Crazy Mountain’s former landlord in Baker filed a lawsuit last week, alleging the local brewery still owes back rent.
Crazy Mountain moved out of the 37,000-square-foot building at 471 Kalamath St. in April, opting instead to contract brew with Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. and open a taproom in Alpine Dog Brewery’s former 4,200-square-foot taproom at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Ogden Street.
The owner of the Kalamath Street building — 471 Kalamath LLC, managed by Steve Mooney — filed the lawsuit on Oct. 8.
Crazy Mountain Brewing itself isn’t a defendant in the suit. The defendants are Dr. Graham and Susan Burton, who were guarantors when Crazy Mountain signed its lease, according to the lawsuit.
Attorney Seth Murphy of Spierer, Woodward, Corbalis & Goldberg, who is representing the landlord, declined to comment.
The Burtons could not be reached for comment. Graham is the founder and board member of London-based LDN Pharma, according to his LinkedIn. Crazy Mountain CEO Barry Watkins said Graham is an investor in the brewery.
Mooney, acting as 471 Kalamath LLC, bought the former Breckenridge Brewery building for $3.35 million in 2015, city records show. According to the lawsuit, Crazy Mountain signed a five-year lease for the Baker building that same year.
In March 2020, the local brewery stopped paying rent and associated charges, according to the lawsuit. The lease ended in July 2020, but Crazy Mountain did not vacate the residence.
Watkins told BusinessDen that, after the lease ended in July, Crazy Mountain began negotiating terms with the landlord for a possible renewal during what he called a “holdover period.”
“We paid rent through the term of the lease,” Watkins said. “These are holdover amounts they’re referring to.”
In October 2020, Crazy Mountain made a partial payment towards the rent and other amounts due, according to the lawsuit. But two months later, 471 Kalamath LLC commenced an eviction action in Denver County Court.
In January, the landlord and Crazy Mountain entered into an informal agreement that allowed the brewery to remain in the building through March 31, 2021, and Crazy Mountain made another partial payment towards rent.
“Under terms of the informal stipulation the Eviction Action was to continue forward, but Plaintiff was to take no affirmative action to remove Tenant from the Premises,” the lawsuit reads.
In March this year, the Denver County Court issued a Writ of Restitution ordering the Denver County Sheriff’s Department to remove Crazy Mountain and its possessions from the property and return possession to the landlord. As agreed in the parties’ informal stipulation, the landlord took no action to exercise the Writ of Restitution, according to the lawsuit.
That same month, 471 Kalamath LLC listed the property for sale for $6 million, according to Watkins.
When the informal stipulation ended, and the two parties were not able to reach an agreement for renewal terms, the landlord re-commenced efforts to retake possession of the property. On April 29, the Sheriff executed the Writ of Restitution.
“It was unfortunate because we appreciated the landlord and our time there, but we couldn’t reach an agreement on extension terms that were mutually beneficial,” Watkins said.
The lawsuit against the Burtons does not specify an amount owed by Crazy Mountain.