Portland’s first craft brewery, D.L. Geary Brewing Co., is being sold to a Freeport businessman Alan Lapoint. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The craft brewery was co-founded by David and Karen Geary in 1983. It however, didn’t begin selling beer until 1986. Their daughter, Kelly Lucas, served as the company’s director of operations. And she said both sides came to a contractual agreement that would give Lapoint immediate control.
“The sale will take several months to complete,” Lucas said. Lucas, however, did not state how much the sale price was.
Lucas said D.L. Geary has been seeing a drop in revenue for a while. This was due to declining sales. With up to 75 breweries, the company has had an increase in competition. And that doesn’t even include out-of-state breweries that entered the state’s craft-beer market.
“We just felt like we needed help and some high levels of energy that will re-invigorate the Geary’s brand,” Lucas said. “The time and the energy just wasn’t there.”
The Geary name and lobster symbol will remain the same despite new ownership, according to Lucas. However, she also mentioned some employees had to be let go.
“We had to make cuts, and that saddened everyone,” Lucas said. “We loved them all—like they were family.”
Lucas has agreed to stay on at Geary’s to help Lapoint with the transition.
“I feel like this is the best move for Geary’s. It’s going to help us rebuild the brand,” she said.
The Craft Brewery landscape has changed!
According to the Press Herald, Geary Brewing made 34.5 percent less beer in 2015 than in 2011. David Geary responded to these figures by saying the craft-brew industry is now more crowded than it was 30 years ago—both locally and nationally.
“Like many established older brands, Geary’s has allowed their branding to stale and hasn’t done much to come up with new beers to excite the imagination of craft-beer drinkers,” renowned beer-entrepreneur-and-brewer Dick Cantwell told the Press Herald last year.