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Dos Luces Announces Closure

Dos Luces closure
Scott Grossman

Dos Luces Brewery in Denver has just announced that its fifth anniversary will be its last. In the face of inflation and changing consumer tastes, owner Judd Belstock was contemplating the future of the brewery when a truck plowed through its front doors last February. For Belstock, that was the tipping point.

Changing Focus

“The person crashing into the front was one of those moments when I realized that the challenges of running the taproom get in the way of building Dos Luces, the brand,” Belstock says. He would rather focus on brewing the original American beers of Chicha, Pulque and Tepache and telling the story of their long history versus owning and managing a taproom.

Additionally, Belstock believes craft beer drinkers are looking for a different experience than before.

“When we opened five years ago it made perfect sense to do a beer-led taproom of this size because people were going out to breweries,” he says. “When people go out now they want to go to one place where they can get food, beer and entertainment.”

Belstock (right) in Dos Luces with brewer Marco Malaga on an earlier collaboration. Photo Credit: Scott Grossman.

Final Festivals

Belstock still plans to celebrate Dos Luces’ fifth anniversary on July 25 along with Inti Raymi on June 24. Inti Raymi is a traditional Inca festival honoring the sun god on the Southern Hemisphere’s winter solstice.

Belstock hopes to find a licensing partner that that will enable him to continue brewing and distribute the Dos Luces brand.

“I think there’s a ton of potential, particularly for the nonalcoholic side,” he says. “The hope is that I can find a way to keep the brand going and focus on the nonalcoholic stuff, specifically the Chicha Morada and the nonalcoholic Tepache but not spend so much time on the phone with insurance agents and dealing with the day-to-day of running the taproom.”

Dos Luces Closure Date Uncertain

After July, Belstock’s plans for the taproom are uncertain. The final closing date will be determined primarily by how much Pulque and Chicha Dos Luces has in stock but will likely come soon after the anniversary. Belstock plans to shutter the Dos Luces taproom but retain the brand. He’s currently looking for a buyer for the brewery and taproom but may instead reopen as a craft beer taproom to finish out his lease.

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