Beer Man

Dry Dock closes on new brewery, reveals canned beer lineup

Dry Dock Brewing closed the deal on its new six-acre, 30,000-square-foot production brewery in north Aurora on Wednesday -- celebrating with some ale, of course -- and revealed the four beers it plans to begin canning at the new location this winter.

The first two, Hefeweizen and Apricot Blonde, will be familiar to beer lovers around Colorado because they are already packaged in 22-ounce bomber bottles. But the others, Hop Abomination and HMS Victory Amber have only been on tap.

"Our head brewer, Doug Hyndman, has done six or seven versions of Hop Abomination, and we really liked the most recent one," says brewery owner Kevin DeLange.

Now that Dry Dock has taken possession of the building, at 2801 Tower Road, DeLange will begin renovating it and plans to make his first batch of beer there in mid- or late November. "So you should see it on the shelves in December, or maybe in January," he says.

In the meantime, the brewery has already moved its new centrifuge -- a device that helps clarify beer -- into the building and will bring in its bottling line and new Wild Goose Engineering canning line, which can fill and seal about forty cans per minute.

Dry Dock also recently purchased a ten-foot-tall oak fermenting barrel, which it will use to make large, sixty-barrel batches of wild or sour ales, and hired John Snyder, the former head brewer at Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs, to be part of the staff.

The new brewery can't get online fast enough, though, says DeLange. "We can't make enough beer right now. At this point, we're just trying to keep up and not piss anybody off."

A new, forty-barrel system will be capable of brewing 12,000 barrels right off the bat, or about 430 percent more than what Dry Dock makes at its current location; the brewery cranked out 2,800 barrels of beer in 2011.

Dry Dock will keep its current brewery and tasting room open even after the new one is operational. The brewery hopes to add a second tasting room as well.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes