Pelican Brands to take Napa Smith Beer nationwide in 2011

Pelican Brands to take Napa Smith Beer nationwide in 2011

Pelican Brands has finalised a deal to acquire Napa Smith Brewery & Winery in order to capitalise on the popularity of craft beers in the US.

Pelican Brands said this week that, following the purchase, it intends to launch Napa Smith Beer nationwide in the US by summer 2011. Pelican already handles Napa Smith sales.

"The craft beer business is the fastest growing category of beverage alcohol in America," said J Smoke Wallin, US-based Pelican's chairman and CEO.

Pelican, which also has offices in the UK, said it is eyeing Napa Smith's potential in export markets. "This acquisition is a great strategic fit combined with Pelican Brands as we build a global sales and brand platform, of both owned and agency brands," said Wallin, who has also become chairman and CEO of Napa Smith Holdings.

Napa Smith Holdings' president and COO, Steve Morgan, said: "This is a very positive development for our business. In 2010, Napa Smith - through Pelican's sales and distribution platform - has expanded into 17 [US] states."

While a price for the deal was not disclosed, just-drinks has learnt that Pelican spent between US$5m and $10m on Napa Smith.

Craft beer sales in the US rose by 12% in value and by 9% in volume in the first half of 2010, against a total beer market down by around 3% over the same period.