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Author Topic: Saratoga Brewing, one of New York's oldest and biggest beer makers, has closed  (Read 373 times)

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Offline mr. furley

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http://www.newyorkupstate.com/breweries/2018/01/saratoga_brewing_one_of_new_yorks_oldest_and_biggest_breweries_has_closed.html

By Don Cazentre dcazentre@nyup.com
NYup.com

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY -- Saratoga Brewing Co., one of the oldest and largest brewers in New York state, abruptly closed last weekend. Its future is uncertain.

The brewery, which opened at 131 Excelsior Ave. in Saratoga Springs in 1997, appears to be caught up in the financial and legal problems facing Vijay Mallya, the chairman of the UB (United Breweries) Group of India. Mallya is the majority shareholder of Mendocino Brewing Co. of California, which closed its 30-year-old tasting room last weekend. Mendocino is the parent company of Saratoga Brewing.

Saratoga Brewing, also known as Olde Saratoga Brewing, makes its own line of beers under the Saratoga label, but the majority of its brewing capacity has always been for other breweries, whose products it makes under contract. It makes Mendocino beers for the East Coast market, and is the U.S. manufacturer for Kingfisher Lager, the flagship beer for the Indian drinks company, the UB Group.

It has also been the contract brewer for many start-up breweries in Upstate New York, notably Shmaltz (He'Brew) Brewing, which had its been made there until opening its own brew house in Clifton Park in 2013.

Among its current contract clients is Braven Brewing of Brooklyn, which heard about the closing and had to retrieve beer and equipment from the Saratoga brewery before the shut down. Braven recounted that on its Instagram page:

(copy/paste of the Instagram text anyways)

When you’re told your partner brewery has gone out of business and you have 72 hours to remove $60,000 of packaging material and get 800 kegs worth of beer out of the tanks, what do you do? You get in your car and drive 4 hours north to conduct a rescue operation! We were able to move 60 pallets of kegs, keg collars, keg caps, bottle caps, 6 pack carriers, and 24 pack cases into storage on Friday morning. Then we salvaged about $3,000 of hops, threw them into the car, and UPS’ed them to another brewery for future batches. On Saturday, two tanker trucks arrived and, thanks to @thebronxbrewery’s help with a one-of-a-kind fitting, we connected both of the 200 BBL fermenters up to the trucks. Each took about 2.5 hours to fill to the brim. In the meantime it was practically arctic conditions with single digit temps and snow blowing every which way. All of this constitutes the closing of one chapter in Saratoga and the beginning of another at @ipswichalebrew We’re thrilled to start brewing our current styles as well as a bevy of new ones there ASAP. More news on those to come in the very near future... We drove back to Brooklyn on Saturday night knowing that Braven can handle everything from minor speed bumps to major roadblocks because we never give up. Onward and upward.

Paul Leone, director of the New York State Brewers Association, said he got wind of Saratoga's troubles when Braven's owners called to see if the association could help in the retrieval of its property. The NYSBA is a trade group representing the state's 300-plus craft brewers.

Leone said he had no other specific information on the Saratoga closing, saying "it caught us by surpise."

Saratoga has operated a 125-barrel brewhouse, with the capability of fermenting even larger batches, making it one of the top 10 largest breweries in New York. It started in 1997 under the ownership of Nor'wester Brewing of Oregon. It later got a loan from the UB Group, which it defaulted on, leading to the takeover by the Indian company. Around the same time, UB Group acquired Mendocino, one of the earliest American craft breweries, based in northern California.

UB's Vijay Mallya, 62, has been living in London and fighting extradition to his native India, where he faces charges of fraud and money laundering that amounts to more than $1 billion.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 05:29:13 PM by mr. furley »
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Offline emerge

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charges of fraud and money laundering that amounts to more than $1 billion.
:o

Offline bakes

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Not really surprising.  Once Schmaltz left and started their own brewery, I was trying to figure out how they were going to keep going; very few tap accounts for the Olde Saratoga brands around here and who the hell drinks Kingfisher if you aren't in an Indian restaurant?

That said, it is a big system with easy access to the highway.  Someone will take it over.  Tap room is in dire need of an update though. 
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Offline emerge

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So this means Mendocino is done too, right? I mean this guy owns a 3/4 majority stake and is fighting extradition to face charges of $1B in fraud and money laundering.

Offline mr. furley

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So this means Mendocino is done too, right? I mean this guy owns a 3/4 majority stake and is fighting extradition to face charges of $1B in fraud and money laundering.

seems likely, i'd say
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Offline emerge

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So this means Mendocino is done too, right? I mean this guy owns a 3/4 majority stake and is fighting extradition to face charges of $1B in fraud and money laundering.

seems likely, i'd say
Odd that they only closed the Mendocino taproom and not the brewery. Also, other articles i've read say they're "waiting for a statement from parent company Mendocino". :blink: