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Barley Forge is tapping out

By BRADLEY ZINT SEP. 17, 2019 5:25 PM (LA Times)

Barley Forge Brewing Co., a microbrewery that helped pave the way for Costa Mesa’s craft beer scene, is closing, the company announced in a Facebook post Monday.

The business at 2957 Randolph Ave., in the city’s trendy Sobeca district, is scheduled to close Oct. 31.

Owners Greg Nylen and Mary Ann Frericks said the reason was partly due to the landlord increasing their rent.

“Brewing beer is a capital-intensive and increasingly competitive endeavor and, simply stated, we have arrived at a point where the lows outnumber the highs,” the company wrote on its Facebook page. “This reality, combined with an unprecedented and unsustainable rent increase our landlord is demanding, has made untenable the prospect of continuing to operate a full-scale production brewery in a neighborhood that has rapidly shifted from its industrial roots to a retail environment. It has taken no small measure of radical, albeit heart-rending, acceptance to reach this conclusion.”

Barley Forge first opened its 10,000-square-foot facility in October 2014, becoming Costa Mesa’s first locally based microbrewery. Several others, including Gunwhale Ales across the street and two more in the Sobeca district — Bootlegger’s Brewery and Salty Bear Brewing Co. — followed in the years to come, putting the City of the Arts on the beer map.

Barley Forge, which also served food, won several awards during its run, including recognition for its Patsy, a coconut rye stout.

The brewery’s social media accounts have exploded since the news broke Monday, with more than 1,200 comments posted on its Facebook and Instagram pages. Many expressed sadness about the brewery closing up shop.

“We are incredibly proud of our many awards and achievements, our dedicated staff, the relationships we forged both in the industry and the community and the many wonderful people we have had the privilege to serve,” Barley Forge wrote on its Facebook page.

“That so many believed in us will forever be a source of sustainment and we have nothing but gratitude for your patronage.”

Bradley Zint is a contributor to Times Community News.

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