Colorado Beer Biz Shaken Up

Nov 27, 2019

New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado, is best known for Fat Tire, an easy drinking amber ale. It's also famous for being a craft brewery owned by its employees. But that could soon change. The company plans to sell to the global craft beverages business Lion Little World Beverages.

"We hope that from a consumer's standpoint nothing changes," said Leah Pilcer, New Belgium's communications director. "They'll still get the same customer service, same quality beer, same experience they get on our world-class tours."

Pilcer said shareholders still have to approve the sale.

Meanwhile, down the road in Denver, Molson Coors, the parent company of Coors Brewing, is moving its North American headquarters to Chicago, though its massive brewery in Golden will remain in operation. Coors Light-with Colorado's Wilson Peak on the can-is synonymous with the Mountain West.

"Our business is at an inflection point," Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley said in a statement announcing the move. "We can continue down the path we've been on for several years now, or we can make the significant and difficult changes necessary to get back on the right track."

In October, Boulder Beer Company, Colorado's oldest craft brewery, announced plans to downsize, end distribution and lay off 21 employees.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Maggie Mullen, at mmullen5@uwyo.edu.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.