"It's been one hell of a ride...but all things must come to an end." That's the word from Brennan Mann and Spencer O'Bryan, who announced on Facebook Tuesday that they will close Fermaentra Brewing.
The brewery, which has occupied an open, brick-walled space near the University of Denver since late 2014, will wind things down over the next few weeks before a final party on February 23.
"Why are we doing this? Long story short, a lot of overhead has forced some difficult decisions in the last year, and with costs on the rise we don’t foresee being able to operate Fermaentra at the Evans location in a sustainable manner," the owners said in their note. "Yeah, we are sad, too."
And although Femaentra is closing, Mann and O'Bryan say they are transferring their space to "a brewery with a fresh and exciting model" that will take its place. "We can’t disclose the brewery’s name or their plan, but trust us, it will be a very unique model for the Denver area," they wrote.
The two friends, both longtime home brewers, decided to open a brewery in 2012. They ran into many problems along the way, however, including a name change (their original name, Halcyon Brewing, was already taken) and a four-month wait until Xcel Energy was able to get them enough power. But when it did open, the brewery brought something new and different to the neighborhood, which didn't have much craft beer.
While Fermaentra made a wide variety of styles, it specialized in big, bold beers, like Meristem, a robust Russian imperial stout, and Machination, a massively hoppy 10 percent ABV strong ale.
When it closes, about seven months shy of its fifth anniversary, Fermaentra will become just one of a handful of Denver breweries to close in the past few years. Unfortunately, it will probably be far from the last, as increased competition and rising rents have made it difficult for many breweries to stay afloat. Two other metro-area breweries, Centennial's Lost Highway and Lafayette's Uturn BBQ and Brewery, closed in January.
"Over the years there is one overarching principle to everything we have ever done: integrity. We have strived to create well made beer, provide a venue to the community that they can be proud of, and employ a team of dedicated people who make no compromises in how they do their work. We’re proud to say we have accomplished those things," the owners wrote. "Finally, we just want to say thank you. Thank you to our fellow craft brewers, to our suppliers, our absolute soldiers of crew members (past and present), and to our loyal patrons — this has been a dream come true and we will never forget the times we shared over a few brews."
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