Four of Modern Times’ taprooms will close at the end of this week.
“Today is the most difficult day we’ve ever had at Modern Times,” said the announcement, which appeared as a blog post on the Modern Times Beer website.
Modern Times Brewery is based out of Point Loma, California. It brewed its first beers and opened for business back in 2013. In 2017 Modern Times became California’s first employee-owned brewery. Today Modern Times announced it is closing four of its eight taprooms, including the taproom in Portland, Oregon.
The company took an uncommon tack for a craft brewery when it opened a number of taprooms away from the Point Loma mothership, mostly across California but also in Portland. It seemed a rather brilliant strategy, giving Modern Times a toehold in other regions as it increased its distribution footprint. It was not, however, a strategy well-suited for the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Today’s statement said, “We’ve arrived at this current moment as the result of a combination of factors: four straight years of rapid, costly expansion followed by an unforeseen and financially devastating global health crisis, and an industry-wide decline in sales.”
Recently, there were some changes made at the top levels of the company. The new leaders took a hard look at the state of the business and the impact of the pandemic and determined that closing its locations in Portland, Oakland, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles was the best course of action.
“Over the last two unimaginably challenging pandemic years, we’ve done everything we could to keep all of our newly-opened locations afloat in a landscape we never could have imagined when we began building them,” said the blog post. “As new leadership has stepped up and taken the helm over the last few weeks, it became clear that the financial state of the company that we are now tasked with directing is not just unsustainable, but in immediate and unavoidable peril.”
“As a result of this, we are forced to make some incredibly hard choices, which—while necessary for the health and continued success of our company—will result in many of our talented, hardworking staff losing their jobs.”
The statement expressed great appreciation for employees at the four now-closing locations. “We recognize and are deeply grateful for the massive amounts of work and passion they’ve put into making these wonderful places what they are, as well as the sacrifices they’ve made to keep the lights on over the last two years.
The statement also explained, “Our Point Loma, North Park, Encinitas, and Anaheim locations will remain open, and we will be turning our distribution and hospitality efforts back to Southern California and the Southwest as we do everything we can to step away from the opacity and unanchored optimism of the past and build a smaller, smarter, more focused, and more equitable company for the future.”
“So, what do we do now? We get smaller, we get smarter, and we get faster. We invest in our people and build up rather than out. We listen to our customers and keep our commitments to them. We focus on what we can control, the locations we can sustain, and we do what we’re good at: making amazing beverages and providing exceptional experiences for our customers.”
Read the complete blog post here.