Beer Man

Good River Beer Pulls Out of Joint Renegade and Little Pub Taproom

The Good River taproom opened last fall.
The Good River taproom opened last fall. Jonathan Shikes
Good River Beer Company, which shoved off into a new era last fall by merging operations with Renegade Brewing and opening its own taproom, has decided to close the space and end the partnership.

In addition, Little Pub Company, which owns nearly twenty bars and restaurants in the metro area, "is no longer involved with Good River Beer," says Good River spokeswoman Sarah Nelson. Little Pub had taken a 40 percent stake in the joined brewery company, which was called the Brewers Co-Hop.

Nelson didn't provide an explanation for the sudden and dramatic change, other than to say that the COVID-19 pandemic "was the catalyst that gave us the opportunity to get back to why we started Good River Beer, who we are as a company, and what we are passionate about: brewing great beer and protecting and conserving rivers."

Good River's owners plan to move their beer-making operation from 918 West First Avenue to Sleeping Giant Brewing, a contract brewery in Denver that also produces cans for Boulder Beer, Station 26 and other breweries. Good River distributes its beers to more than 1,000 bars and liquor stores in Colorado.

"[We] will be focused on growing the Good River Beer footprint through sales and distribution," Nelson says, adding that the brewery will look for "other taproom opportunities as they arise."

Good River had been making beer at contract-brewing facilities for four years when it hooked up with Renegade last summer. Renegade was trying to sell its large production facility on First Avenue, which it had opened in 2015, while Good River was looking for a space to bring in customers. The partnership was backed by the Little Pub Company, which created its own beer brand called Rocky Mountain Sector.

The three businesses also planned to begin selling food at Renegade's taproom on Ninth Avenue and at Good River, and to open a third location that would act as a showcase for all three brands. 
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes