The 16th. December 2020 will be a dark day forever in northwest Indiana. On that day, the 3 Floyds Brewing Company announced that it would close its famous brewery for good. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many lives were lost worldwide this year. For a small town in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, Indiana, part of its identity has now been lost.
When the first decision not to reopen the Brewpub was announced, I wrote about it on a personal level, because I grew up in Munster, and what this decision meant to me. I had always hoped this would only be a short-lived spot on the radar of an iconic brewery, so this news hurts. As I said, in many ways the 3 Floyds were a source of pride for the people of Munster, and that’s what made our town famous. People from all over the country and the world came to our city for Dark Lord’s Day and experienced what those of us who grew up with the development of this brewery have always known. It was a world-class institution with a unique identity and brand that was part of us.
Picture : Gregg Gearhart/Chicago Tribune
We’ve all experienced this COWID-19 nightmare all year round, and we’ve kept countless stories of family businesses and restaurants alive. It’s very close to reality for those of us who grew up with three Floyds. Yes, they will continue to brew their wide range of beers, but to capture the true experience of the 3 Floyds, you really have to experience the brewing bowl. Unfortunately, this possibility will be denied us in the future.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed taking customers to the brewery for business lunches and seeing them open for me. After the first shock of the thrash metal and kung fu movies that populated the room, they really appreciated it and the charm it left them. Those of us who were fans of the brewery in its early days have continued to be amazed at the growth of the brewery and the international notoriety that has transformed it from a small waterhole into a tourist attraction. Now that ride’s gone, and frankly, it sucks.
It is difficult to put into words the disappointment this news evokes for many of us, faithful to the 3 Floyds. Our disappointment, however, is nothing compared to the disappointment to be felt by those whose livelihoods are taken away by this decision. When you walked into the brewery café, you often saw the same faces over the years, giving the impression that there was a waterhole nearby. These are the people who really represent what 3 Floyds stands for, and to know that these people who have given so much has turned their lives upside down is really heartbreaking.
Unfortunately we know that 3 Floyds will not be the last brewery to close its doors because of the current pandemic. Restaurants all over the country are up and running and more and more people will see their lives changed forever in the months to come. In many ways, the fabric of our local community dies a little every time a company like 3 Floyds has to make that decision. Many people have already experienced this and there will be many more in the coming weeks and months. If you haven’t experienced this with one of your favorite companies, I hope you haven’t.
With the news of the start of vaccine administration, we hope that this nightmare will come to an end. We’ll see what’s left once we get out of this situation. I know my favorite place to grab a beer is gone. This harsh reality is experienced by many people all over the country. So when things get back to normal, support your local brewery instead of a group of national restaurants. These people need your support more than ever.
After all, part of our small town has been taken from us by this pandemic. It is a pill that is difficult to swallow and will hurt for a while. I hope the brewery will reopen someday. At the moment the situation looks bleak, but given the evolution of the brand so far, I think 3 Floyds will come back at some point. I don’t know if that day will come or not, but when it does, I know where I’ll be that day.
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