It’s harsh news. Seattle’s Two Beers Brewing was a trailblazer. Today we share the sad news that the brewery will cease operations in the coming months. There’s still time to say your proper goodbyes.
Two Beers Brewing was founded more than 15 years ago by Joel VandenBrink, who remained at the company’s helm for much of its history. Under Joel, Two Beers did things that no other brewery had done before. Two Beers was one of the first local breweries to put its beers in cans. And then there was that whole Churchkey Beer episode, which was weird, but weirdly genius in the end. Long story. Then, another spin-off company, Sound Seltzer, took a hard run at hard seltzer before most people had ever even heard of the stuff. In 2016, a French agricultural and food-processing group acquired the whole kit and caboodle.
On top of everything else, Two Beers Brewing was a champion for great causes, mostly related to the company’s underlying ethos: “Drink beer. Go Outside. Be happy.” The company embraced several initiatives that focused on trails, wilderness, and our National Parks.
Two Beers Brewing’s 16-year anniversary celebration is scheduled for Saturday, December 16th at The Woods tasting room. Even after Two Beers ceases operations, The Woods will remain open. It will continue to serve a robust selection from Seattle Cider and will eventually offer a selection of craft beers from other local producers.
There’s a lot to unpack here. See the press release below for details. The best part of this story, maybe the only good part of the story, is that the employees will be retained thanks to opportunities beneath the Seattle Cider umbrella.
‘End of an Era’: Two Beers Brewing Co to Cease Operations in Coming Months
SEATTLE, WA (October 11, 2023) – In a bittersweet moment, Two Beers Brewing, a beloved and storied Seattle craft brewery, announced today that it will be ceasing operations after 16 years of serving the community. This decision comes with mixed emotions as Two Beers Brewing reflects on its remarkable journey, fond memories, and the lasting impact it has had on local beer culture.
Since its inception in 2007, Two Beers Brewing has been at the forefront of innovation, consistently producing exceptional craft beers that have garnered a dedicated and passionate following. Two Beers was one of the first Washington craft breweries to package in cans, a testament to their ethos “Drink Beer. Go Outside. Be Happy.” Additionally, the brewery’s devotion to the craft has earned it numerous accolades and awards, including a much-coveted GABF gold medal for Immersion Amber, and numerous gold medals from Washington Beer Awards and Sip Northwest.
Over the years, it was the community partnerships and events that truly defined Two Beers impact as a trailblazer in the craft beer industry. The Woods Tasting Room acted as a central hub for community events, including an annual fresh hop pick where customers were invited to harvest hops off the bine gathered hours before in Yakima, and hand delivered by the brewers.
Two Beers Brewing has also been an integral part of the Seattle community, donating thousands of dollars annually to community partners like Washington Trails Association, SeaDoc Society, and Deception Pass Park Foundation. Further, Two Beers staff climbed and summited Mount Rainier three years in a row supporting Washington’s National Park Fund’s Climb for a Cause, all while raising thousands of dollars to support the organization.
“Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon narrative to share news of a craft brewery ceasing operations,” explains General Manager, Felix Madrid. “Between increasing materials costs, increasing competition, and declining market share for craft beer, Two Beers has struggled financially for years and was largely able to continue operations because of the success of our sibling company, Seattle Cider Co. It was not an easy decision to make, but it’s one that certainly makes sense,” shares Madrid.
Despite ceasing operations at the brewery, the closure will not result in mass layoffs. “Our unique situation operating two brands has allowed us to share staff resources, and there are no plans for major workforce reductions related to the closure of Two Beers,” explains Madrid. “We’ve always employed incredibly talented and passionate craft beverage enthusiasts, but now our focus will shift more singularly to our work in craft cider.”
The Woods Tasting Room in SODO, shared by sibling company, Seattle Cider Co, will continue operations, eventually replacing Two Beers taps with a selection of local craft beers from around greater Seattle.
Despite the challenges that led to this difficult decision, Two Beers Brewing remains incredibly grateful for the support from its loyal patrons, partners, and staff members. It is with a sense of pride and gratitude that the brewery looks back on the memories shared and the positive impact it had on the community.
“While it’s difficult to say goodbye to a company we’ve poured so much heart and soul into over the years, it’s the right choice for our team to make,” shares General Manager, Felix Madrid. “While this is a moment of sadness and reflection, we remain optimistic about the future and grateful for the memories and experiences that Two Beers has brought to our lives and community. We hope to see you in the future at The Woods and we look forward to continuing our support of the vibrant craft beer industry.”
Two Beers’ 16 year and final anniversary celebration will still take place Saturday, December 16 at The Woods; details to follow. Two Beers’ products will continue to be available at The Woods in SODO and at local grocery stores into early 2024.