Statement from Blank Slate’s Scott LaFollette on Closing. Plus our thoughts and where to still find their beer!

Monday morning we noticed something was odd at Blank Slate. By Monday afternoon we knew that they had closed. Since then there has been much speculation and many varying assumptions about why they closed. But there have been no facts until now.

 

Moments ago Blank Slate’s owner and head brewer, Scott LaFollette, released a statement on his blog. I have selected the following excerpts which I think are most crucial for you to read:

The reason for our closure is pretty simple.  We ran out of money.  There is no big conspiracy, no secret takeover, no legal troubles or personal issues.  We simply don’t have enough cash to keep going.

It might surprise some people to know that the entire operation ran with 3 or less people for its entire existence.  It might also surprise some people to know that I have never personally made a dime from it.  I never even drew a salary.

I was determined that we would succeed doing things “the right way” by putting the product above all else and growing business honestly and organically, on our own, by our rules, and without outside influences.  I never had much access to capital.  I never ran in the circles that put me in the same room as a bunch of rich guys who I could get to “fund my dream”.  I had to build it myself, physically and figuratively, and truth be told I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way.

Instead of our volume growing as expected it stagnated and in some areas actually decreased.  We simply did not have the means to keep up with the ever increasing costs of trying to stand out in a crowd when compared to the next shiny new thing coming down the pike.  Put all this together and an already tight situation becomes untenable.

Everything we brewed was for the love of the craft above all else.  Maybe it wasn’t to the extent that I had hoped but I’d like to believe that we helped educate and evolve the palate of beer drinkers in this town at least a little bit.  In the end there just wasn’t enough people who liked our beer or agreed with our philosophy to make us a viable company and that’s OK.  We gave it our best shot and it just didn’t work out.

There are more craft beer choices than ever in Cincinnati and in many, many ways that is a good thing.  Just remember that supporting the ones you like means more than just saying “I went there once and really liked their beers.”

I encourage you to read the full statement in detail.

My Thoughts

I knew a statement was coming in advance and prepared this section of my article to contain my thoughts in reaction to what Scott said before I knew what he was going to say. Now that I’ve read it, three times, there is little I can add to that statement. I just want to repeat and elaborate on that final quote I selected:

There are more craft beer choices than ever in Cincinnati and in many, many ways that is a good thing.  Just remember that supporting the ones you like means more than just saying “I went there once and really liked their beers.”

If you love a beer, buy the beer, don’t just say you love it. If you love a brewery stop there for a pint, a growler, or a six-pack before you go stand in line for the hot new thing. Support your favorite brewery, because you never know when it’ll be too late

I supported Blank Slate as much as my time and money allowed and still I find myself wishing I would’ve supported them more. Maybe if I’d bought a few more 6-packs or written a few more posts about them then maybe, just maybe, they’d still be open now. But they’re not. Don’t let this happen to your favorite brewery. Do all you can to support the brewery you love, don’t end up with doubts and regrets about how you can’t drink it anymore.

Blank Slate Farewell Events

If you’re searching for Blank Slate cans, good luck, there aren’t many left and they’re moving faster than almost any other beer I’ve seen in years. As for kegs and tap takeover events, there are a few of those:

FlipSide Liberty Blank Slate Farewell Takeover

Blank Slate Keg Sightings

All of the following places have been reported as having various Blank Slate beers on tap as of publication, these kegs will go quickly, so this list may be out of date by the time you read it.

  • Dilly Deli
  • Casual Pint Oakley
  • Mio’s in Anderson
  • The Growler House
  • Incline Public House
  • Great American Ball Park
  • Senate Blue Ash
  • White Oak Marathon has a keg of Opera Cream

Memories of Blank Slate

I’d like to encourage folks to read my last post Blank Slate: “Closed. Thanks for the Memories.” with my memories of Blank Slate along with the memories of many brewers from around Cincinnati. Please leave a comment over there with some of your favorite memories at Blank Slate or of great times drinking Blank Slate beer.

Now I’m gonna go home and drink one of my few remaining cans of Fork in the Road.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Statement from Blank Slate’s Scott LaFollette on Closing. Plus our thoughts and where to still find their beer!

  1. I’m sad that Blank Slate has closed, but if he brewed beer that only he liked, it was never going to last. I’m a home brewer who brews beer for myself, but I’m not trying to make money. Fume was an awesome beer, Shroominous not so much. I think the lesson is you have to respond to the market. I’m sure that if Scott had put out feelers, someone would have invested, but that meant giving up control. His brand had worth, there was equity there, but Scott decided quitting was easier! Hopefully Scott will remain in the brewing industry and put his creative skill to use in a more conventional way. My way or the highway doesn’t always cut it in business.

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