Grocery chains are pushing to change Colorado law to allow them to sell full-strength alcohol and wine. Currently, grocery chains can only sell full-strength beer and wine in one of their stores in the state. These grocery chains hope to get the issue on the ballot soon. Local business owners like Joyride Brewing Company are worried about the effects of a change like this on local economies and small businesses. They have banded together in a Keep Colorado Local campaign to educate the public on how liquor sales in grocery and convenience stores would hurt local economies.
Joyride Brewing Company is joining other brewers across the state in brewing a special beer using all Colorado ingredients to showcase support for the Keep Colorado Local campaign. Joyride Brewery’s Brewmaster Dave Bergen explains, “For us it is important because the campaign is in support of local, independent liquor stores and breweries. A large portion of the success of the craft beer industry is because of locally owned, independent liquor store owners. Because Colorado is self-distribute state, we can go and ask for shelf space for our beer in a local liquor store. It won’t be that easy with a Walmart or King Soopers.”
As craft beer consumer, Bergen also sees the issue from a consumer’s side, “As a consumer, when I go to small liquor stores like Toast, I am looking for something new or different, which is much easier at a smaller store. When we give the power to the bigger chains, we won’t see the diversity in beers in our stores. We will see small, independent liquor stores close, if this goes through, and these stores keep the profits in our communities. I would trade convenience for choice.”
This Friday, Joyride will begin serving the Keep Colorado LocALE Wet Hop Pale Ale. This beer uses all Colorado grown ingredients including wet hops that had been picked earlier in the day and four types of Colorado grown malt. The beer is a citrusy, piney and fruity pale ale with a sweet malt background.
Joyride’s hope is that this beer will invite questions and will lead people to research the issue.