Christian Moerlein Hits a Double

Christian Moerlein owner Greg Hardman has purchased the Little Kings brand from a Pennsylvania holding company, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

The acquisition, completed late Tuesday from SBT Corp., an investment group in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.., where the ale is brewed, also completes the assembly of once-famous Cincinnati beer brands by Hardman’s Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Since 2004, Christian Moerlein Brewing has acquired the Moerlein brand, Hudy Delight, Hudepohl 14K and Burger beer brands.

This is a good move at a couple of different levels.  Cincinnati is justifiably proud of its brewing heritage, and it’s good to see a part of that heritage come home (in spirit, if not yet in fact.  Hey, it’s still brewed in Wilkes-Barre).  This is a win for the home team, pure and simple, good news all by itself.  There’s more, though, and it’s probably the most important part of the story.

[…] with the Little Kings purchase, Hardman has doubled the sales volume of his company, and expanded his distribution network, limited until now to the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area, to 26 states.

This is, in a word, huge.  I’m a big fan of the Moerlein beers and I think they’ll do well outside the region.  They certainly deserve to.

At the moment this is a good, clean double, but it could stretch into an inside-the-park home run if Hardman’s strategy pays off:

The Little Kings acquisition gives the company a platform of brands to establish national distribution and eventually build sales volume to where Hardman hopes to re-establish a brewery in Over-the-Rhine, once home to the city’s brewing heritage.

Congratulations to Greg Hardman and all the folks at Christian Moerlein.

2 Replies to “Christian Moerlein Hits a Double”

  1. Good for them! I’d probably just cry if I could get the OTR ale out here in SF. Fingers crossed for someday. :)

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