Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy and Vicky Dorvee

Powder Keg Brewery to close


Photo by Karen Copperberg The Power Keg Brewing Company is slated to close on March 10.

Powder Keg Brewing Company, located at 101 Second Ave. in Niwot, will be closing its doors for good this weekend after almost four years of operation.

The company announced via social media late last week that effective March 10, they will be done. Their post read as follows:

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the closing of Powder Keg Brewing Company, effective Saturday, March 10, 2018. Powder Keg fought long battles with rent costs that outpaced sales growth, on-premise sales that declined with increased market saturation and regrettably low foot traffic. Powder Keg will be fondly remembered by beer lovers, Niwot locals and Zach.

“Powder Keg is survived by memories of beer releases full of energy and excitement, Tuesday Nerd Talks, bluegrass jams, a space for local musicians to showcase their talents, and a plethora of beers we were incredibly proud of: Premiere Blanc, Palisade Reunion, Keyboard Warrior, Intergalactic, Supervoid, Heritage series beers and of course Underground membership beers...

“A celebration of Powder Keg will be held on Saturday, March 10 from noon to 10 p.m. Please keep an eye on our events page for special tappings, cellar releases and crowler releases. In lieu of gifts we are asking that everyone come up and have a beer with us. In remembrance, please go drink beers and support your favorite independent breweries — every beer is precious.”

The reaction from patrons shows how much many enjoyed Powder Keg.

“It became a community hub and the people who frequent it will be sad to see it go,” Customer John Freeston said. “It's a sign of the times though … you either have to sustain or grow. And being in a small town, having a real niche product, it's not easy. They're definitely not closing because of lack of quality in the product or in customer service. They just needed more volume in sales."

Head Brewmaster Phil Joyce said that the owners had high expectations when they started the business.

“Naively, when we first started five years ago, we thought we’d make great beer and people would come from all around the area to be in our well-designed tasting room,” Joyce said. “But, as time went on and the market became saturated with more openings of brew pubs and establishments, people were more likely to head to their local watering hole.

“Another factor was that we weren’t able to justify the cost of selling our beer to other bars so that they could make a good margin and we couldn’t sell our beer at a loss. Although we did struggle, we felt well supported by Niwot and we love this little town.”

Joyce wasn’t certain when the lease is up for the business, but thought perhaps it went until September of this year. His plans are to continue to brew beer elsewhere and he has started his own brand of craft beer called Amalgam Brand with business partner Eric Schmidt.

Powder Keg is owned by a Colorado corporation of more than 20 investors, with varying shares in the enterprise.


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