Beer Man

Mountain Toad Brewing in Golden turns one, hopes to put parking issues to rest

Mountain Toad Brewing will celebrate its one-year anniversary in Golden this weekend, and one of its birthday presents is what the brewery's owners hope is a tentative truce with residential neighbors who have been complaining for a few months about parking problems.

One of three craft breweries to open in Golden in 2013, Mountain Toad joined Cannonball Creek Brewing and Barrels & Bottles; before that, the two-decade-old Golden City Brewery had been the only craft alternative in this Coors-dominated town.

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Business has been booming, however, and co-owner Kaylee Acuff says Mountain Toad has maxed out its production capacity and is a looking for a new fermenter.

"We've had great support and a great customer base," she says. "One thing that makes us feel good is when people make new friends or connections here. All the different stories I hear, it makes it seem like we have been open longer than a year."

But homeowners in the adjoining 8th and 9th Street Historic District Neighborhood have been upset about increased traffic congestion. In April, the city approved a permit system that only allows residents to park on certain streets on the weekends, and members of the neighborhood association put fliers on cars alerting them to the new rules.

But the fliers also criticized the owners of the brewery and suggested that patrons of Mountain Toad drink at one of the other craft breweries in town.

"Rather than taking serious steps to address the problems that their business has created for our neighborhood, the owners of the Mountain Toad imply that neighborhood degradation is a cost of their business model that must be born by others -- that our loss in the price of their success," the flier read.

The permitting system took effect last weekend, however, with the city installing new signs -- and Mountain Toad co-owner Kaylee Acuff says she hopes it's working.

"I gauge the situation by how many nasty calls we get, and we haven't gotten any in the past two weeks," she says. "Golden is a small town, but it is growing and so is the economy here. So parking is naturally an issue in that situation."

Eventually Mountain Toad may grow out of its current location, but for now, Acuff says the brewery is concentrating on keeping up with demand -- and on its birthday party.

The event, which runs from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, will feature numerous flagship and seasonal beers that Mountain Toad has brewed over the past year, along with three news beers: a double IPA, a pale ale made with grains of paradise and Citra hops, and a Belgian-style golden ale that will be named for the brewery's hometown.

There will also be live music from the Lookout Mountain Boys (whose members include the owner of the new Coda Brewing in Aurora), a food truck and commemorative glassware. The Colorado Craft Beer Show will broadcast live from the brewery from noon to 2 p.m.

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

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