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Pabst to handle New Holland sales starting in 2017

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Pabst Brewing Co. will handle the distribution and sales of New Holland Brewing Co. beers starting early next year.

The companies announced the partnership on Thursday. New Holland is well-known for its strong, dark and malty Dragon’s Milk bourbon barrel stout.

“This partnership allows us to distribute our beer brands to more consumers throughout the country by leveraging PBC’s robust sales and distribution platform,” said Brett VanderKamp, New Holland founder and president, in a news release.

A New Holland spokesman said the partnership isn’t a merger, and New Holland isn’t being bought out by Pabst. The deal gives New Holland broader distribution and adds a high-end craft beer brand to Pabst’s portfolio.

The agreement will be a long-term partnership.

Pabst CEO Simon Thorpe said the partnership is the first time any large supplier has partnered with a small, craft brewer without taking any ownership of the company or buying shares.

“This is a long-term agreement set up so that it can last for the next 20 years and beyond,” he said. “It is not about Pabst simply selling some New Holland beer for a fee — there is a bigger idea in what we are building together that speaks to mutual trust, true partnership and a long-term vision of what we can accomplish.”

All the New Holland beer will still be brewed and bottled at the company’s facility in Holland, Michigan. The company will continue to manage all its own marketing and finances, according to a news release.

“We are excited to be joining forces with Pabst as we combine the strengths of two great American companies,” VanderKamp said. “Pabst’s management of our wholesale network will help us accelerate growth and drive success at the shelf.”

Pabst, which recently launched production of the Stroh’s Bohemian-style pilsner in Detroit, has been stepping into craftier beers lately. The Stroh’s brew was marketed as a beer for casual drinkers and brew snobs alike.

“We are thrilled to be working with Brett and New Holland,” said Pabst Chairman Eugene Kashper in a release. “Brett is a passionate brand owner who knows his business. He is programmed with the DNA of New Holland’s brands and is committed to using our platform’s capabilities to maximize success. This is a true long-term partnership on both sides.”

The partnership will launch New Holland into nationwide sales.

New Holland brewing was founded in 1997. The company has several popular beers, including The Poet Oatmeal Stout, Mad Hatter IPA and Hoptronix Double IPA.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2359

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau