Baere Brewing Company, at 320 Broadway, has a set of new owners. After ten years of managing Baere, co-owner Ryan Skeels handed over the reins in early March and is looking forward to spending more time with his family. “It was just time to move on to the next chapter of life,” says Skeels, who opened the brewery in 2014 with Kevin Greer in a small strip mall in the Baker neighborhood.
The two met through mutual friends and shared a love of home-brewing before opening Baere. They managed the brewery together until early 2020, when Greer stepped back from day-to-day operations. Skeels got the brewery through COVID, but felt like it was ready for some new blood.
Two friends, Kevin Lind and Weston Scott, are Baere Brewing’s new owners, along with four other investors that include the owners of the Walnut Room, at 3131 Walnut Street. Both Lind and Scott have worked in the beer industry for more than fifteen years; Scott recently opened the Ephemeral Rotating Taproom at 2301 East 28th Avenue, which is essentially a permanent tap takeover for out-of-town breweries. Beare head brewer Matt Schenck, who has been with the company for over six years, is staying on.
“[Baere] is a neighborhood mainstay, and we don’t want to change that,” says investor Adam Novinska. “That’s what was attractive about this space.”
“Yeah, whatever Matt's going to be drinking that weekend, we’ll be looking for,” Lind says with a laugh, emphasizing that personal tastes will be on display. “We plan to serve beers that make Colorado beer Colorado beer.”
With more guest taps, Schenck will have time to experiment and collaborate with other breweries, and possibly make some specific beer for Ephemeral or the Walnut Room.
Before the end of the year, the team hopes to make two other changes: adding a virtual sports simulator and food. The plan is to take over the space next door, which the brewery currently leases for storage (though it still has the former business sign for Liberty Tax on it). It will become a kitchen and, possibly, additional seating.
The virtual sports simulator should be set up by May, Lind says. He and Jonah Munson already run a golf simulator at the Walnut Room, called the Back 9. Along with golf, the system at the brewery, dubbed the Back 9 @ Baere, will include other sports, like soccer, frisbee golf and hockey.
Former owner Skeels sees the changes as the next step for the brewery. He says that while grabbing a beer with friends will always be a mainstay, he believes the public is looking for more these days. “I think people want more out of an experience when they are going out to spend their money,” he notes, adding that he thinks the kitchen will be a hit.
“Yeah, it’s just taken a few weirdos coming together to make it happen," Lind concludes.
Baere Brewing Company is located at 320 Broadway and is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit baerebrewing.com.