Fresno, California, April 20, 2023 – The Full Circle Brand family first grew with the acquisition of Full Circle Brewing in 2016. The portfolio later expanded with the acquisition of Sonoma Cider in 2020, and continues to grow via a merger with Speakeasy Ales and Lagers of San Francisco. This merger brings together two of California’s largest, and most widely distributed Black Owned and Operated Breweries.
Back in February, ByBlack, powered by U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. collaborated with Full Circle Brewing and Sonoma Cider, a ByBlack Certified business, to release a beer and cider in celebration of Black History Month. The partnership hoped to increase the visibility of Black-owned breweries and address the under-representation of Blacks in the craft beer and cider industry, which is less than 1% Black-owned. The overwhelming success led to the product being sold in major distributors across the region and it recently just won a silver medal at the London International Beer Competition.
“Full Circle Brewing’s growth is yet another illustration of the incredible achievement for Black-owned businesses if given the appropriate platform and opportunities, says U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. President & CEO, Ron Busby, Sr. Our mission at USBC is to uplift Black entrepreneurs in their quest to achieve the American dream and realizing economic opportunity. As the only national certification exclusively for Black-owned businesses, the ByBlack platform remains a critical avenue to achieving this work.”
The merger rounds out the portfolio of the Full Circle Brand Family by adding the traditional beer styles that Speakeasy is known for, like their Big Daddy IPA, to Full Circle’s fruit-forward products including their Illa and Vibes Series, and Sonoma Cider’s modern approach to cider including their Pitchfork Pear Cider. With the diverse mix of products, the brand family has an annual production capacity of over 20,000 barrels, or 350,000 cases.
Arthur Moye, CEO of Full Circle, says “We are excited to apply what we learned from revitalizing Full Circle and increasing sales by 5,000%, to San Francisco’s longest running Independent Brewery. We plan to breathe new life into current brands, and expand its range of products”.
Full Circle Brewing CEO Arthur Moye and Speakeasy CEO Ces Butner share a similar story, both selling their successful businesses to pursue their dream of owning a craft brewery by purchasing a struggling local brewery with strong affinity in their communities. Speakeasy CEO Ces Butner explains “I am excited for the passing of the baton to the next generation of Black Entrepreneurs in the craft beer space. I will continue to sit on the advisory board, and look forward to seeing the Speakeasy brand grow and evolve”.
Full Circle Brewing has been operating since 2000 and Speakeasy since 1997, making them some of California’s longest-running craft breweries, built with experienced and diverse teams with decades of experience. The Speakeasy Ales & Lagers sales team will continue to be represented in the Bay Area by one of the brand’s original founders Steven Bruce, who is excited to help grow San Francisco’s second-oldest craft brewery.
This is a very timely merger, as Full Circle Brewing is currently raising funds from independent investors on the StartEngine platform, where they were previously able to raise over $1 million through Crowd Equity campaigns. The team hopes to close the access to capital gap that exists for black brewers that desire to jump to full-scale production. Those interested in learning more about the campaign can visit the raising page at https://www.fullcirclebrewing.com/tapin.
Questions about the merger can be directed to Adam Band at
About Full Circle Brewing Co.:
Full Circle Brewing is Central Valley’s only Black Owned Brewery and Fresno’s longest consecutively owned and operated brewery. As a full-scale production craft brewery and live entertainment venue, we pride ourselves with creating a positive vibe, and helping people find their tribe. The Full Circle Brewing logo represents the rebirth of our
city, brewery, and our lives. We believe that time is the most precious nonrenewable resource and now is the time to live a little, be entertained, and bring your life of hoppiness FULL CIRCLE.
Advertising and Partnership Manager, Full Circle Brewing Co.