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Racine Brewing Company owners Angie and Andy Molina plan to tap out and close their doors after pouring their collective hearts and souls into making beer.

Located at 303 Main Street, Angie and Andy opened the brewery on March 3, 2018. Their last day open: September 30. Or sooner, if the tap runs out. The couple also operated a beer garden in Waterford at 100 S. 1st St. That closes Saturday.

COVID took a toll on the business, which never really recovered even during the summer.

“It was an oversaturation of the market,” Andy said. “Early on last year, we had to adapt and reach our customers just like everybody else does. And we found over time that people started changing their habits and they really just did not want to go out and they were choosing to stay home.”

Tapping out isn’t easy

The decision to close wasn’t easy. But when the couple looked at the numbers, their business just wasn’t sustainable.

“I haven’t been able to pay myself since September,” Angie said. “We put our blood, sweat and tears into this. This brewery was our baby.”

Out of resources, they had nowhere to turn. They could have partnered with an investor, but the business just wasn’t sustainable.

“We could get some temporary money to help us through for a short time, but it would be a Band-Aid,” Angie said.

Racine Brewing Company focused on community and business

Racine Brewing participated in several charitable fundraisers and events, including Thoughts for Food and the Venmo Challenge.

“We’ve had so many amazing opportunities,” Angie said.

One that stands out is getting to participate in the Fourth of July parade.

Andy said he’ll miss the smiles and laughs, the jokes, and close friends.

“We’ve had lots of friends in our mug club… they are like a family to us,” Andy said.

So what’s next?

The couple hired a business broker and the business is up for sale. They are also working on hiring an auction company to start liquidating their assets.

“One way or the other, we will be closed by the end of September,” Andy said.

Angie already has a part-time teaching job. For Andy, he’ll likely go back to work at a local factory. They need a break from making beer, the Hula Chaser, a coconut porter, Hola Racine, a Mexican-style ale, and the Maslow, a bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout.

For Andy, his favorite beer — an IPA aged in a red wine barrel called Significant Other — will always stand out.

“It was the best beer ever made. It was, had many, many layers of complexity. And, and it was super drinkable,” he said.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.