How Iron Horse is Managing Logistics of Acquiring Bad Granny Cider

It will take some time and effort from both sides, but down the road, Iron Horse Brewery and Bad Granny Cider will merge. The companies announced an acquisition partnership in early July and Iron Horse Sales and Marketing Manager Dane Williams said the shifting market from the pandemic gave a need that could be utilized.

“All of this is in an effort to be a more solution-based beverage company for a very complex marketplace,” he said. “Coming out of the pandemic, we’ve seen a major disruption in the supply chain, which is really hard on breweries/cideries that don’t have the scale to source new suppliers.

“By coming together, we can use our size to better diversify our suppliers and keep our products readily available in the market. We believe that creating a more efficient organization will help in cutting through the competitive clutter at the distributor level and bring a refined level of energy to all of the brands.”

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While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Bret and Julie Pittsinger of Bad Granny will continue to be involved in the partnership through 2026 while sales and marketing will be the first logistics step to take. Both companies operate as flat organizations, enabling all employees to be leaders in their roles.

“We’re both very familiar with the products and message. In most cases, we’ve already worked together in some capacity, which will only strengthen the culture and the transition,” Williams noted.

There has already been a strong friendship with Bad Granny for the Iron Horse crew and the brewery usually had two taps in its taproom for the cidery already to give consumers an option when they wanted something other than Iron Horse beer. From a brand perspective, Iron Horse and Bad Granny will continue operating as independent brand identities for the foreseeable future.

“Like most successful brands, there comes a time when you have to scale up the operation in order to meet the demand of the market,” Williams said. “Lucky for IHB, BGC came to us with this fun and exciting concept, bringing the two like-minded organizations together in an effort to get this great cider in more occasions.

“This endeavor is all about share of mind and brand portfolio diversity. Where we have wholesaler alignment, we will see a greater selling presence at the street level, creating stronger brand awareness for both brands in the enterprise.”

While there will be some voluntary attrition, the aim is to retain experience for as long as employees of Bad Granny are willing. Integrating cider production into Iron Horse Brewery’s facility in Ellensburg, Washington is slated to take place within the next 12-18 months.

“Our primary goal is to make sure that we do it in a way that brings value to the cider making while not disrupting the beer side,” Williams said. “It’s a great time in our business. We have a team filled with energy for the brands and compassion for one another.”

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