Beer Man

Boulder Beer's Short-Lived Walnut Spot Will Become Detroit-Style Pizza Pub

This sign will have to come down.
This sign will have to come down. Boulder Beer Company
Just one year after Boulder Beer Company took over the former Walnut Brewery in downtown Boulder, the spot is changing again, into a Detroit-style pizza pub and brewery. But it will still stay all in the family.

Frank Day, the famed restaurateur who founded the Walnut Brewery in 1989 — along with the Rock Bottom, Old Chicago and ChopHouse brewery and restaurant chains — owns the building, the liquor license and the brewing equipment, all of which Boulder Beer has been using. Day's wife, Gina, is a part owner of Boulder Beer.

The new concept, Squared Pizza + Beer, at 1123 Walnut Street, will serve the kind of pizza that Gina grew up eating in her home town of Dearborn, Michigan. For the past year, the taproom has been serving wood-smoked meats and other dishes inspired by Boulder Beer's primary brewpub on Wilderness Place.

The seven-barrel brewhouse, meanwhile, will continue to turn out recipes designed by Boulder Beer Company and will still operate as Boulder Beer's research and development facility.

Calling the relationship between Frank Day and Boulder Beer a "collaboration," the brewery's president, Jeff Brown, says, "It has given our team a chance to create more recipes and test-market them to a wider audience than we had been able to in the past. Boulder Beer's latest two beers to be introduced to our thirty-state footprint, Due East New England-Style IPA and Festbier Helles-Style Lager, have come from the downtown collaboration."

The brewers are currently working on a double IPA that they hope to release in November as a year-round canned beer, he adds. The brewery also turns out rotating draft-only brews, like hoppy pilsners, hefeweizens, pale ales and sours, and it has two cask-conditioned English-style ales on tap at all times.

Detroit-style pizza is baked in a square pan and typically served in square slices. It has a slightly different and much thicker crust than traditional pizza and often uses other cheeses aside from mozarella. While Denver has two locations of Blue Pan Pizza, which specializes in the style, Detroit pizza will be a new addition to the Boulder dining scene, according to Squared Pizza.

The new pizzeria and brewpub will open in September.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes