Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling acquires Radiant Pig Beer
Rob Pihl to remain with craft brewer as brewmaster, brand ambassador
Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co., Newport, R.I., announced the acquisition of New York-based Radiant Pig Beer Co. With Braven Brewing Co. and Radiant Pig Beer Co., Newport Craft’s stable of products now features 26 authentic beers, and more than 10 craft spirit and cocktail labels, the craft brewer and distiller says.
Since launching in 2013, Radiant Pig has created innovative, high-quality beers with colorful names and stories inspired by the art, music, and culture of New York City. Radiant Pig’s year-round favorites feature its flagship IPA Save the Robots; TV Party, a New England pale ale; Own the Night, a Hazy IPA; It Ain’t Easy, a Double IPA; No Half Steppin, a Single Hop IPA; and Junior, a session IPA.
“In order to continue to deliver the level of quality expected of Radiant Pig and to satisfy the ever-growing demand, it was important for me to find a partner with the same vision and commitment to quality and authenticity, and I found that in Newport Craft,” Rob Pihl, founder, master brewer and creative force behind Radiant Pig Beer Co., in a statement. “Getting to know CEO Brendan O’Donnell and the Newport Craft team over the past year, we discovered that we not only shared a vision but a commitment to common values. After countless discussions with Brendan, I understood Newport Craft’s unwavering commitment to the craft brewing industry and where it sees itself on the regional and national brewing stage. I am thrilled about the partnership and the future of Radiant Pig.”
In addition to taking an equity stake in the company, Pihl will join a Newport Craft team that has more than 100 years of combined manufacturing, brewing, and distilling experience and will become the company’s brewmaster and brand ambassador.
New addition Jessica Woodcome, who previously represented Magic Hat, Labatt USA, Genesee, Imperial and Seagram’s Escape, will lead the Radiant Pig sales team with the single focus of expanding the brand’s presence on the shelves and in the taps in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Woodcome will join the company’s completely rebuilt sales team led by David Hall, Northeast Sales Manager; and Tarcizio DaSilvia, Tri State Sales Manager.
Adding the Radiant Pig beers to the company’s production schedule that already includes the Braven Brewing and Newport Craft portfolios will push the company’s production to 10,000 barrels by the end of the year and 25,000 barrels by 2022. Newport Craft has Radiant Pig in the tank and production and distribution will continue without interruption.
Since taking over Newport Craft in 2017, O’Donnell and his team have solidified the company’s spot as a leader on the New England craft brewing stage, it says. The company has focused on its product lines, introducing new products, upgrading and expanding its manufacturing facility, and pursuing strategic acquisitions. Additionally, the company is currently aging close to 1,000 barrels of Thomas Tew Rum and Sea Fog Whiskey; and has added gin, amaro, Newport Vodka, rye whisky, and reserve and spiced rums to its portfolio of spirits. Under O’Donnell’s leadership the company has doubled its’ top line revenue, more than tripled its’ workforce, increased distribution to six states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Maine), and has grown its’s social media platform to nearly 50,000 followers, it says
Newport Craft is now the largest combined brewing and distilling company in Rhode Island by production. The Thomas Tew Rum brand has been ranked among the Top 10 craft rums in America by USA Today, is a featured rum at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT, can be found on the top shelf of more than 500 restaurants and bars and is the Official Rum of the New York Mets. Additionally, Newport Craft’s portfolio of beers, including Braven Brewing Co., are sold at the New York Mets’ Brooklyn and Queens area ballparks. Behind the strength of the Braven Brewing and Radiant Pig brands, Newport Craft will explore opportunities to open a tasting room in the New York City market, it says.
To increase its brewing and distilling capacity and to meet the heightened market demand for its products, Newport Craft is in the process of doubling the production capacity of its current Newport, R.I. facility. The project will break ground in summer 2020 with a projected 12-month build time. Once completed, the state-of-the-art facility will allow the company to increase its brewing capacity with a goal of 100,000 barrels a year with room to grow, according to the company.
The expanded facility also will allow the company to separate the brewing and distilling operations. Not only will this new facility create the space for expansion and increased production, it will become a premier tourist attraction and venue allowing for each of the company’s products to be displayed, tasted and enjoyed, it adds. The company anticipates doubling its Rhode Island community workforce to meet production demands.
Behind the leadership of O’Donnell and his executive, brewing, distilling and sales teams, the Newport Craft brand portfolio is positioned to meet the increasing market driven demand of its diverse product line, it says.
“I am thrilled to welcome Rob and Radiant Pig to the Newport Craft family,” O’Donnell said. “The immediate contributions Rob will make as a partner and creative leader will add to Newport Craft’s reputation and trajectory as an authentic craft brewer and distiller. The acquisition of Radiant Pig and the buildout of the company’s new Newport, RI facility is just the company’s next evolutionary stage of the strategic plan we charted three years ago.”