Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Ceases Operations Indefinitely


On Friday, March 10, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers announced it will be ceasing operations. The brewery, which was founded in 1997 and is known for its Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy IPA, said the closure is a result of difficulty securing capital investment and outstanding debt obligations. Brewing, packaging, and taproom operations have been halted indefinitely, the statement said.

The announcement came just four days after the brewery announced its first new beer of 2017, Murky Business APA, an addition to the brewery’s Perfect Crime Series. The new beer was slated to launch at the San Francisco taproom on Saturday, March 18.

Brian Stechschulte, Speakeasy public relations and media director, tells Men’s Journal that the brewery’s assets are currently being prepared for sale, and it is currently in court-ordered receivership and out of the control of brewery founder and CEO, Forest Gray.

“Offers are expected to roll in soon,” said Stechschulte. “There’s been a significant amount of interest in the company, and we’re hoping for a sale to close in 30 to 45 days.”

Regarding the future of the brewery, Stechschulte said, “It is certainly possible that the brewery could carry on in its current form, but that will depend on the intentions of investors.”

Gray said in a statement, “The brewery has worked with multiple investment banking groups and [has] 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.”

Speakeasy concluded its statement by thanking customers, distributors, vendors, and retail partners for their support, and acknowledging the company’s former staff for their dedication to the brand. Remaining inventory of the beer has been shipped to distributors and will be available while supplies last, the statement said, signing off, “Grab a six-pack of Big Daddy IPA or any other Speakeasy beer to savor the history of this pioneering brewery.”