It is a somewhat somber end to the week for Colorado craft beer fans as the oldest craft brewer in the state is suffering a big contraction. Sure, Boulder, CO’s Boulder Beer Company might be celebrating its 40th year of operation, but this will also be their final year as the firm has announced a plan to pull all beer out of distribution. Indeed, the company will soon cease packaging in order to more specifically focus draft sales at their sole Boulder taproom.
To clarify, this move will transition Boulder Beer co from a [popular] regional craft brewery to a wholly on-site operation. Thus ends 40 years of excellently sustained growth.
Boulder Beer Co started operating in 1979 as the 43rd licensed brewery in the United States. The company was founded by David Hummer, Alvin Nelson, and Randolf Ware, who quickly earned esteem in the industry as having “goatshack” origins. Over the past four decades the brewer gained notoriety from popular beers like Buffalo Gold, Hazed & Infused, Planet Porter, Shake, and Mojo IPA. While ownership—and location—changed hands many times, it is currently operated by tenured manager Gina Day.
Now the Boulder Beer owner and CEO, Gina Day comments, “Boulder Beer has been part of my life for close to 30 years, as it has been for so many of our loyal friends and patrons, and we all want to see it live on. We will offer our handcrafted, top-notch beers to the local community for years to come.”
Day goes on to say, “Times have changed and change is hard, but our friends will still be able to enjoy our beers in the brewpub, and by brewing in small batches, have a wider variety of options on the ever-rotating specialty taps. We’re celebrating our milestone 40thanniversary this year and look forward to furthering our legacy in Boulder and the industry.”
This might be a bit of blind optimism but the truth is that a move like this is a bit of an adjustment. Unfortunately, small brands in many industries take the hit when big companies start to push their weight around and the beer market is certainly no different. Boulder Beer Co, then, joins a handful of other small craft brewpubs in Colorado who had to cease operation over the past few years.