Business

To stay open, Jeffco breweries tap into community spirit

Jeffco Library hosts club meetings at WestFax, Colorado Plus

Posted 7/9/18

Colorado is home to more than 300 breweries, and while that makes the state sound like a paradise for aficionados of the drink, that means brewery businesses are facing more and more competition. …

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Business

To stay open, Jeffco breweries tap into community spirit

Jeffco Library hosts club meetings at WestFax, Colorado Plus

Posted

Colorado is home to more than 300 breweries, and while that makes the state sound like a paradise for aficionados of the drink, that means brewery businesses are facing more and more competition.

Lakewood’s Caution Brewing Co., which had been operating for 7 years, closed at the end of June, in part due to market saturation. About 15 of the state’s nearly 350 breweries closed their doors in 2017, according to the Colorado Brewery List blog.

To keep an edge on the market, breweries need to be more than places to get a drink, explained Brian Haitz, marketing and operations manager with Lakewood’s WestFax Brewing Company.

“Our model is to really become the neighborhood spot for this part of town,” he said. “Instead of trying to bottle a million beers for sale all over town, we want to become a place where people want to come for events, celebrations and anything else the Lakewood community wants to have.”

Many breweries now host events like trivia nights or open mics, but with so many options around, that might not be enough to set them apart from the competition.

To that end, WestFax, 6733 W. Colfax Ave., has joined with Wheat Ridge’s Colorado Plus Brew Pub, 6995 W. 38th Ave., in partnership with Jefferson County Public Library to host BYOB(ook) Groups.

WestFax’s group meetings will be on the second Wednesday of the month, going from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Colorado Plus’ will be held on the second Monday of the month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. beginning in September.

“This has been on my list of activities to try for a while, because I think it will allow us to reach a group that might not necessarily spend a lot of time in the library,” said Jennifer Kim, adult services librarian. “Good breweries have a following of people, and we thought this would also be a good way to reach millennials and younger people.”

One of the key features of the groups are flexibility — instead of picking one book for everyone to read, the nights are structured around themes. Examples include a young adult novel with LGBTQ characters, collections of short stories, and a book being adapted into a film.

“We tried to select themes that are inclusive and will bring in a range of people,” Kim said.

WestFax has worked with nonprofits like the Foothills Animal Shelter in the past and will continue to find ways to reflect the community it has chosen.

“A lot of businesses try to spread themselves too thin instead of focusing on serving their community,” Haitz said. “For us, it starts with the product, and then comes down to service. We’re always open to conversations with the community about how what they’d like to see happen here.”

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