COVID-19 has claimed another victim in Rome — the Rome City Brewing Co.
“COVID killed us, there’s really no other way to out that,” said partner Jay Shell. “It crushed us.”
Shell said that a new microbrewery in the Acworth area is expected to pick up the equipment sometime early in September.
“Until I sell the buildings, we’ll probably transition back to some kind of 333 Broad Street (restaurant/lounge) again but it won’t be a brewery anymore,” Shell said.
The buildings have been on the market for several months. A sign in front of the brewery indicates that the plan is to relocate the microbrewery.
The beer that is currently in the fermenters will still be processed and Shell said he expects there is enough beer to be distributed through the end of the year. The business itself will not close until all of the inventory has been sold.
“We’ve got a pretty good stockpile of it,” Shell said.
Shell said the brewery reached a point during the summer where he and business partner Dr. Trent Prault realized there was no end in sight.
“We did a lot of events (at the microbrewery) and that’s what really brought people in,” Shell said. “We couldn’t depend on foot traffic day-to-day... I’m not blaming the people. I mean I’m going out less and less.”
Shell and Prault opened the microbrewery in 2016 at 325 Broad St., the Brewhouse Music & Grill location. Two years later, they decided they needed more room and were able to relocate down the block into the 333 Broad on Broad location where Shell had previously operated a restaurant.
“The equipment getting sold was a huge blessing,” Shell said. “If we can get those buildings sold we’ll be in good shape.”
Recently, Hillery Sawyer has operated a brick and mortar version of her Speakcheesy food truck from the 333 Broad building. She’s been offering takeout and curbside service during the pandemic.