Four small Denver breweries cooperate on a bigger purchase

Copper Kettle fermenters.
Copper Kettle fermenters.

In a show of solidarity (not to mention some penny-wise fiscal management) four small brewers are putting in an order for new brewing equipment and tanks in a move that will save them all a chunk of change and help them expand. Copper Kettle, Renegade, Strange Brewing and Caution are all buying from Premier Stainless Systems, a San Diego-based brewery system designer and manufacturer that supplies hundreds of beer makers around the country.

"Premier said there was no difference on shipping whether we bought four tanks or eight, so we decided to coordinate this together," says Copper Kettle co-owner Jeremy Gobien. So, instead of paying $1,500 a piece, each brewery will only spend about $400.

Copper Kettle is buying one ten-barrel fermenter and three ten-barrel serving tanks while Caution is purchasing a single ten-barrel tank. Renegade is buying a fifteen-barrel brite tank where its beer will be conditioned.

And Strange Brewing plans to order two or three seven-barrel brite tanks, which co-owner Tim Myers says he'll use to condition, carbonate and serve his beers in the taproom, something that will "greatly improve consistency and reduce labor."

Eventually, Myers would like to have twelve brite tanks, but that would cost nearly $80,000, so he's starting with two or three.

In the meantime, Copper Kettle is lending two small three-barrel fermenters to Wit's End Brewing owner Scott Witsoe, who is already having trouble producing enough beer to supply the demand in the taproom, but it's not big deal for Gobien: Strange Brewing lent him some brewing equipment for a while when he was just starting up.

"We sell three barrel sets so fast I don't want to bother with them any more," Gobien says. "I hope Scott has the same success some day and I want to help him with that. "It's really fun to be part of this group of new brewers," he adds.

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