Eastside Distilling acquires MotherLode Craft Distillery
Eastside plans joint expansion of both companies’ resources
Portland, Ore.-based Eastside Distilling Inc., a producer of hand-crafted spirits, announced the acquisition of MotherLode Craft Distillery, also based in Portland, Ore., and a provider of bottling services and production support to craft distilleries. Since its founding in 2014 by Allen Barteld, the mission of MotherLode has been to enable craft distillers to increase their production and extend their product lines, reducing cost and increasing efficiency, thereby freeing them to focus on their craft, the company says. The typical MotherLode customer is a distillery of small batch, hand-crafted spirits, or a premium craft spirit sold as a private label, it adds.
Eastside Distilling plans to relocate much of its own operations to MotherLode's facility and jointly expand both companies’ manufacturing resources, it says. Plans are in place for a pneumatic bottling line, increasing its bottling rate five-fold, and large volume spirit handling capability. The company anticipates that the MotherLode operations will be immediately accretive to earnings and that cost reductions associated with the acquisition and relocation will exceed $200,000 per annum, it says.
In addition to providing bottling services for distillers and other producers of spirits, MotherLode bottles private-label craft spirits for customers who have on-premise or off-premise licenses including retail and liquor stores, bars, restaurants, events and businesses. MotherLode's premium craft spirits also can be private labeled for corporate gifts, wedding, birthdays and other personal events, it says.
As previously announced, Eastside Distilling has retained Portland, Ore.-based spirits branding firm Sandstrom Partners. Management believes that MotherLode can help with new product development and branding initiatives, it adds.
"The MotherLode acquisition is expected to be accretive on many levels, with a payback targeted to occur within one year to 18 months,” said Grover Wickersham, executive chairman of Eastside Distilling, in a statement. “A high point of this merger is the recruitment on a long-term contract of Allen Barteld, a foresighted entrepreneur who adds to our team. We hope to accelerate Allen's efforts in the growing third-party craft bottling market.
"As other opportunities to grow by acquisition arise, we will continue to take advantage of being a public company,” he continued. “We can bring entrepreneurial businesses like MotherLode into our organization while offering their investors the liquidity of publicly traded stock."
Allen Barteld, founder of MotherLode Craft Distillery, added: "We are extremely excited to be joining forces with Eastside Distilling, a fellow Portland-area craft distiller. Portland is known for its excellent craft spirits. I look forward to leveraging the capabilities of MotherLode's bottling equipment and customer relationships for the overall benefit of Eastside. This is an exciting time to be involved in the craft spirits space."
Additionally, Mel Heim, executive vice president of Operations and Master Distiller at Eastside Distilling, said: "Working with Allen to grow the business is going to be great. What an exciting opportunity this gives us to help others in the craft spirit community bring their ideas to market."