Finally some good news for the San Francisco brewing community: After it shut down in March as the result of financial troubles, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has resumed operations and will reopen its taproom in Bayview-Hunters Point on December 15.
In March, the brewery gave “difficulty securing capital investment and outstanding debt obligations” as the reason for the shutdown of its brewing and taproom operations. Following several uncertain months in receivership, it was purchased by Ces Butner, former proprietor of the Horizon Beverage distributorship, for $2.5 million; it’s now part of Butner’s company Hunters Point Brewery, a company formed specially for the acquisition.
Now things are going back online, with a slightly new direction. The taproom has undergone a small remodel, says taproom manager Nick Martinez, though it will largely have the same vibe and decor as before. The bar has been pushed back two feet, new copper-top tables and lighting have been installed, and a few other minor behind-the-scenes changes have been made, but the biggest change is a much larger draft system.
“We’re really excited about being able to offer a lot more variety on tap,” says Clay Jordan, director of brewing operations. “People know us as the brewery that makes Big Daddy IPA and Prohibition Ale, but now we’ll be able to showcase some beers that are only available in the taproom, new releases, and limited additions as well.”
The reopening of the taproom will kick off with one of those taproom-only brews, called Holdout Stout, an oatmeal stout brewed by Jordan and some of the remaining brewery employees during the receivership. Not knowing what the future of the brewery would hold, the team created the beer using materials that they had on hand. “It was completely off the books in a very Speakeasy style,” says Jordan. “We wanted it to have a long shelf life so if the future was unknown it would still be a good beer at the end.”
The move to increase experimental brewing and collaborations with other breweries is one indication of the future of the company, says Jordan, with the biggest change being the innovation and development of more exciting styles. That includes packaged beers, with several new styles on deck to debut as part of a multi-pack in 2018.
“The new management has done a great job of letting us — the people who stuck it out through the receivership — get our vision out but they also want it to feel like a new company.” Jordan and Martinez say that they’ve successfully hired back many former employees at the brewery and taproom, and are hoping to find space for more as business ramps back up; they’re hoping to bring back regulars and a new crowd to the taproom when it reopens.
Now that the brewery is owned by parent company Hunters Point Brewery, it could one day find itself one in a portfolio of brands, though Jordan says there’s nothing in the works right now. “The main focus is to make sure the Speakeasy brand is up and running,” says Jordan. “Long term, that’s definitely something we are exploring: adding brands or creating new brands. We’re very into collaboration, being part of the community and helping out other breweries.”
Starting December 15, stop by for a beer (see tap list below), fill a growler, or take home a crowler. Snacks like Dirty Chips and 4505 Chicharrones will be on hand, with the possibility of rotating food trucks in the future. Hours will be Tuesday through Thurday from 3 p.m.- 9 p.m., Friday from 12 p.m.- 10 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Opening Tap List:
- Big Daddy IPA
- Prohibition Ale
- Baby Daddy Session IPA
- Pop Gun Pilsner
- Oak Aged Pop Gun Pilsner
- Metropolis Lager
- Dark Lager
- Payback Porter
- Coffee Payback Porter
- Holdout Stout
- Bourbon Session Stout
- Big Daddy’s Humidor
- Speakeasy Saison
- Scarface Imperial Stout
- Old Godfather Barley Wine
- Syndicate 3
- Double Daddy