Charleston’s oldest brewery has changed hands once again. For the second time in three years, Palmetto Brewing is under new ownership.
Catawba Valley Brewing Co. (CVBC), which owns N.C.-based Catawba Brewing, Palmetto and its Twisp seltzer offshoot, was dealt to Made By The Water, LLC, which also owns Oyster City Brewing Co., based in Apalachacola, Florida. Made By The Water also includes Wiregrass Equity Partners, a private equity group.
CVBC was founded in 1999 by Billy, Jetta and Scott Pyatt in Western North Carolina. Over its 20 years, it has expanded the company into five brewing locations, six tasting rooms and distribution into five states.
In 2018, CVBC acquired Palmetto, the Charleston brewery with a history dating back to 1888. The purchase merged the two family-owned breweries across the Carolinas — Oyster Brewing’s purchase of the two continues that tradition.
“We love the craft brewing industry and our 130 Catawba-family coworkers. But one day you wake up and you’re 60 years old [and] you realize it’s time we knock some things off our bucket list,” said Billy Pyatt, older brother and co-founder of Catawba, about the deal. “Jetta, Scott and I are extremely fortunate to have met the Wiregrass folks. Their business model, a great mix of tasting room retail and wholesale sales, almost exactly mirrors ours … While Scott intends to stay aboard awhile, Jetta and I know we are leaving CVBC in great hands.”
Alexi Sekmakas, CEO of Made By The Water, shared the sentiments of the Pyatt family’s growth in a press release.
“Over the last several years, we’ve proudly grown Oyster City Brewing Company from a humble corner taproom to an entrenched regional brewery with locations and influence across the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama,” Sekmakas said. “As we unify, we seek to continue developing on the incredible vision of Catawba and Palmetto Brewing to form a Southeastern craft beer family that is authentically deep in the shallows.”
OCBC brews will be coming soon to Catawba and Palmetto taprooms, including the local Huger Street brewery where Twisp products are also produced. Palmetto and Catawba brews on tap at Oyster City’s Apalachicola, Tallahassee and Mobile breweries.