The Provident Bank, the top lender to Smuttynose Brewing Co. has bought the New Hampshire based microbrewery at auction for $8.25 million. After receiving a handful of bids on Friday’s auction at the brewery, the bank decided to buy the brewery back for itself. However, the search for a new investor is not over. A potential sale could be finalized in the near future.
Smuttynose, which employs 66 people and is considered one of the pioneers of craft brewing in the US, was sold at a bank auction after the company was not able to repay its debts. The brewery was only able to utilize half of its capacity of 88,000 hectoliters after the last enlargement in 2014. Peter Egelston, who founded the brewery in 1994 in Hampton, New Hampshire, said the company’s financial models were based on 20 years of consistent growth but the company had recently lost sales due to increased competition of new openings of craft beer breweries in the area and all over the US. (inside.beer, 18.1.2018)
Egelston said he was sure that Smuttynose can regain its footing with a major capital infusion. The Provident Bank President Chuck Withee says he’s confident the right investor will continue to grow and strengthen the brand. “We are entertaining offers right now from prospective buyers. This process allows us to get the strongest deal in place to move Smuttynose Brewing Company forward in a positive direction,” Withee said.
Until then "it's going to be business as usual here at Smuttynose. The beer will continue to be brewed, the employees have their jobs, and the bank will be negotiating with potential buyers," Barbara MacLeod a spokesperson for Smuttynose told local media.