20 breweries that plan to open in Denver in 2014
There were 23 breweries inside Denver's city limits at the start of 2013 (depending on how you count them), and by December 21, when Station 26 opened in North Park Hill, there were 29 (again, depending on how you count them). But by this time next year, there could be fifty -- or more. The following is a list of twenty would-be beer makers who plan to open in 2014, or at least to begin construction. Each one has a signed lease, a contract on a piece of property or, in the case of one, a lease that had to be dissolved in order to find a better location. There are at least a dozen other breweries-in-planning that also have designs on 2014, but who don't yet have a location. And that's just Denver. If you count the suburbs, the numbers are even higher. So put your drinking pants on and get ready for a happy new beer in a happy new year.
Baere Brewing 320 Broadway Baere Brewing recently signed a least for a space in a former martial arts studio at 320 Broadway, just a block away from TRVE Brewing. The owners plan to have a one-barrel pilot system in addition to a larger brewhouse. They have been gathering followers with their Urban Hop Project, in which they gave out hops rhizomes for people to grow in their backyards. Once the brewery is open, people will be able to bring in the their hops each summer for use in a beer -- similar to what Denver Beer Co does.
Beryl's Beer Company 3120-C Blake Street A play on words, Beryl's Beer Company will focus on barrels, or rather barrel-aged beers that owner Calvin and Beth fell in love with while they were dating and touring breweries around Colorado. The word is also a tribute to the colors of some beryl gemstones, which reminded them of the color of beer. Beryl's will be located in the River North neighborhood, which has quickly become a playground for Denver beer lovers.
Can't Stop Brewing 240 South Pecos Street Using the tagline, "Good beer for bad people," the four owners of Can't Stop Brewing plan to open in an industrial part of town and make traditional beer styles with a twist. In December, they made one of these, 3 A.M. Pale, at Strange Brewing, as part of that brewery's One Barrel Wednesday series. Eventually, Can't Stop Brewing plans to make other beers with unusual names, such as Ironic Doom Amber Hefeweizen; Dark Sarcasm Pepper Porter; Credible Threat Belgian Dubbel; Slick Willy Cream Ale and Strictly Taboo Belgian IPA.
Chain Reaction Brewing West Mississippi Avenue and Lipan Street Cousins Zack and Chad Christofferson are gearing up to open a nanobrewery in a location that they've leased near the intersection of West Mississippi Avenue and Lipan Street. Although the two don't want to give out the exact address until they are able to begin work on the building, hopefully sometime this spring, Zack says the operation will be small, with a one-barrel system and a couple of two-barrel fermenters.
Comrade Brewing 7667 East Iliff Avenue Welkome to the Party. That's the motto for Comrade Brewing, which plans to open in southeast Denver next year with "back-to-basics" beers -- like a Kolsch, an IPA, an irish red and a milk stout -- and a tongue-in-cheek nod to Communism. But owner David Lin says he's really celebrating the camaraderie that the craft brewing industry has become known for. The 5,300-square-foot location will include a tap room with room for more than ninety people and a fifteen-barrel brewing system. See also: Comrade Brewing will salute southeast Denver in 2014
Declaration Brewing 2030 South Cherokee Street "There is a lot of exciting stuff already downtown, so it is easy to get lost in the mix with so many great breweries there," says Mike Blandford of Declaration Brewing. As such, he and his four business partners are excited about their location in southwest Denver, which will include a 1,600-square-foot taproom and a 4,500-square-foot outdoor beer garden that will have a dedicated pad for food trucks.
Denver Beer Co 4455 Jason Street Denver Beer Co, which opened its existing location in 2011 as one of the pioneers of Denver's third major brewery wave, will add a large new production facility (along with a small taproom) that will immediately make it one of the city's largest breweries. Owners Patrick Crawford and Charlie Berger are buying a 48,000-square-foot warehouse in the Sunnyside neighborhood where they will install a thirty-barrel brewing system and a canning line to focus on year-round and seasonal beers, like Graham Cracker Porter and Kaffir Lime Wheat, that will be packaged in bottles and cans
Denver Pearl Brewing 1875 South Pearl Street Tucked into an antique cash-register store just three blocks south of Old South Pearl Street's restaurant row district, Denver Pearl Brewing will be a welcome addition to the Platt Park neighborhood, says Colby Rankin, a Denver native who is starting the brewery with his father, Randy. The 4,500-square-foot space will include a ten-barrel brewing system, and a taproom with ten beers available.
Factotum Brewhouse Location pending Factotum Brewhouse had a lease on a cool spot in the Sunnyside neighborhood, but after a disagreement with the landlord over changes that needed to be made, the sister-and-brother team of Laura and Chris Bruns decided to look elsewhere; when they do find a new location, the Brunses plan to allow homebrewers to create their recipes and to brew the beer on their brewhouse (one that is now temporarily in storage).
Fermaentra 1715 East Evans Avenue After an agonizingly long search, Brennan Mann and Spencer O'Bryan, the brewer/owners of Fermaentra, signed a lease in November on this spot, just two blocks away from the University of Denver campus. "We don't believe there are words to adequately describe our excitement, as this excitement stems from not only achieving a milestone, but also being able to open a brewery in a neighborhood that we sought out from the very beginning," they said on Facebook. "Early on in our business planning we determined that the DU neighborhood was exactly where we wanted to open."
Fiction Beer Company 7101 East Colfax Avenue Ryan and Christa Kilpatrick plan to combine their love of good books and good beer at Fiction Beer Company, which they'll open on the first floor of the Phoenix on the Fax apartment building in east Denver, a part of town that is desperately lacking in craft breweries. Fiction will include a seven-barrel brewing system, six beers on tap and a patio out back. The beer styles will be categorized into genres based on the couple's favorite works of fiction, including classics, like an IPA; mystery and adventure; and fantasy/sci-fi.
Former Future Brewing 1290 South Broadway James and Sarah Howat have generated a lot of buzz over the past few months as they ready Former Future, which will specialize in "futuristic interpretations of historical styles." The Steampunk theme will fit in well along South Broadway's Antique Row, where the couple will make a variety of styles, including sour and wild ales, on their 3.5-barrel brewing system. Eventually, they hope to raise enough money to buy a coolship, which is a vessel that can be used to spontaneously ferment beer.
Goldspot Brewing 4970 Lowell Boulevard Matt Hughes, a former jack-of-all trades at the Wynkoop, and Alex Sward plan to open Goldspot Brewing in the Berkeley neighborhood, about a block from Regis University. Named for the gold spot that symbolizes the sun on both the city and state flags, Goldspot will feature several core beers made on a seven-barrel system, including an IPA, an imperial oatmeal stout and a wheat beer, along with rotating seasonals.
Grandma's House 1710 South Broadway South Broadway has long been a welcoming environment for Denver's Etsy aesthetic, and Matthew Fuerst hopes to plug into that community feel when he opens Grandma's House, a brewery with a kooky theme and feel that should remind you of, yes, your grandmas' house. Located in a large, 9,000-square-foot former antique store, Grandma's House will make a variety of beer styles, he says.
Great Divide 3403 Brighton Boulevard Okay, so this may not actually happen in 2015, but if things go well for Great Divide Brewing, which has been located at 2201 Arapahoe Street for nineteen years, the brewery will break ground on a massive new production brewery and taproom at 34th Avenue and Brighton Boulevard. Great Divide first has to buy the land from three different landowners, but if it is successful, the brewery could expand its capacity from 60,000 barrels of beer per year to 100,000 barrels right away. See also: Great Divide tentatively plans a large new brewery in Denver's River North
Lost Highway Brewing 520 East Colfax Avenue Under construction for nearly two years, Lost Highway is located next to the Cheeky Monk Belgian Cafe and owned by the same people, Tina and James Pachorek. A tribute to one of Colfax Avenue's nicknames, Lost Highway competed in the Great American Beer Festival in 2013 (although its beer was brewed elsewhere), but still hasn't opened its doors to the public. When it does, Lost Highway plans to serve cheese and charcuterie plates along with its beer. It will brew on a ten-barrel system, with a smaller system for more experimental beers.
Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen 800 Lincoln Street Philip Phifer and Scott O'Hearn, two former brewmasters with the Colorado-based Rock Bottom chain, will strike out on their own in January when they open their full-scale brewpub and pizzeria on the high profile corner at Eighth Avenue and Lincoln. Lowdown will make its beer on an eight-barrel custom-made brewing system and serve a menu of Connecticut-style pizza, panini, soups and salads.
Mockery Brewing 3501 Delgany Street Zach and Rachel Rabun are either crazy or brilliant to open another brewery in the River North neighborhood, which already has five operating beer makers and several more on the way. They're hoping it's the latter -- especially since the cluster of breweries could end up helping all of them by turning the neighborhood into a beer destination. Zach, formerly of Elk Mountain Brewing, plans to make a wide variety of beers, but they'll be grouped by whether or not they adhere to the fifteenth-century German beer purity law known as Reinheitsgebot; half of them will be, while the other half will be fruit beers and sours. Mockery will include a 2,500-square-foot brewery and taproom and a large biergarten with sixty to seventy seats, along with garden games.
Zephyr Brewing 2601 Walnut Street The owners of Zephyr Brewing tell an increasingly common story: The crew of Colorado natives wanted to start a brewery in Denver, but couldn't find a good spot in Washington Park or Capitol Hill, so they headed to River North. Now, Brian Wood, Tyler Shuey and Rich Wisniewski are hoping to join the critical mass of beer makers who are turning the 'hood into craft beer heaven. Although Wood and Shuey are homebrewers, they've gotten their training from Tom Hennessy of Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery in Ridgway, who has written a book on brewery management and teaches a class for would-be brewery owners. They've purchased their seven-barrel brewing system from Bennett Forgeworks, which in Ridgway, and their initial lineup will include a stout, an IPA, a Scotch Ale and a wheat, along with four rotating seasonal selections.
303 Brewing 3043 Downing Street It's been a long road for Will Blankenship, who has been trying to start his own brewery in Denver now for about four years. But Blankenship hopes he has finally found a spot, a triangular piece of land near the corner of Downing Street and 31st Avenue in Curtis Park. If he's able to buy it, he'll have to begin construction in 2014, so he may not technically open until 2015.
Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan
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