New owners have emerged for one of New England’s oldest craft brewers.
Smuttynose Brewing Co. went to foreclosure auction earlier this year. In 2014 the company opened a new $24-million facility, raising annual production capabilities to 75,000 barrels. But sales plateaued around 35,000 barrels annually as growth slowed across the craft beer industry — particularly for larger legacy brewers like Smuttynose.
The auction did not successfully attract a buyer, and the bank kept the brewery. Afterwards, a New Hampshire tech entrepreneur verbally agreed to purchase the brewery for $8.25 million. However, the deal did not come to fruition, and instead the New Hampshire venture capitalist firm Runnymede Investments agreed to acquire the brewery and its restaurant.
The final sale price was undisclosed.
“All of us here are Smuttynose are eager to turn the page and start our next chapter,” says Peter Egelston, president and founder of Smuttynose, in a press release. “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.”
Runnymede selected Rich Lindsay, a former executive for Boston Beer and Nightshift Brewing, as the new CEO of Smuttynose.
“Our immediate priorities are focused on growth,” says Lindsay. “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 employs 66 people and generates more than $10 million dollars in annual revenue. It is New Hampshire’s largest craft brewery, and among the largest in all New England. The sale includes the Smuttynose brand, its state-of-the-art, LEED-certified facility in Hampton, and the Hayseed Restaurant located next to the brewery.