Grist Brewing hopes to breathe life into south Denver's craft beer scene

South Denver's beer scene, which has been somewhat stagnant compared to the rest of the metro area, will get a boost this fall when Grist Brewing opens its doors in a business park just south of C-470 and Santa Fe Drive in Highlands Ranch. Founded by Rob Kevwitch, an organic chemist who grew up in Colorado before spending most of his professional life in Arizona and Texas, Grist will consist of a twenty-barrel brewing system and a 6,500-square-foot brewery and taproom.

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"I think we are in a good spot right there because there isn't much in that area for the Littleton folks and the Highlands Ranch folks," Kevwitch says. "It's in a pretty nice area, and I think we are in the only industrial building in Highlands Ranch."

Breckenridge Brewery is planning to move its Denver headquarters to a twelve-acre, $20 million brewing campus in 2014, just a mile away in Littleton, and Kevwitch says he hopes to benefit from people who headed to south Denver to visit Breckenridge.

Another startup, Chain Reaction Brewing, has been scouting Littleton locations recently; the Old Mill Brewery & Grill and a CB & Potts are also in the area.

Kevwitch, who has a group of four investors, says he took the name from the brewing term for malted barley that has been ground up before brewing.

He plans to make several "approachable," traditional styles of year-round ales and lagers - Hefeweizen, Kolsch, American IPA, Brown, and Bock - before branching out.

"Right out the gate, we want to nail the styles that we think are underrepresented elsewhere," he says. "The kinds of beers that we order and that most people order when they go out, the kinds that disappear the fastest when I brew at home."

Eventually, Kevwitch, who is a homebrewer but doesn't have commercial brewing experience, will experiment with a wide variety of other styles, however.

Grist, located at 9150 Commerce Center Circle, suite 300, should take delivery of its twenty-barrel brewing system in August, and Kevwitch hopes to open in late October or early November.



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