Anyone who has been paying attention to what has been going on with Maine's economy during the pandemic knows that our hospitality industries were some of the hardest hit.  Sadly, it looks as though the pandemic has claimed another small business.

According to the KJ, Jokers & Rogues Brewing on Water Street in Gardiner will close its doors permanent today (November 20th).

According to owner John Callinan, there were several factors that led to the decision to close the business.  Not surprisingly, the biggest factor was the COVID-19 pandemic and related mandates.

They had intended to open in the Spring of 2020, but the pandemic put a stop to that.  Finally, in October of 2020, they started selling beer on a take-out basis.  Because they were not a restaurant, they were not allowed to have on-site consumption.  While selling beer to go is a great option for beer lovers, but one of the great things about breweries and tasting rooms is being able to enjoy a beer with your friends.  Not being able to do that kind of takes away from the experience.  Finally, in March of 2021, they were allowed to have on-site consumption.  However, according to Callinan, concerns about the spread of the virus had potential customers choosing to frequent tasting rooms that offered outside seating, which Jokers & Rogues was unable to offer.

One of the other factors that caused issues for the business was the traffic issues cause by some local bridge repair.

The business does intend to go out with a bang.  They will have a series live musical acts.  Performances include fiddler Owen Kennedy, and a performance by the brewery's event coordinator,  Susan Stone.  Learn more about their closing event HERE

The sale of the Water Street building where the business is located will close next month.  And, Callinan does plan to sell all of the brewing equipment and fixtures.

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