Full Sail Brewing employees vote to sell controlling interest

BREW NEWS: Hood River-based brewing company to be sold to private equity group; Redhook, Carl’s Jr. deal bolsters Portland’s Craft Beer Alliance. 

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Employees of  Hood River-based Full Sail Brewing voted in favor of the company being sold to a private equity group.

Encore Consumer Capital, of San Francisco, will assume a controlling interest in Full Sail, OregonLive.com reports.

The Hood River-based brewing company has been owned by its employees through an employee stock ownership plan. As The Oregonian reported last month, the employees were preparing to vote on whether to pass control to a new group of investors.Full Sail was in the forefront of Oregon’s craft brewing revolution, launching in 1987 with a $250,000 investment from the state’s lottery-backed Oregon Resource and Technology Development Corp. It repaid that investment, plus a profit, to the state and launched on a path to become one of Oregon’s most popular breweries, producing more than 115,000 barrels in 2013.

Encore Consumer Capital has invested in a variety of consumer products companies, including Aidells Sausage Co., Ciao Bella Gelato, Van Law Food Products, Juice Tyme, Isopure and others. It has exited some of those investments through sales of its stake to companies such as J&J Snack Foods and Nestle Purina.

The result of the vote was first reported by the New School Beer blog.

Full Sail is the 25th largest craft brewing company in the country, outproducing 10 Barrel Brewing and Elysian, the blog reports.

Redhook, Carl’s Jr. deal bolsters Portland’s Craft Beer Alliance

Portland based Craft Beer Alliance reported it surpassed the $200 million mark for revenue last year — a landmark made possible by a deal between Redhook and Carl’s Jr.

The fast-food chain, with restaurants also branded Hardees, reportedly partnered with the brewery alliance for a $3.5 million “promotional investment around Redhook ESB,” the Portland Business Journal reports.

Carl’s Jr. has already issued one of its boundary-testing ads promoting a fish sandwich battered in a Redhook concoction.

The Alliance, which owns Widmer Bros. and Redhook, among other brands, said its beer shipment figures rose by 6 percent to 8 percent. Its margins hit 29.4 percent last year, up from 28.1 percent in 2013. The number is expected to jump to 35 percent by 2017. The sale increase was driven by jumps in full-year Kona shipments (by 17 percent), Widmer (6 percent) and Redhood (3 percent).

PBJ reports that the company would like to expand Kona into every state in the U.S.



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