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SAN ANTONIO and MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Pabst Brewing Co. (PBC) and Vermont Hard Cider Co. LLC (Vermont) announced an exclusive, long-term partnership agreement for the sale and distribution of Vermont’s cider brands within the United States. The agreement will take effect March 1.
Under the terms, PBC will have an exclusive license to distribute, market and sell all of Vermont’s cider brands in the U.S., including premium craft cider brands Woodchuck, Cumption, Wyder’s and Hornsby’s, in addition to Vermont’s portfolio of authentic imported cider brands from Ireland and England, including Magners and Blackthorn.
PBC’s field sales and national accounts organizations will be responsible for sale of the Vermont portfolio to distributors and retailers in the U.S. Vermont’s sales and marketing organization will continue to operate as an independent business unit focused on marketing activation and driving the performance of the Vermont brands.
“We are honored to add Vermont's great ciders to our portfolio” said Eugene Kashper, chairman and CEO of Pabst Brewing Co. "This partnership is another key milestone as we look to collaborate with independent brand owners to build a best-in-class portfolio of craft and import brands. We are thrilled to be working with the team in Vermont and I am confident that together we will be able to return these rich heritage brands to growth."
Vermont will retain full ownership of its U.S. cider brands and related assets, including the cidery in Middlebury, and the distribution rights for the U.S. cider brands in all markets outside the United States.
“This partnership will bring together iconic American brands and will ensure Vermont’s great products get the support they deserve,” said Terry Hopper, vice president of sales, Vermont Hard Cider Co. “PBC's team has the experience and passion to grow our brands and to help expand the cider category as a whole. You will see the same level of customer service, category expertise, and even more day-to-day activity in the marketplace. It is important to note that the making of our domestic ciders will remain in Vermont and that our team of cider makers will continue their commitment to quality and innovation.”
Additionally, under the terms of the partnership, PBC has an option to acquire Vermont’s U.S. cider brands and related assets, subject to customary regulatory approval. Consideration will be determined at the time of any exercise of the option; however, it will at least be consistent with the carrying value of the assets.
Middlebury-based Vermont Hard Cider Co. is a subsidiary of C&C Group plc.
Headquartered in San Antonio, American-owned and -operated Pabst Brewing Co. is North America’s largest privately held brewing company. Pabst’s portfolio includes its iconic flagship brand Pabst Blue Ribbon, as well as Ballantine IPA, Lone Star, Rainier, Schlitz, Old Style, National Bohemian, Stag, Stroh’s and Old Milwaukee.