The wave of recent local brewery closings has pulled another into the undertow.

On Monday, Renegade Brewing Co. (925 W. Ninth Ave., Denver) announced it will close in just a couple of weeks, on May 3. The social media post suggested the closure came as a surprise to ownership.

Michael Mulcahy, managing partner with Silver Fox Partners, which owns the brewery in the Art District on Santa Fe, declined to elaborate on factors that played into the closure. When reached by phone, he attributed it to “seen and unforeseen circumstances.”

One certain thing is that head brewer Jack Meyer is preparing to leave. Meyer, who started by washing kegs at Renegade in 2014, will soon move to Bozeman, Montana, and start a job at Julius Lehrkind Brewing. The move was not about the job, however.

“I always wanted to live in a mountain town so I’m going to do that,” Meyer told The Denver Post. “I’ve found a job, but the catalyst for the move was the opportunity to buy a house with my buddy.”

Founded in 2011 by Brian O’Connell, Renegade was one of the first of a new kind of brewery taproom that kicked off a string of openings over the next few years. And it quickly garnered locals’ attention with its boisterous ethos and beer menu.

The following year, The Denver Post lauded Renegade for its “gusto that separates the brewery from some of the city’s more traditional, comfortable venues.”

“As the super-sized logo that hangs inside the entrance proclaims, the beer for sale here is ‘offensively delicious,’” the reporter wrote.

Renegade first linked up with Silver Fox Partners in 2017 as it underwent an expansion and eyed new markets for distribution. Silver Fox Partners’ founder Anne Mulcahy served as Xerox’s CEO in the 2000s; the company invested an undisclosed amount into Renegade, The Denver Post reported at the time.

Thereafter the brewery tried to find creative ways to partner with other local beer makers. In 2019, for example, Renegade inked a deal with Good River Beer Co. to contract-brew its beers at Renegade’s large production facility, which had opened in 2015 at 1st Avenue and Santa Fe. Little Pub Company, which owns nearly 20 bars and restaurants in the metro area, was also in on the deal and the three operations formed a new brand they called the Brewers Co-Hop. Originally, they hoped to open a restaurant and bar in Arvada.

Tiney Ricciardi

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