A longtime presence in the Seattle craft brewery world is saying goodbye: On Thursday, October 12, Two Beers Brewing announced on its Facebook page that it would be ceasing production. “We want to express our deepest gratitude to every single one of you for your unwavering support, love, and enthusiasm throughout this incredible adventure,” the post read. “Our heartfelt thanks go out to our team, who poured their passion and dedication into every batch of beer.”
Two Beers was founded in 2007 by Joel VandenBrink, who like many craft brewers started out as a homebrewer before turning pro, gradually growing the business for several years. In 2013, following a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, doctors advised VandenBrink to stop drinking beer, and he responded by founding Seattle Cider Company, the first cidery in Seattle since Prohibition. For years, the two companies have shared a taproom in Georgetown called the Woods (not to be confused with the Capitol Hill nightclub of the same name).
In 2016, both companies were sold to Agrial, a French farmer-run co-op, though VandenBrink stayed on as CEO for a few years. In 2019, when he was no longer the CEO, Seattle Cider Co. sued VandenBrink, alleging that he had inflated sales numbers; he countersued and the parties settled out of court the following year.
In a statement, Felix Madrid, the general manager for both companies, cited “increasing materials costs, increasing competition, and declining market share for craft beer” as the reasons Two Beers is ceasing production. These same trends have been hurting craft breweries all over Seattle and likely contributed to changes in the brewing landscape. In the last year, Redhook and Mac and Jack’s have been sold, while Lowercase Brewing shut its taproom.
“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,” Madrid said.
According to that statement, the closure of Two Beers “will not result in mass layoffs.” The plan is apparently to shift staff around so that there’s an increased focus on Seattle Cider Co.
Two Beers is still planning on celebrating the brewery’s 16th anniversary on December 16 at the Woods, only now the event will double as a send-off for the brand.