About 6 wks ago Russian River broke ground on its Windsor, CA production facility project and “during this time” co “decided we would sell our current production brewery” as a turnkey operation, co-founder Natalie Cilurzo told CBN in email response. Two breweries/pubs are “all we needed (and could handle).... Plus we need the money!” So far Russian River’s spoken to “a couple of local breweries, but I imagine others may express interest in moving or expanding to Sonoma County,” she said. “It will likely be an existing brewery who is looking to grow” since “this is too much brewery for a startup.” Indeed, Russian River was pretty much maxed out last yr at nearly 18K bbls produced between its current two facilities – 13-14K bbls at the production facility and just over 4K at Santa Rosa brewpub, Natalie noted. But the production facility for sale is capable of producing max of about 20K bbls/yr on its own depending on production mix. “Vinnie and I would like to identify a potential buyer before the end of this year.” Since Russian River expects to move into new Windsor facility by late 2018, the buyer could move in late 2018/early 2019.
Initially, Windsor facility “will enable us to double production to about 35,000 [bbls] with the ability to grow organically over time,” Natalie explained. Indeed, 85K sq-ft Windsor facility sits on ~15 acres with eventual 50-60K bbls/yr capacity and a pub that can seat 175 guests (see CBN vol 7, #38). “Any additional production would require expansion which we have no plans to do.” But “we are really looking forward to making better beer, brewing more of the styles we like such as Blind Pig IPA and STS Pils, and be able to provide a better customer experience overall.” In meantime, “business is great!” Natalie exclaimed. Co still “sell[s] everything we make” and “our pub has a line out the door every weekend, hence the need for a second pub.”