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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Canadian Company Buys Lake Placid Brewery

For the second time this summer ICBS Ltd. of Montreal has purchased a New York craft brewer.

Earlier today ICBS announced it had signed a deal to purchase Lake Placid Craft Brewing Co., which makes UBU Ale and Frostbite Ale. Lake Placid was founded in 1996 in the Adirondack Mountain community that has played host to two Olympic Winter Games. In June, ICBS purchased Ramapo Valley Brewery in the Hudson Valley. ICBS also recently purchased Maska Laboratories, which specializes in laboratory services for the beer, wine and food industries. The company works with major Canadian breweries and wineries providing quality control, formulation and product analysis.

Through its subsidiary ICBS Capital, the company provides funding and invests in companies, providing the capital and expertise to help companies grow to the next level.

While living in New York I had the chance to visit both Lake Placid Brewing and Ramapo Valley. Both make good solid beers, but the brewpub food operations and facilities at both could benefit from better management. Clearly, if ICBS brings funding for marketing and additional distribution, both Lake Placid and Ramapo Valley brands have the opportunity to expand beyond Upstate New York markets. It will be interesting to see if ICBS plans additional craft beer acquisitions.

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