Rumors abound about the future of Half Lion Brewing. Closing or not?

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Update October 30, 2023 – Further research shows that Half Lion was involved in another legal matter beyond the matter involving the Seattle Mariners, which we mentioned in the original post.

The first matter, which we opted not to report at the time, involved the Seattle Mariners (Baseball Club of Seattle, LLLP) and a promotional agreement between the brewery and the baseball club. (You may remember seeing a large Half Lion Brewing sign at T-Mobile Park.) The Mariners alleged that Half Lion Brewing failed to make a large payment and therefore violated the terms of the agreement.

The brewery countered with a complaint that the Mariners used the company’s trademarked name and image to sell beer that was not Half Lion’s beer. In short, the Mariners had not lived up to the spirit, if not the letter, of the agreement.

This is very much a layperson’s assessment of the matter. We do not want to misrepresent ourselves: we are not lawyers. We do not know the outcome, or current status of, that legal matter.


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The second matter, which we only recently discovered, involved a warrant for unpaid taxes filed by the Washington Department of Revenue in July 2022. Again, we’ve seen the warrant but do not know what conclusion, if any, was reached.

Original Post, October 18, 2023


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The first report came from someone who told us that the Half Lion Public House, at the golf course in Kent, had unexpectedly and suddenly closed. Then, yesterday, we received more reports from other sources close to the situation saying that Half Lion Brewing was closing down both locations entirely: the brewery and taproom in Sumner, as well as the Public House at Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent. However, a statement today from the company says it is not going out of business. Here’s what we know.

“We regret to inform you that Half Lion Brewing Co. and Public House will be closing both locations effective immediately,” said a message that the company sent out to accounts and partners. The message went on to thank everyone for their support during the hard times. That message was shared with the Washington Beer Blog by one of those accounts or partners.

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We’ve also been told that employees were notified of the situation and were told that they should file for unemployment insurance. At the same time, we’re hearing that the story is not so simple.

In a phone call today, Jason Nelson, the owner of Half Lion Brewing, told me that the company will share more information about the situation in the near future, but for the moment he is focusing his energy on keeping the company alive.

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A message today from Adam Shay, Director of Sales for Half Lion Brewing, said, “I understand that there has been a lot of rumors and misinformation about the supposed demise of Half Lion. Let me set the record straight. Half Lion is not going out of business. We are simply working through a restructuring to help the company be better and stronger moving forward. Rest assured, we will continue to make great beer and fill our orders and serve our customers.”

That’s what we know for now. We will continue to follow the situation and keep you informed.

The most recent news we’ve shared about Half Lion, in July of last year, involved the company’s alignment with River Barrel Distributing. Read it.

More recently, you may have heard news about Half Lion Brewing’s involvement in a lawsuit with the Seattle Mariners, though we chose not to report it here on the Washington Beer Blog. We’ve yet to hear anything about the outcome of those legal matters.

Half Lion Brewing opened its first location, the brewery and taproom in Sumner, in 2016. In 2019 the company opened its Public House at the golf course in Kent, but shortly thereafter had to shut down because of the pandemic. The company hung it there and reopened the Public House when able.



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1 thought on “Rumors abound about the future of Half Lion Brewing. Closing or not?

  1. I’m so bummed. The Kent location was awesome and the food was great. It was finally someplace I would choose to go to at the golf course.. I really hope restructuring includes the Kent location since our hockey family adopted it as home

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