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Westmoreland

Export-based Rivertowne Brewing files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

| Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 2:06 p.m.
Export-based Rivertowne Brewery and its four brewpubs in Allegheny and Westmoreland County have filed for bankruptcy, citing six-figure debts to the Penguins and Pirates organizations.
Tribune-Review
Export-based Rivertowne Brewery and its four brewpubs in Allegheny and Westmoreland County have filed for bankruptcy, citing six-figure debts to the Penguins and Pirates organizations.
Justin Shuber, warehouse manager at Rivertowne Brewing in Export, stacks pallets of beer on March 6, 2015.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Justin Shuber, warehouse manager at Rivertowne Brewing in Export, stacks pallets of beer on March 6, 2015.
Guests mingle and sample a variety of Rivertowne Brewing's beers during Rivertowne's spring Jahla party on Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Murrysville.
Tribune-Review
Guests mingle and sample a variety of Rivertowne Brewing's beers during Rivertowne's spring Jahla party on Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Murrysville.
Rivertowne Brewing founder and CEO Christian Fyke of Monroeville prepares to greet guests at Rivertown's spring Jahla party on Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Murrysville.
Tribune-Review
Rivertowne Brewing founder and CEO Christian Fyke of Monroeville prepares to greet guests at Rivertown's spring Jahla party on Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Murrysville.

Export-based Rivertowne Brewing and its four brewpubs in Alle­gheny and Westmoreland counties filed for bankruptcy, citing six-figure debts to the Penguins and Pirates organizations.

The Chapter 11 filings in Pittsburgh federal court will allow the company to reorganize and negotiate settlements of its debts. Founder and CEO Christian Fyke declined to comment on the exact nature of the company's debts but said they still were dealing with “decisions of the past.”

According to the filings, two of Rivertowne's largest creditors were the Pirates, who were owed $271,500, and the Penguins, owed $125,000. Fyke also wouldn't discuss the specifics of those debts, but Rivertowne had a sponsorship deal with the Pirates to brand the Hall of Fame Club, and vendors served the company's beers at PNC Park and PPG Paints Arena.

Other large creditors included a disputed debt with Key Logistics for $170,920 in keg rentals, various debts to food distributors Sysco and Gordon Food Service from the brewpub locations, and $77,700 in back rent for the North Shore location.

In addition to the main brewery and tasting room in Export, Rivertowne and its subsidiaries operate brewpubs in Monroeville, North Huntingdon, Verona and on Pittsburgh's North Shore. They employ 140 people among all locations, including between 15 and 20 at the brewery.

“We have no immediate plans to close anything,” Fyke said, noting that the chain planned to roll out a “re-engineered” menu in the coming weeks that would focus more on the pubs' core offerings, and was also trying out new beer recipes.

“We're committed to coming out of the process a stronger and better company,” Fyke said. “We're going to continue making good beer and more beer.”

A hearing on the case is scheduled at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, msantoni@tribweb.com or via Twitter @msantoni.

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