Is the brewery boom fizzling out? This year Denver may see slightly fewer craft-beer places opening than in 2014, when there was an average of one a month, Jonathan Shikes reports. But still, by the end of 2015, there will be at least sixty craft beer makers within Denver city limits, up from just eight five years ago.
Signs of a slowdown include two breweries closing their doors in Denver in 2014. Breckenridge Brewery moved to a shiny new facility in Littleton while River North got bumped by another boom — its building is being redeveloped. And new growth is coming in the form of existing beer makers, from Crazy Mountain to Blue Moon to New Belgium, adding new locations.
While the easy answer to the brewery explosion is simply that Denverites consume beer by the barrel, it's possible that there wasn't enough choice to begin with. Or as reader Sudz explains:
Denver's robust brewery growth was the result of a quite a few underserved markets [SE, NE & SW parts of town come to mind] and as those blanks were filled in, there's less need for new players. There's also market maturity and saturation to consider; thanks to in-migration and demographics, there has been an increase in the numbers of those who'd patronize a brewery's tap room. When demand peaks, the existing brewers will have retained their business, leaving little room for the new players unless they're able to offer something innovative and different, which in this industry, will likely be the case.
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Have you had your fill of the craft beer movement or are you thirsty for even more new breweries? Let us know in the comments section below.