Big things can come in small packages, and Will Curtin and Chris Kirk plan to deliver some big things this Saturday when they open Banded Oak Brewing, one of the smaller tap rooms in Denver.
Located in a tiny former auto-body shop on Broadway, Banded Oak has room for just 38 people inside — though there’s space for another forty on the patio. But Curtin and Kirk have a good-sized ten-barrel brewing system and plans to age many of their beers in oak wine barrels, which should give them big flavors.
“Right off the bat, we have filled a bunch of barrels,” Curtin says, adding that because of space constraints, Banded Oak has had to adjust its original goal of focusing primarily on barrel-aged offerings. Still, the brewery has twenty cabernet sauvignon barrels and may add some pinot noir barrels soon.
In the meantime, head brewer Kirk is getting creative, Curtin says. Banded Oak will open with three beers: an imperial rye saison, a Scotch ale and a lower-ABV, “patio-minded” Vienna lager. After that, Kirk will brew an English-style pale ale, an imperial pilsner and an American IPA, “to keep the hop lovers happy.” Once they get a feel for what customers want, Curtin says, Banded Oak will focus more on those beers.
But the patio should make customers happy, as well. Since the brewery building itself is only 2,000 square feet, Curtin and Kirk have placed its fermenters outside. They also added shade and string lights to the patio to give it more atmosphere.
And since Banded Oak is located in the same complex as Dae Gee Korean BBQ and a sandwich shop, they hope to attract some customers who've stopped by for a meal and will stay for the beer.
Banded Oak, at 470 Broadway, will open at noon on Saturday, June 4.