VT’s Magic Hat buying West Coast group

The Magic Hat Brewing Co. and Performing Arts Center Inc. of South Burlington, VT, is expanding, in several ways.

In addition to an expansion of its facility that is to be unveiled to the public after Memorial Day, the company is purchasing Seattle's Pyramid Brewers. The new, single company will maintain the two brand names and distribute both lines of beer coast-to-coast. Both will maintain their separate brand names.

The two companies already signed a letter of intent, the first step in the acquisition process. The $25 million deal should be finalized by the end of August, following financial and legal review, said Pyramid CEO Scott Barnum.

Magic Hat, which is a private company, will purchase all of Pyramid's stocks. Privatizing Pyramid an estimated $1 million annually in costs associated with being a publicly traded company, Barnum said, noting, "You improve the company's profitablity overnight."

The Vermont company, founded in 1994, is one of the largest craft brewers on the East Coast and sells its beers from Maine to Georgia and as far west as Illinois. 

Pyramid owns two alehouse restaurants adjacent to its production breweries under the Pyramid Alehouse and MacTarnahan's Taproom brand names in Berkeley, CA, and Portland, OR, respectively, and three alehouse restaurants in Walnut Creek and Sacramento, CA, and Seattle. 

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