Earth Bread & Brewery, the Mount Airy brewpub that hewed to a mission of sustainability, will close after business July 1, just shy of its 14th anniversary.
“It makes us sad, but the challenges and struggles of the past 2½ years have caught up with Earth,” owners and spouses Tom Baker and Peggy Zwerver announced last week. “It’s been an incredible ride for us, and we don’t wish to dwell on the hard times of the pandemic.”
“People just aren’t coming out,” Baker said in a phone interview. “The closing has been kind of a long time coming. I think I’m trying to hold on, hoping that things would improve. But it is just not happening.” The summer season typically is the slow time, he said.
The couple plans to devote more time to Bar Hygge and its Brewery Techne in Francisville, where they are partners with Stew and Julie Keener. Bar Hygge is doing well, Baker said.
Earth opened in 2008 featuring a menu of flatbread pizzas from a hand-built wood-burning oven and beers from a modest system. It was the couple’s next chapter after Heavyweight Brewing, which they had run for six years in Ocean Township, N.J. One Heavyweight customer was McMenamin’s Tavern. When a nuisance corner bar at 7136 Germantown Ave., near McMenamin’s, was shut down, Baker and Zwerver stepped in.
The couple were early acolytes of the movement to reuse materials, and were boosters of buying local and recycling — even sending their spent grain to W.B. Saul High School to be composted or used as feed for the cows. The first-floor bar was salvaged from a Manhattan taproom, and the pine flooring was taken from a demolished building. The second-floor bar was found locally. The initial tables and chairs came from Victory Brewing in Downingtown.
Baker and Zwerver’s Instagram post celebrates the friendships that they have made. “We’ve also been so fortunate to have employed some very wonderful people who have helped us make our vision into a reality. Please know that we will do everything we can to help our staff during this transition.”
It’s business as usual until July 1.