There is a lot of uncertainty in the American beer industry these days, especially among the smaller breweries. In what is both a cautionary tale and one of optimism, Sean O’Keefe of Pontoon Brewing in Georgia is here today to talk about how his brewery was forced to close and to furlough employees.
Earlier this month the brewery put up a social media post announcing that it needed to close. This was necessary, owners said because one of it’s main distributors had not paid them for beer delivered. O’Keefe has not publicly identified the distributor, citing on-going litigation as the reason.
The brewery has been a vibrant part of the Georgia Beer scene for years now, focusing on big boozy imperial stouts and messing around with adjuncts. It’s also making more mainstream beers that can appeal to a wider audience. It hasn’t always been easy, but the brewery has grown, and O’Keefe is candid about what has been happening behind the scenes to get to this point, and how fragile it can all be.
Right now the brewery is looking for investors and looking for a path forward. There seems to be a lot of announcements these days about breweries closing and it puts a spotlight on all of the facets that go into running a successful business, and how even one piece out of sync can hurt the whole brewery.
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