Beer Man

38 State Brewing opens Littleton's first taproom on Saturday

38 State Brewing, which is named after Colorado's historical designation as the 38th state to join the union, will make a little history of its own on Saturday when it becomes the first taproom-only brewery to set up shop in Littleton.

The brewery, at 8071 South Broadway, Unit A, will feature five beers to start: a double IPA, a Scotch ale, a lemon-honey wheat, an amber, a chocolate stout and a kolsch.

See also: 38 State Brewing plans to open in Littleton in early 2014

"We've had two soft openings for friends and family, and the kolsch has been insanely popular," says Brett Blazek, a former teacher who owns the brewery along with Mike and Kim Keating, and Jason Virzi, all of whom live in Littleton or Highlands Ranch.

Blazek and Mike Keating began homebrewing together a number of years ago in a garage, so they wanted their brewery, with room for 65 people, to have a similar feel.

The décor includes beer-related tin signs with a vintage look, along with a giant mural of their logo, beetle-kill wood and an old union flag that shows just 38 stripes and 38 stars. The brewery's taster trays are unique: hand-made by a family member out of blocks of varnished wood, each one holds four taster samples.

Although the owners wanted to open with a three-barrel brewing system, they ended up with a very small, one-barrel system because of cost constraints. But Blazek says the small brewhouse will give them the freedom to try different things. "We can take risks and be experimental, which we couldn't do with a larger system," he says.

With any luck, 38 State will do enough business that the owners will be able to upgrade their system as some point soon, Blazek adds. "There is a huge demand for this down in Littleton," he says. "The people asked for it, and we are the first to give it to them."

38 State will be open from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. The El Toro the Tot food truck will be on hand from 4 to 9 p.m.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes