Beer Man

Saint Patrick's, a lagers-only nanobrewery, is moving to bigger digs on the South Platte

Saint Patrick's Brewing, a tiny nanobrewery in Englewood, is moving into a much larger space, where co-owner Chris Phelps will have the chance to make a lot more of his passion: lagered beers, many of them with unusual ingredients.

The new taproom, at 2852 Bowles Avenue in Littleton, will be in a 5,300-square-foot building next door to Lucille's Creole Cafe; it will include an eighty-person taproom, a patio out front and a huge beer garden in back overlooking the South Platte Greenway.

See also: Saint Patrick's, an Englewood nanobrewery, is bringing back lagers

"Everything is going according to plan, and we are moving up in the world," says Phelps, who started Saint Patrick's in his garage in Centennial in 2012 before moving to his current location, at 4750 South Santa Fe Circle, in July 2013.

For all of that time, he's been brewing on what was essentially a glorified thirty-gallon homebrewing system. The move will enable him to move up to a seven-barrel brewhouse, however, along with sixteen seven-barrel fermenters.

Phelps only makes lagers -- which typically take longer to brew than ales -- and has been serving them out of bottles. But the new system means he'll be able to serve them all on tap. Over the years, he's brewed 55 different beers, including his five flagships.

The beers run the spectrum, from fairly traditional lagers such as pilsners and dunkels, to those with a variety of fruits and spices. He also brews ale-style beers using lager yeast. Some recent examples include Berry Chili Lager, Pineapple Fire Lager, American Barleywine Lager, Oak Sweet Stout Lager and Chai Peach Cream Lager.

"It's expensive to brew lagers and it takes more of everything, but it's worth it. You get a crisper, cleaner product," Phelps says.

And although Saint Patrick's will have a 25-person patio out front, the real treasure will be a beer garden in back that will include a fire pit, a gazebo, bocce ball, volleyball and a view of the river. "You'll be able to get on your bike and ride to the new Breckenridge Brewery in about five minutes," he says. Breckenridge plans to open a massive brewing campus on ten acres along the river, about a mile south, in mid-2015.

Inside, the brewery will offer comfortable furniture, ping pong, foosball, a fireplace and fully functioning dance floor -- which Phelps plans to utilize.

Phelps would like to open the new spot on Saturdays-only beginning in late August or September, and then open for real in November after he has enough beer.

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