Madison, Wisconsin – Rockhound Brewing Co. Madison Bar closed its doors to the public for the last time on Saturday due to the economic effects of the epidemic.
The pub first announced its plans to close last month. Owner and beer manager Nate Warnick said he never imagined that his business would end in such a sudden and crazy way, describing it as “a shipwreck”.
Initially after the pandemic, Rockhound Brewing Co switched to order execution only, and Warnke was forced to drop 21 employees out of the 23 he had.
Having subsequently reopened to the public at limited capacity, the brew bar was unable to make enough to stay afloat. Warnick said he saw no way forward through the pandemic, which ultimately led him to make the decision to close the pub. “It’s going to be an emotional moment,” Warnek said.
Several loyal customers came by Rockhound Brewing Co on Saturday to say goodbye to employees and have a last drink, signifying a large influx of support for the business.
“I got an amazing number of emails, phone calls, text messages, and even people paused to say, ‘We’re sorry you’re leaving.’ It’s definitely a little sad moment,” Warnek said.
Rockhound Brewing Co. For the first time in April 2016 when Warnke decided to quit his 12-year job with the company to open a small business in his hobby, home brewing. His goal was to create a sense of community behind the work.
“There were a lot of people who knew their names and would really appreciate knowing that we already know who they are and that we really care about them,” said Housekeeper Jimmy Fairbanks.
Warnick said he hopes Rockhound Brewing Co will help the community see that “you can build a family-run business that does things from the heart, from thought and from emotion.”
Although indoor dining is no longer available, the brew bar will continue to sell their beer on the small farms on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays while supplies run out.
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