‘It’s a Very Competitive Market These Days’: Rubicon Brewing Owner Discusses Closure

SACRAMENTO -- The owner of Rubicon Brewing Company announced Monday that the brewery will be shutting down shy of its 30th anniversary.

The news was a shock to the Sacramento craft beer community, who came in droves to Rubicon's midtown brewpub Tuesday. There was a new batch of the Rubicon IPA, a long-time favorite, on tap. It was the 4,401st batch of beer brewed at the midtown location. There might be one or two more, but then that's it.

"You know that girl who broke your heart when you're in high school? And all the tears and emotion that went along with that? I would equate yesterday with that kind of feeling. And I won't tell you what her name is, but you know who you are," Rubicon owner Glynn Phillips said.

Phillips announced Rubicon's closure in a craft beer landscape much different from when he bought the brewery 12 years ago.

"When I bought this place in 2005 there were five breweries in town," Phillips told FOX40. "Now I think we counted on the back of a coaster, our fingers and toes, and everybody that's trying open and that, and it's close to 80. It's a very competitive market these days and we really gave it a try to supply everyone with as much Monkey Knife Fight and Rubicon IPA as we possibly could, and it just didn't pan out."

Rubicon had also recently just extended itself -- opening a tasting room and bottling facility in West Sacramento for the popular Monkey Knife Fight pale ale and Rubicon IPA -- trying to find add new markets and new fans to the die-hards.

"I'm 60 years old and I love this place because everybody's very friendly. Good crowd. It's always been fun every time. I've always had a fun time here," a Rubicon regular who called himself Chris told FOX40.

The brewpub has been packed since Phillips made the announcement he would close.

"I don't think I've been hugged this much in quite some time," Phillips said.

Wednesday is the final day for food service at the Midtown location. You can still stop in for a beer until the end of the month, or until they run out. Whichever comes first.