Popularity of craft beer is bubbling over in Palisade
Free Press Staff Writer
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Looking for a bright spot in an otherwise lousy economic climate, then the craft brewing business is the place as evidenced by increased demand for suds that has produced stout sales for brewers.
“Amazing,” said Christine Greenwald of Palisade Brewery in Palisade on the increase in production and sales volume. “We feel fortunate to be doing as well as we are.”
Greenwald, who co-owns the four-and-a-half year-old brewery with husband, Heath, said that they are on pace to produce about 3,500 barrels of beer in 2009.
Should that total hold up it would easily exceed the roughly 3,000 barrels produced a year ago.
She said the brewery has benefited from an expansion into the Denver area where its Red Truck IPA (India Pale Ale) and Farmer’s Friend Irish Ale can be found in liquor stores.
The brewery has agreements with three different distributors, which cover Mesa County, Delta, Montrose, the Interstate 70 corridor and Denver area.
“I would say that growth is pretty even across the board,” said Greenwald, who added production increases for the micro-brewed Jackson Hole Soda it makes are probably higher than the beer.
“I just think that people continue to take small luxuries in life – like a good micro-brewed soda or micro beer. I think it’s just easier to treat yourself to small things like this.”
A report from the Brewers Association of Boulder found that volume of craft beer sold is also on the upswing as sales nationwide rose 5 percent in the first six months of the year from the same period in 2008.
The report, which was released this week, estimated that craft brewers sold about 4.2 million barrels of beer in the first half of 2009. At the same time, dollar volume surged by 9 percent.
The gains come at a time when overall U.S. beer sales slipped 1.3 percent in the same period, while imported beer sales sank more than 9 percent, according to association data.
Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, said small and independent craft brewers are gaining “shelf and restaurant menu space one glass of craft beer at a time.”
Also on the rise is the number of U.S.-based breweries, which stood at 1,525 at the end of July, the association said, or the highest total in 100 years.
Three of those breweries are in or near Grand Junction – Kannah Creek Brewing Co., Rockslide Brew Pub and Palisade Brewery.
Smugglers Brew Pub and Grill, which is based in Telluride, has a location on the edge of Mesa Mall. The Breckenridge Brewery also has the Breckenridge Ale House at 12th Street and Patterson Road.
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