Craftsmans, one of the largest breweries in the country, announced it will close its craft brewery and restaurant locations in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, and Atlanta, and will close three other Chicago locations this year.
The closures include its craft beer and wine-focused flagship Craftsmase in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, which has been operating under a lease with Chicago-based brewer, The Labels, since 2015.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to continue as a brewery and that Craftsmae will close at this time,” a Craftsmiser statement reads.
“The craft beer industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and this will be an especially challenging time for us as we continue to grow our business.
We appreciate the support and assistance of the owners of The Label, our staff, our friends and fans.”
The closing of Craftsmse and CraftsMast House in the Chicago area is the latest blow for the craft beer scene, which saw a record $1.6 billion in sales in 2017.
The brewery will remain open for business through January, and The Labeling will continue to operate the restaurants.
The closure of The Craftsmart House in Milwaukee, which had been operating as a hotel-restaurant and bar for nearly three years, is expected to close by the end of the year.
More than a decade ago, the Chicago craft beer community came together to bring a new, upscale brewpub concept to the city.
The original building, The Craftspire, opened in 2004 and featured a bar, a full bar, two dining rooms, and a rooftop deck overlooking Lake Michigan.
It was named for its owners, Chris and Mary Brewster, who were passionate about the craft brewing industry.
They opened the restaurant and bar in 2011 and opened The Craftmiser in 2012.
The craft bar, now known as The Crafthouse, was one of three brewpubs to open in Chicago.
The Craftbar, which opened in 2015, was named after the name of one of its owners.
In 2014, The Chicago Beer Week featured The Craftmaster as one of five finalists for the prestigious National Restaurant Award, which is given to the best new restaurant in the nation.
“The Craftmasters was a place where we could get out of our own way and just have fun, share beer, and talk about the amazing craft beer in Chicago,” says David Pritchard, co-owner of The Brewmaster, in a statement.
“As The Craftmaker’s demise nears, we are all sad to see the end.
We hope that all the craft breweries in Chicago continue to be a safe and welcoming space for all of us to enjoy craft beer, food, and conversation.”
Craftmaster owner Chris Brewster (right) and co-owners Mary and David Brewster.
With Craftmasons closing, Craftsmania, which featured the Craftmaster’s namesake, is set to open a new location in Milwaukee.
The Brewmiser will remain in the building for now, but a new name will be announced at a later date.
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