Tough to follow the comings and goings of transactions in the craft beer industry these days, even for us professional* journalists. Here are a few more under-the-radar company and building transactions from the last week.
Renegade Brewing sells a stake to former Xerox CEO
Expanding a brewery requires a pretty dramatic infusion of capital, which sometimes means finding some new friends. According to the Denver Post, Renegade Brewing did just this, with that new friend being Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox, investing through her Silver Fox Partners company. With this new partner in the fold (for an undisclosed sum of money), Renegade is looking to expand production and distribute into new markets.
Brian O’Connell, who founded Renegade in 2011, retains ownership and remains the company’s CEO. Renegade has a taproom and production facility in the Santa Fe Arts District, where it will brew about 6,000 barrels this year. The additional funds will help the brewer expand distribution, its beer portfolio and staff.
O’Connell said that Renegade currently employs 22 people and plans to immediately hire four more, plus another two to three employees in the next 12 months. Besides Colorado, the company also distributes beer to Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
Glacier Brewing looks to sell, reduces asking price
The craft brewery acquisition environment is still active but has cooled to a level below hotcakes, or so it seems. For example, according to the Daily Inter Lake, Glacier Brewing in Polson, Mont., has been on the block since the start of summer for a sum of $875,000 but has now decided to lower the price by $125,000.
What would you get for that $750,000? Well, the usual equipment, recipes, distribution deals … and the head brewer Dave Ayers. This is again the reminder of the intense amount of capital needed to operate and grow a brewery — Ayers is still very much into this business and has a plan to grow, but the initial investors are kind of over it. So now he is seeking new buyers interested in his next steps.
“I didn’t have all the financing under my belt, so of course I had to go out and find not only bank loans but also private investment,” Ayers said. “It is the same group of investors that have been with the brewery the entire time, since 2002, and they have all just kind of gotten to a point where they want to move on to something else. We had a very frank discussion last winter.”
He also says there are a lot of things that could improve with a sale to the right buyer, and he’s excited by that opportunity.
He would like to add full-time positions for both sales and marketing, positions he said other breweries in the state with deeper pockets already have. He thinks adding the two positions would further the Glacier Brewing Company brand and market penetration. The brewery currently sells about 65 to 70 percent of its beer in the summer, Ayers said, and is on track to produce about 600 barrels this year.
Veza Sur Brewing building sold to Brooklyn investors
In less interesting news, while our pal Ayers in Montana is looking for that $750,000 buyer, the building leased Anheuser-Busch’s Veza Sur Brewing Co. in Miami’s Wynwood just sold for $4.5 million, to Philip Knoll, a Brooklyn-based investor, according to The Real Deal. Yawn.
Veza Sur, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, is leasing the 3,800-square-foot space. The brewery, which includes a brewhouse and taproom, opened in August. It’s a collaboration between Berny Silberwasser of Bogota Beer Company and Chris and Jeremy Cox of 10 Barrel Brewing Co., according to a news release.
Anheuser-Busch has 11 years left on the lease, Cahane said. The seller, led by Christianne M. Wassmann, originally planned to build out the brewery for himself, but decided to lease it to the beer giant.