SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2016
DME BREWING SOLUTIONS
After 700 projects in 67 countries over a 25-year span, it’s not at all surprising that the President and CEO of DME Brewing Solutions in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Peter Toombs, became nostalgic when pressed about his company’s silver jubilee. He beamed with pride as he recounted his “first grand project” with the Diversified Metal Engineering team – a set of mash and lauter tuns for a company across the Northumberland Strait in New Brunswick. He took on a professorial timber when he elucidated some of the finer points of the so-called Craft Beer Revolution: “This revolution began in California in the late 1970s when small craft brewers were granted the first licenses, and through the 80s and 90s, we saw real influential growth to the tune of nearly four percent. That’s total beer consumption when measured with big beer companies in the equation. After 2005, a wider demographic began to be exposed to the quality – the essence – of good craft beer and the growth rate in the industry has only accelerated.” But that was it for the DME retrospective. Toombs spent the rest of our conversation discussing what’s to come for the preferred supplier of equipment to craft brewing companies around the world. 3 OCTOBER 2016 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS
By David MacDonald I t wasn’t at all surprising that Toombs’ sights were set on the road ahead. Just two days before we spoke, DME announced a strategic partnership with Newlands Systems (NSI) in Abbotsford, British Columbia. “This amal- gamation is a defining step in history for DME and NSI,” Toombs said in a press release. “Both companies have been manufacturing world class microbrewing equip- ment solutions for over 25 years and are highly respected within the craft beer industry. We now have the opportu- nity to expand upon what both companies have built and become even stronger in the future.” “Plans are underway for a new state of the art 50,000 square feet manufacturing facility in South Carolina.” Toombs will assume the role of CEO and NSI President, Brad McQuhae, will be named Senior Vice President of Innovation of the combined organization, according to the release.
“We saw an opportunity in the craft brewing industry. With its growth and projected growth looking ahead five or ten years in North America – as well as beyond those borders – we wanted to really capitalize on the equipment solutions side of it. Brad and I started talking three years ago and we realized that it’s a very fragmented industry from the supply chain side of things when you look at the big picture. That was our motivation. We put together an earnest business plan that focused on forward-think- ing consolidation. It’s a formula to get bigger, better, stronger. The more coverage in the North America mar- ketplace we can sure up, we reduce the risk for our growth moving forward into markets like South America.”
When I asked Toombs what motivated the merger, his answer was without pretense.
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When I questioned Toombs about the press release photo of him and McQuhae that seems to resemble a warm moment between two old college friends as much as it does business partners symbolically embarking on a collaborative venture, he chuckled and said, “I met Brad nearly 25 years ago at a craft brewery conference. We were always friendly Canadian competitors from opposite coasts with the same vision. They’re great people who produce a great product and they’ve been in the industry a long time.” McQuhae’s sentiments were equally cordial. “We’re extremely fortunate to have been presented with the opportunity to unite with our respect- ed counterparts; DME Brewing Solu- tions,” he said. “We look forward to a bright future together. Now that the brands have merged, Toombs estimates their global presence to be in the range of 1000 to 1,100 individual microbrewery projects but he admits that “would be a very conservative number.” “What’s really exciting is that the combined brands are now executing roughly 100 new projects globally.”
ing facility in South Carolina. This is something that Brad and his team looked at before the merger,” Toombs said. “They were at and beyond their existing capacity in Abbotsford, so they had been reaching out to the U.S. market directly. Basically, Brad and his team had done all the foot work. The facility that came along with this transaction is fully enclosed with gates and personnel on-site are being mobilized and trained as we speak. We’re hopeful that sparks will fly by November.” “Brad and I started talking three years ago and we realized that it’s a very fragmented industry from the supply chain side of things when you look at the big picture. That was our motivation.”
While operations will continue at both the Charlottetown and Abbotsford locations in Canada, Toombs is eager to get things underway south of the
This new shared volume was Toombs and McQuhae’s first challenge.
“Plans are underway for a new state of the art 50,000 square feet manufactur-
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border. “This is a significant expansion. It’s going to give us that Made in the U.S.A. label on everything coming out of South Carolina, which is very important in our industry. That label means a lot to Americans,” Toombs said. Toombs believes the benefits to customers will be felt across all borders. “Both DME and NSI are known for treating their clients like family. They’ll see an enhance- ment of services and after-sales services on a global scale. More time zones mean much more continuity,” he said. “The preferred supplier of equipment to craft brewing companies around the world.” “We’ll synergize on many ser vice issues while taking advantage of the broad knowledge and experience in engineering and innovation brought to the table by both companies. The DME produc t line is ver y unique and successful and there is absolutely no plan to change that. Those brands will f lourish and thrive.”
take a quick peek into the room where the beer is being made and you will likely see an NSI or a DME label on the equipment and then you’ll know there is a high quality beer brewing. You see it in the far reaches of the globe, including Africa, the Coral Coast of Australia, West and East Asia, including Japan and China, Western Europe, the list goes on. It’s incredible to have that reach and won- derful to be able to do that in Atlantic Canada.” The DME family includes names like Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company east of Ottawa, Ontario, the Garrison Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary, Alberta. The NSI family includes names like Blue Moon Brewing in Denver, Colorado, Mill Street Brewery in Toronto, Ontario, and Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard, North Carolina.
And why would they change?
“Anywhere you travel that boasts of quality craft beer,
“Everything is going to stay the same, it’ll just be scaled-up,” Toombs explained. “It’s a nice challenge for us going forward and it really opened a lot of doors for us by more than doubling the size of our company overnight. We’re pushing for that all-important growth in the first six months. We need to execute our plan for the sake of clients and staff. We want this to be an occasion for opportunities for both groups.”
“Our plans are certainly not to stop here. We’re looking at going well beyond.”
The combined entity will employ approximately 330 highly skilled per- sonnel. “Our plans are certainly not to stop here. We’re looking at going well beyond.”
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54 Hillstrom Ave. Charlottetown, PE Canada C1E 2C6 902.628.6900 • email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-665-4645 Proudly supplying the hard working people at Diversified Metal Engineering with high quality products & services
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as spotlighted in the OCTOBER 2016 issue of SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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