E-Malt.com News article: USA, WI: The Benjamin Beer Co. to close for good on December 24
The Benjamin Beer Co. plans to close for good on Sunday, December 24, according to its Facebook page, the Journal Times reported on December 20.
Jim Kennedy, president of Benjamin Beer, wrote a lengthy post saying after low sales “a small scale three-barrel brewery will always struggle to be profitable or provide the owners with reasonable income.”
The Benjamin Beer Co., 507 Sixth St., opened in June 2016 and was Downtown Racine’s first microbrewery. Kennedy declined a request for an interview on December 19 to elaborate on his decision.
Benjamin Beer Co.’s first microbrewery opened in September 2014, in 1,265 square feet of space in Paddock Lake in western Kenosha County, but closed in July 2015 after outgrowing that site, Kennedy said. After considering moving to a second Kenosha County site, Kennedy found his way to Racine.
“We’re excited because we think it’s a very synergistic location for us,” with a recent surge in business startups along that stretch of Sixth Street, Kennedy said at the time.
To accommodate the brewery, Racine had to amend its zoning ordinance to allow breweries and brew pubs. A pub serving food had been part of Kennedy’s original vision for the Racine site.
“Our primary business is beer,” Kennedy wrote in the Facebook post. “Anything that distracts us from our core business would make it more difficult to expand to distribution. Although the restaurant plans and funding were approved and available to us, it was not our core business. The restaurant would have made it easier to become profitable in Racine, but it would also strain our staff and operating funds beyond the breaking limit.”
According to the post, the brewery needed to be able to produce 15 barrels or larger to “have a reasonable changes to be profitable in production,” and its location in Downtown Racine did not provide the space. Kennedy, an emergency plan manager for the Zion (Ill.) nuclear power station, said Benjamin Beer Co. was named for Benjamin Franklin.
After Benjamin Beer Co. closes, the post reads, some of the shareholders will “begin to work to form a new company designed and build for larger scale production. The new company will be announced on the Benjamin Beer Facebook page (in) late 2018.”
Meanwhile, on the brewery’s last day — Christmas Eve — the company plans to be open at noon and have beer specials and raffles.
“Any beer that is not sold must be dumped so bring your growlers (a type of container),” Kennedy wrote. “We’ll be open until beer runs out, the customers leave or 1 a.m., whichever happens first.”
Kennedy closed his Facebook statement by saying “it has been our honor and pleasure to make and serve craft made beer to you. We appreciate and cherish the support and friendship you have shown us.”
22 December, 2017