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“Tap out” – Speakeasy Brewery has shut down.

The end of the road for an iconic brewery from California.

by Alexander Quebec

Speakeasy Brewery, a popular craft brew company for over 20 years, has ceased operations indefinitely, it said Friday in a statement to the public. All operations in the brewery, packaging and taproom have shut down as of this Friday (3.10.17)

Renowned all over the craft brewing world, the brand was responsible for igniting the craft beer trend all over the Bay Area and all across California.

According to a statement released by Speakeasy Founder and CEO Forest Grey, reasons for the closure include an inability to secure additional capital investment and outstanding debts for the closure.

“The brewery has worked with multiple investment banking groups and have had numerous meetings. One fact has become central to the process, and that is the company is financially insolvent and requires new capital to move forward. Whether that will happen is unclear, but I do hope the brewery and brand will persist.”

“Over the last year and a half” the brand had been working with their creditor, an unnamed company at this time, to work out details of securing more capital, says Brian Stechschulte, the brand’s PR and media director

When asked if the competitive nature of the craft brew industry might also be to blame “It’s certainly hard to deny that that played a role, but we had a lot of things going on that led us to the situation today.” Stechschulte replied.

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The California Craft Brewer’s association also released a statement regarding the shut-down on their website.

“Speakeasy Ales and Lagers has been a well-known San Francisco-based brewery ever since it opened its doors in 1997. The CCBA, along with many of Speakeasy’s fans, followers and loyal customers, is sorry to hear the brewery will be closing its doors indefinitely. Speakeasy’s ownership and staff have been an important part of the growth of craft brewing in California and have invested many hours, energy and time into supporting the industry and perfecting their craft.

“The folding of Speakeasy’s brewing, packaging and taproom operations will be felt deeply by our community. We are confident that many of Speakeasy’s former staff and representatives will find new roles within our industry and continue to support and participate in the growing craft beer scene across the state.

“Over the last decade, the California craft brewing industry has grown and matured at a rapid pace. As our industry continues to develop over the next decade, we will continue to see breweries open and breweries close, as is the normal and healthy cycle of any industry.

“As we move forward, solid business models and high quality brewing will be the cornerstones for long-term sustainability and differentiation in the marketplace. We are thankful to have pioneering breweries like Speakeasy help pave the way for our industry and foster consumer demand for high quality, high flavored craft beers that continues to grow here in California and across the globe.”

All remaining inventory has been shipped to distributors in several states and will be sold through. Their taproom in the Bayview district served their last brews Thursday Night.

Given their current financial situation, the brand remains hopeful that they will work out a plan to resume operations.

 

H/T: SF Gate and Speakeasy’s Website

 

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