The company that owns Sunny D just bought a Minnesota brewery

The central Minnesota brewing company is now owned by a private equity firm.

Cold Spring Brewing – the company behind Third Street Brewhouse – has been acquired by a private equity firm. 

Brynwood Partners – a Connecticut-based company that owns a bunch of businesses, including the Sunny Delight and Juicy Juice brands – announced it has acquired Cold Spring Brewing Company from the Lenore family for an undisclosed amount of money. 

Cold Spring Brewing was founded in 1874, making it one of the oldest beverage manufacturing companies in the country, producing energy drinks, carbonated flavored waters and craft beers. 

It also has its own craft beer brand – Third Street Brewhouse – making it one of the largest craft beer producers in the state

Cold Spring employs roughly 350 people and has more than $60 million in net sales. 

Brynwood Partners CEO Henk Hartong III says Cold Spring Brewing will be "operated as a standalone company," with Hartong noting it will "benefit greatly" with investment from Brynwood Partners. 

"We look forward to working collaboratively with Cold Spring's management team to grow the business," Hartong said. 

Plans for Cold Spring? 

Brewbound has details about Brynwood's plans with Cold Spring, including manufacturing more beverages, possibly Juicy Juice. 

Brynwood also plans to upgrade the Cold Spring facility to grow its brewing capacity by 70 percent and double its warehouse space, Brewbound says, noting that Third Street Brewhouse can currently produce about 180,000 barrels.

This is Brynwood Partner's seventh acquisition in the beverage industry, the announcement says.

Third Street will probably still be considered craft beer

Bart Watson, the chief economist of the Brewers Association, told GoMN that even with this acquisition, it seems that Cold Spring/Third Street Brewhouse will still meet the association's definition of being an independent craft brewery

This is some good news for those who enjoy small craft breweries. More and more of them are getting gobbled up by the big guys, which is making it a little tougher to figure out who exactly is making your beer. Read more about breweries' efforts to show their independence here

GoMN has reached out to Third Street Brewhouse and Cold Spring Brewing for comment on the acquisition. 

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