Private Equity Firm Sells Pittsburgh Brewing

New York-based private equity firm Verus Investment Partners has sold the 156-year-old Pittsburgh Brewing Company to an undisclosed buyer.

Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a press release, Verus, formerly known as Uni-World Capital, L.P., said it helped turn the business around via “significant improvements in new product innovation, marketing, and operations,” which led to positive revenue growth and a subsequent sale.

“We worked closely with the company to attain the goals we established at the time of our initial investment,” Verus managing partner Chris Fuller said in the release. “Together, we successfully diversified our product offering, invested in strategic sponsorships with Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams, and expanded into new sales channels.”

Under the leadership of Brian Walsh, who was tapped as Pittsburgh Brewing’s CEO in mid-2013, the company grew sales of its popular Iron City and I.C. Light brands. Prior to joining Pittsburgh Brewing Company, Walsh spent six years as the CEO of Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing Company and presided over the acquisitions of Otter Creek Brewery and The Shed Brewery.

Pittsburgh Brewing Company, which as recently as 2014 had produced its beer under contract at City Brewing Company in Latrobe, Pa., grew 6.5 percent in 2016, to 80,000 barrels, according to Brewers Association estimates.

In 2014, Pittsburgh Brewing introduced the Block House Brewing line of craft beers. It also had partnerships with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Penguins for branded I.C. Light packages.

Messages left for Walsh and Versus Investment Partners were not returned as of press time.

A press release with additional information is included below.

NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Verus Investment Partners (“Verus”), a leading private equity investment firm, is pleased to announce the sale of its portfolio company, Pittsburgh Brewing Company (“PBC”).

Founded in 1861 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, PBC produces several well-known brands of beer including Iron City, IC Light, American, Old German, and Block House. During the brewery’s 150-year history, it has introduced many innovations such as the first twist-off cap, the first snap-top can and the nation’s first light beer. While primarily distributed in Pennsylvania and nearby states, the company’s beers have developed a loyal following around the nation.

Through Verus’s partnership with PBC’s executive team, PBC made significant improvements in new product innovation, marketing, and operations. During Verus’s investment period, PBC returned to positive revenue growth and re-established itself as the beer of choice for the greater Pittsburgh area. PBC also had considerable success in expanding sales outside of Western Pennsylvania.

“We worked closely with the company to attain the goals we established at the time of our initial investment,” said Chris Fuller, Managing Partner of Verus. “Together, we successfully diversified our product offering, invested in strategic sponsorships with Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams, and expanded into new sales channels.”

Richard Moreau, a Partner at Verus, added, “We had a strong partnership with the management team of Pittsburgh Brewing Company and we are proud of the success and growth the company has achieved. The business is well positioned to capitalize on consumer trends in the beer industry and we look forward to the next phase of the company’s expansion.”

About Verus Partners

Verus Investment Partners, formerly Uni-World Capital, is a New York-based private equity firm focused on making leveraged buyout and growth equity investments in lower-middle market companies. The firm seeks to partner with management teams where it can leverage the Verus Private Equity team’s collective business experience, corporate relationships and strategic and financial expertise in order to help enhance a company’s strategic positioning and drive profitable growth. More information can be found at www.veruspartners.com.

Brewbound Job Board

The leading job board for the beer industry. Featuring hundreds of jobs from leading breweries and associated companies.


Brewbound Live Winter 2018

Santa Monica, CA ● Nov. 27+28, 2018

Register Now
Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.