Beer Man

Vine Street Pub begins construction on its new brewery, which could open this fall

Vine Street Pub is getting ready to raise the roof on its new brewery.

But first it had to lower the floor.

"We dropped the whole thing about three feet," says Brian Hutchinson, head brewer for Vine Street. The goal is to make room for a twelve-barrel brewing system and six 24-barrel fermenters sometime this summer.

If all goes well, construction of the long-anticipated brewery -- which will go into 3,500 square feet behind the restaurant portion of the pub -- will wrap up this fall.

When it does, Vine Street will be able to brew 5,000 barrels of beer a year (at capacity), about 50 percent more than its sister locations, Boulder's Mountain Sun and Southern Sun pubs, can do combined.

"Every time you build a pub, you learn a bunch," says Paul Nashak, managing partner for the company that owns all three places. "At Mountain Sun and Southern Sun, we didn't leave enough room for expansion. At this one, we are thinking big."

So big, in fact, that Nashak and company may decide to open another Denver-area pub or two down the road, so that they have a place to sell the beer they make.

Once the system is up and running, Vine Street will primarily brew the company's eight best-selling beers (which make up 75 percent of their sales), while Mountain Sun and Southern Sun will focus on small-batch beers; the company makes a staggering 55 to 65 different beers a year, with twenty on tap at each establishment at a time.

In the meantime, Vine Street is now offering lunch every day except for Monday, and Nashak says business has been going well since that meal was introduced a few weeks ago.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan.