USA: Maui Brewing buys Modern Times as backup-bidder

Maui Brewing Company, Hawaii’s largest craft brewery that ranks as the 43rd-largest craft brewer in the U.S., has bought California based brewery and coffee company Modern Times for USD 15.3 million in a court-approved receivership auction.

During the auction held on June 17, Anaheim’s Brewery X was the winning bidder with a bid of USD 20 million and Maui Brewing was designated as the second-place finisher. However, today it became known that Brewery X has backed out of the deal paving the way for backup-bidder Maui Brewing.

“This was an unexpected development in this process,” Modern Times CEO Jennifer Briggs said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with Maui Brewing Co. and finalizing the sale process and transitioning the business.”

“The football got passed back to us that we weren’t expecting,” said Garrett Marrero, Founder and Chief Executive of Maui Brewing. “We love the [Modern Times] brand. We love the company. We are just evaluating all of the options.”

Modern Times was forced into bankruptcy in March after defaulting on payments. The brewery had previously pursued an aggressive expansion on the West Coast but had been derailed by the pandemic. In order to reduce cost, Modern Times closed its brewpubs in Portland, Ore., Oakland, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles but continued with its production facility and brewpub in Point Loma, as well as locations in North Park, Encinitas and Anaheim.

Maui Brewing has grown significantly and reported sales volumes at record levels for its Maui Brewing Co. brands as well as ‘Ohana, Maui Hard Seltzer, Kupu Spirits, and Island Soda. The brewery was founded in 2005 and has since expanded in 20 states, 1 district, and 3 international countries. The brewery entered earlier this spring into a partnership with Sleeping Giant Brewing Company in Denver, CO, for mainland production of its core Maui brands in order to provide more capacity for the Kihei brewery to supply the Hawaiian Islands.

After the purchase of Modern Times, it remains to be seen whether the partnership with Sleeping Giant Brewing will continue, or whether the quantities needed will be produced at Modern Times in California in the future.

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