Cafe Society

Danny Wang wants to pair beer with Asian cuisine

Asia Like It

Danny Wang likes beer. A computer scientist by trade, he started crafting ales at home a couple of years ago, fascinated by the mathematical and chemical processes that characterize brewing. Turns out he was pretty good at it, too. The deeper he went into homebrewing — he eventually joined Foam on the Range, a Colorado homebrewers' association — the more convinced he became that he should open his own brewery. And this summer, he will.

After plans to rezone his garage into a beer-making operation fell through, Wang pieced together enough financing to acquire an old warehouse near I-70 and Peoria Street, which will be the home of Caution: Brewing Company. There, drawing from his Taiwanese roots and using Odell Brewing's old five-barrel system, he'll brew beers that match Asian cuisine. While he cites beers like Asahi as inspiration, Danny promises that his brews will have their own unique flavor. "Asian food goes well with lighter beers, so we'll begin there," he says. "But there are a lot of styles and a lot of possibilities." A lot of marketing possibilities, too, since there are few domestic breweries making Asian styles of beer — and there are plenty of Asian restaurants at which to sell them.

Lao Wang Noodle House, for example. Danny's parents, Tse-Ming and Chung-Ming Wang, have done without a liquor license for ten years at Lao Wang, but they now plan to go through the application process so that they can serve alcohol — especially Lao Wang Lager, which Danny will brew exclusively for them, using the same spices his parents use in the kitchen, along with anything else he comes up with.

To get them that lager, though, Danny — the sole owner of Caution (aided by his girlfriend, Betina Fey) must first acquire his Trade and Tax Bureau permit. "It's a duct-tape and nuts-and-bolts operation," he says. "But we're optimistic that we'll get the permits by the end of the summer." At that point, he'll start rolling out kegs to restaurants; he also wants to create a small line of hand-bottled bombers to sell in liquor stores. And one day, he hopes to open some sort of tap room.

In the meantime, Lao Wang Noodle House should start pouring Lao Wang Lager this October.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk