Eleven Breweries That Plan to Open in Denver in 2016
Equipment is installed at the new River North.
River North Brewery Facebook page
Is Denver's brewery boom slowing down? It's hard to tell: While there certainly aren't as many small independent breweries on the horizon as there were at this time last year, there is still plenty of action on the new-brewery front. The list of anticipated openings in 2016 include three breweries that had hoped to get the doors open in 2015, as well as two that are owned by mega-brewing corporate entities, one that had to change locations, two that are taking over other breweries' spots, and a few that are brand-new.
That's a lot of activity – and it doesn't include planned expansions at many of Denver's beer makers, which now number close to sixty (although not all of these have tap rooms). It also doesn't include the suburbs, where there are at least ten more breweries planned for Arvada, Aurora, Centennial, Castle Rock, Lakewood, Englewood, Golden and Thornton.
Here are the breweries that are planning to open in Denver in 2016, presented alphabetically.
Banded Oak Brewing
The rapid-fire opening of small brewery tap rooms may have slowed down in Denver a bit, but don't tell that to former Great Divide employees Will Curtin and Chris Kirk, who leased a tiny former auto-body shop on Broadway where they will open a brewery dedicated to barrel-aged beers. Located within two blocks of two other breweries, Banded Oak will include a very large patio and is right next door to an under-construction Dae Gee and other eateries. Curtin, who was Great Divide's tap room manager, and Kirk, who has a professional brewing background, want to start off with five beers and eventually expand to ten on tap at all times.
A rendering of the planned Blue Moon location.
Blue Moon Brewery/Coors
1910 38th Street
Opening: The second half of 2016
The guys who brought you the Sandlot at Coors Field in 1995 – oh, and that little Coors subsidiary, Blue Moon – are opening their own 27,000-square-foot restaurant and brewery in River North. The brewery portion will feature both a twenty-barrel brewing system and a two-barrel system for experimentation. There will also be twenty to thirty tap lines, along with a stage for live music and an outdoor patio area.
10 Barrel Facebook page
10 Barrel Brewing/AB InBev
2620 Walnut Street (tentative)
Opening: First half of 2016
10 Barrel Brewing, the Bend, Oregon-based brewery that was purchased by AB InBev — maker of Budweiser — in November 2014, plans to open a brewery and pub in Denver this year in River North, the Denver neighborhood known for its plethora of independent craft brewers. Founded in 2006 by brothers Chris and Jeremy Cox and Garrett Wales, 10 Barrel boasts a well-regarded brewing team who have made a number of award-winning beers over the years. 10 Barrel hasn't confirmed the above location but did say, "We’re super-stoked to announce we’ll start building shortly and that we will be brewing in Denver in the first half of 2016."
2875 Blake Street
Opening: First half of 2016 (tentative)
Former Prost and Dry Dock Brewers Bill Eye and Ashleigh Carter have teamed up with Chris Rippe, owner of the Rackhouse Pub, on Bierstadt Lagerhaus, a German-style brewery (complete with an 82-year-old, 35-barrel copper brewing system from Germany) that should open this year in the Bindery on Blake building in River North. The building also houses C Squared Cider, owned by former Wynkoop head brewer Andy Brown, and the Rackhouse, which will serve as the de facto tasting room for both Bierstadt and C Squared. The Rackhouse opened in late 2015 in the building; the owners had hoped to open Bierstadt last year as well, but suffered some delays.
12445 East 39th Avenue, Unit 314
Opening: Late Spring
The Brewability Lab, a startup brewery with the novel idea of providing jobs in the brewing industry for adults with developmental disabilities, will take over Caution Brewing's original location in east Denver sometime later this year (Caution is consolidating at its Lakewood tap house). The Brewability Lab will also get Caution's five-barrel brewing system, the grain mill, canning line, bar, glassware, tap system and other equipment, says Brewability founder Tiffany Fixter. The head brewer will be Toby Gerard, a longtime home brewer who has also worked with developmentally disabled adults. He plans to make an IPA, a cream ale, an oatmeal stout, a saison and a Belgian dark strong ale, in addition to other beers.
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery
2298 Clay Street
Opening: Late spring or early summer
A longtime dream for brothers Kent and Greg Dawson, who grew up in Portland, Briar Common will open sometime this year in Jefferson Park. The spot will include a full kitchen, and Kent Dawson says the plan is to attract the locals. "We want to contribute to what is already a great neighborhood," he says. "The basic concept is that we want this to be a neighborhood walk-up destination." The Dawsons plan to focus on classic beer styles — "a less-is-more approach," Kent says — that pair well with food. The building renovation, which is being done by architect David Berton, includes plans for rooftop seating overlooking the neighborhood's namesake park. The Dawsons had hoped to open in 2015 but ran into a number of delays related to zoning and construction.
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