Private equity firm Fulsome Prevaricator has begun buying up popular craft breweries in Loudoun County, starting with the restructuring of Lost Rhino Brewing Company, Ocelot Brewing Company, and Old Ox Brewery into a single company, Three Mammals Brewing Company.
The new company will occupy a 40,000 square foot space near One Loudoun.
“We look forward to assimilating their unique identities into our collective corporate family,” Fulsome Prevaricator spokesman Børge Johansen stated in a press release announcing the merger.
The three breweries announced the (completely untrue) news with a prank press release, complete with a new logo, three beer names, photos, a Facebook page, and even a T-shirt which people are already asking to buy.
But the fake incorporation put a lens on real collaboration and camaraderie among the brewers.
“One day we were at the World of Beer grand opening in Ashburn, and we were just hanging out there having a few beers together, and Chris Drummond came up with the idea,” said Adrien Whitman, founder of Ocelot Brewery.
Drummond’s brewery, Lost Rhino, had last year pulled a prank by announcing it was suing Old Ox Brewing Company for copyright infringement for using an adjective and an animal in their name—a spin on some actual legal trouble at the time, when Red Bull tried to force Old Ox to change its name and marketing.
Drummond wanted a good followup for this year.
“We were kicking around the idea that all three of us were named after animals,” Drummond said. He ran the idea by Lost Rhino’s graphic designer, Logan Martin, and everybody ran with it.
By lunchtime today, people had begun calling all three breweries either in consternation or to ask to buy the T-shirt. So far, there’s only one T-shirt, the one used in a photo. But Drummond said he’s open to bringing some of it to life.
“That’s definitely something we’ll be kicking around, and it’s already been mentioned,” Drummond said. “I think that’s fun too, maybe having some fun with our friends and fans.”
Nor would this be the first collaboration among Loudoun’s craft brewers. Last year, Loudoun’s brewers collaborated at Old Ox Brewery for Lost Rhinos’s LoCo Brewfest to create LoCollaboration Harvest Amber Ale, which was sent to brewers all around the county.
“It really stems from the fact that we’re all friends, we’re always at events together, and we’re always helping each other out,” Whitman said.
“It’s kind of an excuse to have a few beers together and have a few laughs,” Drummond said.