San Diego's Modern Times Beer Now Owned By Hawaii-Based Maui Brewing Company

November 4, 2022

The $15.3 million purchase of San Diego's 9-year-old Modern Times Beer by Hawaii-based Maui Brewing Company has been finalized.

In April 2022, less than two months after announcing the closure of half its locations, San Diego-based Modern Times Beer announced the company's lender had commenced litigation that would inevitably lead to a court-ordered sale of the craft brewery. This past June 17 at an auction of qualified bidders, Anaheim-based, 3-year-old Brewery X was the winning bidder for $20 million, more than twice the $7.62 million bid made by Maui Brewing. In early July, Modern Times Beer CEO Jennifer Briggs explained that Brewery X "elected not to complete the sale process", so the court-approved backup bidder Maui Brewing Company would be moving forward with the purchase. 

"We’re stoked to formally announce that we’re officially part of the ‘Ohana with Maui Brewing Co!", read a post published today on Modern Times Beer's social media channels. "If you've been following along with us on this journey, thank you. Your support truly means the world to us. We appreciate your patience while we work through this transition and we'll keep delivering the rad beer, amazing coffee, and great times that you know and love. We know there are lots of questions surrounding the future, and honestly, we don't have all of the answers just yet. What we can promise is that we'll keep you in the loop as soon as there's solid information to share. We may be a little quiet here while we're working hard to sort out the details, but we're so excited to share more soon about the bright future that lies ahead for Modern Times."

Maui Brewing acquired Modern Times for $15.3 million, twice as much as their initial bid of $7.62 million. The combined breweries project to produce 125,000 bbls in 2022, which will make the entity the country’s 21st largest craft brewery according to the Brewers Association.

The team at Modern Times Beer moved forward on an aggressive growth path since founder Jacob McKean started the company in San Diego's Point Loma in 2013. In addition to being California's first employee-owned brewery, the craft brewery expanded greatly in its nine year tenure, including opening a North Park tasting room dubbed the Flavordome, a downtown Los Angeles restaurant and tasting room named The Dankness Dojo, a tasting room and restaurant in Encinitas named 'The Far West Lounge', a full brewery operation in Portland, Oregon named 'The Belmont Fermentorium', the Invigatorium coffee shop in San Diego's East Village in partnership with Consortium Holdings, the Modern Times Academy of Recreational Sciences tasting room and restaurant in Santa Barbara, The House of Perpetual Refreshment in Oakland, and a 33,000 square-foot Leisuretown project in Anaheim, CA. All of this is in addition to operating the company's original brewery and coffee shop in Point Loma, which was in the process of being expanded into neighboring buildings to add a restaurant before COVID-19 took the world by storm.

In spring 2021, the founder of San Diego's Modern Times Beer Jacob McKean issued a public apology and announced he resigned as CEO following continued revelations detailing allegations of harassment and discrimination against members of the craft beer industry, including many directly implicating Modern Times. The following January 2022, Modern Times announced its new CEO, Jennifer Briggs, formerly of New Belgium Brewing. Since taking over the reigns, Briggs had been trying to sell the company to cover debts, but the court-appointed receivership took control of the sale away from the company and its executives this past spring.

There is no word on what Maui Brewing Company will do with Modern Times Beer's still-open San Diego properties, including the main brewery in Point Loma, the tasting room in North Park and the tasting room restaurant in Encinitas. 

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