A private equity firm in Cleveland is investing in Uinta Brewing Co., one of the largest craft breweries in the U.S. The Riverside Co. announced the deal with the Salt Lake City brewery today. (Aug. 29)
"This investment from Riverside will allow us to expand our distribution, enhance our production capacity, continue our new beer development and increase our efforts in getting the word out about Uinta’s fantastic beer,” Uinta founder Will Hamill said in a news release.
The firm declined to release financial terms, but said it is Riverside's first investment in a craft brewery. Uinta is the 46th largest craft brewer in the country, according to the Brewers Association. Its brands include Hop Nosh IPA and Cutthroat Pale Ale.
Uinta recently completed an $18 million expansion. Last year, it produced nearly 60,000 barrels and expects this year "to be another year of record growth."
Riverside Vice President Steve Rice said the firm hooked up with Uinta after the brewery hired an adviser to seek out an investor. There are plenty of craft beer fans at the firm who recognized the quality of Uinta and its growth potential, especially its organic line of beers, he said.
"We are big believers in the culture of the business, which is very strong, and the brand messaging they have," Rice said in a telephone interview. "We saw a great opportunity to partner and take it further than they already have."
To read the full news release, see below:
After experiencing accelerated growth over the past few years and recently completing a major brewery expansion, Uinta Brewing Company looks long-term with an investment from The Riverside Company. The injection of financial and strategic resources by Riverside will grant Uinta the ability to keep doing what they are doing—producing notable craft beer in a sustainable way using quality ingredients and state-of-the-art equipment.
Founded 21 years ago by Will Hamill, Uinta has grown to be one of the top 50 craft brewers in the United States by volume. The foundation for Uinta’s impressive growth has been a strong, embedded culture with deep local roots and capable wings. With this foundation firmly in place, the Riverside investment will provide support and resources to sustain Uinta’s incredible growth momentum over the coming years.
Hamill will remain as Uinta’s CEO and significant owner and will continue to lead the brewery as it accelerates its growth and presence in the craft beer market. Comprised of passionate craft beer lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Uinta’s employees and management team remain as committed as ever, and plans to continue to grow the Uinta family are already underway.
“I am deeply committed to the Uinta culture, our team, our consumers, and our distribution partners. This investment from Riverside will allow us to expand our distribution, enhance our production capacity, continue our new beer development and increase our efforts in getting the word out about Uinta’s fantastic beer,” said Hamill. “In considering our options for growth capital, I spoke with many smart people as it was critical to me that our new partner truly understands craft beer and appreciates what makes Uinta so special. I wanted to make sure that we could continue to build our brand while maintaining the culture and values that have made Uinta the company it is today. I’m excited to embrace this support from Riverside. Their resources and business acumen, combined with our passion and brewing knowledge will ensure continued momentum for years to come.”
“We’re especially excited to partner with a strong and respected brand like Uinta,” said Riverside Managing Partner Loren Schlachet. “The craft beer movement is expanding significantly and Uinta has enormous growth potential in both new and existing markets.”
Uinta recently completed an $18 million brewery expansion and will continue to invest in expanding its production capacity and distribution footprint. In 2013, the brewery produced nearly 60,000 barrels of beer and 2014 is poised to be another year of record growth.
“With its fantastic beer and branding, Uinta has already won many fans throughout the country,” said Riverside Vice President Steve Rice. “We’re delighted to be part of the next chapter in Uinta’s growth story, and we look forward to working with Will and his outstanding team.”
“I’m extremely proud of Uinta and our team and eager to expand upon our capabilities. The future looks bright for Uinta Brewing and the craft beer industry as a whole and I am very excited to see what’s on tap for us in the coming years,” said Hamill. “The brewery is extremely humbled by the growing enthusiasm for our brand and the Uinta team is ‘hopped up’ to share our beer with more craft beer consumers near and far.”
Working with Schlachet and Rice on the transaction for Riverside was Senior Associate Kevin Kumar. Origination Principal Jeremy Holland sourced the transaction for Riverside. Vice President Dan Haynes worked on financing the transaction for the firm.
Riverside partnered with Golub Capital for financing and was advised by Jones Day, Deloitte and West Monroe Partners.
Uinta Brewing Company
Named after the only major east-west running mountain range located in the continental U.S., Uinta Brewing Company’s journey began in 1993 with the reality that passion for craft beer and a hankering for the great outdoors could align in Salt Lake City, Utah. Built on an axis point that endorses sustainability, community involvement and innovation, their compass guides them on a path to admirable, consistent craft beer leading consumers to discover a brand with passion, personality and soul. Precisely, GREAT BEER is Uinta’s True North.
The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring and investing in growing businesses valued at up to $250 million (€200 million in Europe). Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 350 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 70 companies.