Boatyard Brewing Co. closes after 5 years

Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 31, 2019

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A staple of the West Michigan craft beer scene is closing up shop after more than five years.

Boatyard Brewing becoming one of of more than a dozen craft breweries in the state to tap out in the past year alone.

“It was economics. I mean there’s a certain amount of businesses you need to do every day to keep the doors open, we’ve been making headway on it and we were just not making it fast enough,” General Manager Pat Kleppert said.

“There’s some maturation of the marketplace and so everybody’s got their own business plan and how that business plan works within the market. There’s a lot of really great beer here in town,” Kleppert added.

Over the years, Boatyard has been known as the ‘happy brewery,” a legacy they hope lives on.

“If we can leave our mark on the area that we were a fun place to stop into and people really enjoyed themselves here, that seems to be what we are hearing from everybody,” Keppert, said.

Those memories were shared on Saturday as they tapped into the kegs for the final time.

For them the final day in business is a celebration, not a mourning.

“It’s bittersweet but we’ve really tried to make it a celebration of the business as opposed to anything negative or sad. People are here, they’ve been coming out all weekend and we are just having a great time,” Kleppert said.

They’re asking the customers who have supported them to continue to show that same support to other small breweries.

“There’s a common bond among all us small breweries in town who’ve started bootstrapped their business plans and made a go of it. There’s some bigger places that are very successful but there’s some smaller places to that need love and support and we want to share that with our customers.” Kleppert said.