Ryan Evans liked home brewer Charlie Gottenkieny's beers so much when he tried them for the first time several years ago that he promised to invest in a real brewery if Gottenkieny, a beer educator and beer judge, ever opened one. That promise paid off last weekend when the two turned on the taps at Bruz Beers, at 1675 West 67th Avenue, just north of Denver.
“We are making Belgian and Belgian-inspired styles," says Gottenkieny. “We chose Belgium because we both have a passion for it and because there are so many different styles brewed there that it gives us a lot of leeway and variety in what we can brew.” Both men have spent significant amounts of time in Belgium and other European countries.
Located in the new Midtown development in unincorporated Adams County, Bruz takes up about 4,700 square feet and has room for up to 140 people inside; there's also a big patio. Evans and Gottenkieny are starting with a four-barrel system (which they purchased from Black Shirt Brewing in River North), but they hope to replace it with a larger system soon.
“Like a lot of brewers, I'm cutting my teeth for the first time,” says Gottenkieny, who has home-brewed for years but never brewed professionally.
Bruz is starting off with an amber ale, a Belgian-style witbier, a Belgian IPA, a dubbel, a trippel and a quad. But Gottenkieny also plans to make “a raft of specialty beers” and sours. “We have twenty taps and room to expand to 28," he says. "I consider that a personal challenge. We have some interesting stuff coming down the pike.”
The brewery is also bottling small amounts of some of its beers, which it sells out of the tap room, and the partners hope to add liquor-store and restaurant accounts down the road.
For now, Bruz is only open on the weekends, but it will expand its hours soon. The brewery will host a grand opening during the weekend of July 8 through July 10.