Many reasons breweries close: Economist

There was little in the way of a pattern to the closures of 97 breweries in the United States last year, according to Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson.

Watson said that every time the association becomes aware of a closure, its brewery tracking team provides a synopsis of the factors that may have contributed.

“It’s really all over the board and in line with the challenges of running a small business,” he surmised in a recent press conference.

“I think we see them being business challenges: Running a business, making sure you were capitalised at the right level. For brewpubs we often see service issues cited.

Bart Watson at the recent Craft Brewers Conference 2017. Photo © Brewers Association

“With small businesses there’s all sorts of reasons for closures. Sometimes partners don’t get along, or if it’s a husband and wife team we see divorces.

“Breweries that didn’t sign leases for a long enough period of time or in a neighbourhood that’s rapidly gentrifying, can’t afford new rent levels.

“It’s really been all over the board and I think shows the challenges of running any small business, let alone a capital intensive brewery,” said Watson.

Bart Watson spoke extensively with Radio Brews News last week about related issues. You can listen to Episode 122 of the podcast here.

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