DENVER– Sleeping Giant Brewing Co., which Matt Osterman founded in 2015, is a contract brewery. There’s no taproom, and you won’t find a Sleeping Giant six-pack at the liquor store. The Denver-based company’s facility near I-25 and 6th Avenue produces beer for about 20 other craft brewers, using recipes they provide.
Sleeping Giant’s latest partnership, however, is grabbing headlines. The company said this week that it will take over all non-taproom production, distribution and marketing for Boulder Beer Co., which bills itself as Colorado’s oldest craft brewery.
Boulder Beer, founded in 1979, announced in October that it would stop distribution to a 26-state footprint. The deal with Sleeping Giant cancels that plan, which would have left its beverages available only at its one brewpub in Boulder.
The October announcement was viewed as a result of increasing challenges and competition in the craft beer sector, where more small operators are focusing on taprooms instead of distribution. Osterman, however, said Boulder Beer still has a strong brand.
Boulder Beer has been producing about 16,000 barrels a year. Under the deal, the company will continue brewing some beer in Boulder, which will be sold in the brewpub. Production, however, will be significantly scaled back, with some equipment on the auction block.
Sleeping Giant, meanwhile, will produce the brand’s beer that is bottled and trucked across the country.
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