Beer Man

AB InBev-Owned 10 Barrel Brewing Will Open Denver Brewpub

10 Barrel Brewing, a popular Bend, Oregon-based brewery, has confirmed that it plans to open a brewery and pub in Denver within the next six months.

The brewery, founded in 2006 by brothers Chris and Jeremy Cox and Garrett Wales, is notable because of the acclaim and awards that it has won over the years — and because it was one of the first craft breweries to be purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev, in November 2013, as part of the Belgium-based beer conglomerate's recent flurry of acquisitions.

AB InBev gobbled up 25-year-old Colorado beer-making pioneer Breckenridge Brewery in December, and also owns seven other craft breweries nationwide, including Chicago's Goose Island, Elysian Brewing in Washington and Arizona-based Four Peaks. Those acquisitions have rankled the craft-beer industry, which was founded in part to compete with megabrewers. 

“Pubs are huge in telling the story of 10 Barrel. When we expanded into Denver earlier this year we experienced for ourselves first-hand what an amazing craft-beer city it is and knew the next step was to build a pub there,” 10 Barrel tells Westword in a statement. “We’re super-stoked to announce we’ll start building shortly and that we will be brewing in Denver in the first half of 2016. We’ll share more details in the new year.”

Wales and Chris Cox haven't returned messages seeking comment.

A spokesman for 10 Barrel, Jeff Segvich, wouldn't confirm the location of the planned brewery, simply e-mailing the statement above. But BusinessDen has reported that it will be located at 2620 Walnut Street. That is the current home of Casselman's Bar & Venue.

Casselman's hasn't announced that it is closing, however, and co-founder Andrew Ranes didn't return messages seeking comment.

If the location is correct, it means that both AB InBev and Coors will own companies that are opening breweries in Denver's River North district next year. Coors subsidiary Blue Moon has announced that it will open a 27,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant at 1910 38th Street. RiNo is becoming renowned for the plethora of craft breweries located there. 

Last May, 10 Barrel began distributing its beer outside of the Pacific Northwest for the first time, beginning with Denver, thanks to help from AB InBev. At the time, Chris Cox told Westword that he and his partners decided to sell because running the brewery was beginning to take a toll. “We got into this business to drink beer and to have fun. If there was a big powder day, we close down and go skiing,” he explained then. “If it's 90 degrees, we go to the river. But as we got larger, there were fewer of those days. We were stuck ordering hops and ordering glassware, and that's not the reason we got into this.”

Since then, AB InBev has filed paperwork with the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which monitors brewery labels and licensing, that allows it to brew some of 10 Barrel's beers at its large facility near Fort Collins.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes