As reported last week, Benchmark Brewing was in a precarious situation, facing eviction from the family-run business’ Grantville headquarters by the end of this week. That news sounded a rallying cry from San Diego craft beer supporters, including retail accounts that purchased Benchmark kegs and cans in such great quantity that the company is nearly out of beer. Much of this was a result of the “Benchmark Across San Diego” event, which gained traction across social media and resulted in more than 20 bars and restaurants racking up the largest one-day order in the company’s history. While positive news for the five-year-old operation, owners Matt and Rachael Akin are not yet out of the woods.
The marrieds report they just reached an agreement with their landlord to get them back into their lease at 6190 Fairmount Avenue, Suite G. Matt is currently brewing and new beer is in the fermenter tanks to replenish Benchmark’s supply. This means they are out of immediate danger, but in order to ensure the longer-term viability of the business they will need to secure outside funds. That will allow them to focus on increasing distribution sales, and traffic to the company’s tasting rooms in Grantville and Bay Park. It’s a series of steps which must be taken one at a time, but for now the Akins are happy to be past step one.
“We at Benchmark have been scrambling over the last few weeks to reach a resolution with our landlord. We now have an agreement and are working to gather the needed funds to move into the future,” says Rachael. “Benchmark plans to be in our current space for the foreseeable future. Thanks to the amazing support of our community and the hard work of our legal counsel, we are here to brew another day.”
In addition to the aforementioned retail accounts, the Akins are thankful for the regulars, friends and contemporaries who have banded together to help them in myriad ways since news of their plight broke, including 174 shares of a message Rachael posted on Facebook seeking a buyer for the business. They hope people who enjoy their beer will continue to support them so that they can get to a place where they are not just surviving, but thriving.