Beer Man

Ten breweries that will open in metro Denver before the Great American Beer Festival

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Black Sky Brewery Denver Harry Smith, who has been making beer for Breckenridge Brewery for eleven years, and his wife, Lila Mackey, will open Black Sky Brewery at 490 Santa Fe Drive, just a block from Breckenridge. The heavy metal-themed brewpub will feature thin-crust, "New Haven-style" pizza and beers from a variety of local breweries, in addition to Smith's own creations. Smith and Mackey hope to eventually add an outdoor beer garden. They also have plans to have art, music and brewing lessons at the brewery, which is in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, as well as tastings with Cicerones and other beer experts. Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery Denver Downtown Denver will soak up another beer-maker when Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery opens at 20th and Lawrence streets, next to the 20th Street Café. Two years in the planning, Jagged Mountain (named for a peak in the San Juans) will specialize in making "adventurous," higher-alcohol specialty beers, along with barrel-aged brews and other beers that require some sort of specialized processes. The founders -- RJ Banat, Randy Stinson and Wayne Burns -- went with that theme because they are involved in backcountry outdoor sports; they plan to decorate the taproom in a similar fashion and partner with outdoor nonprofits. Burns, who will be the brewmaster, worked for a year with Boulder's Mountain Sun group, has been brewing for twenty years, primarily in Michigan, where he worked for Bell's Brewery and Kuhnhenn Brewing, among others. Former Future Brewing Denver After looking for a home for nine months, Former Future Brewing owners James and Sarah Howat finally found their spot on South Broadway's Antique Row, a fitting location since the brewery will specialize in making "futuristic interpretations of historical styles." Former Future already has most of its brewing equipment in place, including a 3.5-barrel system that it bought from Bennett Forgeworks in the town of Ridgway. It also bought some fermentation tanks from TRVE Brewing, which is located about a mile north on Broadway. Keep your eyes out for a Kickstarter campaign as well, which may help the Howats raise money for a coolship and sour-beer program.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes