Just two weeks shy of its fourth anniversary in Denver, the Vine Street Pub & Brewery finally got its brewery license on Wednesday, and although the brewers won't whip up their first batch of beer until Wednesday, they are allowed to start filling up growlers now.
To celebrate, co-owner Kevin Daly brought down dozens of growlers (only breweries that make their beer on site are allowed to sell these portable vessels) from the Mountain Sun and Southern Sun pubs in Boulder, Vine Street's sister locations. All three places use oversized mason jars, which look cool -- even if they don't protect the beer well.
The first beer to be poured into one was Illusion Dweller, an English-style IPA.
While the brewery has been ready to go for months, Vine Street brewers John Fiorilli and Brian Hutchinson are waiting until this Wednesday to do their first batch, a new 9 percent ABV Belgian-style trippel that are just calling Number 1 for now. Once it is ready, Vine Street may hold a release party to celebrate the beer.
The brewery is located in a 3,500-square-foot space behind the dining room. Mountain Sun will brew its eight most popular beers (which make up 75 percent of its sales) at Vine Street, allowing Mountain Sun and Southern Sun to work on more experimental batches and other new recipes.
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The new brewhouse can crank out 5,000 barrels of beer a year (at capacity), about 50 percent more than its sister locations combined. It will also allow Mountain Sun to offer kegs of its beers to outside accounts on regular basis for the first time.
The Kitchen Denver was a first to get a taste of one of those beers, when it began pouring Mountain Sun's award-winning Hop Vivant in March.