Social Kitchen & Brewery in San Francisco, where the brut IPA trend started in 2018, closed with little warning over the past weekend.
San Francisco brewpub Social Kitchen and Brewery announced it would close its doors last weekend, citing lease issues.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I am announcing that this Saturday, March 7th will be the final day of service here at Social Kitchen and Brewery,” a Facebook post read. “Ownership and the landlord were unable to agree upon a new lease and we are all suffering right now.”
Rent in San Francisco ranks the highest in the world, according to financial information platform WalletWyse. Neighboring San Jose, Berkeley and Oakland, California, were among the world’s six most expensive cities.
Social is perhaps best known outside the Bay Area for its then-brewmaster Kim Sturdavant’s pioneering of the brut IPA style. Sturdavant, who is now the head brewer for Bay Area-based Woods Beer Company, got the idea to use amyloglucosidase, an enzyme that breaks down otherwise unfermentable sugars, to decrease residual sugars in traditional IPAs even more. The style gained national buzz in late 2018 as juicy, malty New England-style IPAs marched to dominance.
The brewpub, which opened in 2010, was located in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighborhood. It produced 959 barrels in 2018, the most recent year for which Brewers Association data is available.
In 2015 and 2017, Social’s Mr. Kite’s Pale Ale won the gold medal in the Classic English-Style Pale Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival.
The brewpub hosted a party on its last night with pints discounted to $3 from their normal $7-$9 price points. Head brewer Sean Halpin told Hoodline that the decision to close was made two nights before the farewell party.
“We want to show appreciation to the neighborhood and everyone who supported us over the years, and just make it a positive thing,” Halpin told Hoodline.