrepreneurs transforming apples into value-added beverages and apples products. Owned by a large community of growers, Agrial offers more than 100 years of experience, a dedicated quality and innovation team, and distribution connections in more than 30 countries.
Cascadia Capital is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company in the transaction, while Miller Nash is serving as legal counsel.
For more information about the joint venture and thoughts from Joel VandenBrink, founder of Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company, visit the company’s blog at seattlecidercompany.com and twobeersbrewing.com.
About Seattle Cider Company®
Not your standard cider. Seattle Cider Company was founded in 2013 as the city’s first cidery since Prohibition, bringing true craft cider back to Seattle and across the country. Bridging the gap between wine and beer with flavorful, uniquely dry cider, Seattle Cider Company’s year round and seasonal offerings break the mold of overly sweet cider, bringing the natural flavors of Washington apples to the forefront. Naturally gluten free and made from a custom blend of fresh pressed, locally grown apples, Seattle Cider Company’s products are handcrafted with all natural ingredients and never from concentrate. For more information, visit seattlecidercompany.com, or follow Seattle Cider Company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@seattleciderco).
About Two Beers Brewing Co.®
Two Beers Brewing Co. began operations in a small Seattle basement in 2007 and today, produces more than 14 unique beers including year rounds, seasonal and a host of intricate infusions in its SoDo-based brewery. Two Beers Brewing can be found in Seattle-area bars and restaurants, with tastings kegs and growler fill-ups available at their tasting room located at 4660 Ohio Ave. S. in SoDo, open weekly Tuesday – Thursday from 3-9 pm, Friday from 1-10pm, Saturdays from 1-10pm & Sundays from 1-6pm. Select brews can also be found in 12-ounce cans and 22-ounce bottles through the tasting room, as well as local retailers in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho. For more information, visit www.twobeersbrewery.com.
AGRIAL it is one of the leading French agricultural and food-processing cooperative groups. Its beverage division also produces and sells other types of apple-related products such as cider, apple juice, vinegar. A major player in agricultural production in its area, AGRIAL as a cooperative aims to create sustainable added value for its members by providing, on a day-to-day basis, technical, economic and environmental support for its members on their holdings.
This is a great next step for Two Beers and Seattle Cider. They’ve been slowly and steadily expanding their brands for years, but this new partnership will allow them to really increase their distribution. It’s a pretty amazing development for a cidery that’s just 3 years old and a brewery that’s just 9 nears old. It’s great see their years of hard work result in such a great partnership.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.