The history of Evans Brewing Company, like many craft beer companies, includes a number of interesting twists and turns. As we look back in 2016, these are the highlights:The story begins in 1994 when Orange County California's oldest microbrewery was constructed in the McCormick and Schick's restaurant in Irvine.Â Founded as Orange County Brewing Company, the first beers were poured in February 1995. With management changes, the company soon began operating as Bayhawk Ales and built its business primarily on supplying restaurants with house beers sold under the restaurant's name, and not Bayhawk's. While the company survived, the anonymity of the private label business did little to capitalize on the craft beer boom that was taking shape in the 2000s and eventually exploded in the early 2010s.
Meanwhile, Evan and Mike Rapport founded Evans Lagers, which produced a line of award-winning lagers very well received by the craft beer community. Looking for a local brewery, the Rapports approached Bayhawk Ales and its Irvine facility. In December of 2013, the stockholders of Bayhawk Ales elected a new Board of Directors, installing Mike and Evan as Chairman of the Board and President, respectively, and the Rapports began making improvements to the brewery operations and the beers, ensuring consistency and increasing product quality.Evans Brewing Company was formed as a public company, and a strategy was put in motion to bring the assets of Bayhawk Ales into Evans Brewing Company and have EBC stock traded on a U.S. stock market.Â Bayhawk stockholders approved the plan and were provided the opportunity to exchange their Bayhawk stock for that of Evans Brewing Company.
On the operations side, a September 2014 fire that started on the roof of the brewery halted production two months. Seeing the misfortune as an opportunity, Evan Rapport, who manages the brewery operations, reorganized and had a new state-of-the-art kegging machine, bottling machine and fermentation monitoring system installed. Out of the ashes, a new and improved Evans Brewing Company emerged. 2015 was a busy year for the company.Â We re-branded the products produced at the brewery under the Evans Brewing name, continued to win awards at international beer competitions, identified and secured a location for our first tasting room and restaurant in the SOCO district in downtown Fullerton, and completed many of the steps required to have Evans Brewing Company stock listed and traded on a public market.Â
The future of Evans Brewing Company is virtually limitless. As a publicly traded company, the craft beer enthusiast can not only enjoy our beers, but they can also become a part of our family through stock ownership. We will continue to brew our handcrafted beers while bringing new innovations to the craft brew market. With the upcoming opening of The Public House by Evans Brewing Company, we will be able to experiment with new styles and expand our offerings while giving our customers unique food pairings that complement our ever-expanding beer portfolio.
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