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Seacoast Online: Hassan Gives Smuttynose a Boost

By Max Sullivan 

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan shared a toast with Smuttynose Brewing Company’s new leadership Friday, celebrating a seamless transition of ownership her office helped coordinate through the federal permitting process.

Hassan said the company’s environmental practices and its community involvement made it easy for her staff to push for an expedited approval of Smuttynose’s brewer’s permit from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. New Smuttynose CEO Rich Lindsay said he was shocked to see the permit was ready the day the brewery’s sale to Runnymede Investments closed earlier this month, preventing operations from stalling and keeping employees at work.

“You guys gave us a great story to tell. It is pretty easy to push hard and make bureaucrats do things a lot faster when you talk about this wonderful business,” Hassan told brewery ownership and staff inside the brewery at 105 Towle Farm Road while holding a glass of L’Etalon, a Smuttynose imperial stout. Founder Peter Egelston and his partner, Joanne Francis, were also on hand for the toast.

The purchase of Smuttynose by Runnymede Investments was finalized April 3, according to Smuttynose spokeswoman Barbara MacLeod. Without having the federal permit the day of the closing, employees would have had to wait for the permit to be acquired before returning to work. Hassan’s office was contacted by Smuttynose about help with speeding up the permit process, which Lindsay said typically takes much longer than it did. […]