Colorado is one of the US’ richest craft beer regions, so a spike in brewery closures could be seen as a “canary in the coal mine” event, an early indicator of what could soon sweep the nation.
Here’s the deal..
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the brewing industry with breweries and bars in Colorado closing at an escalating rate. Colorado taprooms and bars have been closed since March 17 and some of them have announced that they won’t be surviving the shutdown and will be closing permanently.
In an April survey of 525 American breweries, 2.3% of respondents said that they would be closing imminently due to dropping revenue and social distancing protocols.
An additional 82.4% of respondents said they could sustain between one week and six months, before being forced to close, according to trade group the Brewers Association, which conducted the survey.
|None, I am planning to close||2.3%|
|1 week – 4 weeks||11.8%|
|1 month – 3 months||45.8%|
|3 months – 6 months||24.8%|
|6 months – A year||8.9%|
|Longer than one year||6.4%|
As of April 7, there are about 8,150 active breweries in the country according to Brewers Association Chief Economist Bart Watson, who noted that a majority of those potential closures will be solely due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic…
“If 2.3% of those breweries close, that would mean about 190 closures, 11.8% about 930 closures, and 45.8% about 3,735. Based on recent trends, it was likely that 4-5% of the breweries in the country would have closed in 2020 prior to this shock, so while some percentage of these closures and potential closures reflect business that were already struggling, most are brought on solely by this event.”
“Unfortunately, those premonitions are now becoming reality in Colorado,” according to the Denver Post “as several breweries and tap houses have announced they will shutter permanently due to the business climate caused by the current health crisis.”
Fort Lupton Colorado-based Gorilla Alchemy Brewery was preparing to move into a new building when state shutdown orders went into effect and the investor financing the purchase pulled out, Marcus Wulf, who owns the nearly two-year-old brewery told the Know…And the fact that he had already moved out of his previous facility only complicated the situation….
“We didn’t have any space where we could brew beer or distribute, so we were left with everything sitting in storage,” Wulf said. “Without [funding], I couldn’t move forward. It put me in a checkmate position.”
Tiney Ricciardi, has assembled a list of the latest brewery closing announcements in Colorado…
- Good River Beer Co. (Denver, taproom only); closing May 31
- Gorilla Alchemy Brewery (Fort Lupton); now closed
- Iron Bird Brewing Co. (Colorado Springs); now closed
- Kline’s Beer Hall (Arvada); now closed
- Next Stop Brew Co. (Denver); closing May 30
- Veteran Brothers Brewing Co. (Johnstown); now closed
Tough times for American breweries that we worrry will only get tougher…