Wabash Brewing to end 8-year run in latest beer-maker closure

Wabash Brewing
Wabash Brewing LLC, 5328 W. 79th St., opened in January 2015. (Google Maps image)

Small-batch beer maker Wabash Brewing LLC announced Tuesday its plans to close permanently—the latest exit in a season of tumult for Indy-area brewers.

The owners of Wabash Brewing, 5328 W. 79th St., indicated in a Facebook post that they “decided to close the brewery and head into different directions and other opportunities.”

Known for its Waapaahsiiki blonde ale, a beer named for the Miami Indian term for the Wabash River, the brewery opened in January 2015.

Co-founded by Damon Carl, Matt Kriech and Nic Stauch, Wabash Brewing is expected to close by Feb. 1.

“The brewery will be slowly dismantled, making room for a new tenant,” the owners wrote in the social media announcement. “We would like to thank all of you for your patronage and the good times we shared with you there.”

Wabash is the second craft brewery in Indianapolis to announce its closure in 2023. Black Acre Brewing Co. will cease operations on Feb. 4.

Meanwhile, the fate of Indianapolis-based Indiana City Brewing Co. is expected to be determined next month. If Indiana City isn’t sold to new ownership, an auction of the company’s equipment is scheduled Feb. 2-9.

The owner of Fountain Square Brewing Co. announced in late December that he planned to liquidate the business. But an ad hoc ownership group including its head brewer struck an 11th hour deal to buy the business.

Hammond-based 18th Street Brewery announced in late November that it was closing its Indianapolis tap room at 2829 E. 10th St. but planned to open a distillery location this year in the neighborhood.

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15 thoughts on “Wabash Brewing to end 8-year run in latest beer-maker closure

    1. Maybe it’s simply just the latter? Craft breweries have saturated the market for years, they did this to themselves.

    2. Other, better breweries have opened or upped their game. This isn’t the first wave of closures.

    3. I agree with Darrell on both parts – the fad is fading but the “Biden economy” is killing and will continue to kill businesses – especially small business which I believe is the goal.

    4. Are we not just finally exiting the trump economy and entering the biden economy?

      Largest socialism stimulus in the history of the country happened in the summer of 2020 – why do we insist on pretending the aftershock of all that trump socialism ends the day he left office?

    5. The Trump stimulus money had to happen to keep businesses alive due to mandatory government shutdowns, but the amount of fraud has been grotesque. Almost all of the added deficit since Biden took office was totally unnecessary …American Rescue Plan when the economy was mostly back on track ($1.85 trillion), FY 2022 Omnibus Bill full of pork for crooked members of Congress, many of them on their way out the door ($625 billion), Infrastructure bill ($370 billion), Inflation Reduction Act which is a misnomer ($780 billion)…that’s over $3 trillion that wasn’t needed.

    6. “ why do we insist on pretending the aftershock of all that trump socialism ends the day he left office?”

      For the same reason that we think a president’s policies have a direct, immediate impact on the economy. Look at the economic trends. The economy was on the same trajectory from Obama to Trump, right until the COVID shutdowns hit.

      Yes, the Biden stimulus was too large. The Obama stimulus ending up being too small. I’m not aware of many folks who were right on both cases. Next time, maybe we stimulus in the middle.

    7. Never sure if the negative partisan comments are from gaslighter or gaslightee:

      New US business formations 2018 – 3.5M
      New US business formations 2019 – 3.5M
      New US business formations 2022 – 5.1M

      https://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/dbsearch?programCode=BFS&startYear=2004&endYear=2023&categories%5B%5D=TOTAL&dataType=BA_BA&geoLevel=US&adjusted=1&notAdjusted=1&errorData=0

      _____________________________________
      US GDP growth for 2019 – 2.3%
      US GDP growth for 2021 – 5.9%

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/996758/rea-gdp-growth-united-states-1930-2019/

      _____________________________________
      US unemployment rate, Dec. 2019 – 3.6%
      US unemployment rate, Dec. 2022 – 3.5%

      https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

  1. Too bad – I enjoyed their beers but just didn’t get to that area very often. Id agree with the earlier points though that the market just seems saturated at this point.

  2. I don’t see it as a fad, local breweries and brewpubs are here to stay. Just the inevitable shakeout of too many entrants during the peak not equipped to survive long-term.

  3. Taprooms count on costumers coming in just like all other hospitality businesses. Drastic changes in consumer behavior (people don’t go out as much as they used to), a struggling post-covid Indianapolis economy, a looming recession and inflation scares are the real factors for why these reputable business owners are choosing to move on. I wish the best of luck to each and every one of them.

  4. There really haven’t been that many new breweries in Indy in the last 5 or so years. What’s mostly happening is the breweries that entered earliest and are run best have been moving to a multi-location model. Think Sun King, Upland, Mashcraft, Scarlet Lane, Taxman, etc., they all have 3 or more locations now. That sucks up market share and weaker, later entries are suffering because of it.

    Black Acre is a bit of a surprise to me, but it sounds like they were hit with one too many curveballs and maybe the owners’ motivation had also run its course.

    1. It was predicted in the pages of the IBJ and other newspapers years back that there would be a shakeout in the local brewing business. The shakeout has been happening for a while. This is just like other businesses: lots of players rush in, some make it, some don’t.

      Over a century ago, Indiana had dozens of car manufacturers. In time, most went bye-bye.

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