Catawba Brewing Co. of Morganton, NC (Catawba) and Palmetto Brewing Company of Charleston SC (Palmetto) have announced that the two companies are being joined into a single entity. Catawba intends to finalize the purchase of Palmetto by the end of 2017 with the Pyatt family retaining 100% ownership.
“The closer we became to Palmetto’s owners, the Lipov family, the more we realized our two companies were very similar,” said Catawba owner Billy Pyatt. “Their culture is one of giving back to the employees and the communities served, and their attention to customers mirrors ours.”
Palmetto will produce around 16,000 barrels in 2017, and Catawba will produce around 17,500. With those similarities in mind, there are key differences which should become synergies. Catawba has one of the most effective manufacturing operations in the southeast, while Palmetto has proven highly successful in customer-facing operations.
“The opportunity for combined growth and shared resources will put both brands in a more competitive position to compete in the rapidly changing craft market, “said Larry Lipov, Palmetto’s owner. “And it is very satisfying to know today’s Palmetto and Catawba team members will work together to grow the brands.”
Increasing market consolidation, product proliferation, and cost pressure are making it more difficult for either company to remain competitive as a small, independent brewer. The scale and scope of this new, combined entity will help both breweries stay on their current growth trajectories.
“Catawba is so thankful for the intense retailer, wholesaler, and consumer support over the past five years – we are 17 times bigger! Palmetto has been on a similar path, growing to about 8 times larger than they were in 2012,” said Pyatt.
“Catawba has a long history of diversified job creation by expanding manufacturing and service positions in their chosen markets,” Pyatt elaborated, “Upon finalization, we will immediately implement a $1 million capital investment plan for Morganton and Charleston. That includes facility upgrades, equipment purchases, and of course, personnel to support our proven hybrid retail/wholesale business model.”
Founded by the western North Carolina’s Pyatt family in 1999, Catawba Brewing Co. operates their main production facility in downtown Morganton, NC; a small batch brewery and tasting room in downtown Asheville, NC; a tasting room in Asheville’s Biltmore Village; and a brewing/tasting room/event complex in Charlotte NC. Catawba beers are currently distributed in NC, SC, TN, AL, GA, and internationally.