Blessed with a beautiful brick exterior, soaring indoor spaces and a perfect location just steps from the bustling intersection of 32nd Avenue and Lowell, Oasis will include a seven-barrel brewhouse, a large taproom, and a patio with room for fifty people.
"We were anxious, but also patient, to find the right spot. I don’t think we could have done any better,” says Oasis co-owner and longtime Boulder restaurateur George Hanna. “I love the space. It makes me smile every time I walk in here.”
In 2001, when the bottom fell out of the early craft-beer market, Hanna closed the brewery. But in 2014, with some prodding by his son and son-in-law, he decided to get back into the industry and restarted Oasis, bringing back his five old-school mainstay beers, all of them with Egyptian names and branding that many people who were drinking beer in the ’90s will remember well.
“People ask me, ‘Why are you getting back in now when it's so competitive?’” Hanna says. But he tells them it was worse when he was going up against the giants — Miller, Budweiser and Coors — because no one knew what craft beer was. “Now I don’t have to sell the idea of micro-beer, too. Just Oasis. It’s easier than it was.”
Designed in the Tudor Revival style by architect William N. Bowman, the church was built in 1931 by the Beth Eden congregation, which had occupied the site since the late 1890s, according to Historic Denver. It was sold in 2007, however, and slated for demolition by RedPeak Properties, which planned to build a five-story, 148-unit luxury apartment building in its place — something that infuriated neighbors.
After several contentious rounds of fighting — including a lawsuit — involving neighbors, the city council, the developer and historic preservationists, the city voted in 2014 to preserve the church as a historic landmark. A five-story complex was eventually built next to the church, and a new developer incorporated the old building into the project so that the two buildings are now attached. The third floor is occupied by a fitness center for apartment residents; the bottom two floors will belong to Oasis Brewing.
Last year, Oasis bought the seven-barrel brewhouse, tanks and equipment that used to belong to Arvada Beer Company, which went out of business in January.
Still, once the brewery opens, Hanna wants to have twelve beers on tap, including an IPA or two in addition to a red, a stout, a pale ale, a brown, an ESB and the revival of a blueberry beer that was popular in the ’90s at the old Oasis Brewing. Crazy Mountain, meanwhile, will continue to brew and bottle Oasis’s five mainstays.
“We were trendsetters back in the day,” Hanna says, “but we’re not going to follow the trends now. We are going to do our own thing, something unique.”