Rooftop patios are a rare beast in Colorado. Not rare like a lynx, which is almost impossible to find, but rare like a mountain goat: They're around — you just have to know where to look. Brewery rooftop patios are even more unusual. There are only a handful across the state, including the beautiful one at Briar Common Brewery + Eatery in Denver's Jefferson Park neighborhood, and Ouray Brewery in Ouray.
On Saturday, March 23, a new rooftop deck took shape at Joyride Brewing, and it's certainly worth the climb. Located in the small burg of Edgewater, just across Sheridan Boulevard from the Denver city limits, Joyride opened in 2014 with a corner location near Sloan's Lake and wall-to wall garage doors that make the whole place feel like a patio.
For photos of Joyride's rooftop patio grand-opening party, see our complete slideshow.
Nearly four years in the making, the rooftop has sixteen taps (to complement the sixteen taps at the bar downstairs), and room for 150 people along the side rails and unique community tables; one was made from a sequoia while another came from a Missouri oak. Planks from an old Virginia tobacco barn and the siding from a ’37 Chevy make up two others. There's also a cozy side-seating area put together using a 1950s movie-theater couch and an antique luggage cart.
But the star of the show is the stunning view that takes in Denver's skyline to the east and Sloan's Lake just across the street. To the south, you can glimpse Pikes Peak on a clear day.
Brewery owners Dave Bergen and Grant Babb knew when they first opened that a rooftop was feasible — and that it would be immensely cool. "We'd come up here on ladders and have beers every so often. So we knew what the view was going to be like," Bergen says. They just didn't know how long it would take to complete.
It turned out to be a while. Between multiple engineer switches and changes to Edgewater's code, Joyride had to start over again on at least three occasions before getting final approval.
"You don't know if it's going to work. but you have to have faith. We heard the snickers from people who said, 'We'll believe it when we see it.' Well, here it is," Bergen says with a smile.
And it's likely to be popular. In fact, Bergen says he has hired another brewer and five more staffers to accommodate what he hopes will be a 30 to 40 percent increase in business. He has also invested in additional brewing tanks with the capacity to double his production of 1,000 barrels in 2018.