We find Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) to be the coolest route for big-time craft breweries to take. Some large craft breweries have gone this way, but don’t forget about the brains behind Evans Brewing Co. In December 2015, Evans Brewing Company finalized its acquisition of the assets and liabilities of Bayhawk Ales, Inc., which founded the oldest craft brewery in Orange County, Calif., way back in 1994. Evans Brewing took over operation of the brewery after Bayhawk shareholders voted Evans management control of the Bayhawk Board of Directors in December 2013. Since that time, the Evans brewery team has improved brewery operations, reduced expenses, forged new distribution relationships, and continued to win international beer awards.
Bayhawk shareholders were provided the opportunity to exchange their Bayhawk stock for an equal number of shares of Evans Brewing Company stock, a process that closed on Dec. 2, 2015.
Just last week the company’s common stock was assigned the trading symbol “ALES” by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Department of Market Operations and that its common stock may now be quoted and traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) market.
The assignment of the stock symbol and the expected quotation on the over-the-counter market provides craft beer enthusiasts – the fastest growing segment of the beer market – an opportunity to invest in a craft beer company poised for significant future growth and expansion. Trading of ALES stock will also represent the fulfillment of management’s promise to stockholders, many of whom have been waiting over 20 years to have tradable shares.
“Bayhawk stockholders, many of whom provided seed capital for Bayhawk Ales over 20 years ago, have waited a long time to see a trading market for their stock,” said Mike Rapport, Chairman of Evans Brewing Company. “The assignment of the very appropriate “ALES” trading symbol is a fulfillment of our promise to these shareholders and positions them to benefit from our plan to grow the company.”
“For prospective investors, Evans Brewing provides one of the very few opportunities to invest in an independent craft beer company with the potential for significant growth in a sector that continues to capture a larger share of the overall beer market.”