Will 2017 be the year the bubble finally begins to burst? We’re less than a quarter of the way through 2017, and sadly, we already have news to report that an established brewery is closing its doors. San Francisco’s Speakeasy Ales and Lagers has been brewing beer since 1997, but today, announced it has no choice but to cease operations.
According to Speakeasy founder and CEO, Forest Gray, “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.”
There is a chance that Speakeasy will one day once again fire up the brewhouse, but one has to think the odds are slim. The scene has become inundated with breweries and competition has never been tougher. The scene is only going to be come even more flooded with dozens of breweries in the works in the Philadelphia region alone. With a majority of these breweries opening with small production focused on selling a majority of their beer on premise, it’s make competition for production breweries even stiffer.
Also this week, Maine pioneer, D.L. Geary Brewing sold the brewery for what seems to be financial reasons. They had to make staff cuts just prior to the sale and were struggling to compete with the many newer breweries that have been opening throughout the state. This follows up huge staff layoffs by Stone and Green Flash over the past few months.
2017 will continue to see breweries opening their doors and will have plenty of exciting moments and memories, but it also seems like this is going to be the year where we find out how many breweries is too many.