An Upstate Success Story
Southern Tier Brewing Company exemplifies the type of company the Comptroller’s Office In-State Private Equity Investment Program seeks to invest in. The craft brewer is financially successful and a good corporate citizen.
Located in Chautauqua County—once a furniture manufacturing hub—Southern Tier is expanding operations from monies received through the In-State program. With new equipment, robust sales and an energetic staff, Southern Tier is climbing to the top of the craft brewery ladder.
Southern Tier began as a small start-up in 2003 by Phineas (Phin) and Sara De Mink. Now, the brewery employs 150 people.
“We’re committed to this area,” said Phin. “We live and work here. We support the local kids’ softball team and other good community causes.”
Southern Tier has built a solid regional customer base with beers like small batch ales and Pilsners. By 2006, product demand was so strong, a 20,000-square foot building was added. In short order, their beer was being distributed nationally and internationally.
In 2016, Southern Tier partnered with Artisanal Brewing Ventures. The new team approached the In-State Program to raise capital for expansion. With the that investment, Artisanal purchased a brewery in Pennsylvania and upgraded the New York plant.
Investments are paying off. Since 2017, Southern Tier’s sales have increased more than 12 percent.
Looking forward, Phin and Sara want to vault Southern Tier into the nation’s top five craft brewers.
“The In-State Program has already helped us so much,” said Phin. “We’re just so honored that this investment comes through the hard-working people of New York State.”