The state of Colorado ordered Bottom Shelf Brewery in Bayfield to close for 10 days after an investigation linked a liquor violation at the brewery to a fatal car crash in January.
The Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division alleged that a Bottom Shelf bartender continued to serve a customer, even after the customer showed visible signs of intoxication. The overservice contributed to a fatal crash and led to the brewery’s suspension, according to a state order.
The brewery did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
The state outlined the alleged violations in a Stipulation, Agreement and Order document. One of the stipulations in the document, which co-owner Chris Young signed in late July, was that the brewery admitted to the violations.
The order did not include details about the crash or the victim. It said the overpouring incident happened Jan. 3.
Colorado State Patrol said it responded to only one fatal crash in La Plata County that night.
In that crash, a 25-year-old Bayfield woman, Kathryn Sharif, died after her car rolled near the intersection of county roads 318 and 311, 6 miles west of Ignacio, around 12:40 a.m. Jan. 4. Alcohol was believed to be a contributing factor in the crash, said Trooper Josh Lewis, with the State Patrol.
Overserving alcohol violates the Colorado Liquor Code, the state’s order said. After the state’s investigation into the brewery, it ordered a 25-day suspension of the business’ brew pub license and required Bottom Shelf to close from Aug. 23 to Sept. 1. If any violations occur within the next year, Bottom Shelf will have to close for the remaining 15 days of the suspension.
Lewis was not familiar with the liquor enforcement division’s violation investigation. He said it’s not a good idea to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming anything that impairs your ability to drive, regardless of where the consumption takes place.
“We’ve seen time and time again how dangerous that is, not only for the person behind the wheel, but for others on the road and family members involved,” Lewis said.