The Provident Bank, which purchased Smuttynose Brewing Co. at a foreclosure auction on March 9, has sold the company to North Hampton-based Runnymede Investments for an undisclosed amount. Runnymede Investments is a family-owned and -operated investment firm headquartered five miles from the Smuttynose Brewery in North Hampton that specializes in real estate, private equity and venture capital. Runnymede is working with a professional brewery executive, Rich Lindsay, who will collaborate with the current team at Smuttynose.
“The Provident Bank is confident that Runnymede Investments is the right buyer for Smuttynose Brewing Company,” stated Provident Bank President Chuck Withee. “Runnymede has the resources to reinvigorate this popular brand.”
Chris Broom Jr. of Runnymede Investments expressed enthusiasm for having the opportunity to invest in New Hampshire’s largest craft brewery.
“Peter Egelston and Joanne Francis have assembled a great team and an impressive production facility. We’re taking a long view and plan on making immediate investments to strengthen the brand and return to growth. We’re also pleased to be adding Richard Lindsay as chief executive officer to the team. Rich is a seasoned industry veteran having held executive roles with Samuel Adams, Tuthilltown Spirits, Night Shift Brewing as well as consulting roles with numerous startups in the alcoholic beverage industry.”
“I’m very happy to be leading this team and building upon the Smuttynose brand’s legacy,” Lindsay stated. “Our immediate priorities are focused on growth. We’re making plans to add personnel to our sales team and provide them with resources to make them effective in this competitive market. We also plan to make an investment in a canning line that will allow us to participate in a growing segment of the craft beer market.”
Founded in 1994, Smuttynose Brewing, employs 66 people and generates more than $10 million in annual revenue. It is the Granite State’s leading craft brewery and produces some of New England’s most popular craft beers. The sale includes the Smuttynose brand, its state-of-the-art, LEED-Gold certified facility on the historic Towle Farm in Hampton and Hayseed Restaurant located next to the brewery on the picturesque 13-acre campus. The brewery is among the largest in New England, capable of producing 75,000 barrels a year.
Peter Egelston, president and founder of Smuttynose, shared the news with the brewery’s staff. “All of us here are Smuttynose are eager to turn the page and start our next chapter. We are pleased to know that we’ll be working with investors from within our own community, people who are familiar with our brand and appreciate what we’ve built here.”
Egelston’s partner, Joanne Francis, is relieved that the future is no longer in limbo, saying, “A company like Smuttynose doesn’t just pop up overnight. Our culture and reputation for quality are the result of decades of work, devotion and creativity. We’ve built a strong foundation with a lot of untapped potential, but circumstances over the last couple of years have held us back. With a strong partner who understands that potential, there’s no limit to what we can now accomplish. We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get started!”
There has been no disruption in the transition. The brewery and Hayseed Restaurant continue to operate, as well as all planned events on site. They welcome visitors and patrons.