Beer Man

A dozen new breweries on tap for the Denver Metro area by spring 2013

Breweries, big and small, have been opening at a dizzying pace over the past year along the Front Range, from Colorado Springs to Windsor and everywhere in between. Denver alone welcomed eight new breweries in the past twelve months, while Boulder County added at least eight, including four within the city limits.

And the craft beer gods will keep on giving. Over the next six months or so, another ten breweries -- that we know -- are slated to open within the same regional footprint, many of them small neighborhood nanobreweries. Here's our list.

See also: - De Steeg Brewing will open on North Tennyson Street after changing its name - Two new Denver breweries, Black Shirt and Our Mutual Friend, will open just for GABF - Ten new Colorado breweries are rolling out this summer; here's a rundown

Very Nice Brewing Company Nederland Opening: November (tentative) Jeffrey and Susan Green hope to open Very Nice Brewing Company this weekend in the Caribou Village Shopping Center in Nederland, but are awaiting final permit approvals. Once Very Nice is open, the small brewery plans to serve no more than three beers at time. Some of the brews the Greens will have on tap include Monk's Phunk, a Trappist-style Belgian ale; the Logical Fallacy, an India black ale/stout hybrid with a heavy hops profile; and the Very Nice IPA, a classic IPA with Colorado wildflower honey. Fate Brewing Boulder Opening: December Mike Lawinski, the former operations manager for the West End Tavern in Boulder, will open Fate Brewing, a full-service restaurant and brewery, in the 7,000-square-foot space previously occupied by Jose Muldoon's. It will have a ten-barrel brewing system and thirty tap lines, many of which will host guest beers; there will be seating for 230 people inside and 90 outside. Jeff Griffith, formerly of Golden City Brewery, is planning five core beers along with an ever-changing rotation of seasonals, collaborations and special releases. Cannonball Creek Brewery Golden Opening: December 2012 (tentative) Former Mountain Sun brewers Brian Hutchinson and Jason Stengl are opening Cannonball Creek Brewery; it's named for the former moniker of Clear Creek, which flows through Golden. This will be the second craft brewer in a town that sits in the shadow of the Coors plant. Located at 393 Washington Avenue, the 4,000-square-foot brewery and taproom will feature a seven-barrel brewing system. The owners plan to brew a wide variety of ales and lagers, but with "an emphasis on bigger American-style and Belgian beers." They hope to have twelve to fifteen beers on tap at all times. De Steeg Brewing 4342 Tennyson Street January 2012 Craig Rothgery will open De Steeg, a nanobrewery with a 1.2-barrel, homemade brewhouse, in a retail space accessed from the alleyway across the street from the Oriental Theater, at 4342 Tennyson Street. The brewery was formerly called High Gravity, but Rothgery changed the name after Gravity Brewing opened in Louisville; De Steeg is Dutch for "the alley." A home brewer and mechanical engineer in Aurora, Rothgery worked at Nestle Foods in Denver before being laid off in April. His passion is high-alcohol, high-gravity beers -- in the 8 to 14 percent range. Brewery Rickoli Wheat Ridge Opening: Late 2012 (tentative) Rick Abitbol, who was been brewing professionally on the Front Range for years, is opening his own spot in Wheat Ridge, where he plans to feature "extremely hoppy IPAs, rich stouts, malty reds and browns, and, of course. barley wine style ales." Some of the beers he has planned are Totally EYE-P-A, which is similar to other IPAs; Aldo Red, a fuller-bodied version of an altbier; Social Lubricant, a Scotch ale; Hearty Rye Stout; Disturbed Reflection Double IPA; and the Black Pliny, an intense imperial black IPA. Hall Brewing Parker Opening: Late 2012 or early 2013 Led by Aubrey Hall, Hall Brewing plans to do everything by hand, from the beer to the construction of its 4,000-square-foot beetle-kill pine-made brewery. The family-owned business is being constructed on the family farm. Hall will have a twenty-barrel system with space for upgrades to forty barrels and barrel-aging. J Wells Brewery 2516 49th Street Boulder Opening: Late 2012 Jamie Wells and his wife, Lisa, have been planning and saving money for three years in order to open their nanobrewery in Boulder. Wells assembled the brewery equipment himself on the aftermarket and is currently awaiting final permitting approval from the state. He plans to make several styles, including his Hop Haze IPA and Lights Out Stout, a Russian imperial stout. Lost Highway Brewing Denver Opening: Late 2012 (tentative) Named for Route 40 (otherwise known as Colfax Avenue), Lost Highway Brewing is the creation of James and Tina Pachorek, who own the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe next door, as well as two other Cheeky Monk locations. Originally known as Three Saints, the place got a name change to avoid a trademark issue. When it opens, Lost Highway will serve cheese and charcuterie plates along with a wide variety of beers brewed with a seven- or ten-barrel system. Black Sky Brewery Denver Opening: March 2013 Harry Smith, who has been making beer for Breckenridge Brewery for eleven years, and his wife, Lila Mackey, will open Black Sky Brewery at 490 Santa Fe Drive, just a block from Breckenridge. The heavy metal-themed brewpub will feature thin-crust, "New Haven-style" pizza and beers from a variety of local breweries, in addition to Smith's own creations. Smith and Mackey hope to eventually add an outdoor beer garden as well. They also have plans to have art, music and brewing lessons at the brewery, which is in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, as well as tastings with Cicerones and other beer experts. The Brew on Broadway Englewood Opening: January 2013 (tentative) After working with Englewood's planning and zoning department for several months, Paul and Suzanne Webster finally got the go-ahead in August to move forward with their combination nanobrewery and coffee shop, nicknamed the BOB, at 3445 South Broadway. The Englewood residents plan to create a place with a cozy feel, and say they won't ever brew more than 2,400 barrels in a year. Kokopelli Beer Company 8877 Harlan Street Westminster Opening: Late 2012 Kokopelli Beer Company will feature six beers and two seasonals when it opens, according to owner Christine Wares, who also hopes to have a food element at this Westminster brewery. In September, Wares secured a ten-barrel brewhouse from a brewery in Pennsylvania, an upgrade from the seven-barrel system she'd been seeking. Colorado + Liquid Art Works Wheat Ridge Opening: Late January/early February 2013 (tentative) Located at 6995 West 38th Avenue in the former home of Valente's, a classic red sauce joint that closed in 2008 after 44 years, Colorado + will operate its own one-barrel nanobrewery, but it will primarily serve as a serious craft-beer bar, with 56 Colorado beers on tap (and some bottles from other states or other countries). Owner/manager Eugene Khang (the former owner of Vern's Liquor Store) has hired Adam Draeger, the fulltime brewmaster at the Yak & Yeti in Arvada, to run the brewery portion of Colorado +. Draeger, who will continue at the Yak, says he be responsible for keeping four of the taps stocked with Colorado + beers and will "focus on Bigger, Bitter, Belgian and Buggier (aka: sour) beers to fill in voids of the other 52 great Colorado beers we'll have on tap."

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