Foolproof Brewing Founder Lists Rhode Island Craft Brewery for Sale

After seven years, Foolproof Brewing founder Nick Garrison is seeking a buyer for his Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based craft brewery.

“It’s largely a personal decision,” Garrison told Brewbound. “After working for nearly a decade in the industry, it’s just time for the next chapter.”

Garrison declined to share a selling price.

“We’ve expanded the brand into a number of markets,” he said. “We’ve brewed 20-plus beers over the years and won national and international beer medals, received a lot of accolades for our accomplishments and grown into a pretty strong presence in the craft beer community here in Rhode Island.”

Foolproof’s assets include its 30-barrel brewhouse and 1,000 sq. ft. taproom, as well as the building and land the brewery sits on.

“There’s a lot of value here between our real estate and taproom, our brewing equipment, our raw material inventory, the goodwill of the Foolproof brand and our expansive distribution network,” Garrison said.

Garrison said he’s received calls and messages from interested parties since issuing a press release Tuesday about the sale, a somewhat unorthodox move that he hopes will yield a serious buyer.

“Making your sale public has the advantage of broadening the number of people who see the story and consider buying the brewery,” Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson wrote in an email to Brewbound.

Garrison said he’s open to conversations with buyers of all backgrounds, but hopes a perspective owner will continue the brand.

“It would be nice to see the Foolproof brand and legacy continue after the transition,” he said.

Additionally, Garrison said he is hopeful a new buyer will continue to employ Foolproof’s 14 employees.

“They’re the most important thing to me at this point, and I’m working with each of them to land on their feet somewhere and explore more opportunities in the industry,” he said. “It’s a big reason why I want to get the news out publicly. Hopefully if there’s any breweries out there looking to hire, I’ve got this great team of talented, experienced and motivated employees that are hungry and looking for the next step.

In 2018, Foolproof produced an estimated 3,120 barrels of its 10,000-barrel capacity brewery, although the company did not provide the BA with final volume data. That figure, however, is down from Foolproof’s peak production of 3,900 barrels in 2016, according to Watson.

Foolproof’s beer is sold in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, the city of Philadelphia, and the United Kingdom.

The company gained international distribution through the BA’s Craft Beer Export Development Program, which was established in 2004 to introduce American craft brewers to global drinkers. Last year, craft brewers shipped 285,018 barrels abroad, worth an estimated $74 million, according to the BA’s website.

“The reaction to the brand over there has been really positive,” Garrison said of Foolproof’s U.K. sales. “As we look for buyers in the industry, that’s one of many things we feel carry a lot value for Foolproof, the brand and all of our assets.”

Although Garrison is openly seeking a buyer for Foolproof, the brewery’s taproom will remain open. Interested buyers are asked to email info@foolproofbrewing.com.

 

This article was edited on December 12 to reflect that craft brewers shipped 285,801 barrels abroad, worth an estimated $74 million. 

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