Big news beer, shot of whiskey: Harpoon acquires Long Trail

The famous Harpoon Beer Garden at Artisans Park in Windsor. Photo VBM.

WhistlePig Whiskey will take over the assets of the Middlebury brewery as part of the transaction

Vermont Business Magazine Mass. Bay Brewing Company (parent company of Harpoon Brewery) today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire Long Trail Brewing Company, producers of award-winning craft beers under the Long Trail, Otter Creek and Shed brands.

As part of the deal, Mass. Bay Brewing Company will continue to operate the Long Trail facility in Bridgewater Corners, but will begin brewing Long Trail, Otter Creek and Shed beers at its own brewery in Windsor. WhistlePig Whiskey, based in Shoreham, will become the owner of the Otter Creek and Shed brewery in Middlebury. After a transition period, WhistlePig will convert production capabilities to bottling and distillation and continue to use Middlebury’s extensive brewing capabilities.

“The Long Trail family of brands represents more than the right strategic fit for our business. After talking with Dan Fulham about ways we could potentially partner and create brewing efficiencies in Vermont, it became clear that we would be stronger together,” said Dan Kenary, CEO and co- founder of Mass. Bay Brewing Company. “We’ve been Vermont brewers for over 20 years and are excited to deepen our already strong roots here, while being great stewards of these brands.”

“Dan Kenary and I have been friends for a long time – and we have a shared commitment to the Vermont community and a passion for making great beer. So when the time comes to choose someone to lead the Long Trail, I knew Dan and the team at Mass. Bay Brewing Company would be the right choice to continue and protect Long Trail’s legacy,” said Daniel Fulham, CEO of Long Trail.

Jeff Kozak, CEO of WhistlePig, added, “We believe the additional production capacity at Middlebury will complement our grain-to-glass distillation and storage operation on our 500-acre farm and hope we can continue to grow our brands. and our employment opportunities in our community.”

Both companies are working to retain production, sales and support functions as part of the transition.

harpoon statement

“We’ve been Vermont brewers for over 20 years (if you haven’t visited our Harpoon Brewery Taproom & Beer Garden in Windsor, VT yet, you’re missing out)!

“We have a deep respect for craft beer brewed in Vermont and are excited to deepen our already strong roots in the Green Mountain State by acquiring Long Trail Brewing Company, producers of award-winning craft beers under the Long Trail, Otter Creek, and Shed brands.

“As part of the agreement, we will continue to operate the Long Trail Riverside Pub in Bridgewater Corners, but we will begin brewing Long Trail, Otter Creek and Shed beers at Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT.

WhistlePig Whiskey, another great Vermont brand with which we have a close relationship, will own the Otter Creek and Shed brewery in Middlebury. We will operate the Otter Creek Brewing Pub & Beer Garden, which will continue to be a great place to enjoy a beer.

“We look forward to the opportunity to continue Long Trail’s legacy in partnership with the people in production, sales and support functions who will remain as part of the transition. We hope we can continue to grow to both our brands and employment opportunities in the Vermont community.

“As friends of Harpoon, we wanted you to be one of the first to hear about this news. Click here to read a message from our CEO and Co-Founder Dan Kenary.

“Well done, Harpoon employee owners”

About Long Trail Brewing Company

Long Trail was established in 1989. Otter Creek was founded in 1991. The two brands joined forces in 2010.

About Mass. Bay Brewing Company

Mass. Bay Brewing Company is a New England brewing pioneer, co-founded by Dan Kenary in 1986 and holder of Commonwealth of Massachusetts Brewing License 001. Mass. Bay expanded to a second brewery in Windsor, VT in 2000 and became employee owned in 2014.

About WhistlePig Whiskey

Founded in 2007, WhistlePig has become the #1 whiskey in the ultra-premium and luxury Rye category in North America, showcasing the bold and often untapped flavor of Rye. WhistlePig is leading a wave of innovation in the emerging field of North American whisky. As the most decorated Rye Whiskey – having been awarded the coveted “Best Rye Whiskey” at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and “Best in Show” in 2017 – WhistlePig is widely regarded as the finest Rye and most interesting in the world. With the opening of its distillery on its 500-acre farm in Vermont in the fall of 2015, WhistlePig has also become one of the world’s leading farm-to-bottle rye whiskeys. For more information, visit whippigwhiskey.com.

(Windsor, Vermont) June 17, 2022 – Mass. Bay Brewing Company

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