New Holland Brewing Co. Founder and President Brett VanderKamp and Pabst Brewing Co. (PBC) Chairman Eugene Kashper announced 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 the Holland, Mich.-based craft brewer’s full portfolio of beers.

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

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, Mich., 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,” VanderKamp said. “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,” the company says.

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

“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,” VanderKamp said. “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.”

The partnerships unique structure also is being highlighted by the companies. "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," said Simon Thorpe, chief executive officer of PBC, in a statement. "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."