Just over two years after its opening in Ferndale, Axle Brewing Company’s Livernois Tap will close its doors at the end of June. The brewery announced in a statement shared on Facebook on Friday that its last day of service will be Sunday, June 30.
The 10,000-square-foot brewpub originally debuted on Livernois Ave. on the west side of Ferndale in June 2017. It was the first taproom for the Royal Oak production-only brewery, which partnered with Grey Ghost restaurant group Four Man Ladder on the food.
Axle’s owners attribute the closure to low profits on the distribution side of its brewing business as well as parking and access challenges that the taproom faced during six months of road construction around the brewery last year. “We had a steep climb from where we began and we do not see a clear path to profitability with our current cost structure and very lean margins on the distribution side of our business in the near term,” the company wrote in its statement.
While the brewery is planning to close, the brand itself could still potentially stay afloat. Axle’s team writes that they’re in talks with potential partners and buyers: “Our goal is to secure a strategic partner or buyer that shares our values and interest in this vibrant community with the infrastructure and scale to succeed in the amazing space at 567 Livernois that you’ve all helped us create.”
In statements to the Detroit Free Press, Axle Brewing’s president Dan Riley acknowledged that starting a brewery for distribution without first establishing a taproom was risky and may have contributed to the company’s financial challenges. The company hopes that employees will be connected with new jobs ahead of the closing.
Ahead of the closing, the brewery is planning to release a 2019 Wolf Tone Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. The company is also says it’s trying its best to ensure a smooth transition for customers including restaurants that serve Axle beer.