First look: Comrade Brewing welcomes you to the Party on April 26
Comrade Brewing's David Lin.
All photos by Jonathan Shikes
With a head brewer named Marks, a red and yellow logo, and a flagship beer called DEFCON Red, it's not hard to figure out the theme at Comrade Brewing.
But owner David Lin says the references to Communism at the brewery, which will open on Saturday, April 26, at 7667 East Iliff Avenue, are all tongue in cheek.
"There are lots of double meanings, but it is all in fun. The only thing we take seriously here is the beer," he explains. "The rest: not so much. If I really wanted to take communism seriously, I would have bought my equipment from China."
Instead, Lin is very proud of the fact that his fifteen-barrel brewhouse and his four fermentation tanks were manufactured in the United States, by JV Northwest.
That system will be used to make four year-round beers -- a coffee milk stout, a blonde, an Irish red and an IPA called Superpower -- along with a host of seasonal beers. Comrade will open with six of them on tap, but has room for twenty handles.
One of the first beers will be a Cascadia dark ale that Comrade brewed in collaboration with Kirk McHale of Thai Me Up/Melvin Brewing in Jackson, Wyoming. It will be the first in a series of beers that Comrade plans to do in conjunction with brewers.
"But since you don't usually know the name of the individual brewer who made your beer, our collaborations are going to be focused on the people, rather than the breweries where they work," Lin says. As such, each one will be named after a person.
Comrade Brewing will include a few other twists as well. For instance, the building includes five garage doors facing the shopping center parking lot where it is located in southeast Denver. All five were part of the previous auto-care businesses.
The space itself is also very large - about 5,300 square feet, with room for 170 people -- and includes a milling room, which is a luxury for many startup breweries. And the parking lot has 700 spaces thanks to a Big Lots nearby and several other businesses.
Some of those businesses are restaurants, which means Comrade won't likely host many food trucks (aside from the one that will be there on opening day).
There are two bars, one in the main taproom, and a standing-room one in the entry way, where people will be able to show up, get growler fills, and get out.
Since Lin has worked in other breweries, including Aurora's Dry Dock, over the past eight years in a variety of positions, including brewing and sales, it was important to him to have a fluid layout and a big enough space. "I wanted to make sure we set it up properly from the beginning and had room for growth," he says.
The location, in the far southeast corner of the city limits, puts Comrade in an area where there aren't very many other craft breweries or beer bars, so it will fill a hole there.
And if the result is a packed house, that works for Lin, who says the real meaning behind Comrade is camaraderie -- between breweries and between drinkers.
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