It’s been a pretty crazy month for Colorado’s beer industry – and the hits just keep on coming. Six weeks after announcing it would lay off close to 20 workers and cease both packaging and distribution, Boulder Beer Company is auctioning off the majority of its brewing equipment to focus on its brewhouse.
The equipment up for auction was used to brew, store, keg, bottle and can large amounts of the company’s efforts. Given recent cutbacks, which were a direct result of the competitive craft beer market for packaging breweries, Boulder Beer will no longer need the equipment, instead focusing on brewing small batches for its taproom and restaurant, which will be perfect for loyal locals who supported the company for almost four decades. The list of what will be available includes: 27 fermenters and brite tanks ranging from 90 barrels to 300 barrels, a 2014 Palmer can filling line, a Krones bottling and label line, a 2016 Hamrick drop case packer and almost 1,000 kegs.
Touted as Colorado’s oldest craft brewery, before the state became one of the nation’s hot spots, Boulder Beer was founded in 1979 and quickly gained notoriety for robust, flavorful beers when light yellow lagers were all the rage. Boulder Beer does not intend to sell its 50-barrel brewhouse, however it will shut it down for a much smaller system. The final batch brewed on the big system for distribution was an oak-aged strong golden ale with pineapple and champagne yeast for the company’s 40th Anniversary. It’s a real bummer to think that Hazed & Infused will no longer be distributed to much of the country.
The online auction, conducted by a national asset acquisition and disposition firm that handles brewery auctions, will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and close a week later on Dec. 4. The news of Boulder Beer’s situation comes right on the heels of Coors Brewing Company, which is owned by Molson Coors Beverage Company, announcing plans to move its headquarters from Denver to Chicago, with another factory in Milwaukee – creating hundreds of jobs in both of the cities. That’s right, the beer synonymous with the Rocky Mountains will no longer be brewed there.
Please Colorado, no more bad beer news for a while.