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Breweries say pandemic pivots are paying off

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 20:27:03-05

DENVER — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many local businesses to make tough decisions, and breweries are no exception.

As Lone Tree Brewing Company gets ready to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, owners are looking back on their journey.

"Ten years means we made it, we did it," said co-owner Jerry Siote. "When you get to do something you love, it doesn’t feel like work."

Siote says the brewery's canning line helped them survive the early days of the pandemic, especially as other revenue streams dropped off.

"We were able to move almost 100% of that draft and keg volume into canned product," he said.

Co-owner of Woods Boss Brewing Company, Jordan Fink, says canning was never originally in the plan for their community-focused taproom. He says they made the decision to start canning when city officials announced a ban on indoor seating. Their first cans were released about three weeks later.

"It was an opportunity for us, and we were able to sort of latch onto that and run with it," said Fink.

Another opportunity presented itself a short time later when their landlord approached them to ask if they would be interested in taking over a vacant space in the same building.

"When our landlords approached us about it, we were like, "No, are you kidding me? We’re shutdown, it’s a pandemic,"" Fink recalled.

Woods Boss Brewing Company ended up leasing the space, and it has been transformed into an event space for private gatherings, concerts and even movie screenings. Fink says expanding the business during such an uncertain time was a risk, but he believes it was worthwhile.

"We could either fold or we could try to forge ahead and figure out how to be successful in the new reality," said Fink.

Lone Tree Brewing Company is hosting an anniversary party, beginning on December 10. A full lineup of events can be found here.