Update: Make that eleven and counting. Read this post throughout to find other updates on each brewery.
The gang's all beer in Colorado these days, with at least ten -- count 'em, ten -- brewpubs slated to start pouring before the end of summer. Two opened north of town in early May: Big Choice in Broomfield and City Star in Berthoud, following closely on the heels of Frederick's Echo Brewing. There are currently 141 licensed craft breweries in Colorado, pumping $446 million a year into the state economy, and another seventy-plus in the planning stages. Here's a rundown of which ones you'll be seeing soon, along with the names and location of a few breweries that are in planning for late in 2012 or 2013.
Echo Brewing Frederick April 14 Award-winning home brewers and twin brothers, Daniel and Dennis Richards, opened Echo Brewing a few weeks ago in the bedroom community of Frederick. The brothers had both been engineers at IBM until one of them got laid off in 2009 and they decided to follow their dream of owning a brewery and taproom. Echo will serve a variety of beer styles and currently has an ESB, a Kölsch, an IPA, an Irish Red and a Milk Stout on tap.
Big Choice Brewing Broomfield May 4 Boulder County boys Tyler Ruse and Nathaniel Miller hope to fill the craft-beer gap in the Highway 36 corridor with Big Choice, a 2,500-square-foot tasting room and brewery with eight beers on tap and a late-'80s/early-'90s music, movies and skateboarding theme. The brewery will hold a grand opening celebration May 4, 5 and 6, complete with free food, happy hour specials and even a bouncy castle for the kids.
City Star Brewing Berthoud May 5 City Star Brewing opened in Berthoud in the historic City Star Building, a former livery stable and one of the oldest structures in town; it was purchased by brewery owners Dan and Rudi Taylor in 2011. They opened with six beers on tap and plan to produce five mainstay beers, including Cowboy's Double Golden, 6 Shooter IPA and Bandit Brown, as well as several seasonals.
Elevation Beer Company Poncha Springs May 19 Update: Now open. Elevation Brewing will hold a grand opening party on May 19 during American Craft Beer Week and immediately begin selling bottled beer in Chaffee, Summit and Lake counties. But the brewery, which specializes in barrel-aged beers, will have eight brews on tap as well and plans to distribute statewide; its first is Apis IV, a Belgian-style quadrupe made with carmelized honey. The grand opening party will feature live music from Trout Steak Revival and Jonah Werner. Elevation runs a fifteen-barrel brewing system in its 7,400-square-foot taproom and brewery.
Hogshead Brewery Denver Update: Opened in July. Hogshead Brewery, serving English-style beers and cask ales will open in a renovated service station near Sloan's Lake. The four owners, all beer lovers, have been using a one-barrel brewing system to tests their recipes for the past year, but will start with a ten-barrel brewing system built in Colorado. There will be at least four beers on tap at all times, including Chin Wag, Lake Lightening and Gilpin Black Gold.
TRVE Brewing Denver Update: Opened. Nick Nunns will open what he calls a "dive mead bar" in the long thin space formerly occupied by the Rule Gallery on Broadway. TRVE (pronounced "true") will have a three-barrel brewing system, a bar that seats about forty people, and a signature thirty-foot-long communal table running through the tasting room. And he plans to make unusual beers that match his taste in music: black metal.
Bootstrap Brewing Niwot June Update: Opened June 20. Bootstrap Brewing is completing its work inside and getting ready for a June opening. Owners Steve and Leslie Kaczeus live in Niwot and have been planning to open a brewery there for four years. Bootstrap features a copper brewhouse and a tasting room featuring a wide variety of beer styles.
Loveland AleWorks Loveland Opened July 4. Loveland Aleworks, operated by Nick Callaway on a ten-barrel brewing system, has ten beers on tap, which is a lot for a new brewery. Some of the beers in include a wheat beer, an English mild, a Belgian pale ale and a saison.
Prost Brewing Denver Opening day announced as August 23 Prost Brewing is going for something very different. The partners in this operation, including Troy Johnston of Braun's and Bill Eye, the former head brewer at Dry Dock, acquired a forty-year-old, 72.25-barrel copper brewhouse from a brewery that was closing in Germany's famed Bamberg region and had it sent by ship to the United States, where they reconstructed it in the former Harold Call and Company building in Highland. Once they open, Prost will brew and sell only lighter German-style beers, including pilsners, hefeweizens and dunkels, and Johnston has said it will never have more than four brews on tap at a time.
Black Shirt Brewing Denver August (tentative) Brothers Chad and Branden Miller, and Chad's wife Carissa, have been working on their RiNo brewery for forever, it seems. But they are inching closer every day. When they do open, hopefully in August, the team will focus on red ales. In fact, Black Shirt is nicknamed the Red Ale Project, because that is the only style of beer they plan to make with their four-barrel brewhouse. Every single batch will be different, according to the plan, each "a reflection of Colorado's unique climate, soil, water, and topography."
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew Denver Early August (tentative) Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is the work of Brandon Proff, Bryan Leavelle and Andrew Strasburg, who plan to open their nanobrewery, maltery and taproom later this summer in Five Points. The owners of Our Mutual Friend want to set themselves apart by malting and roasting their own barley -- something that is very unusual in a brewery.
Black Bottle Brewery Fort Collins August 2012 (tentative) Black Bottle Brewery plans to open in late summer serving beers that go "against the grain of the traditional craft brewing industry," according the brewery's mission statement. Black Bottle "prides itself on the use of radical ingredients, brewing styles, and techniques and will make a variety of beers, including a smoked lager, an imperial rye stout, a Belgian trippel, a Belgian dark strong and a rye saison.
Wild Woods Brewery Boulder Late August (tentative)
Gravity Brewing (not to be confused with High Gravity Brewing in Denver; see below) Louisville Opening September 8 Louisville's first brewery boasts high-alcohol beers like double IPAs, rye pale ales, Belgian-style doubles and a Russian imperial stout. Gravity Brewing, 1150 Pine Street, was founded by John Frazee, Julius Hummer and Ryan Bowers. There are no TVs in the taproom, but you will find pool, ping pong and bubble hockey. For a list of other breweries in planning, go to the next page.
Very Nice Brewing Nederland Late summer 2012 (tentative) This brewery's first three beers will be called Monk's Phunk, a Belgian Abbey Ale; Spécial Amie Saison, a cherry farmhouse French saison; and Logical Fallacy, a stout.
Lost Highway Brewing (previously Three Saints Brewing) Denver Fall 2012
Twelve Degree Brewing Louisville 2012
Butcherknife Brewing Steamboat Springs 2012
Two Mile Brewing Leadville 2012
Analog Brewing Denver 2012
High Gravity Brewing Denver January 2013 (tentative) High Gravity Brewing, owned by Craig Rothgery, is planned for a January 2013 opening at 4342 Tennyson Street in the Berkeley neighborhood, which is currently without its own local brewery. High Gravity will serve high-gravity, high-alcohol beers.
West Flanders Brewing Boulder 2012 or 2013
Halcyon Brewing Denver, possibly in the Highland or DU areas 2013
Storm Peak Brewing Denver, possibly in the RiNo or DU areas 2013
Stronghold Beer Copmany Denver Unknown
Nostalgic Brewing Longmont Unknown
Twin Hops Brewing Denver or Aurora Unknown
Atom Brewing Erie 2013
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Crooked Keg Brewing Denver 2014 (Kickstarter campaign)
Cannonball Brewing Golden Unknown