Tough decisions for Colorado breweries in crowded market

One closes, another focuses on brand and growth

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DENVER -- Colorado's crowded brewery scene is putting some people out of business and forcing difficult business decisions.

A neighborhood brew pub in Lakewood that poured its first beer in 2011 will be closing the doors at the end of the month. The owner of Caution Brewing said a series of business decisions led him to reevaluate and ultimately shutdown.

"With the number of craft breweries that it takes a lot more these days than just amazing beer," said Danny Wang.

Wang doesn't think Colorado has reached a saturation point when it comes to craft beer. He said a new brewery will be taking over his current location in a strip mall off Wadsworth Boulevard.

“It’s going to be hard saying good-bye to all of our customers, patrons, employees and everything else. I feel like everyone is family here which is the entire reason we got into this," said Wang.

As he prepares to close, another Colorado brewery is doubling down on its business model. Tivoli Brewing Company, the state's oldest brewery, knows something about standing the test of time.

"It's very competitive, hugely competitive. And that's one of the reasons we made some of the changes we made," said Tivoli CEO Ken Hehir.

The brewery will be closing its distribution division in order to focus on the beer and company brand. Tivoli beer will still be distributed but by another company. 

Hehir said the decision will allow them to reach even more beer lovers.

"So really this strengthens the brewery, our brand is growing almost double digit year to date," said Hehir.

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