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By RACHEL BRANT
After nearly 10 years in business, Ted Farmer will pour the last round of beers for Heads Up Brewery customers Saturday.
Heads Up Brewery in Silverdale will host a closing party Saturday, Feb. 16, from 3 p.m. until closing to reminisce about the good times had at the brewery and pub.
Well sell out all the beers we have left and hug and kiss and cry and all that, Farmer said with a smile.
Farmer opened Heads Up Brewery in 1998 and decided about a year ago the time was right to close up shop on Silverdale Way and move elsewhere.
At that time the plan was to either sell the business or sell the brewing side of it and push ahead with the bottled store, Farmer said. We just decided it was time to cut the cord and start from scratch.
Although Heads Up Brewery won numerous awards for its beers, the brewery and pub is not turning a profit like Farmer had hoped.
The business has been a success in every aspect except financially. Weve gotten national awards for beers created here so everything here says we should be making money, he said. The way were doing business is just not a financially viable proposition.
Farmer said he is looking for a location in East Bremerton to open a new place sometime this spring. He plans to shut down the brewery side of the business and open up a specialized bottle store with more than 400 types of beer. The new Heads Up business also will have a tap room.
We had a choice. We either had to grow, shrink or quit and Im opting for the option to shrink, Farmer said.
Farmers business will no longer be called Heads Up Brewery, but will have Heads Up somewhere in the business name. Farmer anticipates that his loyal customers will follow him to East Bremerton.
For the biggest part theyll follow, Farmer said. Customers will spread the word of where we are. I dont have any notion that my business will be 100 percent that day I open over there.
Heads Up Brewery sells ales from around the world and, according to Farmer, the business is a one-of-a-kind in the entire state.
Were the only show in town really between Seattle and Portland (Ore.) that sells the higher quality beers we sell, Farmer said. The biggest part of the population really was not acquainted with the Belgian beers and different styles. Basically weve educated the peninsula on beer styles and weve exposed people to beers theyve never seen before.
Farmer is sad to leave his Silverdale location, but has high hopes for the future business.
I opened the place and now Im well connected to this community through the Silverdale Chamber and everyones sad to see us change our business model, he said. Were going to keep our Web site up and running to keep people up-to-date.
Heads Up Brewery will host an auction Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Silverdale business. Farmer said they are auctioning off the brewing equipment, refrigeration units, processing equipment, furniture and fixtures. A time for the auction has yet to be determined and proceeds from the event will go toward the new business in East Bremerton.
Really, were going to auction off everything and start over, Farmer said.
Despite falling on hard times with Heads Up Brewery, Farmer said hes looking forward to opening a bottle store and tap room in East Bremerton.
Its really hard to open a small business in the state of Washington, Farmer said. Its very expensive to do business in the state of Washington, but Im going to give it another try.
For more information on Heads Up Brewery and the future of the new business, visit their Web site at www.headsupbrewing.com.