PORTLAND — Shipyard Brewing Co. has partnered with Fess Parker Winery of California to expand its distribution in that state.

Shipyard already has a small presence in California, selling about 40,000 cases a year. With the new distribution pact, Shipyard aims to increase California sales by 25 percent this year. Fess Parker’s five sales representatives will market Shipyard beers to restaurants and stores throughout California.

“Every brewer wants to be in California,” said Bruce Forsley, Shipyard’s director of sales and marketing. “It’s an incredibly competitive market.

“It’s an unusual marriage of a beer brewery and a wine maker. We have no other plans for another partnership at this level,” Forsley said.

With the help of Fess Parker, Shipyard expects to improve its presence in California, where local craft breweries such as Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. have grown into national brands.

The relationship with Fess Parker began about four years ago when Shipyard’s Optimus Imports distribution business began marketing Fess Parker’s wine in northern New England, Forsley said.

Representatives of Fess Parker, based in Los Olivos, Calif., will be in Portland this week visiting the Shipyard brewery and getting to know Maine, Forsley said.

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be reached at 791-6316 or: [email protected]