Updated December 30th
Okay, I’d hoped to have some sort of official announcement from the new partners, but the cat seems to be out of the bag. And if employees were telling customers about it, as at least one comment below suggests, I suppose I shouldn’t feel like I’m out of line. Still, this is just what I know. It’s what I have been told in private conversations, but it is not based on an official announcement. Better that I share what I know than allow people to speculate wildly.
There are new majority owners at Schooner Exact. As I understand things, it’s the same folks that own Belltown Brewing. They are local. They are not some monolithic multinational corporation. Local company. The owners that you’ve always known at Schooner Exact, the couple who started the brewery in an Active Space in West Seattle, will no longer be part of the team. It’s not like they cashed out and sold to the big boys. Not at all.
Many, if not most, independent craft breweries have two types of owners: the owners that we know and recognize, and then there are the behind-the-scenes owners/partners/investors. Many breweries have investors or financers behind the scenes. Those less-visible partners have varying degrees of control. (Subject for a different post: what is an “independent” brewery?) For whatever reason, there are now new majority owners at Schooner Exact.
Because I have not heard the official word from the new partners, this is not official. It’s just what I know and what I’ve been told in private conversations and it’s what people were being told by employees in the days leading up to the closure.
Today a notice showed up on the door of the taproom and restaurant at Schooner Exact Brewing in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood. The taproom is closed for renovation. It will be closed for two months. Here’s the notice:
Dear Schooner guests & beer lovers,
We’re very sorry for the inconvenience but the Schooner Exact Taproom is temporarily closing for two months for renovations, beginning today.
Schooner Exact beer will be brewed as usual in our SODO brewery during this time and will still be available at local retailers and on taps around town. The only thing changing is that we will not have the Taproom open for guests to enjoy pints or a meal here with us from now until the end of February.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. And don’t be a stranger! If you’re in the neighborhood come knock on our door and see our progress.
We look forward to seeing you all on March 1st when the new and improved Taproom reopens!
– The Schooner Exact Team
Because the last time we heard anything from Schooner Exact it involved an unprecedented collaborative relationship with Belltown Brewing, I reached out to Belltown Brewing to see if they could shed any light on the situation. The PR folks for Belltown Brewing informed me that they had released information about the temporary closure at Schooner Exact via social media. Basically, they confirmed that they are indeed involved in the situation. Beyond that, anything would be a matter of speculation at this point. In other words, that’s all we know. When more details are available, you will find them here on the Washington Beer Blog.