After months of rumors, it was finally announced today that Cigar City would be purchased. No, it wasn’t Anheuser-Busch InBev like everyone assumed. Instead, Fireman Capital Partners, a Boston based company private equity firm, is purchasing majority stake in the popular Florida brewery. This purchase adds to Fireman’s holding company, United Craft Brews LLC, which was set up for the acquisition of craft breweries. United Craft Brews LLC already holds a stake in Oskar Blues, Perrin Brewing and the Utah Brewers Cooperative outfit.
While there were talks between Anheuser-Busch InBev and Cigar City, and even a letter of intent signed in late 2015, the exclusivity period had expired, allowing Cigar City to negotiate with other interested parties. While the details of the agreement aren’t public, the deal will allow Cigar City to gain access to both funding from Fireman Capital, and potential brewing space at Oskar Blues’ facilities.
Jason Stein is a New York-based beer nerd. You can find more of his writing on NYC Beer Society.