Olde Saratoga Brewing Equipment Scheduled for Auction, while Mendocino Brewing Finds New Owner

Eight months after ceasing operations, the brewing equipment inside New York’s Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. is slated to be sold at an August 28 auction.

Meanwhile, Olde Saratoga’s sister brewery, Ukiah, California-based Mendocino Brewing Co., which also closed its doors in January, has reportedly found a new owner.

In January, the two sister breweries shuttered as the Indian government attempted to extradite billionaire Vijay Mallya, who owned both breweries, from London on fraud and money laundering charges in excess of $1 billion. Mallya is still fighting extradition to India where he’s accused of defrauding a government-owned bank relating to the 2012 collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines company.

Production at the two facilities had steadily declined since 2012, when the breweries combined to produce 84,000 barrels, according to data from the Brewers Association (BA). Last year, production dropped 30 percent, to about 46,000 total barrels.

Mendocino Brewing Co., in conjunction with Releta Brewing LLC, the formal business name of Olde Saratoga, are listed on the auction agreement, according to Tiger Group, the financial services firm conducting the auction along with liquidation company Schneider Industries Inc.

Tiger Group commercial and industrial managing director Jeremy Halford told Brewbound that the firm is attempting to sell the brewery turnkey prior to holding a live online auction. He added that the equipment — which includes a 125-barrel brewhouse, a packaging line capable of filling 220 bottles per minute, an automatic keg washing and filling system, a walk-in cooler, and tasting room fixtures, among other items — has drawn “a lot of interest” from “mid-sized brewers” and local brewers seeking extra capacity.

“If none of those options work out, we’re going to go through to an auction on the 28th,” he said.

Bidding for the equipment — which will be offered piecemeal or in a bulk lot on SoldTiger.com — is slated to begin on August 21 and close at 11 a.m. EST on August 28. Tiger Group plans to preview the assets to potential buyers on August 27 at the former Olde Saratoga manufacturing facility in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Halford declined to put a number on how much the equipment could fetch. If a buyer did want the facility turnkey, they would need to work out a separate lease agreement, he added.

“This offering provides a unique opportunity to acquire a full-service brewery at hard asset value,” John Coelho, Tiger Group commercial and industrial division senior director, said, via a press release. “The ability to submit piecemeal bids also offers craft breweries, cider making, and other food and beverage manufacturers the opportunity to purchase individual assets at liquidation prices.”

The intellectual property is not a part of the auction, however, Halford said if a buyer is interested in the IP, Tiger Group would facilitate an introduction following the auction.

Halford added that he anticipates more auctions for brewing equipment in the future due to increased competition in the beer industry.

“It’s not going to be a one-off aberration in the industry,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of used equipment coming online for sale.”

Meanwhile, Gary Breen, developer and owner of Hopland, California-based Campovida farm and winery, has purchased Mendocino Brewing Co., according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Breen told the outlet that he aims to resurrect the brewing operation with plans to resume brewing Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk later this year. He added that he may also open a tasting room.

Breen did not return a call for comment as of press time.

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