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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com French
13 July, 2021

Brewing news USA, GA & CO: SweetWater Brewing Co. acquires Red Truck Beer Co.’s Colorado outpost

Red Truck Beer Co. is driving off into the sunset after three years in Fort Collins, the Coloradoan reported on July 12.

The Fort Collins brewery — and Colorado outpost for the Canada-based Red Truck Beer Co. — has been acquired by Atlanta's SweetWater Brewing Co., according to a news release from SweetWater on Monday, July 12.

The acquisition is part of SweetWater's plans for a western expansion. It also puts speculation over Red Truck's future in Fort Collins to rest.

After closing in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Truck never reopened its Fort Collins location to the public. Instead, it opened its facility up for contract brewing during the pandemic.

SweetWater will honor Red Truck's existing brewing contracts and the Fort Collins brewery will retain Red Truck's general manager to oversee local SweetWater operations, the release added.

All other Red Truck employees currently working at the Fort Collins brewery will be offered a position with SweetWater.

Information on Red Truck's Fort Collins location had already been erased from its website on July 12 morning. Any mentions of Red Truck had also been removed from an answering message linked to the Fort Collins brewery's former phone number.

Calls to that number went unanswered on July 12.

The former Red Truck space — which comes in at a whopping 32,450 square feet — will undergo an extensive renovation of its brewing, packaging and taproom areas in hopes of opening the new SweetWater location Oct. 1, according to SweetWater.

SweetWater's expansion into Colorado — which also includes the opening of SweetWater Mountain Taphouse in Denver International Airport — is a sentimental one for the brewery.

Co-founders Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney both started their brewing careers washing kegs for Boulder Brewing Co. in 1992. The University of Colorado students ultimately joined forces again in Georgia when they opened SweetWater's original brewery in west Atlanta in 1997. McNerney resigned from the brewing company in 2008.

"The general vibe throughout Colorado aligns perfectly with who we are as a brand and SweetWater's passion for the great outdoors, embracing a 420 lifestyle and our motto — Don't Float the Mainstream," said Bensch, SweetWater's CEO, in the news release.

The brewery, which embraces cannabis culture, is known for its "raging 420 festival," each spring. Last year, the brewery was acquired by global cannabis company Aphria Inc. — now Tilray, Inc.

This year, it was named the 11th largest craft brewery in the U.S. by the Boulder-based Brewers Association. Once SweetWater opens in Fort Collins it will become the city's largest craft brewery, with Odell Brewing Co. landing in the 17th spot of this year's national craft brewery list.

New Belgium Brewing was listed as the 11th largest overall brewing company by the Brewers Association, which no longer classifies New Belgium as a craft brewery.


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