Downdraft is preparing to close its doors after one last fling starting Friday.
Owners of the Post Falls brewery announced a month ago that they couldn’t afford the extra time and money it would take to succeed in an increasingly competitive craft beer market.
So they’re wrapping things up this weekend beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with more of the beer and merchandise specials that have been offered on a daily basis leading up to the grand finale.
Darker beers and the Project Pale are all gone, but there’s still some Anonymous Amber, Seltice SMaSH, Third Channel IPA and India Rad Red along with a few smaller specialty kegs.
Music will be provided Friday starting at 6:30 by Fair 2 Middlin’, who’ve been around since the brewery opened three years ago. “They told us, well, we’ll have to close down with you guys,” co-owner Aimee Brayman says.
Saturday will feature the Las Brasas Mexican Grill and Iverson’s Smokin Pig BBQ food trucks.
Customer reaction since the closure was announced has been gratifying, she says: “The people that we’ve heard from have all just been super kind. That’s always nice to hear when you’re making a tough decision like that.”
While Downdraft had its best year so far, Brayman says, taproom traffic is unpredictable and it’s hard to nail down tap handles at bars and restaurants with so many breweries in the market.
The biggest issue, she says, has been finding time to make it all work with everyone relying on other jobs as well. (The brewery is listed for sale in case anyone else wants to give it a shot.)
“None of us has the ability to quit our day jobs and go full-time with the brewery,” Brayman says. “That’s really what you need to be successful. It’s been exhausting – it’s been great, but exhausting.”
They’re particularly proud of the Third Channel, she says: “We’ll put that up against any IPA on the market.”
And they’ll treasure the relationships with other brewers – “We have some great memories sitting in back rooms talking about beer and life” – and with customers.
“A lot of them have become good friends,” Brayman says. “They’re people who are very important to us.”