Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Colorado Brewery Openings and Closings

2013 Colorado Brewery Openings and Closings

2013 will go down in Colorado craft beer history as a year of rapid growth. During this year, an amazing 46 breweries either opened, expanded to an additional brewery or started serving beer in the state. Let's take a look back on these latest additions to the Colorado brewery-scape.

January 2013

It didn't take long for the string of new breweries to begin opening. Small breweries with 1.5 to 7 barrel systems were popular and 4 opened in the first month of the year.

- J Wells Brewery - January 10, 2013 - Boulder, CO.
- Verboten Brewing - January 11, 2013 - Loveland, CO.
- Hall Brewing Company - January 16, 2013 - Parker, CO.
- Cannonball Creek Brewing - January 19, 2013 - Golden, CO.

Hall Brewing was a production only brewing and bottling facility located in a remote rural part of Parker. They had plans to open a taproom later in the year.

February 2013

February was a bit slower for brewery openings, but Denver and Boulder managed to add 1 more each.

- De Steeg Brewing - February 1, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Fate Brewing Company - February 4, 2013 - Boulder, CO.

De Steeg was a small brewery with an entrance located in an alley, a half a block off Tennyson Street. Fate Brewing opened with a name identical to another brewery in Arizona but was completely separate from that company.

March 2013

Winter wound down and a couple more breweries popped up. One in Durango and a taproom in Woodland Park.

- BREW Pub & Kitchen - March 7, 2013 - Durango, CO.
- Paradox Beer Company - taproom opening - March 16, 2013 - Woodland Park, CO.

Paradox opened a brewhouse in August 2012, but took until March to get a taproom open.

April 2013

April was the last "slow" month for brewery openings. Boulder and Woodland Park saw some new activity this month.

- Ute Pass Brewing Company - April 6, 2013 - Woodland Park, CO.
- Upslope Brewing Company (2nd location) - April 24, 2013 - Boulder, CO.

Technically, Ute Pass Brewing is just a bar/pub, but has plans to open up a brewhouse sometime down the road in 2014. Upslope already had their Lee Hill operation, but opened a new primary spot in Flatiron Park area of Boulder.

May 2013

May is when things really started gaining momentum. The towns of Wheat Ridge, Grand Junction, Arvada and Golden had new openings this month.

- Colorado Plus Brew Pub - May 13, 2013 - Wheat Ridge, CO.
- Edgewater Tap & Grill - May 15, 2013 - Grand Junction, CO.
- Odyssey Beerwerks - May 25, 2013 - Arvada, CO.
- Mountain Toad Brewing - May 25, 2013 - Golden, CO.

Colorado Plus opened with a large tap wall featuring only Colorado craft beer and had a couple of their own beers. Kannah Creek Brewing Company opened a 2nd facility in Grand Junction and called it Edgewater as it was right next to the river. Facility included a large bottling line.

June 2013

June was one of the busiest months for openings with 6. Boulder got 2, and Colorado Springs, Northglenn, Pagosa Springs and Louisville each got 1.

- Smiling Toad Brewery - June 1, 2013 - Colorado Springs, CO.
- Beer By Design Brewery - June 1, 2013 - Northglenn, CO.
- BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats - June 3, 2013 - Boulder, CO.
- Riff Raff Brewing Company - June 15, 2013 - Pagosa Springs, CO.
- Twelve Degree Brewing - June 25, 2013 - Louisville, CO.
- Kettle & Stone Brewing Company - June 26, 2013 - Boulder, CO.

The old Kevin Baity Kraft Beer sold out to a new owner and they re-opened it as Smiling Toad. BRU was previously opened before 2013 and was being operated out of a home, but now opened with a public facility with food and beer.

July 2013

The warmer months continued the wave of new brewery openings. The towns of Colorado springs, Denver, Lafayette, Greeley, Loveland and Englewood each got a new brewery. A new cidery also began selling hard cider out of Fort Collins as well.

- Red Leg Brewing Company - July 4, 2013 - Colorado Springs, CO.
- The Brew on Broadway (The BoB) - July 6, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Front Range Brewing Company - July 13, 2013 - Lafayette, CO.
- Branch Out Cider - July 15, 2013 - no taproom, just bottle sales - Ft. Collins, CO.
- Wiley Roots Brewing Company - July 20, 2013 - Greeley, CO.
- Buckhorn Brewers - July 20, 2013 - Loveland, CO.
- Saint Patricks Brewing Company July 30, 2013 - Englewood, CO.

Wiley Roots opened in the old Crabtree Brewing location in Greeley and would later earn their first GABF medal in October. Buckhorn Brewers opened in an old meadery location on the west side of Loveland. Branch Out Cider started harvesting apples in Fall 2012, but took until March to release their first product.

August 2013

Brewery openings this month were fairly spread out with Lafayette, Colorado Springs and Denver getting new locations.

- Odd13 Brewing - August 3, 2013 - Lafayette, CO.
- Diebolt Brewing Company - August 15, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Bristol Brewing Company @ Ivywild School - August 16, 2013 - Colorado Springs, CO.

Bristol Brewing's long term project to move into the refurbished Ivywild School finally came to fruition. They then closed down their original location once the move was completed.

September 2013

The Boulder / Denver area continued to grow their numbers of craft breweries with several new additions. Golden also picked up another brewery.

- Sanitas Brewing Company - September 6, 2013 - Boulder, CO.
- Barrels & Bottles Brewery - September 20, 2013 - Golden, CO.
- Black Sky Brewery - September 25, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Epic Brewing - September 28, 2013 - Denver, CO.

Black Sky was initially opened before their brewhouse was open. They served guest beers initially until they got their own brewhouse operational later on. Epic Brewing was a 2nd location for the Utah-based Epic Brewing. This new Denver facility allowed Epic to expand distribution and work into more experimental beers.

October 2013

During the height of Denver Beer Week and the Great American Beer Festival another 5 breweries opened up in October. Denver, Erie, Loveland and Louisville gained more local breweries.

- Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project @ The Source - October 4, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Industrial Revolution Brewing Company - October 5, 2013 - Erie, CO.
- Lost Highway Brewing - October 9, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Crow Hop Brewing Company - October 19, 2013 - Loveland, CO.
- Crystal Springs Brewing Company - October 28, 2013 - Louisville, CO.

Crooked Stave had previously been brewing at other facilities and had a remote tap room, but now opened their own brewing facility at the renovated The Source complex. Lost Highway technically isn't open yet, but started serving their own beers at The Cheeky Monk this month. Their taproom is still pending an opening. Crystal Springs was previously being brewed on private property in Boulder, but opened their 1st taproom and brewing facility in Louisville.

November 2013

Nearing the end of the month didn't slow down openings. Four breweries opened in Denver, Highlands Ranch, Colorado Springs and Westminster.

- Jagged Mountain Brewing - November 2, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Grist Brewing Company - November 2, 2013 - Highlands Ranch, CO.
- Lofty Brewing Company - November 2, 2013 - Colorado Springs, CO.
- Westminster Brewing Company - November 29, 2013 - Westminster, CO.

Lofty Brewing Company is a production-only brewery and does not have a taproom (yet). They started serving beer at the All Colorado Beer Fest this month and to commercial accounts.

December 2013

While the list of breweries planning to opened chalked off nearly 4 dozen this year, there were some that just missed the cut this month to open and will open in early January. The government shutdown in the latter part of the year forced some breweries to open later than expected. Parker, Lakewood, Denver and Greeley got new breweries this month.

- Hall Brewing Company (taproom) - December 13, 2013 - Parker, CO.
- CAUTION: Brewing Company (West) - December 18, 2013 - Lakewood, CO.
- Station 26 Brewing Company - December 21, 2013 - Denver, CO.
- Stem Ciders - December 28, 2013 (soft opening) - Denver, CO.
- Broken Plow Brewing - December 31, 2013 (soft opening) - Greeley, CO.

Hall Brewing finally opened a remote tap room to compliment their production facility that opened earlier in the year. CAUTION opened a 2nd brewery / taproom location on the west side of Denver. And the very last brewery to open, Broken Plow in Greeley is expected to open any day now before the end of the year. Stem Ciders joins the ranks of a growing hard cider industry here in Colorado with a grand opening set for January 10th, 2014.

Closings and Changes in 2013

As with each year, there were some major changes to some breweries including a few closings and plan cancellations.

- Moffat Station Restaurant & Brew Pub - Winter Park, CO - closed July 2013.
- Rifle Brewing Company - Rifle, CO - Closed October 2013.
- Kevin Baity Kraft Beer - Colorado Springs, CO - sold and changed name - June 2013.
- Grand Lake Brewing Company - Grand Lake, CO - shutdown taproom October 2013.
- Hops Grill & Brewery - Littleton, CO - November 2013.
- Hops Grill & Brewery - Golden, CO - November 2013.

Note: Grand Lake Brewing Company still plans to brew and distribute beer out of the Denver area sometime in 2014.

Temporary Closings:
- Buckhorn Brewers - closed for a month December 11th - licensing issues.

Cancelled Brewery Openings:
- Fractional Brewing Company.
- Cactus Bend - originally targeted Fort Collins.

Wow, what a busy year 2013 was. And this list didn't even cover the numerous expansions that took place during the year. And 2014 is shaping up to be an even busier year!

Related articles:
- A look back at 2012 and Colorado craft beer.
- Prognosticating Colorado Craft Beer for 2013.

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