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Somerville Brewing Company, which makes Slumbrew beers, files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection

Somerville Brewing Co. is behind the Slumbrew line of beers.
Somerville Brewing Co. is behind the Slumbrew line of beers.Globe Staff/File

Somerville Brewing Co., which is behind the suite of Slumbrew beers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is asking for an emergency hearing on Wednesday, according to recent court filings.

In the emergency motion for a hearing filed Sept. 27, the brewery said the recent buildout of a taproom at Assembly Row has resulted in “cash flow shortages,” and that the company has fallen behind in rent at that location. The company’s flagship brewery is at 15 Ward St. in Somerville.

Overall, Somerville Brewing Co. owes more than $1.2 million to creditors with liens on its properties, according to the filing.


The company is requesting a judge’s approval to use its cash and equipment so it can continue to operate while conducting a reorganization of its business affairs, according to the filing.

If the company doesn’t receive a favorable ruling on Wednesday, the result would be “immediate and irreparable harm to the estate,” the filing says.

“If it is not permitted to use such proceeds it will have to close down its operations forthwith without paying its employees, and without replacing any of its inventory and other materials necessary to operate,” the filing states. The company has 63 employees — 19 full-timers and 44 part-timers, according to the filing.

Somerville Brewing Co. tried to refinance its debt, but was unsuccessful, according to the filing. Additionally, the brewery tried to restructure its rent debt with its landlord at Assembly, but the landlord declined and instead “advised that it intended to take actions as provided for under the lease with respect to the default,” the motion said.

Somerville Brewing Co. hopes to continue operating its 15 Ward St. location and the American Fresh Brewhouse taproom and restaurant at Assembly Row, as well as continue to service the distribution of its beer products, the filing said.


A brewery representative reached by phone Monday afternoon declined to comment. A lawyer representing the company could not immediately be reached.

However, the company’s owners confirmed on Twitter Monday that both locations are still open, and encouraged customers to try out their beers.

An account appearing to belong to co-owner Caitlin Jewell on BeerAdvocate.com also posted in a forum recently that the brewery “filed for protection, not to shut down.”

Slumbrew’s first three beers — an India pale ale, a hefeweizen, and a porter — were released at the end of 2011. It was called one of the “hottest” new craft beer makers in Boston a short time later in a Boston Globe beer review.

The news of Slumbrew’s financial troubles comes on the heels of Chelsea’s popular Mystic Brewery announcing that it would serve its last drink on Oct. 19.

On the other side of the craft beer coin, Trillium representatives recently said that it is preparing soon to open a new freestanding taproom near the Time Out Market food hall in the Fenway.

Travis Andersen, Jon Chesto, and Sean Smyth of the Globe staff contributed to this report.