On Tuesday, February 21, at 7:39 a.m., a car went crashing through the front of Dos Luces Brewery at 1236 South Broadway. "How was your day today?" reads an Instagram post showing security camera footage of the incident.
Owner Judd Belstock is just thankful that the driver is okay, and that no one was at the brewery when the crash happened. The ordeal is reminiscent of a January crash in which a car hit Chula, a Mexican eatery farther south on Broadway in Englewood; that restaurant remains closed. In 2018, the Hornet, at First Avenue and Broadway, was hit three separate times.
At Dos Luces, rebuilding began almost immediately. "My landlord [Team Dokken] has been great," he says. "He's a residential home builder, as well, and he had a crew working on a house not too far from the brewery." That team was able to build a temporary entrance at Dos Luces in just half a day. Following structural inspections, Dos Luces got the go-ahead from the City of Denver to operate with the temporary entry in place; it will reopen on February 28.
Belstock has a lot planned at the brewery in the upcoming months. While the industry-wide cost increases of 2022 really put a damper on his business, a strong start to 2023 had him feeling optimistic. He's looking forward to introducing a green-hued Shamrock Pulque for Saint Patrick's Day that contains matcha, mint and green spirulina.
He will also be brewing Micaela Cornwine, named after Micaela Bastidas, an Incan leader and the wife of emperor Túpac Amaru, who is the namesake of Dos Luces's imperial black Chica. The project would have started already, but because of turmoil in Peru, it's been difficult to import the purple corn required for the beer.
Dos Luces also recently began hosting the Cuban Coffee Break pop-up on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
With insurance claims in process, Belstock doesn't know what the total cost of the incident will be. Along with visiting the brewery, the best way to support it at the moment, he says, is by purchasing gift cards from its online shop, or by giving a kind tip to the staff.
Local craft beer fans might remember a truck crashing into Comrade Brewing in 2016. That event eventually inspired More Dodge, Less Ram, a GABF gold medal-winning IPA. Belstock says he's already reached out to Comrade's David Lin. Here's hoping that this crash leads to a similar lemons-into-lemonade story for Dos Luces.