Arvada Beer Company's Kelly Floyd plans to compete with the big boys of brewing

Kelly Floyd has been dreaming for seven years about opening a brewery. Today, she will unveil her dream, the Arvada Beer Company, and show off the work that has been done inside the building in Olde Town Arvada where she will open in June.

"I love the beer industry. It's a very tight-knit group with a wonderful sense of community," says Floyd, a longtime Sun Microsystems employee who has been home brewing with her husband for years -- and repeatedly winning competitions.

The brewery, at 5600 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, will consist of an eight-and-a-half barrel brewing system and a tasting room that can seat 120 to 130 people. There will be four standard beers, an American pilsner called Ralston's Golden Lager, 59'ers schwarzbier, Water Tower Wheat and an IPA. It's located inside a nearly one-hundred-year-old brick building that has been completely gutted and restored to make room for the brewery and other businesses.

Oddly, Floyd isn't a big beer drinker herself. "I don't really drink. When I do, it's a porter or a stout or a schwarzbier; I'm not a hophead," she says. "But I do love to make beer for people and have them enjoy it. That really is fulfilling for me."

And people seem to like drinking Floyd's beer.

Two years ago, she won the Queen of Beer international home brew competition, in which she entered several beers. Her Majestic Marzen took best of show. "Over the past few years, I have been getting my name out there, winning competitions, getting a reputation and making good, consistent quality beers," she says.

But her lack of beer-drinking prowess isn't the only thing that makes Floyd unusual in the world of craft beer. She is one of only a handful of women brewers.

"That needs to change," she insists. "There are a lot of great woman brewers, but they are a little intimidated by the fact that so many brewers are men. I want to compete with the big boys. Id like to become a pioneer and guide that.There is a lot of talent out there."

Arvada Beer Company is one of at least five new breweries intending to open in the Denver area this summer. The others are Caution Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Denver Beer Co and Copper Kettle Brewing.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan.

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