Goldspot Brewing isn’t Denver’s smallest brewery, or its largest. It’s not the youngest or the oldest. It doesn’t go in for trendy styles, though head brewer Kelissa Hieber will sure as hell make one if she feels like it. Goldspot is simply one of dozens of neighborhood breweries inside Denver’s sunny urban borders — indispensable to its regulars, but mostly unknown on the other side of town.
In the coming days, Goldspot, like a couple of hundred other small Colorado breweries, may be allowed to reopen its doors to the public after six weeks of selling only beer to go, rub the darkness from its eyes (after washing its hands, of course), and peer out at a very different world than the one it left in March.
Owners Ryan and Winnie Dubois and Hieber have an idea of what that might look like, and it isn’t pretty — but it’s better than most, says Hieber.
“We think we’ll only be allowed to have ten people on the inside and probably another ten people outside on our patio, including employees,” she explains.
Rather than have customers come to the bar to order, Hieber and her staff, wearing gloves and masks, will bring beers to their tables. Patio patrons won’t be allowed inside, and indoor drinkers won’t be allowed onto the patio. All of them may have to make reservations, and they’ll have a two-hour limit. Everyone will have to mind their distance.
“If the rules are as restrictive as that, a lot of breweries might not even open, because they won’t be able to make any money doing that,” Hieber explains. “But for us it could be fine. We are established, we don't have any debt, and we have great neighborhood support.”
Like most Denver breweries, Goldspot has spent significant time and energy getting to know its regulars, working with other Berkeley neighborhood businesses and supporting nonprofit groups. In addition, Hieber teaches a class at nearby Regis University, which offers a brewing course of studies, and she co-founded the Makin’ Noise project, a coalition of Colorado breweries that periodically create themed beers and donate a portion of the proceeds to a wide-ranging group of charities.
In return, Goldspot has seen a steady stream of customers on most days who stop by to take home Crowlers full of beer — enough to help the brewery get by for the past few weeks.
“The years of community building that we really prioritized are really showing. It makes all of that work worth it,” says Hieber, who began working at Goldspot in late 2015 as a bartender before becoming assistant brewer, then head brewer, and now part owner as well.
“But we can’t survive on Crowlers alone," she adds. And while Goldspot will still encourage as many to-go sales as it can, it plans to welcome back its thirsty regulars. "We are going to have to be really intense about [the rules], but we have good regulars who will listen and respect this," she says. "I've never been so excited to have twenty people in my taproom."
Goldspot Brewing is located at 4970 Lowell Boulevard and is currently open for takeout beers purchased online. Pick-up days and times are 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
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