As all the major networks have reported, California is starting on its 4th consecutive year of drought, the effects of which have been devastating on the economy and like us, small manufacturers. Even though the two wells that Bear Republic funded for the city are in place, we’ve yet to receive any additional water because of the drought’s effect on the City’s overall water availability. I don’t expect this condition to improve much throughout 2015, which is why I’ve made this decision. Bear Republic will continue to ship ordered product to Atlantic Imports through the end of the year, but no orders will be filled after December 31, 2014.
The demand for our brand continues to grow and continuing to cut back wholesaler orders made no sense. Due to the limited water over the last 18 months Bear Republic has already pulled out of 19 territories just to keep the rest of our wholesale channels supplied. Though painful for everyone involved, the option to withdraw from Massachusetts provides Bear Republic breathing room to stabilize our 2015 production and address the long-term impact of California’s dwindling water supply.
The decision did not come easy and was made with a clear understanding of the impact it would have on the market. Our hope is that the water supply issues will be resolved at the earliest opportunity and with the markets patience and support, we will return to Massachusetts.
With a heavy heart,
Richard R. Norgrove
President & CEO
Bear Republic Brewing Co.