The brewery Dos Luces will have its last hoorah on its five-year anniversary, July 29.
“It’s been a tough five years,” owner Judd Belstock said. “We survived COVID, but especially 2022 and 2023, inflation has hit us pretty hard and not to mention the everyday challenges.”
Belstock is trying to sell his lease at 1236 S. Broadway in Denver, which runs for another five years and has a 10-year renewal option, for $495,000. The deal for the 4,000 square feet, which includes basement space, would include all of the equipment and furniture, but Belstock wants to keep rights to the name and brand.
Belstock said in addition to challenges like inflation, labor costs and importing ingredients, a car crashed into the front of the brewery earlier this year. He said he still doesn’t have a new front door installed, and customers have to enter through a makeshift entrance.
“That was the one that really drove me over the edge,” Belstock said. “The insurance company has been great so far … but that doesn’t make up for the time and hassle that I have had to deal with.”
Belstock said Dos Luces will stay open at least until its anniversary on July 29. If a deal hasn’t been made by then, he’ll keep operating until he runs out of beer. The space is being marketed by Mitch Woolhiser with Apex Advisors.
Dos Luces specializes in “pre-colonial” style beers that are made with corn instead of barley. The most popular is Chicha Inti, made from Colorado malted blue corn and clove.
“The objective was to diversify the beer landscape, product-wise, and I think we came a long way,” Belstock said.
Dos Luces bottles its beer and also sells non-alcoholic drinks on Amazon. Revenue last year was $250,000, not counting the Amazon sales, according to Belstock.
After closing, he said he’ll potentially sell Dos Luces beers in retail stores or get a contract brewing agreement with another company.
Belstock said when he opened in 2018, it was peak time for “beer-centric breweries.” Since the pandemic, he said, people prefer to stay in one place that has various drink options, food and entertainment.
“While I would love to add a kitchen, do a rooftop deck and everything else that would make the brewery that much more attractive, I don’t have the personal funding to make that happen,” Belstock said.
Belstock, 44, was born and raised in Colorado and has been in the beer industry since he was 23. Before founding Los Duces with Matt Alcaine, he was head of sales for Boulder Beer and previously worked for Coors.