AN INDEPENDENT brewery is closing its city centre store after almost five years of trading.

The Bison Beer Crafthouse in East Street, Brighton, has announced it will be shutting down in the coming months.

The Brighton and Hove-based brewery currently runs two bars in North Road, Brighton, and Church Road in Hove, as well as a beach bar in Madeira Drive.

It opened its Crafthouse in March 2015, capitalising on the growing popularity of craft beer.

It became the city’s first shop to be dedicated to this market, stocking more than 300 varieties.

But owners said the East Street store will soon be closing its doors for the final time.

In a statement on the closure, a spokesman for the company said: “After careful consideration, based purely on business realities, we have opted to activate a lease break clause available to us in January 2020.

“Since we opened back in 2015, the craft beer scene has moved in ways we could never imagine.

“This unpredictability was one of the main reasons we were drawn to it in the first place.

“Overall the outcome is extremely positive in that better quality beer is now available much more widely, which is fantastic from a consumer perspective.

“Unfortunately some specialist independent places are proving collateral damage to that movement, coupled with the general state of affairs on the high street - which will come as no surprise as it is not having its finest moment.

“However, we’ll not wallow but instead celebrate five wonderful years of great beer and the good people we’ve shared them with.”

The store had proved popular with customers, earning it a four and a half star rating on Tripadvisor.

One visitor said: “Whenever I go to Brighton I always seem to end up spending money in here - they have an outstanding selection of beers, which seems to evolve constantly.

“It’s really fun to have a browse around and enjoy what you’ve bought when you get home.”

The store will remain open throughout the festive period and its owners sent out a message to customers.

The spokesman added: “We’ll be spending our last Christmas here by doing what we know best; peddling the finest brews we can find and sharing samples with any shoppers who stop by.

“We’d love to see you so pop in for a final Christmas haul, grab some gifts and cheers with one last beer from the taps before we shut the door to number 7 East Street.”

The brewery’s bars will remain open.