Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

San Francisco, CA

Posted in Aquisitions, Full Circle Brewing, Headlines, Sonoma Cider, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Full Circle Brewing Acquires Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Full Circle Acquires Speakeasy

Full Circle Brewing has merged with San Francisco-based Speakeasy Ales and Lagers. Together the two, along with Sonoma Cider Full Circle acquired in 2020, combine to be the largest and most distributed black-owned brewery in the United States.

In 2017, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers ceased operations citing “outstanding debt & difficulty securing capital investment.” By May of that year, Speakeasy announced a sale to Hunters Point Brewery, a company founded by former beverage distributor Ces Butner.

Butner will remain on the advisory board going forward as the brands grow together. “I am excited for the passing of the baton to the next generation of Black Entrepreneurs in the craft beer space. I will continue to sit on the advisory board, and look forward to seeing the Speakeasy brand grow and evolve,” Butner says.

All three brands will be run under the leadership of Full Circle Brewing’s CEO Arthur Moye. Altogether, the group has an annual production capacity of 20,000 barrels annually.

“We are excited to apply what we learned from revitalizing Full Circle and increasing sales by 5,000%, to San Francisco’s longest running Independent Brewery. We plan to breathe new life into current brands, and expand its range of products”

Arthur Moye, Full Circle CEO

The three entities will continue distribution through their current networks. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Posted in Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Coming Soon

Speakeasy Mystic Haze IPA

Speakeasy Mystic Haze IPA

Speakeasy Mystic Haze IPA

Posted in Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Headlines

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers sells to Hunters Point Brewery

Hunters Point Brewery

Back in March we heard the sad news that Speakeasy Ales & Lagers was closing due to, “difficulty securing capital investment, and outstanding debt obligations.”

Today we received happier news. Hunters Point Brewery in San Francisco, CA, has purchased Speakeasy Ales and Lagers’ brewing equipment and beer brands. Per Speakeasy, Hunters Point is considered the holding company, and had no plans on releasing new brands on the near future.

Founded by Ces Butner, previously of Horizon Beverage Company, Hunters Point will continue brewing the existing Speakeasy beer lineup with no changes for now.

“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.” – Ces Butner

Hunters Point Brewery plans to have their taproom open as soon as possible, following a few additional hires to the 8 employees remaining after the original Speakeasy Ales & Lagers closure.

Posted in Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Headlines

San Francisco’s Speakeasy Ales & Lagers ceases operations

Hunters Point Brewery

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has ceased operations, packaging and tap room operations, effective immediately. The brewery cites “difficulty securing capital investment, and outstanding debt obligations” leading to this decision.

Per Speakeasy, the company’s primary creditor will determine the future of the brewery.

“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.” – Forest Gray, Speakeasy founder and CEO

The remaining fresh inventory of Speakeasy beer has left the brewery and headed to distributors.

Beer Street Journal reached out to Speakeasy for comment, but emails were not immediately returned.

Posted in New Releases, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Speakeasy Discreet Wheat Ale kicks off “Perfect Crime” Series

Speakeasy Discreet Wheat Ale

Speakeasy Discreet Wheat Ale is the San Francisco, California based brewery’s first release of 2016.

The American wheat beer release coincides with SF Beer well (January 22-31). The invention of brewer Brandon Nash and girlfriend Pilar Odom, Speakeasy Discreet Wheat Ale topped the brewery’s 2nd Annual Employee Brew-off.

 “I designed the recipe to be simple and chose high quality ingredients, letting different flavors speak for themselves. I also wanted to include a unique ingredient. My girlfriend Pilar, who is very knowledgeable about herbs, suggested adding lemongrass to give the brew an extra kick of citrus and grassy flavors.”

Speakeasy Discreet Wheat is a draft only offering.

Style: Wheat Ale
Hops: Calypso, Amarillo, Mosaic

Availability: Draft only
Launch: Late January, 2016

5.7% ABV, 42 IBUs

If you go: 

Discreet Wheat Release PartyJanuary 24th, at Speakeasy’s Tap Room in conjunction with SF Beer Week.

Posted in Seasonal Return, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Speakeasy Black Hand Chocolate Milk Stout returns in January

Speakeasy Black Hand Chocolate Milk Stout, a collaboration TCHO Chocolate, returns January 9, 2016.

Brad Kintzer, Head Chocolatier at TCHO recommended Speakeasy use a special blend of Ecuadorian cacao nibs, which will give the beer not only rich chocolately favors, but a nutty note too. Black Hand is full of milk chocolate flavors, start to finish.

lack Hand pours a rich dark brown with a milky coffee-colored head. Bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and roast envelopes the nose, carried by roasted cacao nibs and chocolate malts. The aroma blends effortlessly with soft flavors of dry chocolate and darkly roasted malts. The addition of milk sugar provides a silky smooth body, with a subtle natural sweetness of cream.

In keeping with the brewery’s theme, “Black Hand” refers to a Pre-Prohibition practice where mobsters would stamp the kidnap victims name on a ransom note. Speakeasy Black Hand Chocolate Milk Stout will be available in 22oz bottles and draft.

Style: Milk Stout (w/ Chocolate)
Availability: 22oz bombers
Latest Return: 1/9/2016

6.9% ABV

Posted in New Beers, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers