Rad Brewing Co. going out of business

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Rad Brewing Co.—which was known as Flat12 Bierwerks before being acquired two years ago—plans to close for good in late November, according to owner Jason Wuerfel.

In an announcement published by Indiana Beer News, Wuerfel said the brewery at 414 Dorman St. in the Holy Cross neighborhood east of downtown would start a “fire sale” on Wednesday involving everything from “the windows to the walls.”

Wuerfel, who also is founder and principal owner of Indianapolis-based Books & Brews, said the Rad Brewing would operate only on Fridays and Saturdays starting next week and would call it quits at the end of the day on Nov. 27.

Until then, six-packs and growlers of beer, brewery merchandise and glassware will be heavily discounted for clearance.

“First, we want to give a huge thank you to all the Rad Brewing Co. faithful that have stuck with us through thick and thin during the global pandemic,” he said in the announcement. “It’s been a difficult couple of years and it’s never easy to wind down a business, but we want to reward everyone who has stuck with us with the best deals possible.”

In a May announcement on Facebook, Wuerfel warned customers that Rad’s lease was set to expire at the end of 2021 and it was unlikely the business would continue.

In addition to the pandemic, the business has dealt with a pest-control issue, a vandalized delivery van and brew-system issues that left it unable to make beer for weeks. The brewery closed its kitchen earlier this year and began letting customers bring in their own food.

Flat12 was founded in 2012 at its current address. The brewery derived its name from a 12-cylinder racing engine developed in Indianapolis in the early 1900s and later used in European sports cars.

The brewery opened a taproom in Jeffersonville in southern Indiana in 2014, but it closed in 2019.

The company found some early success and notoriety with its Hinchtown Hammer Down beer, which was named for popular IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe. But the company ran into financial trouble in 2016.

Its original shareholders lost their entire investment and a new investor recapitalized the business, court records show.

Andy Teed purchased the local Flat12 location in 2016, and Sean O’Conner, one of three cofounders, took over the Jeffersonville taproom.

Flat12 renovated its Indianapolis location in 2018 by removing the bar from its former growler room and converting that room into an all-ages space for its in-house restaurant, Hoagies & Hops.

Flat12 had been brewing all of Books & Brews’ flagship and seasonal beers for two years when Wuerfel acquired the brewery business in late 2019.

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9 thoughts on “Rad Brewing Co. going out of business

  1. Not saying the name did them in, but when they changed the name, I pretty much wrote them off. Bummer, because Flat12 was one of the earlier micro-breweries and a cool space!

  2. Bummer. They were one of the very first micro brews in town. Good product and a great facility. This issues are documented in the story, but I would add location. It is definitely a destination location. Not many are going to just find it while passing by.

  3. Really unfortunate to hear, but frankly not surprising at all. The competition alone over the last nine years is enough to do in even very solid performers and the quality of Flat12 and then Rad’s beers generally was underwhelming.