It’s been a rough year for the family-run Benchmark Brewing. Myriad financial difficulties made it look as though the Grantville interest would go out of business several times over the past several months, but owners Matt and Rachael Akin were able to keep on trucking. Until today. Earlier this afternoon, Benchmark posted on social media that, as of 3 p.m. today, it is closed for good.
Though Benchmark faced a host of challenges, beer quality was never an issue over the life of the business, which opened in 2013. Behind the strength of core beers that defied modern trends such as a Belgian-style table beer, brown ale and oatmeal stout, it gained a small but devoted following in the beer community.
Last summer, the business opened a satellite tasting room in Bay Park. That venue took roughly a year to get operational and was never finished to the degree that its owners had hoped for. Recently, the Akins (who could not be reached for comment) had been shopping the space to other interested brewing companies.
During its six years in business, Benchmark earned a host of awards for its beers, most notably a gold and silver medal in 2016 and 2014, respectively, at the Great American Beer Festival for Benchmark Oatmeal Stout.