Beer Man

Hugo's Colorado Beer & Spirits opens today in Capitol Hill, selling only craft beer and spirits

Hugo's Colorado beer & Spirits opened today in Capitol Hill, just in time to catch the last part of the holiday liquor store rush -- something that should help owner Joe-Michael Wright catch up after permitting delays that have held him up since October.

See also: - Freshcraft, Right Coast Pizza offer end-of-world fun in our beer calendar - Hugo's will open in Capitol Hill this summer selling Colorado craft beer and spirits - The old Argonaut Liquors could come down as soon as today

Not just another liquor store, Hugo's sells primarily Colorado-made booze, including craft beer, wine and spirits, and leave the the mass-produced stuff to other stores. The sole exception is Coors Original, which he is selling in homage to the state's most well-known brewer. He also sells some craft beer from other states.

"I think people get it," he says. "At least, I hope they do."

A former real estate agent who decided to do something different with his life, Wright originally planned to sell just craft beer, but decided to include spirits when he saw how many new small distilleries were opening.

And all of it will be displayed in a rustic setting that includes a hardwood floor, brick walls, old gas pipes as decorations and raw wooden shelves. There is also an ancient chalk mural inside that was part of the building when one of his walls faced the exterior.

The store is located in the 1,400-square-foot space that was formerly Nicolo's Chicago Style Pizza at 1205 East 13th Avenue; Nicolo's recently moved one door down.

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