After 13 years and thousands of beers, Black Lotus Brewing Co. shut its doors for good Wednesday evening.
Located in downtown Clawson, Black Lotus, whose motto is “Think Global, Drink Local,” was known for its craft beers, including the Ninja Pirate, a 13.2 percent ABV beer that earned a gold medal in the competitive 2016 World Beer Cup. The brewpub also served an assortment of food and held a weekly Open Mic Monday.
According to The Detroit Free Press, two employees said they learned of the closure Monday. Bartender Neidra Jackson told the Free Press that owner Michael Allan told employees: “I can’t keep the doors open.” The Free Press was unable to reach Allan directly.
For months, there had been rumors of the impending closure. In August, Black Lotus’ Facebook page posted about an “award-winning” brewery pub that was up for sale with a reduced price of $450,000, though it didn’t say what brewery.
Then, in September, Eater Detroit reported that an unnamed source confirmed the listing was about Black Lotus. Eater said reasons for the sale weren’t immediately available, but that the Michigan Liquor Licensing Commission confirmed to them that their treasury had a levy against Black Lotus for sales tax. The Oakland County Register of Deeds also revealed that the business has two state liens for back taxes. One is a little over $13,000, the second is for $23,000.
When speaking to the Free Press, another employee who wished to remain anonymous said the staff was told Monday there wasn’t enough revenue coming in.
Black Lotus Brewing Co. was founded by Mark Harper, his sister Jodi Allan and her husband Michael Allan in 2006. The employees who spoke to the Free Press said Mark Harper left the business in May, but did not clarify if this was related to the closure.
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