Beer Man

Ten Breweries Planning to Open in Denver in 2017

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Alternation Brewing
1539 South Broadway
Planned opening: September 2017

Once a hot-spot for antiquing, South Broadway has diversified over the past five years into a couple of industries that are anything but old: pot and beer. Alternation, owned by a husband-and-wife team (they don't want to give their names yet, because they are both still employed), will open in a former salon just two blocks from both Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales and Grandma's House Brewery. They have a three-barrel brewing system and plan to offer "a wide variety of ever-changing beer selections through our alternating taps" — thus the name. Styles will range from pilsners and hazy wheats to sours and oak-aged imperial stouts. The owners also plan to embrace the long history of Antique Row "through our tap room atmosphere and respect [for] the small shop owners that thrive today."

Unnamed Park Hill brewery
2895 Fairfax Street
Planned opening: Late summer

Chris Cunningham and his wife, Tauna Rignall, along with another couple from Seattle, plan to open a brewery — as yet unnamed — inside a 3,000-square-foot former gelato shop in a neighborhood where there aren't very many beer makers. A home brewer for 25 years, Cunningham says they want to "be part of a community," which is why they bought this building in the heart of Park Hill. They will install a seven-barrel brewing system and a taproom on the main floor and keep their fermentation tanks and cold storage in the basement in order to make the layout work. As for beers, Cunningham says he plans to brew some German lagers and English-style ales, but also some bigger brews, like barleywines and a quadrupel.

New Belgium Brewing — The Woods
3550 Brighton Boulevard
Planned opening: Fall 2017

New Belgium now has two massive breweries — one in Fort Collins and the other in North Carolina — but the company is also planning a third, much smaller operation in Denver. Colorado's biggest craft-beer maker will open a ten-barrel pilot brewery along with a rooftop barrel-aging lounge and swimming pool at the future Source Hotel, being built by Zeppelin Development right next to the Source market. The brewery will focus on sour and wild ales, which it will brew on site in the ground-floor brewery and taproom, then age and ferment in at least fifty oak barrels (some of them wine barrels and some whiskey) on the eighth floor.

14er Brewing
2801 Walnut Street
Planned opening: Late 2017

Former Wheat Ridge High School classmates Andrew Kaczmarek and Nato Francescato have done things backward — luckily for them. Rather than opening a taproom and then working on beer respectability and packaging afterward, the two began contract brewing and canning their beer (at Crazy Mountain's Edwards brewery) before they even found a physical location. Oh, and then the two home brewers won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in October for their chile beer, Rocky Mountain Saison. Nice start. But now they have signed a lease on a spot in River North, just blocks from the Epic, Our Mutual Friend and Bierstadt breweries (they want to keep the exact location secret for now). 

Birrificio Liberati (or Brewery Liberati)
2403 Champa Street
Planned opening: September

Well-known Roman brewer and restaurateur Alex Liberati revealed last December that he planned to move to Denver and open a new brewery and Italian-restaurant concept inside the former Golden Bell Press building in Five Points. Although progress has been slow and the plans have evolved, Liberati still hopes to brew beers made with Italian ingredients, like Sorrento lemons and grape must. 

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