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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com Korean
02 December, 2022



Brewing news USA, PA: Weyerbacher Brewing Co. to reopen under new ownership

Weyerbacher Brewing Co.’s second bankruptcy case in three years is resolved, and the Easton business is preparing to reopen under new ownership, lehyghvalleylive.com reported on November 30.

Savant Beverages LLC led by CEO Ed Lozano closed on the purchase Oct. 3, he told lehighvalleylive.com. That’s the same day an order was entered dismissing the bankruptcy case opened June 27 in federal court, court records show. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lozano is a former president and CEO of Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

“He turned that brewery around,” Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said of the western Pennsylvania maker of Iron City and other beers. “So we’re looking for exciting things there to get them back up and running full-speed again.”

Now looking to revive an established brewery on the other side of the state, Lozano is also a former executive with Miller Brewing Co. and PepsiCo. He opened the J’s Steaks and Subs in 2017 at the former Uncle Wesley’s in West Ward Easton, and his community involvement includes having served on the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board of Governors. He and his wife, Victoria, who is executive vice president and general manager of Crayola LLC attractions and retail, live in Palmer Township.

Weyerbacher closed its Tap Room bar and stopped making beer amid the bankruptcy case, which followed an initial bankruptcy filing in April 2019.

Savant Beverages is now preparing to reopen the Tap Room with Weyerbacher beers and guest taps.

“We’re definitely keeping the big beers — the big, bold beers — and we’re just going to make sure we make and sell them in their optimum capacity, at the highest quality, the best processes and procedures to ensure that the customer gets not a good Weyerbacher but a great Weyerbacher beer,” Lozano told lehighvalleylive.com.

Almost all members of the brewery’s production team, led by head brewmaster Dani Brunner, and distribution staff are remaining on through the transition, Lozano said, and he plans to oversee expansion of its product portfolio.

“I’m excited, the team is excited,” he said. “I think we have a lot of regulars and fans that are waiting for us to open. "

With the brewery closed, Lozano has been investing in capital improvements to the 905-G Line St. facility on South Side Easton, including the installation of a new epoxy floor and TVs, painting and planning for an entertainment space that can host as many as 750 people, he said.

Weyerbacher opened in 1995 in a converted livery stable near South Sixth and Northampton streets and moved to the larger space rented on Line Street in 2001. It’s known among craft beer aficionados for its higher-alcohol-by-volume brews like Blithering Idiot barleywine-style ale, Quad and Merry Monks Belgian styles, seasonals like Imperial Pumpkin Ale and experimental limited runs.

Lozano said he wanted to take on ownership since the “core bones of the business are wonderful.”

“You know, it’s a great product quality, a great brand, a great team here that has labored through all the ups and downs of the business,” he said.

A soft opening is in the works, though a date has not been set, pending final regulatory approvals. Lozano acknowledged strong support from local, state and federal officials through the purchase and process to reopen, and said an official reopening with ribbon-cutting is in the works for January.





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