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From 420 Extra Pale Ale to strain-specific IPAs to an annual 420 Fest, SweetWater Brewing has made a name for itself over the past twenty years with its cannabis link and the marijuana lifestyle.

This is largely the reason the Atlanta-based brewery was purchased last year by global cannabis company Tilray, and also a major factor why SweetWater, the nation’s tenth largest craft beer maker, chose to open a second pot brewery. Colorado friendly, as well as a branded auction room at Denver Intl Airport.

But SweetWater may not be able to serve its flagship 420 beer at DIA or refer to it as cannabis, thanks to the airport’s longstanding policy of banning souvenirs adjacent to marijuana.

“Everything has to be suitable for families,” said DIA spokeswoman Stacey Stegman. “SweetWater will not be able to promote its 420 or pot themed materials or products.”

The airport’s no-drink policy was implemented in late 2014, after a businesswoman complained that DIA officials were preventing her from selling flip flops and boxer shorts printed with sheets of paper. jar at a souvenir shop. The rule prohibits “selling, displaying or advertising any product bearing the image, likeness, description or name of marijuana or marijuana-themed accessories; and advertising any business or a marijuana-related establishment “at DIA.

Trainwreck Hazy Double IPA is one of the strain specific beers from SweetWater Brewing.

Trainwreck Hazy Double IPA is one of the strain specific beers from SweetWater Brewing.

Fresh water brewing

The pot ban is news for SweetWater co-founder and CEO Freddy Bensch. “From now on, we intend to [sell it]”, he says of branded cannabis beer.” Nowadays, with legalization [in so many states], we think we’re going to use 420. “

SweetWater was founded in 1997 and brewed its first beer on April 20 of that year, hence its name 420 Extra Pale Ale. Over the years, he has nurtured his connections with environmentalism, the outdoors, and cannabis. Last year, it was bought by Toronto-based Tilray, which is helping the brewery grow.

On July 12, SweetWater announced that it had purchased the building and equipment from Red Truck Brewing, which caused a stir when it opened at 1020 East Lincoln Avenue in Fort Collins three years ago, but remained closed after it ended. pandemic restrictions earlier this year. . The Fort Collins location, which includes a 32,450 square foot production facility, distribution room and restaurant, will allow SweetWater “to pursue major expansion projects across the United States and on the West Coast. “, according to the company.

The announcement also included news that SweetWater would lend its name to a restaurant and tap room on the B Concourse at DIA, joining local breweries like Great Divide and New Belgium at the airport.

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