Fireman Capital Partners has made an investment in Squatters and Wasatch Beers, a craft brewery and operator of brewpubs and restaurants. The new investment will support further expansion of the Squatters and Wasatch portfolio of craft beers, distribution growth, brand and marketing initiatives, and the continued expansion of its brewpub business.
“This investment opens the door to the next level for Squatters and Wasatch, and provides the financial firepower and expertise we need to meet rapidly growing demand for our beer and to reach new markets,” said Peter Cole, Founding Partner of Squatters.
Squatters and Wasatch is one of the top 50 craft brewers in the country. The company’s bottled and draft beers are available in liquor stores, restaurants, clubs, hotels, resorts, grocery and convenience stores throughout Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Oregon. The company also operates five brewpubs and restaurants in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT. Squatters and Wasatch has 300 employees and is headquartered in Salt Lake City (www.utahbeers.com).
Greg Schirf, the founder of Wasatch Brewery, will continue to manage brewery operations for the company. Joe Lambert, Operating Partner for Squatters since 1996, will continue to oversee the restaurant business.
“We are excited by Fireman Capital’s support of our brands, our beer, and our tremendous business potential. Our brewery has grown rapidly over the years, with recent penetration of large, attractive markets outside Utah. We look forward to our partnership with Fireman Capital Partners and to the resources and expertise they bring to the table,” said Mr. Schirf.
Fireman Capital Partners was established in 2008 under Chairman Paul Fireman and Managing Partner Dan Fireman. The firm invests in consumer products companies with revenues between $10 and $150 million. The company is based in Boston (www.firemancapital.com).
“We are thrilled to support Joe and Greg and the entire Squatters and Wasatch management team as they continue to grow the business. Built on a combination of outstanding beer, a steadfast commitment to the environment, community, local sourcing and the best ingredients – and set apart by unique, witty and cheerfully subversive branding – Squatters and Wasatch is exactly the kind of successful, market-disrupting company we seek at Fireman Capital,” said Dan Fireman, Managing Partner of Fireman Capital. “Craft beer is a large, rapidly growing industry where companies offering exceptional products and brands like Squatters and Wasatch enjoy enormous potential. We plan to leverage our financial and deep operational resources to assist in growing the brewery through broadening and solidifying its regional distribution network while continuing to expand the brewpub business.”
Fireman Capital Operating Partner Robert Spellman, a Director of Au Bon Pain and former CFO of Staples and Yankee Candle, will oversee the investment for Fireman Capital. Michael Schlow, a Fireman Capital advisor and American restaurateur, will contribute his expertise in restaurant management and menu development. Doug Epstein, owner/manager of Horizon Beverage, one of the largest alcohol and spirits distributors in New England, will serve as an advisor to the business as it grows its distribution footprint.
© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 9-27-12