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Craft Brewer Modern Times Closing 4 Locations, Including DTLA: ‘We’ve Done Everything We Could’

Modern Times' Downtown Los Angeles location on Olive Street.

It’s last call for four West Coast taprooms launched by craft beer brewery Modern Times. 

The San Diego-based company announced Monday it will close half its taproom portfolio across Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Oakland and Portland due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. The businesses had opened over the past four or so years, with the newest opening about four months before the onset of the pandemic. 

In a post on Modern Times’ website, the company said that it had become clear to newly installed leadership of the company that the company’s financial state was “not just unsustainable but in immediate and unavoidable peril."

"Over the last two unimaginably challenging pandemic years, we’ve done everything we could to keep all of our newly-opened locations afloat in a landscape we never could have imagined when we began building them," the blog post said.

The announcement comes about a month after Modern Times named Jennifer Briggs as CEO, replacing founder Jacob McKean who stepped down in mid-2021 after failing to adequately address accusations of inappropriate behavior lodged against company employees. The company also named Danielle Jackson as the new vice president of sales. 

The closures are "the result of a combination of factors: four straight years of rapid, costly expansion followed by an unforeseen and financially devastating global health crisis, and an industry-wide decline in sales,” the company said. 

In 2020, craft brewery sales declined 9%, while the overall beer industry saw only a 3% decline, according to a 2021 report from the Brewers Association.

The closures include a nearly 6K SF space in Downtown Los Angeles and a roughly 10K SF taproom in Portland that both opened in 2018; a 5K SF space with a 2.5K SF patio in Santa Barbara that opened in mid-2019; and a 4K SF spot in Oakland that opened at the end of 2019. 

The brewery’s founding location in Point Loma as well as its North Park, Encinitas and Anaheim locations will remain open.