Two prominent breweries that have helped to anchor the Los Angeles County craft beer scene over the past decade have closed seemingly overnight, sending a shockwave through the tight-knit Southern California beer community. Mumford Brewing, based in Downtown Los Angeles, announced its closure late last week, with South Bay stalwart King Harbor Brewing ending its run on New Year’s Eve.
Younger craft beer fans are likely familiar with Mumford, a standout brewery that had accelerated over the past half-decade-plus to become one of the most recognizable taps in town. The small but mighty taproom on Boyd Street attracted beer drinkers and was also home to countless food pop-ups, which made the surprise closure announcement feel all the more sudden for imbibers and collaborators alike.
Mumford’s Instagram page carried, in part, the following goodbye:
The last few years have been tough on the business and hard on the industry in general. At this point, we have made the hard choice to shut our doors. It has been a wild 7 1/2 years since we opened and we truly appreciate the people that have supported us along the way, our customers, our staff, the breweries we have collaborated with and everyone who helped along the way.
The closure announcement happened so fast ownership says that they still have some beer in tanks on-site, which means some “spot dates” for taproom access and takeaway beer may be available in the next few weeks — and then that’s it.
Down in the Redondo Beach area, King Harbor simultaneously closed all three of its locations with only a few days’ notice. That included the brewery itself as well as the waterfront taproom and Riviera Village outlets. While perhaps less heralded than other prominent South Bay breweries like Smog City, Monkish, and El Segundo, King Harbor had been seen as a prominent local player with a loyal fanbase — at least right up until the closure announcement on social media, the day after Christmas 2022. “It has been a wild ride, but the time has come to close the doors for good,” the post says simply.
This is not the first time that LA County craft beer makers have aired out their struggles publicly. British ale maker MacLeod out of Van Nuys has been vocal on social media about supply chain issues, slower sales, and other problems recently, even going so far as to close its Highland Park taproom and pizzeria for a time. Indie Brewing, situated along the river in Boyle Heights, somewhat quietly closed its doors permanently early last year as well, while others like big names Mikkeller and Modern Times have closed up Downtown operations in recent years.
That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. Other local breweries continue to either open in greater Los Angeles (as is the case with the relatively new Benny Boy Brewing in Lincoln Heights) or find ways to grow and expand. El Segundo Brewing’s sister restaurant Slice & Pint is set to almost double its pizza and beer footprint soon, while LA Ale Works has grown from its original brewery space to a new taproom at Culver City’s Ivy Station development somewhat recently.