Ale Industries closes in Oakland, blames rent hikes and East Bay’s rising crime

Oakland’s Ale Industries, the Fruitvale brewery known for its “tea beer” and collaborations with the Oakland Zoo, is shutting down.

Cofounder Morgan Cox said on Monday that the brewery made the decision after being hit by rent increases and rising crime, including five break-ins this past year, as first reported by Berkeleyside.

True to its name, Ale Industries is located in a gritty, industrial sector of Oakland, which added to its charm, when people entered and found a warm and welcoming haven. But perhaps its out-of-the-way location served to its detriment, too, judging from its recent record of burglary.

Here’s how Cox put it on Facebook:

“This year we have seen a 50% rent increase, soaring costs of business across the board, and even more unfortunate, the rising rate of crime in our hometown. We have been broken into 5 separate times in the last year. Each time we increase our security, and each time the break-ins get bolder. All these challenges have led us to what we believe to be the most responsible decision of shutting down our brewery. Any other solution would have led us to either pricing ourselves out of the market, or borrowing money that we would potentially have no way of paying back.”

The comment scroll on Cox’s announcement is full of beer lovers lamenting the closure. “Man this is terrible. I really like your beer and were rooting for you,” writes one person. Says another: “Foooooooook. You a bright spot in Oakland. Liquid Gold!!! So sorry to hear this!”

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