Colorado Craft Breweries Push Back Against Big Beer

It comes as no surprise that big beer corporations are eager to buy out their craft competitors. This is a common story in Colorado, a mecca for independent craft brewing with over 225 small operations reports the Denver Post.

Faced with declining beer sales, Anheuser-Busch InBev is one of the major corporations attempting to fix the problem by expanding into craft beer. Last year, the brand acquired Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing, in addition to Blue Point (NY), Elysian Brewing (Seattle), and Goose Island Beer (Chicago).

However, Colorado’s five largest craft breweries have no intention of being bought. In fact, Oskar Blues Brewery claims to be looking to purchase smaller craft breweries suffering from growing pains that they themselves were able to push through. New Belgium, the state’s largest brewer, also announced plans to remain independent.

Another holdout, Todd Usry of Breckenridge Beer, believes that selling out conflicts with the philosophy of craft brewing saying, “The big thing to me is [that] the craft beer industry was built on individuals and their stories,” adding that when brands sell out “there is some serious authenticity that is lost.”

Though selling out comes with a stigma, Eric Wallace of Longmont-based Left Hand Brewing notes that there are several economic reasons why small breweries may want to sell: Breweries may have grown too quickly or may be suffering from a large debt. Left Hand Brewing itself plans to remain “fiercely independent.” [Denver Post] [Photo:]