It’s been a rocky year for breweries across the country and while closures have dominated most headlines in recent months, several others have had to overcome a multitude of other business-related hurdles.
Today, Denver’s Joyride Brewing, located in the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood, has announced that it will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to suspected financial malfeasance from a former manager. This form of reorganization will allow the brewery to remain open and operate normally, while also working with creditors to make payments over time.
As part of the reorganization, co-founder, Dave Bergen, who previously served primarily in the role of Director of Brewing and Marketing, will assume the role of company president, while his brewing team comprised of Tyler Bies, who has been promoted to Head Brewer, and Darby Troke take on a greater role of managing day-to-day brewing operations.
“From a consumer standpoint this won’t change anything,” said Bergen. “ We’re staying open, and it will be business as usual. We’ll still be brewing world-class beer, and serving beer, and everyone will still be getting paid. However, due to financial mismanagement by a former manager, we accumulated some debts that were impossible to pay, so a reorganization is necessary to continue on.”
Bergen and the co-ownership group, which is comprised of seven other members, became aware of the financial mismanagement just last month and immediately began working together on a plan to help steer the organization back on track.
Joyride Brewing has enjoyed a tremendous amount of critical acclaim over the last several years. Its Ice Cutter Kölsch has earned a silver medal at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, a gold medal at the 2022 World Beer Cup, and a bronze medal at the 2023 World Beer Cup in the German-Style Koelsch category. Additionally, its Black Razz Blonde has garnered a silver medal at the 2022 GABF in the American Fruit Beer Category, and at the 2023 World Cup, You Have to Call Me Nighthawk also earned a bronze medal in the American Strong Pale Ale category.
Bergen credits much of the recent success to the brew team of Bies and Troke who are ready to take on a larger brewing role. “They’ve been running the show for a while and now they’ll have more autonomy to make decisions,” said Bergen. “Before we’d treat it as a three-headed monster where we’d all be on board for decisions all decisions, but they’re ready to handle more of the day-to-day decision-making. The hardware on the wall doesn’t lie.”
Meanwhile, Bergen sees a silver lining amid this difficult road bump for the brewery. “This opportunity to reorganize will allow us to come back bigger, better, and stronger than ever. And I think in time we’ll be able to get back to reaching our full potential.”