Necromancer Brewing is Closing Permanently

Necromancer Brewing is Closing Permanently

Necromancer Brewing is Closing Permanently

Necromancer Brewing is Closing Permanently

We reported on February 13th that Necromancer Brewing was Temporarily Closing…. well, it is now officially permanently closing. There was talks of their “ongoing issues” with their liquor license, and how they were having issues with getting it renewed, and they made their Facebook post stating that they would be temporarily closed due to that. It seems there was more issues than just a liquor license behind the scenes, and they are permanently closing. So a funeral is to be held at the Necromancer Brewery – 2257 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237, and free beer will be given away – on Thursday and Friday of this week (2.22.24 and 2.23.24).

Come to Our Funeral

Necromancer Brewing posted to Instagram (not Facebook) about their announcement of permanent closure, and told everyone to come to their brewery on Thursday (2.22.24) and Friday (2.23.24) to “celebrate” and to come to their funeral.

Their announcement reads:

Our time has come.

After taking time to pause this past week and evaluate our future, we’ve come to the difficult decision to close our doors.

We’re so proud of our team and all they’ve accomplished these past nearly 3 years. Our closure is no reflection of the quality of their work, their dedication, or the blood, sweat, and tears put into Necromancer. It’s an unfortunate financial decision, and one we do not make lightly. Between operating costs that continue to rise, and the overall state of the industry – there isn’t much room for error.

This closure unfortunately also means that our plans for Greenfield’s Midnight Whistler Pub will not come to fruition. We’d like to thank the Greenfield community for their support and excitement, and we truly hope that the neighborhood gets the watering hole it deserves in the very near future.

We respect the hell out of the breweries in our community who will continue the legacy of beer making in this city. It’s an immense feat to bring beer to your glass. We encourage you to continue to support others in Pittsburgh’s brewing community. It’s a tough industry.

This week we’ll be open Thursday and Friday from 4-10pm for one last go.
– All beer will be free to consume or take. Limit 1 case per person.
– Any on-site consumption must be done responsibly.
– We’ll have a virtual tip jar. 100% of all proceeds will go to our staff. If you grab a 4-pack, or pint, please contribute.
– And all merch and glassware will be for sale. Inner Circle and Founder’s Club members will be able to reserve up to (2) cases of beer and 2 free items while supplies last.

Please come and say goodbye.

Thank you for your support over the years. We are honored to have been a part of your lives – however big or small.

Necromancer Brewing – Instagram Post

News of Their Closing and Reactions

Their Facebook account still doesn’t have a permanent closure post, and their last post is dated February 13th, announcing the temporary closure.

Necromancer Brewing was open for a little under three years and Midnight Whistler, a second location, which was planned to open in the former Hough’s Taproom in Greenfield are both closing.

A beer blog for the state discussed in “detail” with the ownership about their reasons for closing. Which for most people reading, only raised more questions, concerns, and even outright red flags. The owners stated the costs of liquor license, fees, and other things, as well as putting emphasis and blame on the government and state…. rather than possibly where its due. (More like financial decisions, regarding the opening of the second taproom, the remodeling of their current location, and much more.)

Two Reddit posts; one in the Pittsburgh subreddit and one in the Pittsburgh beers subreddit posit more information, albeit mostly hearsay, but there is more to glean from this than the obviously one sided blog post. The reddit posts can be read here:

A news article by TribLive also provides more information: Necromancer Brewing Co. closing, 2nd location won’t open.

Butler said not being able to afford renewing the license, which is $3,000, is only part of the scenario for closing. There are several taxes and the cost of yeast and grain has gone up by 500% over the past 18 months, he said.

As for the Hough’s location, he said the building presented unforeseen issues that they could not get over and it became too much.

“We ran out of money,” Butler said. “And we couldn’t continue operating this way. We had some missteps that we couldn’t recover from. This is not a high-margin business. It is difficult to make ends meet.”

Necromancer Brewing Co. closing, 2nd location won’t open

There is a lot to pack through the comments section on those two reddit posts, as well as the news article. There seems to be a lot of varying thoughts on the brewery, and the owner – in particular Ben Butler. One commenter stating that Butler and the other owner (Butler had 75% shared interest, and the other owner had 25%) didn’t talk for the past year, and only communicated via lawyers.

Much talk on their Facebook, Instagram, as well as craft beer groups (and those reddit posts) is about the mug club memberships, which was paid just a bit ago. People paid 75-200$ for varying levels of memberships, and just under two months ago, for this upcoming year. Many of these customers feel blindsided and upset about the way the closing has been handled.

Liquor License

PA Liquor License – Necromancer Brewing

Anyone can use the PLCB website to view and look at liquor license records, as well as violations and other things by breweries. The search on the site lets you do it by county, city, license, name of operation, or owner(s). The results on the Necromancer Brewing shows that their license expired Dec. 31st 2023, though they have an active brewery storage license good for 2024.

He said he was told he could be put in jail if he tried to sell beer without a renewed liquor license and that the inventory can’t be transferred to another business owner.

He said there is a lot of beer.

Shawn Kelly, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in Harrisburg, confirmed that without a valid liquor license, beer can be given away.

However, he added that it “can be complicated.”

Necromancer Brewing Co. closing, 2nd location won’t open

So it appears they are able to host their free beer give away on Thursday and Friday, as long as it remains completely free. They also need to be careful of where patrons go with the beer and how they consume it on property.

Necromancer Brewing

Necromancer Brewing was a safe space and very positive for the LGBTQ+ community. They received national news attention with the release of their “Gayer” beer. Some in the Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh beer reddit communities have stated that Ben Butler used this as a means to an end, rather than true support and altruistic motives for the community. Either way, they were a positive force for good in the LGBTQ+ community, and it is disappointing to see the brewery lost and the community to lose this support, safe space, and inclusive environment.

The following information comes via Untappd.

Necromancer Brewing is a nano brewery from Pittsburgh, PA. They have 167 unique beers and over 20,000 ratings, with a global average rating of 3.89 (as of 2.13.24). Their Untappd description reads: “trends + familiars + resurrections ”

You can follow Necromancer Brewing at these social media pages:

Brewery News

Interested in finding out about many other brewery openings, new locations, closings, movings, and in general brewery news? You can check out our links below:

(This article updated on 2.20.24 at 1:00 PM)


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