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Speakeasy Saved As Craft Beer Label Taps New Owner - By jkukura - May 10, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Speakeasy Saved As Craft Beer Label Taps New Owner

Image: Speakeasy Brewery

The saga of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, the microbrew manufacturers of iconic local craft beers Big Daddy IPA and Prohibition Ale, will thankfully avoid being 86’ed. Bitter tears were wept into beers in early March when Speakeasy announced it was shutting down due to bankruptcy, effective immediately. But hope bubbled up when the the brewery changed course and said it would continue production until a new buyer was found.

That buyer has been found, the deal has closed, and Speakeasy is officially spoken for. A newly formed corporation called Hunter’s Point Brewery LLC, founded by beer distributor Horizon Beverage Company of Oakland, will buy the Speakeasy Brewery, Taproom, and all of the Speakeasy beer brands, for a reported $2.5 million.

“I worked with Speakeasy Ales & Lagers for five to six years as a distributor,” new Speakeasy owner Ces Butner said in a statement on the company website. “We were one the first companies to expand their distribution beyond San Francisco. There was a tremendous amount of growth and interest in the Speakeasy brands. It was one of the best craft breweries we worked with and the beer quality is very high. I thought it would be a shame if the brand, and one of the few production breweries left in San Francisco, disappeared because of financial problems.”

“Keeping Speakeasy’s San Francisco born and brewed tradition alive is very important to me,” Butner said.

Speakeasy does intend to reopen its now-shuttered Speakeasy Taproom in Bayview-Hunter’s Point, but currently needs to hire more staff to do so. Established in 1997, Speakeasy Brewery was one of the first craft beers to be distributed nationally, and is now a global brand.