Beer Man

Kokopelli Beer Company opens Friday in Westminster, serving pizza and craft brews

Since beer is made from grain and hops, it makes sense that Christine Wares picked Kokopelli, the Hopi god of agriculture and fertility, for the name and logo of her new brewery. But Wares, who will run Kokopelli Beer Company, 8931 Harlan Street, with brewers Todd Williamson and Rick Holt, believes Westminster and the surrounding area are also fertile soil for craft beer.

See also: 20 breweries that plan to open in Denver in 2014

When it officially opens this Friday, Kokopelli (which has had a couple of test runs over the past two weeks) will help fill in the Highway 36 corridor -= where there are a only a few breweries -- with another craft beer option.

"People around here have been waiting for us," says Wares, who spent twenty years in the telecom industry before deciding to open a brewery. "But I think we'll draw from further away, too, because we have really been trying to get our name out there."

Kokopelli will specialize in lower-alcohol session beers, which are around 5 percent ABV or less, including two gluten-free brews; it will also offer hand-tossed and specialty pizzas, Austian pretzels, appetizers - and later this month, sandwiches and salads.

The 4,000-square-foot brewpub, which seats nearly 100 people, will also have two ciders and two sour beers on tap made by other brewers, and wine. "We aren't doing those ourselves, but we want to have a variety for everyone who comes in," she says.

Kokopelli will use a ten-barrel brewhouse alongside a one-barrel pilot sytem. Wares says the brewpub will also have lots of events, including yoga and art shows.

The grand opening begins at 2 p.m. on Friday, January 10. There will be six beers on tap, including an IPA, a milk stout, an American pale ale and and English pale.

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