Mammoth Brewing Company has signed an asset purchase agreement (APA) with the intent to acquire a Reno favorite, Great Basin Brewing Company (GBBC).
The Mammoth Brewing Company (MBC) brand will not be replacing the GBBC brand or any of its facilities. A press release stated that, “the acquisition will act as a catalyst for both brands to continue independent growth in their own unique sectors and that the deal will allow the new combined company to better promote the MBC and GBBC brands autonomously and become regional players in the highly competitive marketplace that is craft beer. It will also allow MBC and GBBC to survive and thrive in an ever-changing craft beer landscape.”
“MBC has always been limited by our production ability due to the size of our brew pub equipment.”
— Sean Turner, co-owner and President, MBC.
“This deal will allow us to grow and fulfill the demand for our craft beers.” Both breweries are known pioneers in the brewing industry in their respective regions. GBBC is the oldest and largest brewing company in Nevada, and MBC is the oldest and most award-winning in the Eastern Sierra.
“We are two true craft breweries looking to merge our brands together because of our passion and love for the industry, and our constant effort to make great beer that represents our region,” said Tom Young, Brewmaster, GBBC.
Turner said GBBC has 20,000 barrels of extra capacity at their location in Nevada sitting empty. “We’ve been doing contract brewing with them for years and this just made sense,” said Turner. “I like the Great Basin name , nd we can have a lot of fun with it. MBC is creating an image that is capturing the essence of the high Sierra and GBBC has the opportunity to capture the spirit of outdoor recreation in Nevada.”
Turner recently resigned from his post on the Mammoth Lakes Tourism Board but will remain on the Recreation Commission. “I will stay at the pleasure of the Town Council for as long as they’ll have me because I really do believe in sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation,” he said. “As the population of southern California continues to grow, they need a place to come and have fun and I hope that both Mammoth Brewing Company and Great Basin can capture the spirit of all the fun that we have up here.”
MBC and GBBC are both located in the Eastern Sierra near outdoor recreational areas, Mammoth Mountain and Lake Tahoe respectively. The breweries’ most popular beers pay tribute to their regions, including MBC’s IPA 395, representing its location off US-395, and GBBC’s “ICKY” IPA which is short for Ichthyosaur, Nevada’s state fossil.
Turner recently created the Mammoth Brewing Group, the parent company which will operate subsidiaries including MBC and GBBC. “There is a lot going on in the brewing industry and I’m excited about merging the two brands. It’s the only way we can compete with the bigger breweries. If you see what’s going on with all that Coors, Budweiser and Miller are buying up, we have to compete.” Turner said they are seeing some smaller breweries merge but that as far as he knows, this is the first known example of a small craft brewery buying out a bigger brewery.
Production of the bottles and cans for MBC will be moved up to Reno but all draft beer for Inyo and Mono County’s will still be processed in Mammoth Lakes. “It’s a very expensive bottle and can production in Mammoth,” said Turner. “On bottling days, we have to truck up palettes of empty bottles, build the palette in the parking lot then take it back down to the warehouse for distribution.” The biggest expense for MBC is warehousing, labor, propane and the parts and servicing of their bottling line. “We spent $20,000.00 on servicing that bottling line last year. If you want to get service calls on a specialty item like a bottling line, they come here from Napa.” High propane fees have also become cost prohibitive. “It costs MBC close to five dollars to brew one barrel of beer in Mammoth, but sixty-five cents a barrel with natural gas in Reno.”
Do the Math. Brewing beer has a price. Kegging has a price. Bottling and canning make the prices go up astronomically and is the most expensive part of our entire production here in Mammoth Lakes. That said, all Inyo and Mono county accounts who get draft beer from us will still have beer which is brewed in Mammoth Lakes.”
— Sean Turner
By cementing MBC and GBBC annual production beers at the larger Taps and Tanks facility in Sparks, this deal will allow both breweries greater experimentation at the other brewery locations, including the MBC as well as the locations in Sparks and Reno.
“I hope to create a team and company that is bigger than me in a place where I’m raising my son,” continued Turner. “This is a great town, and a wonderful part of the world where our company can represent the Eastern Sierra.”
The goal is to close this summer, before the Bluesapalooza and Mammoth Festival of Beers which kicks off the first weekend in August. Once the deal is finalized, MBC and GBBC will have the opportunity to immediately increase sales from approximately 15,000 barrels of beer a year to 40,000 barrels collectively.