The move is unusual among the wave of small breweries that has opened in the Denver area over the past two years. Only one other, Renegade Brewing, has plans to package its beers in the near future; the brewery will can its Ryeteous IPA in tallboys.
"We wanted to get the taproom open, but really we wanted to be a packaging brewery from the beginning," says River North owner Matthew Hess.
As part of his first run on his small, manually operated six-head bottling machine, Hess packaged fifty cases of his Hypothesis Belgian Double IPA in 22-ounce bomber bottles over the weekend. He plans to bottle the J. Marie Saison next.
"I'm pretty ecstatic right now," Hess said shortly after completing his first run. "We've been trying to get this up and running for a week or two."
Hess is working to find liquor stores to sell his beer; Mr. B's on Market Street has already indicated that it would be willing to do so. But Hess will also sell out of the brewery.
River North, which specializes in Belgian-style beers, opened in mid-March inside a portion of the vault-like former Flying Dog Brewing space. It has a tasting room and a fifteen-barrel brewing system.