Beer Man

Mu Brewery opens in Aurora as Colfax Avenue's only beer maker -- for now

Colfax Avenue may be the longest street in America, but until Mu Brewery opened last weekend in Aurora, none of its 26 miles was graced with a craft brewery. The last beer-maker with a Colfax address was an outlet of the Florida-based Hops Grill & Brewery chain, but that company pulled out of Colorado in 2013.

Mu, which is located in the Aurora Cultural Arts District, ended the dry spell on June 7 when owner Nathan Flatland opened his doors. Named for a Greek letter -- which also stands for "micro" -- Mu is located inside a former office that hadn't been occupied since 2008. But the building had to be completely renovated to meet building codes.

See also: Denver Pearl Brewing celebrates its grand opening this weekend

"It's a fun distinction," says owner Nathan Flatland of having a brewery on Colfax, but he's more excited about being in the arts district, which is trying once again to reinvigorate itself. In fact, Mu's hours correspond to those of two neighboring theaters. The brewery is currently open Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday from 2 p.m. to midnight; Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

"We're following the lead of other breweries by staying closed some days until we can figure out what the demand is going to be," Flatland says.

Mu, which uses a 3.5-barrel brewing system, currently has five beers on tap -- a maple cream porter, an IPA, a brown ale, a raspberry red ale and a wit -- with a sixth on the way. The taproom is fairly small, with room for about 45 people.

And while Mu is now the only craft brewer on Colfax, he won't be the last. Two other breweries hope to open their doors on the avenue this year: Fiction Beer Company at 7101 East Colfax, and Lost Highway, at 520 East Colfax. Alpine Dog Brewing will also open this year at 1505 Ogden Street, just a few steps from Colfax.

Lost Highway, which is named for Colfax's more formal moniker, Highway 40, was supposed to open in 2013, but construction problems have delayed the owners, James and Tina Pachorek, who also own the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Café next door.

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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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