In a blog post earlier today, the staff of the Alchemist Cannery in Waterbury announced that they plan to close their retail store and self-guided tour area. "We had hoped our location at 35 Crossroad would be capable of handling the traffic, however, with growth comes growing pains," they wrote. You can read the full announcement here.
Fans of the Alchemist's main beer, Heady Topper, seemed to reel from the news. The double IPA has cult status among beer drinkers, who mob the cannery's retail store in a steady stream (there has long been a one-case limit at the store).
Their passions flared on the Alchemist's Facebook page, where those who love Heady Topper inexplicably turned on those who produce it. One person called the Alchemist staff "selfish," and another called it an "absolutely horribly run business."
One sad fan wrote, "This is terrible, terrible news," echoing those who complained that it's next to impossible to find Heady Topper in stores. "Remember, remember the 5th of November," wrote another, while others defended the brewery's decision and suggested it might help improve foot traffic in area stores.
Whoever is managing the Alchemist's Facebook page suggests complex forces at work behind the closure, and hints another solution is in the works. They've also done an epic job of keeping up with comments.
"There are a lot of moving parts here," the Alchemist wrote to one follower. "We are thinking long term and we will have a plan in place soon — but Ben & Jerry's didn't start where they are, and they had to make plenty of tough calls like this in order to get where they are. Have patience. Thanks."