Stone Brewing Closes Shanghai Taproom; Rogue Ales Shutters Washington Outpost; Mikkeller LA Shuts Down

Stone Brewing has shuttered its taproom in Shanghai, China, citing pressures from tariffs and COVID-19, the coronavirus disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

“We faced challenges over the past year with dramatically increased tariffs, and now the Coronavirus,” co-founder and executive chairman Greg Koch said in a statement. “Both factors had a significant impact on our ability to further invest in the market as planned.”

The San Diego craft beer maker announced a temporary closure of the taproom last week due to concerns over coronavirus, according to SmartShanghai. The temporary closure turned permanent earlier this week.

Stone opened the 3,200 sq. ft. taproom in Shanghai’s Changning District in July 2018. It had 30 draft lines for beers from Stone’s U.S. breweries and guest brewers. Its menu offered “a contemporary twist on American cuisine,” according to a fact sheet announcing its opening.

The Shanghai taproom’s closure comes just under a year after the announcement of the sale of Stone’s Berlin, Germany brewery to Scotland-headquartered BrewDog.

“We’re grateful to our team for putting such amazing effort into growing craft beer and adding diversification to the beer culture in Germany and China,” Koch said. “The passion and appreciation for Stone beers continues to grow internationally, and I thank our team past and present for their passionate drive that helped us accomplish so much.”

Koch called the taproom “an undeniable success,” citing “Best Beer Bar” awards in 2018 and 2019 from Time Out Shanghai, That’s Shanghai and Shanghai Wow magazines, as well as being named “Best Beer Program in Asia” by Drink Magazine Asia.

In the U.S., Stone operates two breweries: Its homebase in Escondido, California, and an East Coast brewery in Richmond, Virginia. It also operates a taproom at its Richmond facility, as well as eight other retail locations in California: two Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido and San Diego, and taprooms in Napa, Pasadena, and four locations in San Diego, including at the San Diego International Airport.

The company produced 391,320 barrels in 2019, a slight decline from the 400,000 barrels produced in 2018.

Rogue Shutters Washington Outpost

Rogue Ales & Spirits plans to close its nearly two-decade old brewpub in Issaquah, Washington, on Friday.

“This was a very difficult decision, but unfortunately rising costs have made it apparent that it is our best option to close the Issaquah Brewhouse in order to better focus on our other public houses and production,” Rogue president Dharma Tamm wrote on Facebook.

The Issaquah location opened in 2001 and is about 310 miles northeast of Rogue’s headquarters in Newport, Oregon. All Issaquah employees have been offered jobs at Rogue’s eight other retail locations, Tamm wrote.

Rogue operates eight total locations, with three in Newport and Portland, as well as one in Astoria and Independence.

The company will host a farewell party at the Issaquah taproom on Friday.

“It’s sad to close our doors after so many years, but we promise that we will continue to produce world-class products and distribute them throughout the state of Washington and beyond,” Tamm wrote.

Mikkeller Los Angeles Taproom Closes

Mikkeller’s Los Angeles taproom has closed its doors after three years, according to Eater LA.

The Mikkeller-branded taproom and its sister location in San Francisco are owned by Chuck Stilphen. They’re just two of nearly 50 Mikkeller-branded retail operations across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Eater cited an email to Mikkeller’s LA staff that read: “Mikkeller DTLA has lost money every month since it opened three years ago. I’ve exhausted all my money and credit lines covering payroll, rent etc. I’ve been doing everything I can to keep the place open.”

The Los Angeles bar celebrated its third anniversary with a party on February 22; its closure has not been announced on any of its social media platforms, but the location has been scrubbed from the brand’s global website.

The San Francisco Mikkeller Bar opened in July 2013.

The Dude’s to Open 2 New Locations After Closing 2 Others

The Dude’s Brewing Company has shuttered two locations but plans to open two more, the company announced Tuesday in a press release posted to MyBeerBuzz.

The seven-year-old Los Angeles-area beer company closed its taprooms in Huntington Beach and Thousand Oaks, California last weekend, but will open new locations in Hollywood and Anaheim.

“We greatly enjoyed our last three years in both Huntington Beach and Thousand Oaks and are so very proud of what we’ve done and of our incredible and loyal fans and staff,” owner and president Toby Humes said in the release. “At this time however, we felt it important to refocus the direction of the company and move from the suburban environments to more urban environments.”

The Hollywood location is slated to open in the next few weeks on Hollywood Boulevard and Humes told Brewbound that the Anaheim location, which is about a mile away from Disneyland, will open in April or May.

“Like almost all real estate site selections, location played a significant role in the final decision,” Humes said.

Each new taproom will be 13,000 sq. ft., including outdoor space at both. The Hollywood taproom will have a roof deck, and the Anaheim location will have a patio..

“We are doing small batch secondary sour fermentation labs at both Anaheim and Hollywood so production will be limited,” he said.

The company’s existing locations in Santa Monica, Santa Clarita and Torrance remain open. Neither the Thousand Oaks nor the Huntington Beach locations had brewing operations.

“We brew everything in Torrance and we are contemplating adding a small batch secondary sour fermentation lab at our Santa Monica location,” Humes said.


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