Everything started with a phone call. Karen Hertz, founder of gluten-free brewery Holidaily
, was recently looking for a food partner for her Denver Tech Center location. She had met Jennifer Peters, owner of gluten-free eatery Just BE Kitchen
, through a mutual friend over five years ago, and Just BE has carried Holidaily beers ever since. "When I called, it turns out [Jennifer] was already looking for a second location in the Tech Center area," says Hertz. "So the timing worked out perfectly. The stars just kind of aligned."
That phone call turned into the first gluten-free brewery and restaurant partnership in the United States. Soon, Just BE Kitchen will open its second restaurant at Holidaily's location at 5370 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard in Greenwood Village.
Just BE Kitchen was founded in 2017 with the goal of offering high-quality, fast-casual fare that is free of major allergens; its menu is 100 percent free of grain, refined sugar, soy, corn, peanut and legumes. The restaurant is also 99 percent dairy-free. In 2020, Just BE became the first eatery of its kind to be featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Hertz was originally motivated to start Holidaily in 2016 after surviving both melanoma and thyroid cancer in the span of a few years and moving to a gluten-free diet as part of her recovery plan. The brewery, which has a taproom and production facility in Golden, opened the 2,600-square-foot Denver Tech Center location
last August, and is currently the largest brewery in the U.S. that is fully gluten-free.
Holidaily Brewing captured a silver medal at the 2022 GABF.
Just BE plans to open its kitchen at Holidaily by November 1, serving lunch and dinner with a menu similar to the one at its original location, at 2364 15th Street, and Holidaily will expand its hours to open earlier. Along with regular service, the two businesses will also team up for special events like beer dinners, and the entire space will be available for private rental with a catering option.
Later this month, Holidaily will also send beer to Germany for the country's first-ever gluten-free Oktoberfest celebration. The event will take place on October 29 and 30 on a cruise on the Danube River. Ama Waterways' AmaLea ship will be a 100 percent gluten-free cruise experience, presented by Celiac Cruise. Holidaily is the official beer of Celiac Cruise, and Hertz will be on the ship interacting with passengers.
The brewery further solidified its credentials in the beer world at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival in early October, where it won a silver medal in the Gluten-Free Beer category for its BuckWit Belgian. The win was Holidaily's third in four years in the category.
Holidaily brews on a one-barrel pilot system at its Denver Tech Center location, with the bulk of its production happening at the Golden production facility, which has a capacity of 10,000 barrels per year. While Hertz doesn't have immediate plans to grow the company's distribution footprint, she says it will happen over the next three to five years.