Brewery Acquisition = Brand Expansion

Steve’s breakdown: And brand expansion means more advertising. Epic Brewing bought Telegraph Brewing Company and the plan is to blow Telegraph out. Obviously they are talking about output but they’re going to need smart marketing to allow that to happen.

SANTA BARBARA, CA & SALT LAKE CITY, UT: Following an 18-month search for a brewery to purchase, Epic Brewing today announced the acquisition of Telegraph Brewing Company, a California-based beer company that produces a variety of Belgian-inspired beers.

Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a press release, Epic Brewing — which has production facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver, Colorado — said it plans to “expand and broaden” Telegraph’s offerings.

“So much has changed in the craft beer world since I started Telegraph, back when hazy beers were just called unfiltered and there were fewer than 1,500 brewers nationwide,” brewery founder Brian Thompson said via the release. “Today, with the number of breweries approaching 6,000, the craft brewing landscape is radically different. We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished, but the increased competition from the likes of AB-InBev’s ‘crafty beers,’ as well as new startups, is requiring everyone in the industry to recalibrate their plans for the future.

“This partnership will allow us to nurture our deep California roots, retain and expand our amazing staff, and continue to develop our brand in new and innovative ways,” he said in the release. Thompson described the decision to sell as the “right fit both strategically and culturally.”

Epic Brewing’s investment will enable Telegraph, which launched in 2006, to expand its brewing operations, the release noted, and there are “immediate plans” to increase production capacity while simultaneously packaging Telegraph products in 12 oz. cans.

Epic Brewing, which opened in 2010, also plans to relocate seven wooden foeders from its Denver brewery to Telegraph’s facility, enabling the Santa Barbara-based company to expand production of its own sour beer offerings.

A new line of hazy IPAs, which Telegraph expects to sell directly to consumers from its brewery, is also being developed, the release stated.

“We are investing in the future of Santa Barbara and are thrilled to have a direct and local connection to the amazing California craft beer community, where we share so much history,” Epic Brewing founder Dave Cole said via the release. “To be part of such a well-regarded brewery like Telegraph is something I’ve always hoped to do and now it’s finally a reality. It provides us an avenue to combine our teams and build on Telegraph’s portfolio with our innovative vision.”

Epic, which distributes its beer to 24 states and Washington, D.C., is on pace to produce more than 27,000 barrels in 2017. The company produced 22,462 barrels in 2016, according to data from industry trade group the Brewers Association (BA).

Telegraph Brewing did not report production figures to the BA in 2016.

“This couldn’t be a better fit — including some advantageous distribution overlaps that create opportunities to expand both brands across California and beyond,” Cole added in the release.


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