DuClaw Closure Update
I just got off the phone with DuClaw Brewing Co. president David Benfield. He says there were two reasons for closing down DuClaw’s Charm City location. “One is a small dispute with our landlord over fees on the property,” he says. “And during that dispute the landlord offered to buy our lease out.”
The second is “it’s becoming increasingly difficult to run a operation in the city of Baltimore.”
While most restaurateurs blamed the economy in general, Benfield thinks Baltimore is a particularly hard market. According to Benfield, DuClaw’s Bowie, Arundel Mills, and Bel Air locations are all doing fine. And the brewery is expanding its product line. DuClaw introduced its first bottled beer this month and plans on adding four more to the line in the first two months of 2010, including Colossus, a beer that, at just under 21 percent alcohol, will be the highest alcohol content beer brewed in Maryland, according to Benfield.
Despite all this good news, there is plenty of bad floating around. An Inside Charm City posts says employees just found out about the closing today. And yesterday, The Daily Record put out an article on a discrimination suit against the company. It’s enough to make you want to drink.