Sunday, June 14, 2015

Some déjà vu on the unfortunate closing of My Old Kentucky Homebrew and its brew-on-premise facility.

Photo credit: Kelly.

My Old Kentucky Homebrew was in business for six years before owner Paul Young pulled the plug earlier this week, and I hate to see it go. I don't brew at home, but of course know many who do.

Interestingly, Young believes MOKH's rarely seen brew-on-premise (BOP) was at least partially the blame.

Young partially attributes the closure to a surprising lack of interest in the brew-on-premise operation he added about nine months ago. He knew at the time of launch he needed to brew about 15 batches a month to break even, but in that time, fewer than 20 people have used the system. In April and May, he says, it was “barely used.”

In short, a big investment with little return.

If memory serves, the last time someone attempted a BOP in Kentucky was at the ill-fated (or just ahead of its time?) Brew Works at the Party Source in Covington. I'm not sure that one ever got off the ground owing to unsympathetic state laws and the short life span of the business.

Refresh your memory about Brew Works here. A video from the fall of 2014 shows how the Brew On Premise at MOKH was supposed to work, and Gibson also explained the idea at the inception in detail, right here.

My two cents: Homebrewing thrives in selected atmospheric conditions. It will pick up when the economy is bad, and wherever the do-it-yourself among us become hooked on the obsessive hobbyist aspect of the exercise. The sheer abundance of good beer these days, representing numerous styles at different price points in different packages, is a new variable in the equation.

Unfortunately, MOKH may have experienced this sort of fallout. All the best to whatever Paul does in the future, and thanks for your efforts.

My Old Kentucky Homebrew to close by end of June, by Kevin Gibson (Insider Louisville)

Paul Young sits staring at nothing at all. He says it still doesn’t seem real, but he has nevertheless decided he must close My Old Kentucky Homebrew, the business he launched six-and-a-half years ago to serve local brewers.

Sales have waned in 2015 to the point that a tough decision had to be made, he says.

“This is not a decision I want to make,” he says.

The homebrew shop, located at 361 Baxter Ave., will be open mostly only on weekends through Father’s Day, he says. Young informed the owner of the rented space he will be out by the end of June.

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