By Jeff Todd
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Confiscated kegs, unpaid employees, eviction and a hefty tax bill are all part of the ripple effect after a pizza chain closed in Aurora.
“Our distributor sent us an email and said, ‘Hey, just as a heads up, we’re having a little trouble getting some of our kegs back,’” said Chris Hill the President and Chief Beer Peddler at Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada.
A-town Pizza was evicted and seized at the end of August.
The owner left behind a combined $56,864 in back taxes to both the City of Aurora and the State of Colorado.
All of the property is set to be sold at auction so the city can reclaim some of the back taxes.
The kegs of 17 breweries have been claimed as property of the restaurant and the breweries because a lease agreement form was never filed with the state.
“We’ve never filed this document for any customer anywhere in the state and as far as I know no other breweries do either. It’s not something that’s common practice in the industry,” Hill said.
“To hear, ‘Yes we recognize they’re not the property of the entity that was seized, and yes we can identify them as the property of Odyssey Beerwerks, but you didn’t file this document that no one ever files, so we have a legal right to seize your kegs and auction them off,’” said Hill.
Dry Dock Brewing is based in Aurora and likely the brewery most impacted.
Co-owner Michelle Reding said she’s concerned about getting her property back, but also realizes there are other small businesses and other employees that have been left reeling from the pizza stores shuttering.
Reding said often the brewery finds out after the auction that kegs were sold off, she’s at least optimistic that words has spread before the auction so owners can try and get their property back.
Several breweries are now working together to buy the kegs back.
“We’re working together to achieve a good end for all of us,” Hill said.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.