This Factor Was a Key to OHSO Buying Helton Brewing

In late August, it was announced that OHSO Brewery has purchased fellow Phoenix-area brewery, Helton Brewing. For OHSO owner Jon Lane, there were many factors and decision made in the switch, which will see the brand expand and grow the way they want to going forward.

“Our growth strategy has been to grow if it feels right for our team and our guests,” said Lane, who launched Outrageous Homebrewer’s Social Outpost in 2011. “It’s not a formula nor a true strategy.”

The space Helton Brewing — which opened in 2016 — occupies will become a new venue for OHSO and Lane said they are moving their our 20-barrel, three-vessel system in place. The opportunity to quadruple capacity and have a better handle on raw material cost was a big factor.

“Helton Brewing has a silo, two canning lines, room for cans, large cooler spaces… on and on,” lane said. “This will help us cut some basic costs and produce more. It was a win-win for us both. 

“Brian Helton needed a break after working as brewer, owner, handyman, designer, and such and we needed a good space in a good location to let our team and products grow.”

The deal was for OHSO to take over everything, Lane said, including land, the building, equipment, and recipes.

READ MORE: Brew Review: Clean, Crisp & Jangly — Helton Brewing

“This neighborhood is good, growing and revitalizing,” Lane said of the property. “The location checks a lot of boxes off.”

Unlike some brewery purchases, the Helton branding will be retired, but lane said the recipes Brian Helton created will carry on. 

“Some recipes will carry on in whole, some with tweaks, and some will be in part with significant changes,” Lane said. “Helton and his team created some great beers over the years and while we all somewhat compete for handles and space, he was in a different lane with his cores than we were and this will be a nice extension to what our team currently excels at.”

Distribution will become a bigger portion of what OHSO will do now and Lane added they have switched distribution companies to Hensley in this process.

At the moment, they have shut down the spot to add equipment, update the kitchen and change some decor. The three Helton team members were not retained. 

“Unfortunately with the heat and long summer, my other locations were not hiring for bartenders and generally we promote instead of hire,” Lane said.

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