Caution Brewing, which opened in April 2011 as one of the first in a wave of small, taproom-only breweries in Colorado, will close its doors on June 30.
Founded by Danny Wang and Betty Foley, Caution's original brewery was situated in an industrial park at 12445 East 39th Avenue, in far northeast Denver. It ran on a famed five-barrel brewing system — acquired from Odell Brewing — that was used to make unusual herb- and spice-flavored beers. Some were brewed with ingredients that paid tribute to Wang's Taiwanese parents, who own Lao Wang Noodle House on South Federal Boulevard.
In December 2013, Caution opened a second spot at 1057 South Wadsworth Boulevard in Lakewood, becoming the first metro-area brewery with two locations. In 2016, however, Caution turned its original space over to the Brewability Lab so that it could focus on running the Lakewood taproom, which also included a three-barrel brewing system.
"We had a hell of a good run," Danny Wang says. "It's a huge bummer, but it was also a chance for us to change things up a little. And for us, it was just time."
The craft-beer market in Colorado has shifted in the past few years, he explains. While it was possible for a brewery to "bootstrap" itself at one point, that's no longer true, he says: "We all knew this time was coming for breweries. For us, because we started so long ago, it was really hard to pivot."
Caution is the third metro-area brewery to close in 2018, after Beryl's Beer Company in Denver and Nighthawk Brewing in Broomfield. Several other breweries have closed in other parts of the state this year, although some of those are being replaced by new startup breweries in the same location.
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That's likely to be what happens with Caution as well. A new startup brewery has purchased Caution's equipment and will take over the lease. Wang says the new owners will reveal themselves soon.
In the meantime, though, Caution plans to hold a series of parties and events...and to go out in style.
Here is the official statement that the brewery released:
The story of Caution is familiar: a plucky little microbrewery that was born out of our sheer love of beer. Since our founding in 2010, we’ve been honored to have been a part of and watch the Colorado craft beer scene grow and change. The main reason we started Caution was to have a beer with you. We wanted to hear your story and to share ours. The idea of community over a pint has always been our modus operandi and as we wrap things up, that will not change.
To the fantastic people who have held a mash paddle, talked to guests at a festival, or handed a beer to someone across our bar, we want to thank you for being a part of our passion. Thank you for dancing, laughing, singing and giving us a chance. You have shared so many special moments with us. We also want to send our thanks to the craft beer community at large. You guys are amazing, seriously. We won’t be strangers, and that’s a promise.
We are excited to announce that a new brewery will be opening at our spot in Lakewood, but they’ll introduce themselves to you and the neighborhood when they’re ready. We hope you’ll give them your full support and help them hit the ground running.
As one of the most rewarding chapters in our collective life comes to a close, let’s not be despondent. We want to keep doing what we do best: Drink Great Beer! Let’s celebrate what we’ve accomplished, the memories and the friends we’ve made together. We have lots of great beers to drink in the next few weeks as well as fun events in the works (stayed tuned for details!). We hope you come see us to say hi and see ya next time.
Even though we’re winding down, keep your eyes open for us! Our distributing partner will continue to place our remaining cans and kegs around town as long as supplies last. Your favorites, such as Lao Wang Lager, Card Your Mom and The Earl will return at some point in the future. You can’t keep a good beer down.