FOUNTAIN SQUARE, Ind. — This week, Black Acre Brewing Company in Irvington announced it is shutting its doors. Across the area, several other breweries are on the verge of closing, too.

So what makes the brewery business go sour?

“It’s been a roller coaster,” said Eddie Sahm, creative director and COO of Sahm’s Hospitality Group. “The longer the roller coaster goes, the harder it is to stay open.”

Next month, Black Acre Brewing Company will join the list of breweries closed since last year, including Brewdog, Ellison and 18th Street

“The competition is real,” Sahm said. He added that it’s hard for smaller breweries to compete with bigger names.

Sahm’s Hospitality Group owns and operates Big Lug Canteen, Half Liter Beer & BBQ Hall and Sahm’s Ale House among many.

“I think with pandemic, recessions, inventory supply and prices going up, it makes it harder for breweries to operate,” Sahm said.

Sahm said what’s worked for breweries still standing is adapting to the changing market, opening restaurants that sell brews and creating an environment for guests to spend a few hours.

“It’s so much more competitive,” said Blake Mathias, associate professor at Indiana University who has published several papers about the brewing industry. He said the pandemic put a stronger emphasis on distribution in a flat industry.

“If you’ve got more players in the industry, and they’re all competing over the same piece of the pie, and the pie’s not growing. You’re going to have some fall out,” Mathias said.

Fountain Square Brewing Co. was on the verge of going under before Beppe Cuello purchased the brewery and bar.

“Last year was so difficult,” Cuello said.

The brewery will reopen next month with a brand new look, small batches of beer and a live music space. Cuello said it hasn’t been easy.

“Even though the pandemic was a couple of years ago, it took a few years for that pressure on the industry to have the full effect,” Cuello said.

Brewers noted that it’s important to support one another as they get through.

“The craft community involves collaboration, friendships and sharing of knowledge because we’re all trying to be the best small brewery we can be for the neighborhood,” Sahm said.