Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar ordered to stop selling draft beer

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The Update, September 28: Crooked Stave is now serving draft beer again after having come to resolution with the Department of Revenue's tobacco and liquor enforcement division. It turns out that Crooked Stave owner Chad Yakobson, who has researched Colorado's odd liquor rules, had asked Funkwerks Brewing in Fort Collins, where he used to make his beer, to designate Crooked Stave as the sole distributor and wholesaler for eighteen specific Crooked Stave beers. Since Funkwerks has a manufacturer's license, Crooked Stave doesn't need one in order to sell those beers on tap at its taproom.

Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar, which opened just a few weeks ago, has been ordered by the Colorado Department of Revenue to stop selling beer on draft -- though it can continue to sell bottles.

"They have a wholesaler's license, not a manufacturing license, so they can only sell alcohol for off-premises consumption," says Mark Couch, a spokesman for the department, which licenses all alcohol-related businesses in Colorado.

See also - Crooked Stave adds funk to Denver's beer culture with a barrel cellar and brewery - Like a winery, Crooked Stave brewery is raising money with a reserve membership program - Crooked Stave will rely on sour beers for sweet success

To be able to sell draft beer, Crooked Stave needs to apply for a manufacturer's license, Couch explains. Although he can't discuss the details of the investigation, he says an agent with the department's liquor and tobacco enforcement division visited Crooked Stave last week after receiving a tip about the licensing issue.

Crooked Stave, which specializes in wild and sour ales, can still sell bottles from its location at 1441 West 46th Avenue, but those bottles can't be opened on-site.

Brewery owner Chad Yakobson, who's currently traveling out of state, says he's trying to figure out what is going on.

Yakobson opened his brewery in Fort Collins last year and moved the operation to Denver this past June. He opened the Barrel Cellar on September 5 and had been operating it as a taproom ever since.

Crooked Stave doesn't actually make beer at the Sunnyside-area warehouse; instead, Yakobson brews at the nearby River North and Prost breweries, and then transfers the beer to the Barrel Cellar, where he ages it in oak wine and spirits barrels and bottles it.

In spring 2013, he plans to open an innovative, twenty-barrel brewery and taproom in The Source, a European-style open market planned for the old foundry building at 3550 Brighton Boulevard. The Source will also include a chocolatier, a coffee roaster, a wine maker, a sausage-maker and two restaurants.



's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.