Smuttynose in the News

A personal note from Peter & Joanne:

Dear Friends,
Over the coming weeks you are likely to hear a good deal about our company’s financial challenges, but rather than let strangers tell our story, we’d like to speak with you directly.

Change and transition is natural in any business, and craft beer is no different. We’ve seen more changes in our industry in the last few years than in the previous three decades. We are writing today to tell you about a major transition at Smuttynose.

For more than 24 years, it has been our privilege and joy to live in the world of craft beer. We’ve had the great honor of working with many dedicated, outstanding people who have been instrumental in transforming Smuttynose Brewing Company from a mere idea with a funny name to one of New England’s best known and highly regarded breweries.  But despite the fun, the romance and the friendships, we’ve always understood that brewing and selling beer is a business, with hard edges and occasional difficulties.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, building a successful business entails taking risks and making a strong personal commitment. In the mid-nineties, during the first great shakeout in craft beer, we kept our company afloat by digging deep into our own pockets, confident that the market would turn. And it did, ushering in nearly two decades of uninterrupted growth for craft beer in general and Smuttynose in particular. These days, the beer industry is undergoing another period of sweeping change. At this time, in order for our company to continue on the path we embarked on back in 1994, Smuttynose needs someone who can provide financial resources that will move the company forward.

We are proud of what we’ve built at Smuttynose and Hayseed Restaurant. We’re proud of our beers and the people who stand behind them. But most of all we’re proud of the relationships we’ve formed along the way and the opportunities we’ve had to engage with the community we love. We are so grateful for the support and encouragement we’ve gotten from friends and fans, from our wholesalers and retailer partners, and from beer lovers everywhere.

We’re strongly committed to making sure this transition is as smooth as possible, and to help the company’s new owner or partner embark on a successful next chapter for Smuttynose and its wonderful staff. We want to emphasize Smuttynose Brewing company is open, brewing our fine beers daily and serving delicious food at Hayseed Restaurant. Many of you have asked how you can help…keep drinking Smuttynose brews and send your rich aunt or uncle our way!

With gratitude,
Joanne and Peter





For Immediate Release
January 18, 2017

Media contact: Barbara MacLeod
(207) 752-0484

Smuttynose Brewing Company Seeks Buyer As Bank Auction Approaches
NH’s largest and bestselling producer of craft beer needs a new owner or partner

Hampton, NH – Smuttynose Brewing Company, New Hampshire’s top craft brewery and producer of one of New England’s most popular craft beer brands, is seeking an immediate buyer. The company is scheduled to be sold at bank auction March 9, 2018. Founded in 1994, the company employees 68 people and generates more than 10 million dollars in revenue a year.

The sale includes the Smuttynose brand, its new, state-of-the-art, LEED-Gold Certified facility on the historic Towle Farm in Hampton, and Hayseed Restaurant located next to the brewery on the picturesque 13-acre campus. The brewery is among the largest in New England, capable of producing 75,000 barrels a year. However, in the last year it has been running at 50% capacity.

Smuttynose Brewing Company Owner Peter Egelston says, “The company’s financial models were based on 20 years of consistent growth but the explosion of microbreweries has led to changing dynamics in the marketplace. This dramatic shift occurred just as Smuttynose committed to a major infrastructure investment with the construction of the new production facility. As the turmoil in the marketplace stabilizes, Smuttynose, a trusted brand with strong consumer loyalty, can regain its footing with a major infusion of capital.”

Egelston recently held a staff meeting in which he informed employees of the impending auction: “I reminded them that the company’s most valuable assets are the Smuttynose brand and the people behind it. With the arrival of a new

owner, we anticipate a smooth transition as we are committed to continuity.” Egelston stressed that the company is open and will conduct business as usual.

“Smuttynose’s strength lies in their dedicated and engaged employees” said New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. “They have been a strong and reliable community partner throughout the years, and I hope the new owners, once determined, will appreciate their hardworking employee base by committing to keeping these manufacturing jobs in New Hampshire.”

Lead lender Provident Bank is managing the auction process, with James R. St. Jean out of Epping, New Hampshire as auctioneer and Delta Capital of Simsbury, Connecticut, as financial advisors. For details about the March auction visit

Says Provident Bank President Chuck Withee, “Smuttynose Brewing Company has been a valued customer and an important part of our community. Provident Bank is committed to working with the company during these challenging financial times to produce the best outcome for everyone involved.”

Egelston, along with partner Joanne Francis, is also owner of the Portsmouth Brewery, a popular brewpub located in downtown Portsmouth and not part of the sale.

Peter Egelston got his start in craft beer in 1987 as head brewer and co-owner of the Northampton Brewery in Massachusetts, which his sister now solely owns. He founded the Portsmouth Brewery in 1991 and Smuttynose Brewing Company in 1994. Egelston is a philanthropic and environmental leader having served on the Advisory Boards of the NH Charitable Foundation and The Currier Museum of Art. He was recognized with the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the National Share our Strength organization and received the NH Business Review Excellence in Manufacturing Award.

Smuttynose Brewing Company is a community-minded company that has supported dozens of nonprofit organizations in NH for over 23 years. For more information visit

“Smuttynose has a well-earned reputation as one of America’s best all around breweries.”
-All About Beer Magazine

“One of the 50 best craft breweries in the country.”
-The Daily Meal

“New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing Company, a national treasure for beer
-New York Magazine


Downloadable zip file of images for publication here >> Smuttynose Brewing Co


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