On Thursday, April 30th employees at the Pyramid Alehouse in Seattle were notified that the restaurant and brewery would be closing permanently.
“Since we opened the Alehouse over 30 years ago, we have had wonderful customers and excellent employees who have been strong ambassadors for Pyramid. On behalf of our brewery, we want to thank them for their support as we shift our full attention to making great beer,” said Bruce Kehe, Brand Director, Pyramid Brewing Co.
FIFCO USA, the company that owns Pyramid Brewing, cited the need for “high volume sporting and entertainment events to off-set the much slower restaurant business during non-peak times.”
Obviously, because of the pandemic, there are no sporting events happening at T-Mobile Park or Century Link Field right now, so the writing was on the wall. The Alehouse has always relied on big crowds before and after soccer, football, and baseball games at the stadiums across the street.
The vast majority of the beer produced by Pyramid Brewing comes from the company’s large facility in Portland, so this will not impact the beer you see on the shelf at your local grocery store.
Rich Andrews, Chief Executive Officer, FIFCO USA, said, “This location has provided strong visibility for Pyramid beer in the great city of Seattle over the years. Unfortunately, our business model relies heavily on events that draw a significant number of people to Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. Our Alehouse business has become increasingly difficult to operate. The current environment will make it even harder.”
These days, Pyramid Brewing is owned by FIFCO USA, an arm of the larger Costa Rican food and beverage company. In October 2012, FIFCO purchased North American Breweries Holdings, the company that held Pyramid at the time. (FIFCO = Florida Ice and Farm Company.)
Pyramid Brewing was founded in Kalama, Washington by Tom Baune and Beth Hartwell in 1984. It was then known as Hart Brewing Company and its game-changing flagship beer was Pyramid Wheaten Ale. Following the somewhat infamous acquisition/merger of Hart Brewing with another pioneering local brewery, Thomas Kemper Brewing, the renamed and restructured company moved its brewery and headquarters to Seattle in 1996. For the unaware, Thomas Kemper was a brewery in Poulsbo, Washington, founded in 1984. Pyramid transformed Thomas Kemper into a soft drink brand, something for which a lot of old-school beer geeks never forgave Pyramid. Back in the 1990s, there was an IPO followed in the ensuing decades by a series of mergers and acquisitions.
About FIFCO USA
FIFCO USA is one of the top 10 beer companies in the United States. FIFCO USA brews, packages, imports, markets and sells its brands through an independent network of wholesalers throughout the U.S.
The brand portfolio includes: the Labatt Family of beers; Genesee Brewing Co.; Seagram’s Escapes and Seagram’s Escapes Spiked; Pura Still; Hemptails; Magic Hat; Portland Brewing Co.; and Pyramid Brewing Co. Additionally, FIFCO USA is the U.S. importer of Imperial from Costa Rica.
Headquartered in Rochester, New York, FIFCO USA operates breweries and alehouses across the U.S. FIFCO USA also performs contract brewing on behalf of other beverage companies.
FIFCO, the parent company, is headquartered in the province of Heredia, Costa Rica. It has a catalog of over 2,000 products, sold in over 15 countries.