Monday, February 4, 2013

Colorado is in a brewery building boom

Colorado Brewery BoomIt's only February, but already 5 new breweries have opened here in Colorado in 2013. And the list of upcoming breweries still to open keeps getting bigger and bigger.

It January, four new breweries opened. The first was J Wells Brewery in Boulder on January 10th. Then, Verboten Brewing in Loveland opened on January 11th. Parker got a new production brewery in the name of Hall Brewing Company on January 16th. And Cannonball Creek Brewing opened its doors on January 19th in Golden.

February is already setting up to be another big brewery opening month. Last week, De Steeg Brewing opened in a back alley on Tennyson Street in Denver on February 1st. And today at 5pm, Fate Brewing Company in Boulder will open their doors.

J Wells Brewery Verboten Brewing Hall Brewing Company Cannonball Creek Brewing Co De Steeg Brewing Fate Brewing Company The Brew on Broadway BREW Pub & Kitchen Kokopelli Brewing Black Sky Brewery
Colorado Plus Liquid Artworks Kettle and Stone Brewing Co

Also expected to open possibly this month are: The Brew on Broadway in Denver, BREW Pub & Kitchen in Durango, The Kettle and Stone Brewing Copmany in Boulder and Kokopelli Beer Company in Westminster.

March also has at least three breweries targeting openings in Colorado. Black Sky Brewery plans to open in Denver. Colorado Plus Liquid Art Works is prepping in Wheat Ridge, and Lost Highway Brewing Company (created by the Cheeky Monk) is set to open up in Denver in March as well.

The List of Colorado Breweries in Development has grown to hold over 83 new breweries waiting in the pipeline to open sometime between now and 2015 and each week the list seems to be getting longer.

Just this last week there have been several more breweries announcing their intention to open sometime in the next year or two. These include:

Greenhorn Brewing Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Lundie Enterprises (name TBA) - Loveland, CO
Mystic Meadery - Longmont, CO
Red Leg Brewing Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Riff Raff Brewing - Pagosa Springs, CO
Wonderland Brewing Company - Westminster, CO
Baere Brewing Company - Denver, CO
Barnett and Son Brewing Company - Parker, CO
Deep End Ranch Brewing Company - Littleton, Co

And the list goes on and on. The questions, seemingly on everyone's mind, is how many breweries can Colorado sustain? Is the bubble about to burst? When is a brewery coming to my town?

Look at it this way. Colorado has roughly around 270 cities and towns in it. At last count, there were around 164 breweries operating in Colorado. So assuming that you could theoretically put 1 brewery in every town (on average), Colorado still has a ways to go before you couldn't find a community without one. Yet some towns like Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs seem to have a never ending stream of new breweries coming into being.

We may soon be able to compare Colorado's breweries to Starbucks back in their heyday. For a while, it seemed like every major street corner could sustain a Starbucks shop. Granted, Starbucks had to scale back a few years ago, but at one point they were everywhere.

Will the same thing happen to Colorado? Time will tell. Last year 3 breweries closed their doors or drastically reduced operations. Compare that to over 20 or more that opened up. Will the bubble pop in the near future? Or will Colorado continue to ride the big wave of openings for many years to come?

The answer will depend on the communities that host these breweries and how they embrace them. If a brewery puts out a great product and knows how to manage itself well then they can expect some great success for many years. However, if Colorado sees more summers of extreme drought and lower crop yields, that will start greatly affecting the availability of water, grains and hops and will cause material costs to soar. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

For now, let's rejoice in the fact that Colorado is one of the best craft beer states in the nation who's thirst for good beer seemingly has no end.

Related articles:
- Grand Opening: Fate Brewing Company. (Boulder)
- Grand Opening: De Steeg Brewing. (Denver)
- Grand Opening: Cannonball Creek Brewing Company. (Golden)
- Grand Opening: Hall Brewing Company. (Parker)

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