Award winning brewery gets new owner with deep ad pockets

Award winning brewery gets new owner with deep ad pockets

Steve’s breakdown: When a well established brewery gets a new owner, there’s bound to be changes in marketing so check in with Sharad Chadha and Jim Kanter before they make any decisions. What’s their plan? To make the company “the craft beverage icon of America.”

GLENDALE, WI: A Milwaukee-based investor group has acquired the 35-year-old Sprecher Brewing Company.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, a press release noted that Commerce State Bank funded the debt, while investors “funded significant equity to make the purchase happen.”

Sharad Chadha, who brings a wealth of experience in executive roles at Samsung Electronics, GE Healthcare and Electrolux, is leading the investor group, which includes former MillerCoors general manager Jim Kanter, who will serve on the brewery’s leadership team.

Other investors include Andy Nunemaker, vice president of product management at Milwaukee software firm Applied Systems, as board chairman, and Peter Skanavis, the founder of Milwaukee realtor, Homeowners Concept Realtors, who will serve on the board. Milwaukee area investor group Silicon Pastures is listed as an angel investor.

Chadha will serve as the brewery’s CEO, while 73-year-old Randy Sprecher, who founded the Wisconsin craft brewery in 1985, will retire but maintain a stake in the business as an investor.

In a press release, Sprecher called Chadha’s offer an “ideal opportunity.”

“It was important to me that Sprecher stay locally owned,” he continued. “This has been my life’s passion for decades and I want to see the company thrive. With this talented and experienced group, I’m sure it will.”

Chadha called Sprecher Brewery “a little known gem with a great future ahead of it.” He cited the company’s portfolio, which includes craft beer, soda, cider, hard seltzer and sparkling water.

“We want to capitalize on what Randy built and share these amazing beverages with as many people as possible,” he added. “Sprecher Root Beer is a craft beverage icon, and we have the potential to significantly grow the company.”

Sprecher produced 9,155 barrels of beer in 2018, the first year in which the company reported its production numbers to the Brewers Association since 2015, when it produced 25,043 barrels.

In the release, Chadha said his goal for the brewery is to make it “the craft beverage icon of America.”


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