Lighthouse Strategies’ long-rumored Great Lakes craft brewery acquisition finally became reality today.
The maker of the Cannabiniers and Two Roots lines of cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic and alcoholic craft beers, announced that it has reached a deal for Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Rochester Mills Production Brewery.
Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the next 90 days, were not disclosed.
Lighthouse Strategies founder and CEO Michael Hayford told Brewbound that the purchase of Rochester Mills’ 46,000 sq. ft. production facility gives the company a strategic location in the Great Lakes region, allowing it to expand the Two Roots brand’s geographic footprint to the Midwest, East Coast and Canada.
Two Roots will also double its production volume with the addition of Rochester Mills’ 60,000 barrels of capacity.
After completion of the sale, Hayford said equipment to produce non-alcoholic beer will be installed at the facility. Two Roots will then begin production, sales and distribution of its alcoholic and non-alcoholic offerings, including its Lager, New West IPA, and Wheat, as well as seasonal and limited-edition offerings.
Hayford stressed that the company will not infuse any products with cannabis at the Michigan brewery. The company plans to sell bulk non-alcoholic Two Roots beers to licensed cannabis manufacturers to infuse, package and distribute as Two Roots’ cannabis-infused offerings in their respective states. Production of Two Roots offerings in the Great Lakes region is expected to begin in early 2020.
Meanwhile, Rochester Mills Beer Company is not part of the acquisition and will continue to operate as a separate business. There will be no changes to Rochester Mills’ leadership team, brewing staff, or product availability, Hayford said. The production brewery will continue to produce Rochester Mills’ offerings in addition to new beers launched by the brewery.
“Rochester Mills has always been at the forefront of craft beer innovation,” Rochester Mills Production Brewery CEO Earl Smith said in a press release. “We are excited to join forces with Two Roots Brewing Co. and to forge together, the future of craft beverages.”
Late last month, Two Roots announced a line of non-cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic craft beers, available at 145 BevMo! stores in California. Hayford said the company is “hopeful” that Two Roots’ alcoholic and non-alcoholic craft beers will eventually expand nationally.
“Non-alcoholic beer is one of the fastest growing segments in the beer market, and we’re excited to offer a range of products for those consumers that are seeking to drink more mindfully,” he said.
Hayford had teased the Rochester Mills acquisition in June, and he told Brewbound last month that the deal had been moving “a little slower than” expected due to “the volatility in the cannabis market in and around valuations and capital.”
Hayford declined to comment further on the details of the transaction, stating only that the company is “very excited to welcome Rochester Mills Production Brewery team members into the Two Roots Brewing Co. family.”
Lighthouse has announced three craft brewery acquisitions in the last year. The company acquired Helm’s Brewery in San Diego last year. Meanwhile, Hayford told Brewbound last month that Lighthouse has yet to close on its acquisition of Colorado’s Dad & Dudes Breweria.
Two Roots also contract produces with San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Company, using some of the company’s excess capacity.
According to Hayford, the company is taking a “hybrid” strategic approach of brewery acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships with large companies, and is aiming to establish a brewing network able to produce 500,000 barrels annually.