SARATOGA SPRINGS — A live online auction of Olde Saratoga Brewing's equipment is scheduled for Aug. 28, provided no buyers come forward before then to purchase the former Excelsior Avenue brewery as a turnkey operation.
Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. unexpectedly closed in mid-January, after its parent company, Mendocino Brewing, closed its landmark taproom in Ukiah, California, also without explanation.
News of the auction was released by Tiger Group, a financial services firm that is conducting the auction, and the liquidation company, Schneider Industries Inc.
The assets of Olde Saratoga Brewing include a 125-barrel-per-day brew house, a Krones/Pearson bottling line, an automatic keg washing and filling system and furniture, among other items.
"This offering provides a unique opportunity to acquire a full-service brewery at hard asset value," said John Coelho, senior director of Tiger's Commercial and Industrial division, in a prepared statement. "The ability to submit piecemeal bids also offers craft breweries, cider making and other food and beverage manufacturers the opportunity to purchase individual assets at liquidation prices."
Coelho said the No. 1 goal is to sell the business as a turnkey operation.
"The brewery has a great following, and we would love for someone to come in and revive it or keep it as a brewery," he said. "It's always our main goal for the business to remain in place."
Stewart's Shops owns the property at 131 Excelsior Ave. and has been working with Tiger Group, Coelho said.
Saratoga Brewing was formed in 1997 and grew to be one of the biggest independent breweries in New York state, and one of the busiest contract brewers.
Max Oswald, former general manager at Olde Saratoga Brewing, confirmed the online auction and said he's been working with the Tiger Group and Schneider Industries.
"We showed the brewery to some breweries we contracted for and to some regional breweries, but every time we thought we had a deal, it fell apart," he said. "It's a tough time for them to expand, and a 125-barrel-per-day brewery is pretty big for the smaller guys.
"Unless someone comes out of the blue [to buy the facility], I'll ultimately be moving on."
Oswald said a future beyond Olde Saratoga Brewing has become something he's adjusted to.
"It's been eight months, so it's easier now because my skin has gotten thicker," he said. "It's time to close this chapter and move on."
Bidding during the online auction will close in rapid succession, live-auction style, starting at 11 a.m. on Aug. 28. All bidders are required to register prior to the sale at SoldTiger.com.
Previews of the assets are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 27 at the former brewery.