Beer Man

Beer demand allows Copper Kettle Brewing to expand after only five months in business

Denver just can't seem to quench its thirst for craft beer.

After just five months in business, the owners of Copper Kettle Brewing have already pumped up their beer-making capacity by adding two ten-barrel fermenters to the three three-barrel tanks they already had - an expansion of about 166 percent.

Husband-and-wife team Jeremy Gobien and Kristen Kozik had planned to start selling kegs of their beers to beer bars around town, but they didn't realize how busy their taproom would become, and how quickly people would down their beers.

"At this point, if we had done that, we'd be out of beer in the tap room within a week," Kozik says. The most popular beers early on were the brewery's Bavarian Helles and Copper Mezzina Ale, but the Black IPA and Cologne Kolsh have exceeded those; the Mexican Chocolate Stout is also very popular.

"We've been amazed," says Kozik, who moved to Denver two years ago. "There are 45,000 people who live within walking distance of us, and even though we are slightly off the beaten path, people will come to you if you have good beer and good service."

Copper Kettle is located in a somewhat hidden business park off of Parker Road, on the border of Denver and Aurora, but the location -- with cheaper rent than a prime spot elsewhere -- has made a big difference, alloweding the couple to invest in equipment. The brewery has also hired one employee and plans to hire two more.

Kozik also credits a loyal following of Brew Club members for spreading the word about Copper Kettle. "A lot of them, we see three or four times a week and we know them intimately. They have promoted us more than anyone else." There are currently forty Brew Club members -- who gain that status by drinking a certain amount of beer there -- and the final ten spots in the club will be filled within the next two weeks.

But since there are another 500 people trying to attain that status, Kozik says Copper Kettle plans to offer them frequent flier status that will qualify them for discounts. Copper Kettle will also open on Mondays beginning on September 12 for football season; the only day it is closed is Tuesdays.

Once the new fermenters are up and running -- later this month -- Copper Kettle plans to begin supplying some beer bars in Denver.

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