Yesterday, the West Ashley beer bar Craft Conundrum announced that they are closing after this Sat. June 8.
In a statement provided by Angela Easterby-Smith, a marketing agent representing Craft Conundrum, owners Richard and Karen Easterby says the influx of brewery tasting rooms around Charleston contributed to their decision to close.
Craft Conundrum opened around the same time as the Stone Bill was passed in SC. While the owners of Craft Conundrum are nothing but huge supporters of craft beer, the bill hurt business concepts such as theirs by bringing the availability for on premise consumption and wider sales opportunities to the local breweries. With each additional brewery that has opened since early 2014, they have felt the pinch of a percentage of sales lost. Year after year, brewery after new brewery.
Breweries are fun and trendy — that's where Richard and Karen themselves like to imbibe on their off days — so they get it. That said, everyone should know that the Easterbys love and support each and every one of those guys — some of them even got their start with Richard and Karen sampling their brews, and you can see that from the outpouring of love and support on their social media pages today after the announcement. But that shift in patronage from craft beer bars to breweries is a contributor to the decision to close the doors.
With over 100 beers on tap, Craft Conundrum was an ambitious project that the Easterbys want to "end on a high note." They also want to spend more time with their kids, and hey, school's out for summer.
Head to Craft Conundrum this Fri. June 7 and Sat. June 8 and drink all their beer for one last hurrah.
PLEASE NOTE: All of the beer at Craft Conundrum has been consumed (y'all did well). The Easterbys will still be around on Saturday to say farewell to loyal customers.