Business & Economy

'End of an era': Eastlake Craft Brewery in Minneapolis announces closure

A man holds a glass of beer
Eastlake Craft Brewery in Minneapolis announced Tuesday that it will be closing its doors permanently on Sept. 23. The brewery has operated in the Midtown Global Market since late 2014.
Photo by Davin Haukebo-Bol via Eastlake Craft Brewery

After nearly nine years at Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis, Eastlake Craft Brewery announced this week it will be closing its doors permanently on Sept. 23.

Founder Ryan Pitman said it was a difficult decision, but that the business never fully recovered from the COVID pandemic or civil unrest in the neighborhood in 2020. Rising rent was also an issue.

“The financials are really what made that decision. It’s not something that I took lightly or that I really wanted to do at all,” Pitman said. “I love the community here. I love showing up to work every day, and the people that I’ve met in the last nine years are going to be lifelong friends.”

Over the years the brewery grew a reputation as a community-minded establishment — from hosting weekly event nights like trivia and bicycle functions, to partnering with other vendors. As closure looms, Pitman said he’s apprehensive about what that means for the area.

“We’re all looking for where the hangouts are going to be. We’ll get that figured out — but you know, there’s not a lot of places down here,” he said. “We’re looking at traveling a mile if you want to look for another place that sells craft beer, whether it’s a brewery or just a bar like Palmer’s or something. It’s not like Northeast [Minneapolis] where you can just go next door.”

The closure will also affect 12 Eastlake employees.

“This is kind of an earth-shattering moment for me and a lot of people. But you know, it’s the end of an era and it’s time for a new chapter I guess,” Pitman said.

Last week another local craft brewery — Dangerous Man — announced it plans to close its northeast Minneapolis taproom in October, though it will continue brewing beer at a production facility in Maple Lake, Minn.

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