Michigan Brewery Offers Unique Ownership Opportunity

Robert-Thomas Brewing Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan has a for sale sign on the front door – but this is not your typical sale. The owners, Robert Kowalewski, Thomas Prame, and Jim Roffey are looking for someone to take the business over and gain full ownership for “sweat equity and working capital,” said Prame. “We tried for six months to sell, but potential buyers just wanted the equipment. We just don’t want to shut the place down,” he said. “Before we sell it all off and leave the industry, we are willing to try to fulfill someone else’s dream of owning a brewery.”

The brewery, in business for seven years, sells bottles and draft in the Michigan market. Current sales are about 1,000 barrels per year, but the 20 barrel Century brewhouse has a capacity of roughly 3,500 barrels, giving the new owners plenty of room to grow sales.

Prame and Kowalewski have been running the business collectively on a part-time basis for the last four years, each having married and having children. “What we are looking to do is hold the financing for a year for someone that wants to come in and give it a go,” states the ad post in the ProBrewer.com Classified Ads. “We have nothing to lose and hope to find the right people who have the passion and work effort to make this work.”

Prame said they are willing to turn over the brewery for as little as $25,000-30,000 in working capital, and “be the financial backers until the new owner gets it up and running.” They are looking for an energetic person, preferably with brewing experience, who otherwise might not have the financial resources to start or buy a brewery. The company’s web site is www.rtbeer.com or you can contact Thomas Prame at thomas.prame@citicorp.com.