Craft Conundrum

Craft Conundrum is closing this weekend. Provided.

Though Craft Conundrum serves more than 100 craft beers on tap, it apparently can't compete with the appeal of area breweries.

The West Ashley bar is closing this weekend after five years in business, citing the growing number of craft breweries in the Charleston area as a factor in its decision.

"Every ride must end, and we’ve chosen to end on a high note," owners Richard and Karen Easterby, who are husband and wife, wrote on Facebook.

The bar's final day is Saturday, June 8.

“In the last five years, there’s been a shift in patronage from beer bars to breweries,” said Angela Smith of The Padgett Smith Project, which does marketing for Craft Conundrum.

“With every additional brewery that opened, they felt a pinch of percentage of sales lost,” she said. "And a lot of breweries have opened." 

When Craft Conundrum started in June 2014 in the Quadrangle Shopping Center, the Charleston area was home to eight breweries. Now, there are almost 30.

Smith pointed out that two months before the bar opened, in April 2014, The Stone Bill passed, allowing breweries that serve food to sell an unlimited amount of beer on their premises.

Before the bill passed, breweries could only sell three pints to each patron per visit in a 24-hour period.

"The bill hurt their business and businesses like them,” Smith said. "People were going to breweries more. They were still going to Craft. But it's the same community." 

Smith, who is Richard Easterby’s sister, said the couple also made the decision to close to spend more time with their two young kids.

Craft Conundrum will celebrate its final day with a keg party. It typically serves at least 20 South Carolina brews and dozens of beer made around the country and world.

Reach Amanda Hancock at 843-937-5320. Follow her on Twitter @Amanda1hancock.

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