C&C signs distribution deal with US brewer Pabst

America’s largest privately-held brewer has option to acquire C&C’s US cider brands

Drinks group C&C has agreed a marketing and distribution deal with the US’s largest privately-held brewer to sell its cider brands.

The partnership, which takes effect in March, gives Pabst Brewery Company an exclusive licence to distribute, market and sell C&C's products, which include craft brands Woodchunk, Gumption, Wyder's and Hornsby's and all of the group's imported products such as Magners and Blackthorn.

C&C Group will retain full ownership of its US Cider Brands and related assets, including the cidery in Vermont, America’s largest facility dedicated to cider production; and, the distribution rights for products in all markets outside the US.

Under the terms of the partnership however, Pabst has a long-term option to acquire C&C Group’s US Cider Brands subject to any regulatory approvals.


C&C chief executive Stephen Glancey said the deal would help the group strengthen its position in the US cider category.

“We expect cider’s share of beer to grow double digits and to reach 3 per cent over the next 5-7 years. We have a truly unique asset in the US market with our Vermont cidery and are very proud of the heritage and craftsmanship behind our domestic and imported cider brands. We now have the best partner to capitalise on the potential for Woodchuck, Gumption, Wyder’s and Magners in the US market,” said Mr Glancey.

Founded in 1844, Pabst has over 30 beers in its portfolio with brands that include Colt45 and Blue Ribbon.

In a note to investors, Davy said the deal would allow the Clonmel-based group to benefit from Pabst’s well-established sale and marketing infrastructure.

“Given that Pabst has a long-term option to acquire C&C’s US cider brands and related assets, it has the potential to underpin the carrying value of C&C’s US business,” said Davy.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist