North American Breweries Closes Pyramid Alehouse Location in Berkeley

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North American Breweries (NAB) yesterday announced the permanent closure of its Berkeley, Calif. Pyramid Alehouse, a restaurant and brewery that had been operating in the Oakland suburb since 1997.

According to a press statement from NAB, which purchased Pyramid Breweries in 2010 after its tie-up with Magic Hat, the shut down is part of a broader, company-wide strategy focused on consolidating production at its Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. facilities.

“We want to build on our legacy in the craft beer industry while creating more opportunities to innovate with our styles and packaging in order to grow,” CEO Kris Sirchio said in the statement. “The consolidation to Portland builds on our strengths there, and will allow us to become much more efficient and competitive.”

NAB, which was acquired by Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A. for $388 million in 2012, said it has “increased small batch innovation and production capabilities” in Portland and installed a 20-barrel pilot brewing system as well as new fermentation tanks. The facility improvements have enabled the company to increase total capacity by 20 percent, the company said.

NAB plans to add more brewing equipment and support staff to “further build its presence and support growth in the western United States,” the release stated.

“This is an important milestone in our overall NAB growth strategy, which should open doors to new opportunities for our customers, partners and communities,” Sirchio said.

The Berkeley location is currently being “marketed for sale,” NAB said. A listing price was not disclosed and press materials do not indicate whether the sale will include brewery equipment and other assets.

This is the second Pyramid Alehouse closure in the last 28 months. NAB also shuttered its Sacramento location in March 2013 and, at the tie, said there were no plans to close other locations.

“These locations are thriving and providing a stronger opportunity for us to connect with Pyramid fans,” a company spokeswoman told Brewbound at the time.

The company still operates locations in Walnut Creek, Calif., Portland, Ore. and Seattle.

NAB — which also owns the Magic Hat, Portland Brewing, Dundee and Genesee brands, among others — has had struggled to keep pace with other craft-focused beer companies in recent years. According to market research firm IRI Worldwide, company-wide off-premise volume sales are down 3.4 percent over the last 52 weeks. Year-to-date sales through June 14 are also down 1.9 percent, according to IRI.