"We used to follow the Grateful Dead around," says Stacy. "And we were selling Dead Guy Ale from Rogue Brewing and Sierra Nevada in the parking lots at concerts while everyone else was selling pot."
Funny, but fitting. Today, the couple runs the bar side of Walter's, a pizza place founded in 2010 by Mike Kienast at 1906 Pearl Street in the Uptown neighborhood, who also runs locations in Littleton and Colorado Springs. Originally just a small takeout spot, Walter's more than doubled its space when Kienast teamed up with the Turks last year. They added 22 taps — all of them local craft breweries — a bunch of TVs, a long bar and a plethora of jam-band posters on the walls.
There are also frequent kegs from popular breweries that are too small to sell kegs anywhere else. Recently, for instance, Walter's was pouring selections from Outer Range Brewing in Frisco, a highly celebrated brewery that doesn't get out much; Zuni Street Brewing, which just opened; The Larimer, a little-known brewery-in-planning that currently brews at Crazy Mountain; and the rare Cerealiously series from Black Bottle in Fort Collins.
Getting some of those kegs comes a little easier for John, though, because of his history in the industry. A local radio producer and personality for seventeen years, Turk worked with Jay Marvin, David Sirota and numerous other local voices. He joined Gary Valliere in 2011 to co-host the Colorado Craft Beer radio show (Valliere left to start a second beer show on another station), but left radio in 2013 — "Politics drove me out," he says — to take a job as the Denver-area sales manager with Utah-based Epic Brewing, which opened a large production facility in Denver that year. "So, I have a lot of prior relationships in craft beer," he explains.
For Walter's one-year anniversary, John and Stacy have arranged several special celebratory beers that were brewed just for the occasion by Platt Park Brewing, Cerebral Brewing, Ratio Beerworks, Black Bottle Brewing and, of course, Epic, which will supply a special firkin. "I have connections there," Stacy says with a laugh.