“It’s gonna be fun,” said Greg Parker, owner of Iron Horse Brewery, quoting himself.

Ellensburg, Washington’s Iron Horse Brewery recently announced that it is joining forces with Bad Granny Cider. Beer drinkers around the Pacific Northwest are probably familiar with the brewery, which is probably most widely recognized as the producer of Irish Death. Bad Granny Cider has operated out of Entiat, Washington since 2015.

Here is the press release from Iron Horse Brewery regarding this acquisition partnership:

Iron Horse Brewery and Bad Granny Cider Join Forces to Have More Fun & Better Serve Customers.

New acquisition partnership begins with joint sales and marketing efforts; integration of production to be phased in over the next 12 months

Ellensburg, WA  & Entiat, WA July 8, 2021 — Iron Horse Brewery (Ellensburg, WA) has finalized an agreement to acquire Bad Granny Cider Company to create an exciting new partnership with the goal to better serve customers.

The shared attributes that made this acquisition possible are company culture, customer vision, and brand voice. “It’s gonna be fun,” said Greg Parker, owner of Iron Horse Brewery, quoting himself.

“Bad Granny does almost the same thing we do. We put plants and yeast in large tanks and when those batches are done fermenting we put the resulting liquid into smaller batches that can be consumed handily,” Parker quipped.

Combined sales and marketing efforts, economies of scope, and production expansion are among the objectives the partnership outlines. Bret Pittsinger, Founder of Bad Granny Cider said, “It is with a sense of pride, hopefulness, intentionality, and collaboration that we at Bad Granny celebrate this most exciting and meaningful union. We are O.N.E.!”  

A match made by Grandma

The alcohol beverage industry is seeing unprecedented changes, accelerated by the impact of COVID-19. Both Iron Horse and Bad Granny were exploring opportunities to expand their service offering to better serve customers’ drinking preferences. Quality products, company culture, and operational fit are the three pillars both companies were looking for.    Both companies operate as flat organizations, enabling all employees to be leaders in their roles. BGC and IHB are centrally located in Washington State providing ease of access to both sides of the state. 

Bad Granny Cider has made it their mission for the last 5 years to deliver the highest quality cider to the marketplace. Iron Horse has been an independent craft beer producer since 2006.   

“We recognized that we under-index in the “better for you” segments of the category. Fortunately for us, BGC is an emerging brand in a “better for you” segment that has tremendous upside. It’s exciting to know that we’ll now have a portfolio that appeals to a greater range of consumers,” said Dane Williams of Iron Horse Brewery. 

“Bringing these two companies together creates – what the corporate jargon lexicon likes to call – synergy,” added Ross Chalstrom, Interloper of Press Releases.  

What this Strategic Partnership actually means

Beginning immediately, the sales teams of each company will start cross-selling products in their respective market areas, giving retailers and ultimately consumers a wider array of alcohol beverage selection options.    Customers will continue to see Bad Granny Cider products alongside Iron Horse products, except Send It, which sunsets by the end of the month.    Cider production will continue in Entiat, WA and will shift to Ellensburg, WA as time allows. 

From a brand perspective, Iron Horse and Bad Granny will continue operating as independent brand identities for the foreseeable future.

Terms and Timelines

While the terms of the deal are not disclosed, Bret and Julie Pittsinger of Bad Granny Cider will continue to be involved in the partnership through 2026. The success of this agreement relies on the segment expertise Bad Granny Cider staff have developed over the years. While there will be some voluntary attrition, the aim is to retain that experience for as long as people are willing. Integrating cider production into Iron Horse Brewery’s facility is slated to take place within the next 9-14 months.   

Listen to your Grandma

Iron Horse Brewery has been a long-time fan of Bad Granny Cider. When [ the pub ] was operating, Bad Granny Cider was the primary cider on tap.  Additionally, Iron Horse has been a strong advocate for grandmothers everywhere, because they convey the perfect balance of wisdom and sass, which is the Iron Horse love language.  

About Bad Granny Cider

Founded in 2015 by Bret and Julie Pittsinger, owners of Karma Vineyards and Van Doren Sales, the company has married two industries with the goal of producing a cider like no other. Van Doren Sales specializes in Tree fruit, building highly specialized equipment that is found in most fruit warehouses around the country. Karma is known for its terrific traditionally made methode champenoise. The result; a one of a kind, semi-dry, lightly effervescent and flavor-rich cider.
For more information, visit www.badgrannycider.com

About Iron Horse Brewery

Centrally located in Ellensburg, WA, Iron Horse Brewery is owned by father-son team Gary and Greg Parker. The brewery has been producing hand-crafted ales since 2005 and is growing at a pace they probably cannot handle. If for some reason you’re still still reading this and you’d like to learn more about the brewery, visit www.ironhorsebrewery.com.

Originally published by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog.