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Colo. Sees Spike in Small Breweries

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Updated: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:50:47 MST

CARBONDALE, Colo. - The United States saw a record-high number of small breweries enter the market in 2013. Colorado saw a spike as well. 

According to the Beer Institute out of Washington D.C., growth in the small brewer segment of the industry is driven in great part by two generous tax breaks granted to small brewers. They also found that four states account for one-third of all breweries in the country: California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

One of the newest breweries preparing to open is the Roaring Fork Beer Company, located in Carbondale.

"I actually said when I was 21 that I would own a brewery by the time I'm 30," said CEO Chase Engel.

His vision is becoming a reality.

"I just can't wait to drink first beer that we make and see other people drink it."

Once open, Roaring Fork Beer Company will be among dozens of new breweries in the state. Engel says getting their permit took about two months longer than average.

"Based on talking to the TTB they say they've had double the amount of applications  that they had last year which was a record year."

The state gained 56 new breweries in 2013, jumping from 28 gained in 2012. These emerging micro-Breweries have unique visions. Many like Engel's plan to stay local, being sold only in the valley.

One Carbondale local, Shane Spyker, said, "Carbondale is a pretty small town and it's right off of Highway 82, so I think the more people we can bring into town and get hanging out in the downtown corridor, the better."

While the Roaring Fork Beer Company is one of the first to open in 2014, they surely won't be the last.

"People have always known that Colorado is a great state for beer, and it's just continuing to grow," Engel said.

The brewing is set to begin Thursday and the tasting room scheduled to open March 28.

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