Beer Man

The Beer Buckle company looks to expand by a few notches

The only thing better than drinking your favorite beer: wearing it. At least that's what the founder of the Beer Buckle is hoping as he searches in Denver and Boulder for a place to open a new store dedicated to branded beer fashion.

Jay Kriner founded the Beer Clothing Company in Central City in 2008 as a way to market an invention that he and a couple of friends came up with in college.

The Beer Buckle is a belt buckle that folds down to reveal a retractable bottle, can or cup holder that secures your beverage, leaving your arms free...for whatever.

It's like Bluetooth for your beverage, the website declares.

Sales of the buckle and of beer t-shirts, hats, clothing and other merchandise - much of it branded with the logos of forty or so beer companies like New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Avery, Stone and Maui Brewing -- were going so well online that Kriner opened an office and showroom in January at 1203 13th Street in Boulder.

"I take their merchandise and sell it for them," he says, adding that Oskar Blues and Stone enjoy a certain cachet among souvenir hunters.

But that space closes on July 31, and Kriner has big plans for a new spot.

"We are going to try to hunt down the right location. It could be Boulder, it could be Denver. The idea is that it's not just going to be retail and accessories," he says. "I want to have a beer garden. I'd love an indoor, outdoor taproom with exotic and local beers."

Kriner isn't sure when the new place will be open - it all depends on location, he says - but he hopes to be up a running by the last few months of 2010. And by then, he also says there may be a few new buckle-related designs on the market as well.

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