The owners of Spice Trade Brewing and the Yak & Yeti restaurants have a new brewery and restaurant in the works for Greenwood Village, and it promises to bring something very different to metro Denver's ever-expanding craft-brewing scene. Located near the intersection of Orchard Road and South Yosemite Street, the brewery will use the Spice Trade name (rather than Yak & Yeti) and offer globally inspired street food alongside Spice Trade’s signature beers, many of which are flavored with herbs and spices from around the world.
Once finished, the 5,500-square-foot space will resemble an outdoor street market; head brewer Jeff Tyler says the idea is to transport visitors to other parts of the world.
“There is enough space to make this a more experiential taproom than a lot of the taprooms that currently exist," he explains. "We’re not talking Casa Bonita...but it will be unique, tying into culinary traditions and making you feel like you're in a central plaza in another country."
Part of that magic will come from the Denver Botanic Gardens, which is helping Spice Trade with some of its decor. The DBG has worked with the brewery on collaborative beers and projects in the past, including creating a living Spice Trade booth for the Great American Beer Festival.
The concept is a far cry from Tyler’s original plan when he joined Yak & Yeti in 2016.
At that time, Tyler and Yak & Yeti owner Dol Bhattarai decided to give the brewery a separate identity from the well-known Indian/Nepalese restaurant. (Located in a 153-year-old mansion in Arvada, Yak & Yeti first opened in 2002 and began brewing its own award-winning beer in 2008.) They also planned to start canning some of its flagship beers and needed a new name and concept to avoid a long-simmering dispute with Great Divide Brewing, which owns the Yeti trademark for beer.
But what was at first a plan to open a production brewery with a canning and kegging line evolved into the current vision as a result of the changing industry landscape.
“Things have gotten pretty congested,” Tyler says. What he means is that competition has intensified dramatically in the past two years, especially when it comes to selling packaged beer in liquor stores. That environment got even tougher in January, when grocery and convenience stores statewide began selling full-strength beer at thousands of locations.
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At that point, it no longer made sense for Spice Trade to try to compete on a large scale; instead, Tyler and Bhattarai decided to use the new standalone space as a taproom, where sales are more lucrative by the pint than they are by the can. And while Spice Trade will continue to package some beers, it is more focused on the taproom.
The new taproom, which could open as soon as this fall, is located at 8745 Orchard Road. Amenities include a full kitchen, a fifteen-barrel brewhouse and a large patio.
Spice Trade will be close to Resolute Brewing, Halfpenny Brewing and Peak View Brewing, which plans to open this spring just a few blocks away, at 9672 East Arapahoe Road — but the Denver Tech Center area isn’t too brewery-saturated, Tyler says. “I’m so happy about the location. We are looking forward to being part of the community.”