Subscriber Exclusive

The Many Reasons Breweries Have to Close

Increased competition, slowed growth, and other market forces can conspire to expose weaknesses in otherwise successful breweries. Make corrections early to avoid becoming a craft-beer casualty.

Tom Wilmes Jan 16, 2018 - 12 min read

The Many Reasons Breweries Have to Close Primary Image

Ken Lewis, founder of the former Ei8ht Ball Brewing Co. in Newport, Kentucky, doesn’t mince words in his appraisal of how competitive the beer market has become. 

“Craft brewing is in the midst of a serious shake out, and there’s blood in the water,” he says.

Lewis founded Ei8ht Ball in 2013 and shuttered the brewery in early 2017. The company was profitable, Lewis says, but would have required a sizeable investment to keep growing the business and keep pace with demand. Lewis ultimately decided that he wasn’t comfortable injecting that kind of capital given the challenges that independent, mid-sized craft breweries face in the retail environment and in the midst of what he considers to be signs of contraction in the craft-beer market.

Access All of the Brewing Industry Guide

Subscribe today to access all of the in-depth brewing stories & advice you won't find anywhere else (including this article).