Colorado has always been a hot destination for beer travelers from around the United States, but more recently, the state has been the focus of international attention, too. In addition to hosting the Craft Brewers Conference twice in the past five years, Denver was picked as the site of the most recent Shelton Brothers Festival.
That event, which was founded in 2012 and moves to a different city each year, includes not just some of the best, the rarest and the most interesting beers in the world, but also typically brings the brewers and owners of these companies. The last Festival took place in October 2018 at Denver Rock Drill.
Now Shelton Brothers, a beer importer that sells to wholesalers around the U.S., has helped create a distribution company, called Culture Beverage, in Colorado; Culture plans to eventually open a taproom here to serve the beers that Shelton brings in. Shelton’s beers were previously distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans, an arm of the eponymous brewery.
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“Culture Beverage was created to specifically to bring exposure to the beers, ciders and meads that Shelton Brothers imports, so hopefully we will see more and more of these products in liquor stores, bottle shops, restaurants and bars across Colorado,” says Xandy Bustamante, who owns Culture with Lauren Shepard and Zac Wilkinson.
“And if we are bringing more exposure and selling more, it means we will have more frequent shipments coming out to Colorado, so we will also be able to bring a wider variety to the state, as well,” he adds, including “smaller, less well-known producers that haven't even made it out here yet…from tiny U.K. and Spanish breweries, gravity kegs from Franconia, bag-in-box traditional ciders, and, of course, fun Belgian beers.”
As for the tasting room, Bustamante (who co-founded Elevation Beer Company in Poncha Springs) says “it will be a place for everyone — curious drinkers, buyers expanding their knowledge, hard-core beer lovers — to come to learn more about the places, traditions and methods that make these beverages unique.”
There is no specific timetable for the taproom, as Culture and Shelton Brothers are waiting for the right fit, but Bustamante says it will highlight “not just the beverages, but where they come from, and how incredible it is that we have access to drinks from all over the U.S. and the world that transport us to a totally different place.”