Beer Man

Renegade Brewing Opens Its New Production Facility for Tours, Pints

Renegade Brewing isn't cooking malt and hops yet at its huge new production and packaging facility on First Avenue and Santa Fe Drive, but it has opened the building for public tours -- along with pints.

Tours will be offered from 4 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Attendees can buy a pint or two as they tour, though there's no seating. "You can hang out, but it's pretty informal. The taps are coming right out of the cooler," says brewery founder Brian O'Connell. "We want to introduce people to the new space and let them know we're there."

That will be challenging at first, since the brewery is located in the 2.5-acre Yard at Santa Fe, at 918 West First Avenue, which was home to the Stark lumberyard for more than a century and is now being slowly transitioned into a development. Locating Renegade will get easier as the site fills in, however, because the complex is expected to include a restaurant, a coffee shop, a gym, offices and Il Porcellino Salumi, a deli that will cure its own meats.

Renegade, which helped kick off Denver's craft renaissance when it opened its original spot just up the street at 925 West Ninth Avenue in 2011, revealed last March that it had outgrown that space and would create a second, larger facility. The brewery will eventually have 15,000 square feet at the Yard. For now, though, Renegade is still brewing at its Ninth Avenue brewery and then transporting the wort (unfermented beer) to the production facility, where it is fermented and then canned. By this summer, Renegade should be brewing in the new location on a thirty-barrel system. And by next year, O'Connell will take possession of the rest of the building, where he plans to add a second tap room.

Renegade is also packaging on its new canning line at the new location. The brewery will use exclusively twelve-ounce cans now, as opposed to the mixture of twelve- and sixteen-ouncers it had been using before. Renegade has also discontinued its line of bomber bottles in order to focus on cans.

The brewery packages four year-round beers: Redacted Rye IPA; Consilium Pale Ale; Hiatus, a cold coffee-infused ale; and Elevation Triple IPA (which will change its name to Endpoint this spring, following a legal settlement with Elevation Beer Company). It will began canning a fifth, 5:00 Afternoon Ale, this May; 5:00 had previously been a seasonal offering.

Renegade also makes two seasonals: Hammer & Sickle Russian Imperial Stout and the yet-to-be-released Contrarian Imperial Pilsner.

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