No Trappists in America

Sad brewery closing news…

Business is hard. Business mixed with religious tradition is hard. Transplanting the Trappist model into the U.S. is really hard too. Adding to the sadness is thar their beer was good, maybe leaning to American, but good. Maybe the recipes can live on with some part of the revenue going to the Abbey.

Haunted by Owner

In rather quick succession, more bad brewery news here in Los Angeles. Phantom Carriage Brewing in Carson is being pushed out. The new building owner will be using the space for their needs apparently.

This was a fun spot to visit because of how strongly they leaned into the horror theme. The space was kitted out in such a way that it looked spooky even when the lights were on.

How a taproom that hung its hat on visiting hung on without going the to-go can route is probably a story in itself. But the hard fact is that land and rent in LA is expensive and finding a good landlord is not easy either and then the whole thing can come tumbling down if a good landlord sells.

The social media announcement did not close the door on a return and maybe there is a market or capacity at another brewery to have a co-tenant. I have always thought that there could be a space where breweries could either start their journey or re-ignite their business, where you could get pours from two or three breweries plus a sampling from all LA breweries. A one-stop City of Angels beer shop.

Un-Liberated

Sad news to report, Liberation Brewing in Bixby Knolls has called it a day.

Here is the info from their social media post, “We are closing operations at 3630 Atlantic on April 30th. The financial impacts of COVID were significant and impacted our ability to negotiate a lease extension.

Thanks to all our employees past and present, brewers & breweries, local orgs and beer clubs, friends, family, and beer drinkers like you. You made it such a brilliant ride. Much love.”

I would suggest buying some of their bottles, yes bottles, of some of their Belgian-styled beers, they are quite fun and out of the normal for L.A. breweries.

Indie is Done

You have this month minus a day to visit Indie Brewing as the Boyle Heights brewery announced on social media that it is closing on the 27th for good.

With Dry River already closed practically next door, that means that south of Downtown is bereft of breweries. Sadly, this is probably not the end of closure notices but maybe there is a next generation that can use the equipment or space. Trying to stay positive here.

Thanks for the beers Indie and may your future endeavors in beer or elsewhere be bright.

Threadless

It appears that Five Threads Brewing is calling it after six years in Westlake Village.

I had seen them start to gain some traction with their high ABV – 5X line of beers. Even seen them on the FOMO shelves at Arroyo Shell in Pasadena, which is a sign of popularity but I guess that was not enough after all the hardships of the last few years. Maybe the space or the equipment can find a new lease on life.

Weinhard RIP

Weinhard has been given the ax. You can read about it HERE.

These regional brands really suffered in the transition to where we are now which is a few big conglomerates and a ton of smaller breweries underneath. The Weinhard’s of the world were stuck in a nether realm of too small and uncool to the SABInBev’s of the world while also not being small and nimble or cool to the craft sector. So they got bounced around like an NBA player during free agency.

I wish people (like myself too) could have one more bottle of the beer from its heyday before it left.

The State of State Brewing

Sad news hit yesterday….

This was not the brewery that I thought would call it a day first in 2020. Not that I have a Arya Stark type list but State Brewing had both a quality of beer and a wide range of beer and enough hits in the top style categories that I thought would insulate them from financial trouble and keep them above the Mendoza line as it were. This is a blow for sure and even the most rosy hued (like me) won’t be able to wipe this away with a “this is an opportunity for another brewery” sentiment.

But this is not a triggering event. The competition is tough and capitalization is on a case by case basis so do not worry that a cascade of closures will ensue. Some times, you just have to walk away from the table.

City to Wood

Capture
Getting bottles of those hoppy IPA’s from Beachwood will become a lot easier once this deal goes through….
“We are getting ready to embark on a pretty large expansion; while the deal isn’t done yet, we recognize that many people have come to learn that we’ll be acquiring Beach City Brewing in Huntington Beach. We are still in the process of securing the proper licenses that will allow us to take over the facility, so we’ve been a bit coy on the topic. Our hope, once the purchase of the assets and the transfer of the licenses takes place, is to increase our production capabilities over the next five years to upwards of 8,000 barrels. This will allow us to introduce more consumers to a steady line of Beachwood Brewing products via retail outlets such as bottle shops and grocery stores as well as restaurants and bars throughout Southern California. Our beers are increasingly growing in demand and this production facility allows us to expand at a rate we believe the market can sustain.” – Gabe Gordon

It is too bad about Beach City. Apart from the poorly executed labels, the minimal amount of beer that I had from them was quite above average and showed promise though it never achieved wider distribution. The failure of one business though will lead to expansion for others. I am flabbergasted each week when I look at the tap list of Beachwood beers then I remember the Blendery beers too and am more amazed at how Julian Shrago does it. He must be a logistics maven. This new space will allow more flexibility for his skills which is great news.