Extremely well said and probably closer to the truth than my initial take.I don't have any inside info, but I have read the articles and met Sean and Mike earlier this year. I think when cash flow became a problem, Mike had to have tough conversations with his two highest paid employees. You can call that "forced out" but I think Mike was trying to keep the ship afloat even if it meant sacrificing valuable assets.
Saying Sean was the driving force behind the brewery ignores that it started in Mike's garage, Mike bought the building for the new location, and is the one still running things now.
I don't know how anyone with any experience working for or observing a small business could say Mike basically gave up. Giving up would be shutting the doors immediately rather than continuing payroll till the end of the year, selling the 7bbl system rather than keeping it, or having no comment for the people writing articles instead of being forthcoming about what went wrong. What he's chosen to do sounds like a lot more hassle and expense than throwing in the towel and walking away.
Still makes me sad that they couldn't make it work, and that places like Corridor Brewing in Chicago (where I first met Sean when he did a collaboration with those guys) change their business model to sell NE IPA's instead of farmhouse styles as it concerns me about the future of my favorite kind of beer.