Zephyr Brewing, which closed its River North brewery and taproom last July, will rise from the ashes on Friday at 4 p.m., when it reopens with a small new taproom and production facility at 1609 East 58th Avenue, Unit G.
The new location features Zephyr's original Colorado-made seven-barrel brewhouse, a butcher-block bar and a design that co-owner Brian Wood calls "sleek/modern industrial." There is space for approximately 25 customers.
The taproom will initially be open just three days a week: Thursday and Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. Zephyr will offer a rotating list of seven to eight beers, starting off with some old favorites like a Belgian quadruple, a malty Irish red and Zephyr's flagship blood-orange pale ale.
But Wood says he and longtime assistant brewer Nick Crown (who is training to become the head brewer) "will continue to expand our offerings and experiment with new fun styles. My favorite style is Belgian, so you will always find a few on tap, but we pride ourselves in offering a vast array of styles and region-specific beers. There are just too many good styles out there to limit ourselves or our customers to a particular style or region.”
Wood says he hopes to double the brewery's capacity and acquire a packaging system and have it up and running by the end of 2018; he also hopes to open a secondary taproom somewhere in the Denver area.
Zephyr first opened in December 2014 as one of the first breweries in River North. But it became the second one to leave in the face of rising rents and a crowded market. River North Brewery, which opened in 2012, was forced out in 2015 when its building was demolished to make way for a luxury condo development. River North relocated to 6021 Washington Street, where it opened a production facility and taproom. It will return to its namesake neighborhood with a brand-new taproom at 3400 Blake Street later this year.
When Zephyr closed, Woods explained that “it was a tough decision to leave...but as the neighborhood has developed, more and more big beer has joined the scene, resulting in an oversaturation of the market and rising costs. In order to continue our dream of expanding Zephyr, our brewing capacity and our consumer reach, we felt it was in the best interest of the company to relocate.”