Nearly 15 years after opening their first location in North Bethlehem’s Main Street Commons in, Keystone Homebrew is closing up shop in the city. The popular store, which sold malts, hops, adjuncts, grapes, and equipment for the beer and winemaking process, opened in November 2004 and moved to its current location on Third Street in SouthSide Bethlehem in 2013.
The move, which was announced on Keystone’s website, cites “changing market forces, plentiful craft breweries, and the prevalence of online shopping” as reasons for shutting the shop. Keystone, which begun in 1992 in Montgomeryville, will maintain its 23,000 square foot flagship store and continue to stock the Bethlehem location until March 24th. Following the Bethlehem store’s closure, customers will still be able to order from the Montgomeryville shop and pick up their orders weekly at nearby Bonn Place Brewing, lessening the blow of the store’s closure to the local homebrewing community.
Keystone Homebrew was a familiar face in the area, setting up shop with the Lehigh Valley Homebrewers Association at beer festivals throughout the area, collaborating on the WDIY Homebrew Fest, and hosting events during Lehigh Valley Beer week. The Bethlehem location also hosted classes and was a key source of information for area homebrewers who were looking to create their first beer or wine or perfect tricky recipes.
The loss of Keystone, which at one point was looking to move into the former Straub Auto building in West Bethlehem that is now being taken over by goPuff, a convenience delivery store app, was lamented by dozens on the store’s Facebook page.