As of January 1, Colorado officially toked up. Unless you live under a rock, you know that the state became the first to legally allow the sale of recreational marijuana. Obviously this is going to bring major business to Colorado but naturally we’re wondering: how will this affect the Colorado craft beer business?
Among all of the craft beer loving states, Colorado holds a top spot. Nearly 40 million gallons of craft beer is brewed in the state every year. It’s home to the Great American Beer Festival. Some of our favorite beers even hail from Colorado: Avery, Great Divide, Oskar Blues and Wynkoop Brewing. And now another favorite recreational activity (other than drinking beer) is encroaching. Are we about to witness a battle royale between craft beer and pot?
In the first week alone, Colorado sold $5 million of marijuana. That’s a lot of money. On the other hand, Colorado craft brewers make up for about $450 million of annual economic growth in Colorado. Craft beer numbers are always rising and have been consistently steady in Colorado. We still have hope for our favorite beer state.
So no need to worry for all of you Colorado craft beer lovers, we think your breweries and drinks will be just fine. The only thing that might change is that you’ll walk by a couple of cannabis shops on the way to your next beer tasting. And who’s to say you can’t enjoy both? A six-pack and a joint might be the new thing to unwind with on a Friday night.
What do you think?