Pabst has been making moves. They’re biggest move being it’s recent return to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where it all started in 1844. The company was purchased by Eugene Kaspher in 2014. Kaspher also owns Rainier Brewing Company. For years Pabst was the chosen beer for hipsters, but recently that has changed as their sales have dipped.

In that vein Pabst and Kaspher have done a bit of pivoting. Yesterday PBR announced a partnership with New Holland Brewing of Michigan.

According to the Full Pint, “0% of ownership has changed hands.”

From Pabst Brewing CEO Simon Thorpe

To my knowledge, this is the first deal in the history of craft beer where a large supplier is getting into a partnership with a small brewer without taking any ownership or receiving any option to buy the shares.  This is a long-term agreement set up so that it can last for the next 20 years and beyond. 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.

From the PBR Press Release.

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HOLLAND, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New Holland Brewing Company (New Holland) Founder and President Brett VanderKamp and Pabst Brewing Company (PBC) Chairman Eugene Kashper announced today that the two companies will enter into a long-term partnership agreement, effective first quarter 2017. The partnership will focus on the national distribution and sales of New Holland’s full portfolio of craft beer.

“We are excited to be joining forces with Pabst as we combine the strengths of two great American companies”
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“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 VanderKamp.

Once the partnership is fully implemented, PBC’s sales force will sell all of New Holland’s beers to wholesalers nationwide as part of PBC’s high-end portfolio. New Holland, entering its 20th year, will remain independent and will continue to manage all other business functions for its beers, including production, marketing, and finance. All beers will continue to be brewed in Holland, Michigan, and New Holland’s spirits, restaurant and retail operations will continue to operate as they currently do.

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

The partnership will increase market share for New Holland’s award winning Dragon’s Milk year-round bourbon barrel stout, which will help it become a truly “unlimited release.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Brett and New Holland,” said Kashper. “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 also allows PBC to increase its varied product offerings and strengthen the company’s participation in the craft beer segment.

“Five minutes into my first conversation with Eugene, I could tell I was going to like this guy. He is very entrepreneurial and Pabst has a very unique view on partnerships,” said VanderKamp. “He understood our desire to remain independent while finding ways to insure our long term success. We quickly found that we share similar visions on building successful brands and being creative in a rapidly changing industry.”

About New Holland Brewing Company:

New Holland Brewing Company’s deep roots in the craft industry go back to 1997. Our role as an integral member of the artisan approach is something we take seriously, yet engage in lightheartedly. We believe the art of craft lives in fostering rich experiences for our customers, through creating authentic beer, spirits and food while providing great service. Recognized for our creativity and artistry, our mission to improve the lives of craft consumers everywhere is seen in our diverse, balanced collection of beer and spirits. New Holland’s beers include Dragon’s Milk, a year-round bourbon barrel stout, which has won several industry awards; Ichabod Pumpkin Ale; The Poet Oatmeal Stout; Mad Hatter IPA, and Hoptronix Double IPA. For more information, please visit:

About Pabst Brewing Company:

Since 1844, Pabst Brewing Company has been American-owned and operated, and is North America’s largest privately held brewing company. Pabst’s portfolio includes iconic brands with deep ties to America’s heritage, such as its flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon and others such as Ballantine IPA, Lone Star, Rainier, Schlitz, Old Style, National Bohemian, Stag, Stroh’s, and Old Milwaukee. For more information about Pabst, please visit: