Why is Due South brewery closing?

Answered by John Watkins

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Due South brewery's closure. This beloved craft brewery, renowned for its exceptional Caramel Cream , has been a staple in the community for years.

The primary reason behind the brewery's closure is the expiration of their current lease. Leases are often signed for a specific duration, and when that period comes to an end, negotiations for lease renewal can be challenging. It is possible that Due South faced difficulties in reaching a favorable agreement with their landlord, leading to the decision to close their doors.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges to the hospitality industry as a whole, including breweries. The restrictions and safety measures imposed to curb the spread of the virus have had a significant impact on businesses, especially those in the food and sector. Breweries have faced reduced capacity limits, mandatory closures, and a decline in customer footfall due to safety concerns. These factors have undoubtedly put a strain on Due South's operations and financial viability.

During the pandemic, many breweries have struggled to adapt their business models to the changing landscape. Some have turned to online sales and home delivery services, while others have focused on canning their beers for retail distribution. However, these adjustments may not have been enough to sustain Due South, considering the challenging circumstances they faced.

It is worth noting that the craft industry is highly competitive, with new breweries constantly emerging and vying for consumer attention. To stand out in such a crowded market, breweries must continually innovate, produce high-quality products, and maintain a strong customer base. While Due South's Caramel Cream Ale was widely adored, it is possible that they faced difficulties in remaining competitive and capturing a larger market share.

Furthermore, the success of a brewery heavily relies on its ability to establish strong relationships with local bars, restaurants, and retailers. These establishments often serve as distribution points for craft beers, helping to expand the brewery's reach and increase sales. However, with the pandemic causing many of these businesses to temporarily shutter or struggle financially, Due South may have experienced a significant decline in sales and distribution opportunities.

As a brewer myself, I understand the challenges that small breweries face, especially during these uncertain times. Craft is a labor of love, requiring immense dedication, skill, and financial resources. It is heartbreaking to witness the closure of a beloved brewery like Due South, as it represents the loss of a unique community gathering place and the end of a creative endeavor.

Due South brewery's closure can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the expiration of their lease and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The competitive nature of the industry, along with the impacts on sales and distribution caused by the pandemic, likely contributed to their decision. It is a sad reminder of the difficulties faced by small businesses in the current economic climate.