The craft beverage space is morphing as breweries / cideries / distilleries offer products that blur traditional lines. Six American craft beverage equipment suppliers are following suit: Alpha Brewing Operations, GW Kent, Twin Monkeys, Stout Tanks and Kettles, Brewmation, and Automated Extractions are merging in a $100 million deal to create Lotus Beverage Alliance.
Those six companies cover the needs of beverage manufacturers of all sizes, spanning every step of production for craft beer, wine, hard cider, spirits, cold brew coffee, ready-to-drink cocktails, kombucha, CBD/THC-infused drinks, and sake beverages.
“Lotus has everything craft beverage creators need to produce the amazing artisanal products they love, for people who love them,” said John Ansbro, CEO of Lotus Beverage Alliance. “Our team’s proven industry experience includes a deep bench of experts helping to optimize the production of handcrafted beverages for consumers to enjoy.”
In another industry first, Lotus introduced a proprietary financing program that offers customers affordable financing options, removing cost barriers for startups and smaller beverage producers. Credit approvals typically take less than 24 hours to provide clients with maximum flexibility.
“What a bold vision to pull together such well-respected leaders of each of their respective craft beverage supplier channel segments. The result of this merger for craft beverage makers is sure to be exponential growth and continued beverage innovation,” said Banjo Bandolas, Director of Advertising and Sales at ProBrewer.com. “Lotus appears to be a first-mover by creating a one-stop-shop for craft brewers and companies moving into ‘beyond beer’ products. I look forward to seeing where it evolves.”
Lotus Beverage Alliance brings these leading equipment makers under one roof to become the only end-to-end provider dedicated to crafting possibilities for beverage makers, from nationally-distributed beverage purveyors to the everyday craft enthusiast.
Lotus Beverage Alliance produces 1,500+ top-shelf products, including turn-key brewhouse production equipment, 304 stainless steel conical fermenters, brew kettles, IBC totes, multi-capacity tanks, mash tuns, brite tanks, canning systems, automation and control systems, packaging, thermal processes and sanitation equipment, raw ingredient supply, parts, and more.
Lotus Beverage Alliance offers extensive support for startups and scale-ups, including:
- Brewing and Distilling
- Quick Ship Equipment and Parts
- Automation and Controls
- Extraction Processing
- Beverage Production Support
Following the six-way merger, the Lotus Beverage Alliance ownership structure includes the founders from all six businesses.
The five founders of the six companies will remain in senior leadership positions at Lotus: Matt Rennerfeldt, John Watt, Kevin Weaver, Josh Van Riper, and Randy Reichwage. John Ansbro, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in equipment manufacturing, has been named Chief Executive Officer for Lotus. Ansbro has held senior executive positions at Alfa Laval, Johnson Controls, and the GEA Group.
Additionally, Lotus has implemented an employee ownership program, at no cost to the employees. Employee ownership has been extended to every single employee throughout the organization. Research has shown that broad-based employee ownership programs improve worker retention, reduce income disparity, and result in higher margins, as well as improved growth and operating efficiencies across various aspects of a business. Lotus collaborated with Ownership Works in this employee ownership program’s creation.
The Lotus merger was facilitated by Ronin Equity Partners, a New York-based investment firm with a long-term growth focus. Ronin is also an investor in Lotus.
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