The Herkimer closing after 20 years of brewing at Lyn-Lake

The Herkimer // Photo by Tj Turner

One of Minneapolis’ longest-standing brewpubs, The Herkimer, is closing permanently at the end of June, according to an announcement on the company’s social media platforms.

Founded in 1999, The Herkimer was a neighborhood staple known for serving house-brewed, traditional German lagers and English ales, even as their home neighborhood of Lyn-Lake changed rapidly around them. In their social media post, The Herkimer cited both the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a changing brewery market in the Twin Cities as reasons for their closing:

“The industry is so uncertain right now and we’re simply unsure how we would be able to navigate these times with confidence, knowing there is so much more uncertainty to come. This has been a heartbreaking decision to make for our phenomenal guests and our fiercely loyal staff.

“Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, it had become increasingly apparent that the evolving character of the industry was becoming less able to sustain a neighborhood pub like us.”

The Herkimer’s closure follows closely on the heels of the beloved Lyn-Lake beer bar, Muddy Waters, and adds to a growing list of local restaurants and bars that have permanently closed as they’ve struggled to make ends meet in the midst of COVID-19.

Due to state regulations, The Herkimer was unable to re-open for crowler and growler sales, as Minnesota brewpub owners are only allowed one off-sale liquor license per municipality. Herkimer owner Blake Richardson also owns the neighboring sake brewery and izakaya restaurant Moto-i, which just reopened service at its rooftop patio on June 17. Because Moto-i sells sake bottles to go, The Herkimer was ineligible for Crowler and growler sales. Management had, however, set up a donation channel for an employee relief fund.

Fans of The Herkimer have two more chances to enjoy a beer and wave goodbye before the brewpub closes permanently. The Herkimer will be open from 3pm-12am on Tuesday, 6/23 and Wednesday, 6/24 with three beers on tap and commemorative glassware for sale.

It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that after 20 years, The Herkimer will be closing permanently at the end of…

Posted by The Herkimer Pub & Brewery on Sunday, June 21, 2020

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that The Herkimer did not elect to open for growler or Crowler sales. They were unable to do so due to alcohol off-sale laws governing brewpubs with multiple locations.