A fine report in the Denver Post today details the influx of “Big Beer” labels building breweries in Denver’s River North district.
10 Barrel Brewing announced that it will open a brewery and pub in the neighborhood by mid-summer. The Oregon-based brewer was purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev in November 2014.
This announcement comes fast on the heels of a similar one from MillerCoors-owned Blue Moon Brewing Co., who announced a new 27,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant slated for River North.
It’s already a brewery-saturated area. Craft brewers New Belgium Brewing, Oskar Blues, and Great Divide Brewing are in various stages of deploying projects to the neighborhood, alongside other local brewers including Mockery Brewing, Ratio Brewing, Beryl’s Beer Co., Zephyr Brewing Co., and Black Shirt Brewing.
What remains to be seen: will River North drinkers make a distinction between Big Beer, “crafty”, and craft beer, and support their local businesses? Or will River North become a microcosm of the problem craft beer drinkers fear most—smaller, native breweries being crowded out of an increasingly competitive market?