Breweries and Colorado is a pretty iconic duo at this point.

Power 102.9 NoCo - KARS-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

As a whole, the state not only boasts some of the most breweries per capita of anywhere in the country, but it has some of the best too.

Just in Fort Collins alone, there’s tons of fantastic breweries you can go to visit, whether they’re huge national breweries like New Belgium or awesome smaller spots like Purpose Brewing.

However, it’s starting to become no secret that Colorado is starting to lose out a bit on the craft brewing crown.

This does fall into line with industry trends, however. People just aren’t buying beer like they used to.

As a result, the industry is trying to rebound with an interesting tactic.

Why is the Craft Beer Scene in Colorado Struggling?


According to Axios Denver, craft beer once seemed to be an unkillable titan when it came to sales.

It seemed like no matter what, they were going to be turning a profit.

However, consumer habits have changed, and so has the industry.

In 2022, the craft beer industry did not grow in any way for the first time. Last year, it was the first time it truly started to trend downward.

The answer to why is simple; people just don’t really drink beer anymore.

Why Aren’t People Drinking Beer Anymore?


There’s a few reasons, one of which the craft brewery scene in Colorado cannot control.

Gen Z simply are not drinkers like other generations. They actually are very close with the elderly when it comes to the lowest drinking rate.

Essentially, the young adult market the brewing industry could always bank on are more likely to be sober than other generations.

However, there’s another wrinkle; there’s just too many options for people to choose.

With the additions of seltzers along with canned cocktails and wines, beer has much more to compete with now than it did in the past.

The craft brewers in Colorado are now taking a different approach to win back customers; increasing alcohol content.

Colorado Craft Brewers Look to Increase Alcohol Content to Boost Sales


We’re starting to see beers that have an increased ABV enter into markets. Here’s the thing; it’s working.

This goes against the recent success of non-alcoholic beverages, which Forbes notes is projected to increase in sales by 25% between 2022 and 2026. 

However, Axios notes that Colorado craft brewers have been creating new imperial IPAs that replace hoppy flavors with fruitier ones.

For example, the Juice Force IPA by New Belgium is 9.5%.

If you’ve had it, it has an intense fruit flavor that is genuinely sweet and shocking for such a high ABV beer.

It also is the brewing giant’s second best selling beer.

The future of craft brewing is anyone’s guess at this point, but it will likely take more than just creating more high ABV beers to continue to compete.

Take A Look At Every Single Brewery In Fort Collins

Fort Collins is home to some of the best breweries in the entire world. If you're a fan of beer, this place is as close to heaven as you can get.
If you're looking to try a new place or planning your next brewery hopping adventure, here's a comprehensive list of every brewery the city has to offer.

20 Colorado Restaurants That Would Be Perfect for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

We know how much Guy Fieri loves visiting Colorado from all of the trips he’s made in the past, but we think it’s time he comes back to see the other options the state has to offer. 
We’ve compiled a list of 20 restaurants that have yet to be featured on Food Network’s hit show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Not only are these local favorites Guy Fieri would certainly love, but its places you should go out of your way to support as well.
If we missed your favorite local spot, make sure to let us know.

Gallery Credit: David Damuth