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**For Immediate Release***

Media Contact:

Jesse P. Cutler

JP Cutler Media

510.338.0881

jesse@jpcutlermedia.com

 

ICONIC INDEPENDENT SAN FRANCISCO PRODUCTION BREWERY

SPEAKEASY ALES & LAGERS REOPENS TAPROOM ON DECEMBER 15, 2017

 

BELOVED CRAFT BREWERY RESURRECTS BOTTLE PRODUCTION ON JANUARY 1, 2018

FOR RETAIL DISTRIBUTION THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA

AND SELECT MARKETS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

 

Parent Company Hunters Point Brewery LLC Welcomes Collaborative Partnerships

With Bay Area Craft Beer Brands Seeking Local Production Facility  

Hunters Point, Calif. -- Thursday, December 14, 2017 – The birthplace of craft brewing, San Francisco welcomes back one of its iconic brands Speakeasy Ales & Lagers following a nine-month hiatus during a change of ownership to Hunters Point Brewery LLC. Preserving the two-decade history and tradition of one of San Francisco’s stalwart production breweries, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers reopens its remodeled Hunters Point taproom with an expanded 17-line draft system, new copper-top tables and ambient lighting on December 15. Speakeasy features their acclaimed flagship beers such as Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy IPA alongside an array of exclusive taproom-only experimental small batch beers. Brand new crowlers as well as growlers will now be available at the Speakeasy taproom located at 1195 Evans Avenue in San Francisco, Calif.. Speakeasy officially celebrates its return with a Grand Opening event at the brewery on Saturday, January 27, 2018.

With a three-decade long career in the craft beer industry, prominent Bay Area business entrepreneur Ces Butner (CEO, Hunters Point Brewery LLC) bought Speakeasy Ales & Lagers to uphold one of San Francisco’s most renowned independent breweries. Butner’s expertise as a former award-winning beer distributor offers a healthy competitive edge in a growing national market with 6,000 craft breweries. The purchase of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers by a local African-American businessperson is a success story for craft beer in a day and age when big beer acquisitions of small craft businesses are all too common.

“As a company, we do more than just sell quality craft beer,” says Ces Butner. “We’re part of the community that we owe a lot to with all of their incredible past support for Speakeasy. It’s now time that we can once again embrace the craft community and let them know we are jumping in with both feet to strengthen our ties with craft beer drinkers across California and nationwide. We further want to help our colleagues at other craft breweries in any way we can. We have a 60,000 barrel facility and we’re looking forward to inviting brands in need of a brewing facility to collaborate with us in 2018.”

Only a handful of production breweries exist in San Francisco and Butner sets forth an innovative platform for Hunters Point Brewery LLC. While Speakeasy’s flagship beers and new seasonal releases maintain the majority of the 60,000 barrels capacity, Butner will open up the brewery to additional regional brands in need of a local facility looking to enhance their production numbers. Hunters Point Brewery LLC serves as a community partner working with Bay Area brewers to bolster the Northern California craft scene as a whole.

Located on the southeastern corner of San Francisco, Hunters Point is in the midst of a major comeback with the adoration of southern neighborhoods such as the adjacent Dogpatch at an all-time peak. Artisanal distillers, breweries, bakeries, restaurants, and redevelopment projects are blossoming within the southeastern region. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers churns out exceptional craft beers and is currently operated by many Speakeasy employees who’ve stayed the course during the brewery’s receivership to new ownership with Ces Butner now at the helm. The Speakeasy taproom offers a unique experience for beer aficionados to step inside their 1920’s underground watering hole to enjoy 17 draft beers always available on tap.

Speakeasy’s Clay Jordan (Director of Brewing Operations) is among the standout employees who persisted through the change of ownership. Collectively with his brewing team, they conceived and brewed a new beer in true Speakeasy fashion, Holdout Stout. Jordan comments, “During the recent uncertain times with the company, we developed a beer from scratch—completely off the record. We used ingredients we had on hand to specifically design a beer to be able to age well through an unpredictable future. We knew that if we came through on the other side of the receivership, we’d want a beer to celebrate with. Like the eight company holdouts that the beer is named after, it is a hearty, strong stout that’s built to last with a very roasty aroma and flavor, creamy mouthfeel, and smooth finish."

Statewide throughout California and select markets nationwide including New York City will see Speakeasy’s acclaimed beers on retail shelves and on draft, including Prohibition Ale, Big Daddy IPA, Double Daddy Imperial IPA, Baby Daddy Session IPA, Pop Gun Pilsner, Metropolis Lager, and Payback Porter. At the Speakeasy Taproom, consumers will have access to a rotating lineup of experimental beers such as new releases Holdout Stout, Speakeasy Dark Lager, Speakeasy Saison, Bourbon Session Stout, Big Daddy's Humidor, Oak Aged Pop Gun Pilsner, and Coffee Payback Porter. The brewery’s limited-edition bottle series will continue to be available for purchase in the taproom (Limited Series, Infamous Series, Syndicate Series, Perfect Crime Series).

About Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has been defiantly brewing small batch beers in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood since 1997. The brewery started with a single iconic beer, still made today, Prohibition Ale. The hoppy amber beer embodies the spirit of bootleggers and gangsters who persevered when America’s taps ran dry. Speakeasy quickly gained a loyal following with its bold, complex beers, and striking 1920s imagery. Speakeasy’s kingpin Big Daddy IPA is the brewery’s highest seller among its wide array of celebrated beers, from session ales to bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts. In 2013, the Speakeasy Taproom opened serving thousands of local craft beer lovers with fresh draft beer to be enjoyed onsite or to-go in growlers and crowlers. 

Speakeasy’s original 15 barrel brewing system was replaced in 2015 during a major expansion, which included a 60 barrel brewhouse, centrifuge, malt handling system, canning line, and an additional 1,200 barrels of fermentation capacity.     

Hunters Point Brewery LLC, a company founded by former owner of Horizon Beverage Company, Ces Butner, acquired the Speakeasy beer brands and brewing equipment in 2017. Under new ownership, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will grow by leaps and bounds. The brewery’s trademark eyes, ubiquitous and cryptic, beckon you to join our mob, no password required.

After almost 9 Months...

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On December 15th, almost exactly 9 months since it was abruptly closed, The Tap Room at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will once again open its doors - no password required.

The remodel is complete, the permits have been signed off, and we can’t wait to open our doors! With a brand new glycol draft system with 17 tap handles, reimagined lighting, copper tables, and a brand new Crowler Station, the tap room has never looked better!

Come join us on Friday December 15th as we open at 3pm. Have a pint with us and then take home a freshly filled Crowler from one of our tap room only beers, including Holdout Stout, Speakeasy Dark Lager, Speakeasy Saison, Bourbon Session Stout, Big Daddy's Humidor as well as our flagship beers. 

Tap Room Reopening & Distribution Updates

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“When is the tap room reopening?” We’ve been asked that question on social media, at recent events, and when you’ve peeked inside our tap room doors over the last few months. Your enthusiasm and support has been tremendous, and greatly appreciated. Thank you! We’re working hard to make beer and putting the final touches on our tap room. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we would like to open the tap room in mid November (if not sooner, fingers crossed!) followed by a grand reopening party. Once we clear the last few hurdles, we’ll communicate the details when a solid timeline is confirmed.

After Speakeasy was purchased earlier this year our first goal was to ramp up production of packaged beer and reestablish distribution. Although we were still brewing during our transition to new ownership, the quantity was quite small and limited to San Francisco. Now that we’re on solid ground under new ownership, we’re focused on shipping beer throughout Northern and Southern California. Resupplying our home state is the first step. As our inventory grows we’ll look to expand distribution into regions where it was found in the past. It will take some time so we appreciate your patience!

As for the tap room, the change in ownership required new licenses and permits before the doors could open, which takes time. So we embarked on months of minor remodeling to improve the tap room space and operations, since there's no better time. Don’t worry, the tap room has the same look and feel you remember, but now it’s even better. We added some lighting, new tables and seating, created more space, and more that you’ll have to wait and see. Most of the projects are finished. Right now we’re working our way through San Francisco Department of Public Health permitting.

In the meantime we’ve begun our search for tap room beertenders. Are you interested in being a beertender? Do you enjoy talking about beer? Is it time for you to join the beer industry?  Read the job description on our career page, then send a cover letter and resume to taproom@goodbeer.com. We’ll be reaching out to qualified applicants in the next few weeks about open positions.

The tap room is close enough to opening that we’re also starting to tentatively accept reservations for room rentals and complete buyouts in December. If you’re looking for a venue to host a holiday party or special event, check out the private rentals page on our website. We have two rooms available for small parties and you can also reserve the entire space. Be one of the first people to see and enjoy Speakeasy’s new and improved tap room.   

Thanks again for supporting Speakeasy Ales & Lagers. We’ll have more exciting developments as we near the end of the permitting process and solidify future plans. For example, our list of beers for the tap room opening will include some longtime favorites and new releases. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get the latest updates.

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Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Secures Future with Sale of Company Assets


Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is happy to announce that the company’s brewing equipment and beer brands have been purchased by Hunters Point Brewery, a new company founded by Ces Butner, former owner of Horizon Beverage Company in Oakland, CA. Beers by Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will continue being produced at the San Francisco brewery, securing twenty years of independent brewing history and tradition. The deal was finalized on May 8, 2017, and terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

“I worked with Speakeasy Ales & Lagers for five to six years as a distributor,” said Ces Butner. “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.”

Sam Cappione has been appointed Vice President and General Manager to oversee all aspects of company operations. The eight employees who remained at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers during the sale of company assets will continue working at the brewery. Additional staff will be hired in the next few weeks and months to fill key positions in operations, sales, packaging, the tap room, and brewing departments. The tap room will be opened as soon as possible.     

There will be no changes to the Speakeasy beer lineup at this time. According to Ces Butner, “The beer quality will remain the same and we have every confidence that the current distribution network and territories will stay intact. We’ll be working closely with all the distributors. Right now we just need to revive the Speakeasy brands, and I’m prepared to do just that.”

The Next Perfect Crime: Murky Business APA

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is set to release its first new beer of 2017, Murky Business APA, the latest addition to the brewery’s draft only Perfect Crime Series. Murky Business APA is not your father’s malty American Pale Ale. The almighty hop takes center stage with a big juicy punch of tropical fruit.

Notes of pineapple, grapefruit, papaya, and lychee dominate Murky Business APA. A small amount of white wheat and flaked oats were added to give the beer some body, while a touch of rye and Maris Otter add a hint of spice and lightly toasted malt. Straw to pale gold in color, Murky Business APA is dry with no caramel sweetness, and finished at 5.3% alcohol by volume with 20 IBUs.

Speakeasy has never made a beer like Murky Business APA. While the brewery has created plenty of pale ales over 20 years, none of them have contained such a low amount of hop bitterness, which has been dialed down to an absolute minimum. Murky Business APA is focused on the delicious flavors and aroma found in Citra, Mosaic, and Nelson Sauvin hops.

Murky Business APA is the first beer created by Speakeasy’s new Beer Development Committee, from concept to recipe and brewing. The committee includes staff members from all facets of the brewery. They’re tasked with the research and development of small batch beers that could play a larger role in the company’s future.

Murky Business APA will shipped to Speakeasy’s distribution territories in small quantities when it becomes available. Follow the brewery's social media accounts for more information.