After five years in Broomfield, Big Choice Brewing will pick up and hop across the freeway, opening a much larger taproom in a former Buddhist temple in Brighton.
Although brewery owners Nathaniel and Andrea Miller are being forced to move because their current building is for sale, the couple had already been looking for a new space so that they could add live music, a patio, more beer taps and more space, Andrea says. Their current taproom is in a small, two-story building in a business park.
“The new space will allow us to grow and come into our own,” she explains. “There are a lot of breweries out there, and most of them can provide a great taproom experience. Those kinds of amenities are important to people. We really want to increase our taproom presence.”
Built in 1940 by Japanese-Americans, the temple was recently purchased by an investor and “now boasts two outdoor patios, high ceilings with exposed wooden beams and 5,300 square feet for both a taproom and brewing,” Big Choice says. “The current Broomfield taproom has an eight-tap system, but the new location will allow for a fifteen-to-twenty tap system, as well as an increase of occupancy from 50 to 180 people.”
Big Choice will continue to can its beers after the move, but the focus will be on the taproom, Andrea adds. In fact, the brewery may do away with growlers and sell taproom-only six-packs instead. “We aren’t backing away from cans, but shelf-space competition is tight,” she points out.
Big Choice was founded in 2012 by the Millers and Tyler Ruse, and named for a 1994 album by the California punk band Face to Face; the brewery carries that mid-’90s vibe with its music, and Andrea says that look, feel and culture will continue at the new place, which is located at 21 South First Avenue.
The Millers had hoped to stay in Broomfield or the surrounding area, where they have built a following, but they weren’t able to find an immediate option.
Still, they are excited to take on new territory on the other side of I-25. There are only two other breweries in the general vicinity, Something Brewery and Floodstage Ale Works, and Andrea says people in the town are excited for a third. “There is an up-and-coming downtown district,” she says about the town. “They're going to revamp it, with new homes and parks."
Big Choice wasn’t the first brewery to make plans to open in the former temple. Aurora’s Mu Brewery announced last fall that it would open a second location in the space. But funding fell through shortly thereafter, and Mu has since closed its doors in Aurora.
Big Choice plans to brew as much beer as it can over the next few weeks so that it can keep its current taproom open until the brewing equipment has been moved and the new location is ready. Andrea says that should happen sometime in late May.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.