Grapevine Brewery announced on Tuesday that the North Texas craft brewery will no longer sell its beers for distribution to Texas wholesalers. The decision means that Grapevine's beers will only be sold in the brewery's taproom and beer garden in Grapevine, according to a press release.
"This was a hard decision and one that was not made lightly," the brewery said in a press release. "We value our customers and our fans. But at this time, it just doesn’t make financial sense for us to continue distributing our brands at a loss."
Grapevine was pushed to announce the distribution change on Tuesday night after someone behind liquor store Spec's beer department tweeted erroneously that the brewery was closing.
Without any official public comment from Grapevine representatives, the Spec's Twitter account also used the incorrect "RIP Grapevine" tweet as an opportunity to comment on the state of the craft beer industry as a whole, wondering "Is this a sign of how competitive it is these days?"
Grapevine issued Tuesday night's press release after customers frantically tweeted at the brewery in response to Spec's tweet. "The rumor mill has begun thanks to a popular Texas retail chain who made an error in speaking on behalf of our company on Twitter," Grapevine said in the release. "So, we need to set the record straight."
The brewery's taproom was business as usual on Tuesday during a weekly trivia night. Meanwhile, on Twitter, Spec's beer department defended its incorrect tweet, citing "multiple sources" for the closure.
Spec's Twitter handler seems to have misinterpreted an email about Grapevine's decision to cease distribution, which is effective immediately. According to Grapevine's release, the taproom and beer garden will stay open. "We are still brewing and still in business," the brewery said. "Our fans and community should continue to come out and enjoy our taproom and beer garden open seven days a week."
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The brewery will continue to fight for the ability to sell packaged beer directly from its taproom. "As some savvy consumers may know, we have linked arms with Deep Ellum Brewing Company in a lawsuit against unfair (and what we consider to be unconstitutional) practices which currently prevent production breweries from selling beer to go from our taprooms," the release stated. "We are hopeful to see change happen in this area which would only enhance what we are able to do in our taproom and provide our customers with an exceptional experience when they come to visit.
"Further, we continue to operate our contract brewing operations as North Texas Brewing Company and are proud to be partners with a handful of great Texas brewers," the release continued. "We are currently booked to capacity and are working on furthering our efforts to brew fresh, local Texas beer."
Grapevine cites changes in the craft beer landscape as a factor affecting its decision to cease distribution. "It’s no secret that the last year and a half in our industry has revealed a whirlwind of mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances of large and small brewers alike trying to navigate a difficult and rapidly changing landscape," the release stated. "We continue to promote our local industry by providing brewing services to local brewers who are growing by giving them immediate opportunities to expand in a competitive marketplace. And we’re proud of it."
If you spot Grapevine's beers at local beer-sellers, stock up, because these award-winning beers soon will be off the shelves.