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Rising Demand a Blessing and a Burden for Colorado Craft Brewers

Avery Brewing Company
Avery Brewing facilities in Boulder

Despite the ongoing economic recession squeezing business in the U. S., the craft beer industry is thriving.  And that’s turning out to be a good-news-bad news situation for several craft breweries in Colorado.

The Boulder-based Brewer’s Association, a national trade group representing small, independent brewers, says craft beer sales by volume jumped 11% last year.  But that exponential growth in demand is forcing some small brewers to scale back on their distribution to other states. 

“We could probably supply these people – but not for much longer,” says Adam Avery, founder and president of Boulder-based Avery Brewing Company, which announced this week it’s withdrawing from 15 markets in other states. 

“We’re looking down the road, and at our current growth rate and where we are, we’re going to run into basically a cap on how much we can produce.”  Avery says they’re putting the focus on where demand is the strongest.  Demand for small brewer’s products during the first quarter of 2011 has skyrocketed by more than 75% overall, and is up 81% in Colorado. 

Avery Brewing is one of several craft breweries to cut their distribution footprints this year.  Adam Avery says he hopes to re-enter those markets at some point - but they’ll have to wait until their production capacity can catch up to the demand.

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