Baltimore Breweries to Share Production Facility; NY Brewery Available in Bankruptcy Auction

RavenBeer Vacates Production Facility, Begins Sharing DuClaw Brewery

Two decades-old Baltimore breweries have begun consolidating operations.

RavenBeer is in the process of relocating its operations to the Duclaw Brewing Company facility. In a press release, RavenBeer founder Stephen Demczuk cited increased competition from local and national breweries alike as one of the reasons for the move.

“I am elated to collaborate with Dave Benfield and his team at DuClaw Brewing,” Demczuk said in the release. “DuClaw is a magnificent facility that produces some of the finest beers around. Our partnership will help us both grow more efficiently and give us greater purchasing power.”

RavenBeer, which makes Edgar Allan Poe themed beers such as Tell Tale Heart IPA, started brewing at the DuClaw facility on November 30, according to the Baltimore Sun. The two companies will share brewmaster Ernie Igot, who is now an employee of DuClaw.

The news of the move follows DuClaw’s announcement in July that it had retained investment banking firm Equity Partners HG to help identify an investor or buyer for the company. However, the Sun reported that DuClaw’s arrangement with RavenBeer is unrelated to that move, and it is neither a merger nor an acquisition.

Matt LoCascio, a managing partner with Equity Partners HG, told Brewbound that DuClaw is still exploring “a lot of options but nothing’s been the bullseye yet.”

Last year, DuClaw sold about 35,000 barrels of beer.

Chelsea Craft Brewing Company Available in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Auction

New York’s Chelsea Craft Brewing Company is being auctioned off as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, Brewbound has learned.

The New York City-based craft brewery, which opened in 1995 and remains in operation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 28 and is now being auctioned off by a trustee.

According to a listing on the “Auction Advisors” website, the auction includes a 30-barrel brewhouse, 12-tap tasting room, an in-house kitchen, 12 fermentation tanks, nine brite beer tanks and a 2.1 million BTU boiler. A 7-year lease on the building, 15 brands, permits, licenses and a distribution agreement with Union Beer Distributors LLC are also included. The brewery has a capacity to produce 13,680 barrels of beer annually with room to scale.

“It’s kind of a turnkey operation,” Auction Advisors managing partner Joshua Olshin told Brewbound.

Olshin added that the operation was “undercapitalized” after moving from Manhattan to the Bronx in 2016 and has “lost over a half a million dollars.”

The brewery is slated to be auctioned off on-site at 463 East 173rd Street in the Bronx at a yet-to-be-determined January date.

The listing says Chelsea’s annual sales via distribution with Union are about $180,000 and taproom sales account for about $180,000. The company also receives $120,000 annually for producing four private-label brands on a contract basis.

Last year, Chelsea sold 1,800 barrels of beer, according to data from industry trade group the Brewers Association (BA).

C.B. & Potts’ Broomfield Location Closes

C.B. & Potts Restaurant and Brewery in Broomfield closed last month after 16 years in business, according to Denver’s Westword newspaper.

“Although we were busy, it just didn’t pencil out for us,” Jeff Iverson, president of the RAM Restaurant Group, which owns C.B. & Potts, told the outlet in a statement.

The Broomfield outpost sold 815 barrels of beer last year, according to the BA.

C.B. & Potts, a Colorado brewpub chain founded in 1974, announced last year that it was halting production in Fort Collins in order to consolidate its brewing operations at its Denver Tech Center location.

Despite the closure, C.B. & Potts maintains outposts in Highlands Ranch, Westminster, Colorado Springs and Breckenridge. The company also plans to open a new brewery and taproom in Fort Collins this winter, according to Westword.

Wiseguy Brewing Co. Shutters

After just seven months in business, Carlsbad, California-based Wiseguy Brewing Co. closed its doors at the end of September, according to the San Diego Reader.

“I wish the beer was the problem, but the location was our downfall at the end of the day,” brewery co-founder Brett Gent told the Reader.

Gent was reportedly leasing the turnkey brewery from a business called Brewery Igniter, which is run by property management company H.G. Fenton. According to the report, Gent believes Wiseguy sales and foot traffic suffered because the brewery was located in the back of an industrial park about 300 ft. from the highway and not visible to nearby traffic.

Wiseguy is the ninth such brewery to close in San Diego County in the last two years, according to the Reader.

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