In Colorado, at least sixteen breweries closed in 2017, with another four in 2018 (depending on how you count them). Some sold out, while others folded because of high rent or personal decisions by the owners; one moved in with another brewery. But as Jonathan Shikes recently reported, during that same sixteen-month period, 45 or so breweries have opened — thirty of them in 2017 and another sixteen so far in 2018, including Cerveceria Colorado this week.
And more than sixty others have plans to start pouring beer by the end of the year, according to the Colorado Brewery List, which tracks every Colorado brewery under construction. What does it all mean? Says Joe:
Brewery market is oversaturated... Only the good ones will survive.
There's gonna be a lot of really sad people with curly 'stashes and plaid coats.
But Chanan thinks:
Breweries should be like taco trucks. One on every corner.
I'll go out and have two expensive micro beers, then hit a sports bar for a pitcher of PBR to save a ton of cash. It's all good.
Drink local and support small business.
Keep reading for more of our coverage of the Colorado brewery scene.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"Denver Beer Co. Opening a Cerveceria Focused on Mexican Beers"
Of the twenty breweries that have closed in Colorado since the beginning of 2017, at least eleven of them have been, or will be, replaced by another brewery — in the same exact space. In Boulder, for instance, the Post Brewing took over the space occupied by Shine Brewing, while Boulder Beer Company moved into Walnut Brewery’s former location. And in metro Denver, Peak to Peak Taphouse and Brewery will move into the former Mu Brewery building, Deep Draft Brewing made way for the Thirsty Monk, and Burns Family Artisan Ales is taking over the Wit’s End space.
So rather than an indicator of saturation, the brewery closures that have taken place recently appear to represent more of a shakeout among existing brewery owners, who are turning over their keys to a long line of would-be beermakers still eager to try their hand at the game. More Colorado breweries will close in 2018 — perhaps a lot more. But we have yet to see the top of the mountain when it comes to numbers, Shikes reports.
What do you think of Colorado's craft-beer scene? Is there room for more breweries? Post a comment or email your thoughts to email@example.com.