Beer Man

South Park Brewing Will Offer a Welcome Watering Hole in the Highway 285 Corridor

One of Colorado's drier stretches will wet its whistle a week from today when South Park Brewing opens, becoming the only craft brewery along a heavily-used 115-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 285 between Lakewood and Buena Vista.

Located in Fairplay, at the junction of 285 and Colorado State Highway 9, South Park Brewing is the dream of Paul Kemp and Megan Sebastian, who have been living in Denver but have owned a house in the Fairplay area since 2006.

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The 5,200-square-foot brewery and taproom will serve a variety of beers created by Kemp, a longtime homebrewer who worked for the Old Chicago chain.

"He'll be making everything," Sebastian says. "We're on a highway, so we will get a lot of travelers who want different styles. Our own town tends to like darker beers."

When the brewery opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 19, it will have a milk stout (probably on nitro), a brown ale, a saison, an unfiltered IPA and a pale ale. South Park will also serve a limited menu of locally-produced and organic fare, including soup, pork green chile, meat and cheese plates, hot dogs and hummus.

Although the town is still mostly rural -- and has just one stoplight -- Sebastian says the area is getting busier, and not just during the summer. "Now everyone is coming to see the leaves and hunt and camp and go biking, and that is bleeding into the ski season. It's getting more and more year-round every year, it seems."

Kemp and Sebastian had originally planned to open a brewery in Denver's Mayfair neighborhood called Beatnik Brewery, but the space ended up not working.

Finding a location in Fairplay was also difficult, however, since many buildings are more than 100 years old and need significant and needed expensive updating in order to handle a brewery. The location they found is in a newer building.

South Park Brewing plans to be open seven days a week.


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