Fort Collins brewery files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

A screenshot of Black Bottle Brewery’s site.

Fort Collins’ Black Bottle Brewery has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The brewery at 1611 S. College Ave., Suite 1609, which operates a restaurant and also distributes its beers, said in its Tuesday filing it owes $1.6 million. The company said it has assets totaling $291,577.

Companies use Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize and help keep the business alive, paying creditors over time.

Owner Sean Nook said the filing was a result of dormant cash flow during the pandemic. The brewery’s restaurant did takeout when the state prohibited dine-in service. It reopened for dine-in service three weeks ago at 50 percent capacity.

Black Bottle, which Nook opened in 2012, typically makes around $500,000 during the period it had to scale back operations, he added.

“We had a heavy debt load, and we couldn’t and can’t afford to close for three months,” Nook said. “I know other businesses file just to protect themselves, but this is just a tool to save our business.

“We already had tight margins before closing. January and February are always our two slowest months of the year, and March usually gets better, but this month didn’t, or April, or May. Now we’re in June and we could be busy, but we’re not allowed to, but I understand why.”

Nook said he is working with a lender and the business will continue to operate despite the filing.

“If everyone gets shut down again with a second wave, I can’t speak for that, but if things stay the same, and we keep slowly opening, we’ll be just fine,” Nook said. “Nothing should change.”

Black Bottle lists Great Western Bank as its largest creditor, owed $585,778. It also owes $130,000 to Bank of Colorado for a PPP small business loan, according to the filing.

Attorney Gregory Bell with Fort Collins-based Bell, Gould, Linder & Scott is representing the entity in bankruptcy proceedings.

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