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Boulder County brewery closes due to high rent prices, but owner finds way to keep dream alive

'Our Colorado' looks at high rent for brewers
Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 21:16:39-04

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DENVER – Colorado is known for having some of the most popular local breweries.

However, according to one local brewer, rent is so high in the area that it is forcing some local breweries out of business.

Denver7 spoke with Philip Joyce, the founder of Amalgam Brewing, who said his Colorado is all about keeping his passion alive.

Inside the small warehouse on Beach Street, Joyce is brewing his taste of Colorado. The barrels that fill up the warehouse are filled with his passion.

“I’ve been brewing beer for about five years,” Joyce said. “My brewery has eight beers, it’s hard to pick which one is my favorite. It’s like, 'who’s your favorite kid?'”

The craft of beer-brewing is what drives Joyce to doing what he loves.

“It’s more than just beer,” Joyce said. “It’s unique to the place it’s brewed at.”

However, Joyce’s passion is suffering in Colorado due to high rent prices.

“I think it will continue to suffer because of that,” Joyce said. “Rent seemingly isn’t going down, property prices isn’t (sic) going down anywhere.”

Joyce said rent was so high, that another brewery he was a part of had to close up shop.

“It just had to come to an end,” Joyce said. “Our profits weren't keeping up with the raising rent prices.”
According to Joyce, Powder Keg Brewing out of Niwot closed in March. Joyce said when the brewery started four years ago, the rent was between $4,000-$5,000 a month.

“Now, before we had to close, rent was between $7,000 and $7,500 a month,” Joyce said.

Joyce is now running Amalgam Brewery at a small warehouse, but has partnered with another brewing company to split rent.

“Together, we are paying the amount that we were paying when we first starting Powder Keg,” Joyce said. “We split it right down the middle and share resources and equipment.”

Joyce said this is a way to keep his passion and business alive, and said other breweries are doing the same to help lessen the burden of rent.