By Chris Cohen
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is one of the Bay Area's favorite local breweries. Its Prohibition amber ale and Big Daddy IPA are daily drinker craft beers for many area beer lovers and it'd be a challenge to find anyone in S.F who hasn't sampled the brewery's goods. In recent years, Speakeasy has also become known for its gorgeous onsite taproom and regular parking lot events featuring food trucks, pop-ups, and live music.
2014 is Speakeasy's 17th year making beer and it celebrated in style with a big anniversary event that included the release of five special new brews. Standouts among the beer releases included a hugely dank and sticky Blind Tiger Imperial IPA, which clocks in at 9.5 percent ABV; the intensely bourbon and woody barrel-aged imperial stout, Syndicate No. 02; the Harvey Milk Stout (Pride!) that tastes like sweetened espresso; and the zesty and spicy Informant Elderflower Saison.
Blind Tiger and a number of the special anniversary brews are currently on tap at Speakeasy. You can also pick up 22-ounce bombers of Syndicate No. 02 there. Keep an eye out for Blind Tiger Imperial IPA, and Limited Series Untouchable IPA at top Bay Area bottle shops.
Asked about where Speakeasy is headed as they move into its 18th year, founder and President Forest Gray says, "We are in the midst of an epic expansion in Hunters Point, increasing our brewery's production capacity to upwards of 90,000 barrels per year." That's enormous growth from the 29,000 barrels Speakeasy produced in 2013 and will put them at about half the current production of neighboring Anchor Brewing.
So where's all that beer going? Speakeasy plans to expand supply to areas they currently distribute, including California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Chicago, and parts of the East Coast. You rare beer hunters out there will be especially pleased to know that Speakeasy is also expanding its barrel-aging program.
More beer? More barrel-aged goodies? That's a win for Speakeasy and for beer lovers all over the U.S.