Williamsburg’s Burgy Brews fizzles: Owners closing kitchen Sunday and taproom next weekend; also pulling plug on brewery

By JAMES PENTLAND

Staff Writer

Published: 03-01-2024 4:00 PM

Modified: 03-03-2024 11:17 AM


WILLIAMSBURG — Less than 2½ years after taking over the former Brewmaster’s Tavern and creating a gathering space for dining, drinking, music and games, the owners of Burgy Brews have announced that the business is closing.

“More money goes out than comes in,” was co-owner Mike Charpentier’s succinct assessment of the reason.

Sunday is the last day for the kitchen side of the taproom, while the bar will remain open for another week, until March 10.

Charpentier and co-owner Dennis Bates had previously worked as landlords at the Brewmaster’s Tavern before it closed abruptly in January 2020. They opened the new business in the fall of 2021, and while the pandemic was slowly receding by that time, its effects have lingered. Habits changed, and people got used to staying home more, Charpentier said.

“We really never had the people we needed,” he said.

Still, Burgy Brews had dozens of fans who expressed shock and sorrow at the turn of events, commenting on the closure announcement on its Facebook page.

Musician Robby Roiter, one of many who performed at Burgy Brews’ regular Friday and Saturday music nights, said the brew pub’s support for musicians was much appreciated.

“Overflowing thanks to Mike, Dennis & your amazing crew for creating a beautiful community space, for as long as it lasted,” he wrote.

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Bishop’s Lounge, a Northampton performance space, tipped its hat in a Facebook message also.

“You have done something so wonderful and so committed. You have made a mark in the community. It takes a lot of bravery, not many have done what you have done … Bravo!”

In addition to the restaurant and taproom, Charpentier and Bates own Brewmasters Brewing Services, which produced a variety of craft beers on site, some under the Burgy Brews label and many others sold under other labels such as Opa-Opa, Swing Oil, Scantic and Brewmaster Jack.

The brewery is also closing. Burgy Brews will be offering cases of canned beer for $55 while supplies last.

Florence Bank recently foreclosed on the property, which is set for auction March 27 at 11 a.m.

Originally built as a hotel by Gross Williams in 1812, it has been the site of a tavern ever since. It was rebuilt in 1873 following a fire that same year, just in time to withstand the flood of 1874.