Beer

One Year In, Restaurateur Troy Guard's First Brewery Is Poised for Growth

Little Dry Creek Brewery's head brewer Ty Nash standing at the bar.
Little Dry Creek Brewery's head brewer Ty Nash standing at the bar. Mark Piscotty
Last year, restaurateur Troy Guard debuted Grange Food Hall at 6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard in Greenwood Village, inside the building that was the longtime home of a C.B. & Potts outpost. The addition to his TAG Restaurant Group included his first foray into beer, Little Dry Creek Brewery. Now, both the food hall and brewery are gearing up to celebrate their one-year anniversary November 7-13.

"We had some unexpected challenges, but overall it's been a really cool experience, and we couldn't be happier," Guard says of the brewery, which is poised for growth.

Little Dry Creek is helmed by veteran brewer Ty Nash, who was the head brewer at C.B. & Potts for over a decade before a brief stint at Dead Hippie Brewing. His twenty-plus years of experience also include various roles at Rockyard Brewing Company. At Little Dry Creek, Nash is brewing a wide range of beer styles — an appropriate decision given the multiple food stalls and diverse demographic that the Greenwood Village hall attracts.

The best beer on the draft list might just be the German-style beer, though. Nash employs a unique multi-step mash on these beers — something that a majority of breweries in the area won't spend the additional time doing on brew day. Going through multiple temperature ranges throughout the mashing process helps improve the body, foam and attenuation (dryness) of the beer, all key components of German-style beers specifically.
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An outside look at Little Dry Creek Brewery.
Mark Piscotty
Nash is also brewing smaller batch sizes on the equipment, with the goal of turning over batches only five weeks after tapping them, ensuring that every beer consumed at the brewery is fresh and at peak taste. The Altbier, a fairly uncommon style of beer in America, is a standout, and holds up to the native varieties found in Düsseldorf, Germany. Seedstock Brewing and Novel Strand Brewing are two other local Denver-area breweries making this style of beer.

Little Dry Creek is looking toward future growth, as well. "A canning line is in the works," notes Guard, adding that customers can expect to find more Little Dry Creek beers in all TAG restaurants soon, which include Guard & Grace, Bubu, Hashtag and Los Chingones.

While Guard is happy with the brewery, he's a chef at heart. "Little Dry Creek is my only brewery-related focus right now," he says. "It's been an amazing learning experience and a huge part of what makes Grange so special."

Unlike many of the chefs that have reached his level of success, Guard didn't go to culinary school; he's always learned by doing, and he's not a brewer, so large batches of beer isn't something that he's used to. "I worked my way up in the kitchens, so the science and brewing technicalities like making sure the temperature is exactly right and holding it there for long periods of time are all new [to me]," he says.

He's also not used to handing off so much control of his business, as he is doing at Grange, where some of the food stalls fall outside of the TAG Restaurant Group umbrella. "I'm used to being involved in everything with my own restaurants. I'm aware of everything, from staffing to ordering product to creating menus and specials," he explains. "At Grange, there's always a lot of moving parts, and other food stalls are in control of their own day-to-day operations."
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An aerial view of Grange Food Hall.
Mark Piscotty
Great Divide is one brewery that Guard really admires. "I want to give them a shout-out for being one of the first and standing the test of time," he says. But besides Little Dry Creek Brewery beer, Guard is a fairly simple drinker. "I'm usually a Coors Light guy," he admits.

The upcoming anniversary celebration at Grange will include seven days of discounts, including different offers from every partner food stall.

On Monday, November 7, the celebration will kick off with all-day happy hour drinks. November 8 is taco Tuesday, with Little Chingones' six signature tacos available for $3 each; on November 9, you can get $3 giant dumplings at Grange's newest stall, Seoul Mandoo; November 10 is buy one entree, get a free appetizer at Menya Ramen; November 11, Champagne and Charcuterie is offering $8 half orders of crostini; November 12, enjoy $5 date, walnut and dulce de leche handmade empanadas at Uptown & Humboldt; and the celebration wraps up on November 13 with buy one pizza, get one half off at Tilford's Wood Fired Pizza. The Crack Shack will also give out goodie bags of free swag on November 11 and 12.

All week long, Little Dry Creek Brewery is offering three for the price of two Crowlers and $5 pints of its six flagship beers, so it's an ideal time to give them a try. Selections include Lucky 13 Oktoberfest, Oro Toro Mexican Kolsch, Walking IPA, Flying W Hefeweizen, Bar Sixteen Pilsner and Broken Arrow Altbier.
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Ryan Pachmayer is a beer writer living in Arvada. He has written for publications such as Craft Beer & Brewing, Zymurgy, Porch Drinking, Homebrewing DIY and Punch. He is also the head brewer at Yak & Yeti Brewpub, marketing director at New Image Brewing and a BJCP Certified Judge.

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