Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Retrospective on Colorado breweries 2009

2009 Colorado Brewery RetrospectiveHere it is, the end of 2009 already. Where did the year go to? It's time to look back on all that happened around the Colorado brewery scene during this last year. It's been an extremely busy 12 months. Here's just a sampling of what went on in Colorado in respect to beer.

Colorado Brewery Closings

Hard economic times forced the closure of several Colorado breweries in 2009. Some disappeared while others morphed into something new. Here is the list of 2009 Colorado casualties.

- Arctic Craft Brewery (Colorado Springs)
- Rosie's Brewpub (Leadville)
- Trinidad Brewing Company (Trinidad)
- Redfish Brewing (Boulder)
- Steamworks (Bayfield) - started gradual shutdown

Colorado Brewery Openings and Announcements

At the same time that others were closing, these breweries either successfully opened or announced an opening.

- Asher Brewing Company (Boulder) - opened Dec. 2009
- Hide-Away Restaurant & Brew Pub (Salida) - opened May 2009
- Horsefly Brewing Company (Montrose) - opened Sept. 2009
- Colorado Brewing Co @ the Draft House (Boulder) - opened in May 2009
- Eddyline Brewpub (Buena Vista) - opened May 2009
- New Planet Beer Company (Boulder) - contract brewery with Twisted Pine
- Crested Butte Brewery (Gunnison) - opening January 2010
- Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) - opening 2010
- Equinox Brewing (Fort Collins) - opening 2010
- Pateros Creek Brewing Co (Fort Collins) - opening 2010
- Vine Street Pub & Brewery (Denver) - brewery in 2010
- Colorado Mountain Brewery (Colorado Springs) - opening 2010
- Woodland Park Brewing Co (Woodland Park) - opening Jan. 2010
- Little Big Brewing (Berthoud) - rumored opening 2010?
- Rifle Brewpub (Rifle) - rumored opening 2010?

Colorado Brewery Expansions

Several Colorado breweries took the opportunity to expand their capacities or break ground on new buildings to keep up with demand. Here are some of the highlights.

- Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) - started massive expansion, completion Feb. 2010.
- Fort Collins Brewery - started new facility - due in June 2010.
- Oskar Blues opened the Tasty Weasel (tasting room) in Longmont.
- Oskar Blues opened a new restaurant "Liquids & Solids" in Longmont.
- Dry Dock Brewing relocated into a bigger facility in Aurora.
- Many others added tank capacity (too many to list).
- More and more Colorado breweries started using social media (Twitter / Facebook)

What next for Colorado?

2010 is already shaping up to be another big year in Colorado beer. Several new openings are already being planned. New Colorado beer laws will be decided upon in 2010 including whether or not to allow full strength beer sales in grocery stores and convenience stores.

I predict that 3.2 beer will finally die out here in Colorado and grocery stores will start selling big beers. A few more smaller Colorado breweries will cease operations in 2010 as economic hard times will drag on a bit longer. More Colorado brewers will start canning their craft beers as the trend is becoming more popular. Beer tourism will continue to grow in this state. Look for more beer tour companies to pop up and compete for your beer travel dollars.

Do you have any predictions for Colorado breweries in 2010? Post them here.

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