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Bison Brewing Co. put on the block after less than 1 year of business.

Bison Brewing Co. put on the block after less than 1 year of business

Brewing entrepreneur, Bill Owens, has put his most recent project, the Bison Brewing Co. in Berkely, CA, on the selling block a year after it opened.

"My limited partners were screaming: "Let's do something,'" Owens said. "We either need another general partner who can buy me out, or someone to buy the whole business. We need new management and a new direction."

Owens, who declined to disclose Bison's selling price, blamed flat sales and slim revenues for the brewpub's slow start. Instead of selling the 50 barrels of brew needed to keep the business lucrative, Bison sells between 35 and 40, Owens explained.

Some of the brewer's critics don't blame the beer, which most say is excellent, instead, the problem seems to lie within the brewery's eclectic style. Brewers from competing breweries feel that Bison's metallic atmosphere doesn't look enough like a pub that would appeal to most beer drinkers.

Bison Brewing Co. features a steel-scultured bison hanging above the front door, an acid-etched steel snake curling down the brewery's front bannister, mosaic-tiled floors and slab tables.

"I built this in the image of what I'd like to see in a brew pub. I guess beer drinkers are more conservative than I thought," Owens quipped. "Maybe next time I should trash the bathrooms, put up a satellite dish and darts."

PHOTO : BISON BREWING CO. is being sold after doing business for less than a year. Some critics

PHOTO : believe the Berkely, CA-brewpub didn't catch on due to its overly-modern appearance.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Mar 5, 1990
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