Two of the Central Coast’s biggest and oldest breweries announced a deal April 15 in which Firestone Walker will buy the Cali-Squeeze brand from SLO Brewing Co.
No details were disclosed about the transaction, except that it is expected to close by July 1, according to a news release from SLO Brewing.
Cali-Squeeze is a blood orange-infused hefeweizen that has become SLO Brewing’s top seller since it launched in 2017. The San Luis Obispo-based brewer has been around since 1988 and said that after the sale it plans to concentrate on its other beers and its Rod & Hammer’s SLO Stills line of whiskeys.
“Cali-Squeeze has been a great win for us, and in a short space of time has become a runaway success on the West Coast,” Hamish Marshall, co-owner of SLO Brewing Company, said in the company’s news release.
Cali-Squeeze fills a new niche for Firestone Walker, which mainly produces hop-forward IPAs as well as its top seller, 805, a lighter blonde ale.
“Cali-Squeeze presents a unique beer style for us to explore through what we like to call ‘Fruits with Benefits,’” David Walker, co-founder of Firestone Walker, said in the news release. “As a traditional hop-forward craft brewer, we have watched these styles evolve and we see Cali-Squeeze as the beer to help with that discovery.”
SLO Brewing was the seventh largest brewer in the Tri-Counties in 2020 with 5,000 barrels produced, according to an industry survey conducted by the Business Times for its annual Book of Lists. Paso Robles-based Firestone Walker is by far the region’s largest brewer, at 340,000 barrels per year.