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Denver craft beer business affected by new alcohol delivery law

Posted: 6:00 PM, Feb 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-01 01:07:22Z
Denver business affected by delivery law

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DENVER -- Our Colorado’s laws have changed significantly in the past few months – especially when it comes to the craft beer industry.

The change allows full-strength beer sales in all existing grocery and convenience stores, which means local craft beers were able to be sold in grocery stores all across Colorado, but there is one portion of the law that is affecting one Denver business significantly.

It allows full-strength-beer sellers to deliver beer to customers — as long as they sell at least 50 percent of their alcohol from a brick-and-mortar location and uses company employees in company vehicles to make the deliveries, a provision intended to stop Amazon from taking over the local liquor-delivery market.

Craft Alley is a place that this affects directly.

“We give customers access to beers that you typically can’t find in the grocery stores or liquor stores,” said Bryce Forester, the owner of Craft Alley. “We’re really a delivery-centric business.”

Craft Alley has been in Denver for two years. It delivers local craft beer to its customers doorsteps when they order it in the store or online.

“This new law basically caps your revenue you can get from delivery, and says the delivery revenue can’t exceed the revenue that your brick and mortar does,” Forester said. “Right now, we aren’t cap, but we definitely will be by the end of the year.”

Not only does it affect Craft Alley, but some of the breweries it works with, like Launch Pad Brewery.

“It hinders us because we’re not going to those people out west of town that won’t normally come out to Aurora,” said Casey Bloyer, head of distribution for Launch Pad Brewery. “It’s damaging to Craft Alley, because they would have to turn business away once they get to that cap.”

According to Forester, his company have been trying to meet with Colorado legislators to try and introduce some bill to change this part of the law for them, or grandfather them in so they can continue to do what they’ve been doing for two years.

“If we don’t get this fixed, it’s going to be a big blow for us,” Forester said. “Even though it’s not a big deal for others, it is for us. We’re one-of-a-kind here, we’re the only ones that does this for local breweries. It just seems like we’re getting punished for innovations.”