Call it a casualty of a crappy economy: with everything getting more expensive, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Maine business that wasn't looking at how to maintain its bottom line. And for some, it's just not possible anymore.

Popular Piscataquis County brewery Bissell Brothers announced Wednesday evening that they'll be closing their Three Rivers Milo location at the end of this summer.

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Sharing the news via its Facebook Page, the family-run favorite stated that they just can't afford to keep it open anymore.

"While this may feel sudden, in recent years it's become clear that continuing to operate Three Rivers to our standards has become financially unsustainable."

The letter, written by owners Noah, Peter, and Hester Bissell, goes on to say that it's with a heavy heart that the family came to make this call.

"Our family has made this decision after exhaustive analysis, discussion, and exploration of solutions...Three Rivers is a big source of pride for all of us, company-wide, and ending the jobs of a group of individuals who have been Team Bissell from day one is unbelievably gutting."

Bissell Brothers Brewing
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They got into more detail, breaking down their reasoning on their website, and saying that they know other breweries are in the same boat.

" The broader economic and inflationary conditions have been brutal for businesses of all types; food costs this year have skyrocketed, and people are drinking less beer than they have in decades, as the craft beer landscape has transitioned quite rapidly from an era of limitless exuberance to a more somber phase of maturity and saturation. Last year, the number of microbrewery closures more than doubled the number of openings, and that factor is only expected to increase in 2024."

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They outlined a plan to attempt to stay open for the last few months, as they wind things down, but say that could change, depending on the needs of the outgoing staff. They have also canceled the rest of their planned summer concert performances. They will host the ticketed shows, but the rest will not take place.

Bissell Brothers opened its second location at Three Rivers in Milo back in 2018, after making a successful go of it in Portland for several years before that.

In their post, they went on to thank the folks in Milo and Piscataquis County for all their support over the last 6 years of business. They also encouraged folks to stop in to reminisce the past, honor the legacy, and make some final memories before the doors close for good.

The Bissell Brothers location in Portland will remain open.

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