Darach Brewing just announced via social media that it is closing. The brewery and taproom opened in late 2022. In their own words, “Unfortunately, time was not on our side to grow a big enough base to support ourselves.” Darach Brewing’s last day of operation is September 23rd.
The focus at Darach Brewing was farmhouse-style ales, mixed-fermentation beers, and other creative concoctions. When I visited in March, the menu even included a couple of raw ales, also known as “no-boil” beer. It was good stuff, but perhaps a bit too uncommon for Bellingham’s collective beer palate. The problem certainly was not the quality of the beer. Interesting, adventurous, and good.
I think there’s a lesson here. Bellingham is a town that knows beer. Bellingham is a town that knows what it likes. Bellingham is nicknamed The City of Subdued Excitement. That excitement was a bit too subdued when it came to the kinds of beers Darach Brewing produced. Some folks never warmed up to the taproom’s space.
“One of our goals when we opened Darach Brewing was to bring new and interesting beers to Bellingham, and in that we feel like we succeeded. Unfortunately, time was not on our side to grow a big enough base to support ourselves.”
In a town like Bellingham, where a number of breweries have succeeded wildly, there is a roadmap for success. Possible success, that is. Some brewers might find it boring and unchallenging to brew a predictable menu of IPAs and Pale Ales, but all brewers are in the business of selling beer. Get people excited about your IPA and your Pilsner, then use that excitement as a segway to your Sahti and your Grodziskie.
“From now until we close we will be offering discounts on merch and crowlers, starting with 25% off merch and $1 off crowlers. We hope to see all of you again between now and our last day!”
Darach Brewing is/was a cool place that makes/made really interesting and tasty beers. Sadly, these days, maybe that’s not enough. Also, sometimes it is just a matter of the place and the time.