In a move that's probably not so shocking, Coastal Brewing has announced that they will be closing the Old Dominion brewery in Ashburn, VA, not that long after closing the pub there (while assuring us that the Virginia brewery would remain open). From the press release (which Mid-Atlantic Brewing News guy (and friend) Gregg Wiggins was good enough to forward to me):
COASTAL BREWING CO. TO CONSOLIDATE BREWING OPERATIONS
DOVER, Del. (October 21, 2008) – Coastal Brewing Company announced today that it will consolidate its operations by moving all brewing to the company's state-of-the-art facility in Dover, Del. The decision means that the company's brewery in Ashburn, Va., will be closed in 2009.
Employees of the company's Ashburn brewery will be offered continuing employment at Coastal's main brewery in Dover. Those who elect not to transfer will be offered competitive severance packages upon the brewery's closure.
Coastal Brewing Company's full line of beers, including brands under both the Old Dominion and Fordham names, will continue to be brewed with the same care and ingredients, and will continue to be marketed and distributed throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.
And may God have mercy on your soul...
What's it mean? At this point, outside of the loyal folks who still went to the improptu events still being held at the brewery, not much. Old Dominion's on the shelf, so's Fordham, and they will sink or swim on their merits and marketing support...because it won't be on their heart or soul. I liked these brands, these beers, five years ago. But Jerry Bailey's gone, the brewery in Annapolis is gone... It's Baltimore Brewing all over again. Who's going to give enough of a damn to hit the street and really sell these beers when the people who make them apparently aren't all that fired up themselves? The only hint of life I see from these guys is the Ram's Head outlets, while on the beer side, they've tried to make hay on a campaign about making real beers (the implication being that "other breweries," like Dogfish Head, made weird beers); great success with that one.
It really does look like Baltimore Brewing. OD had a heyday, when you could find it everywhere in the area. That slipped, and now, as it slips completely out of state to Delaware, it seems likely that Old Dominion will become a memory. The worst may be yet to come: speculation is that InBev will rapidly divest itself of the partial investments A-B made in companies like Coastal. And that may take the wind right out of these sails.