Beer Man

Tivoli Brewing Opens Saturday, Bringing Denver Beer History Into the Present

Forty-six years after the brew kettles dried up at the Tivoli Beer Company in Denver, the suds will officially flow again on Saturday, when the new Tivoli Brewing celebrates its grand opening inside the historic Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria campus.

The Tivoli taphouse and restaurant will open the doors to the public at 4 p.m. tomorrow, with a whopping 52 taps and a restaurant run by the Consumer Concept Group, which owns the Smashburger chain, as well as Live Basil and Tom's Urban. β€œIt's good beer-drinking food,” Tivoli co-owner Corey Marshall says of the restaurant, which will feature burgers and street tacos, among other items.

The party will also serve as the unveiling for Tivoli's newest beer, Pass the Buck, a German-style lager created with 99.5 The Mountain. Tivoli also makes Tivoli Beer, a Helles lager based on the original recipe, and Sigi's Wild Horse, a buck beer that is also based on a hundred-year-old recipe from Denver's brewing past. The other taps will be filled with beers that are handled by Tivoli's distribution arm, which works with several Colorado breweries, including Aspen Brewing, Backcountry, Big Choice, Crabtree, Gravity, Grimm Brothers, High Hops and Odyssey.

The new Tivoli was founded in 2012 by Marshall and his wife, Debbie, who had bought up several expired old Denver brewery trademarks and researched the city's brewing past. Their first beer was a recreation of the original Tivoli that they made with help from the brewery's last brewmaster, John Occhiato, and the brewers at Prost Brewing in Denver, who also specialize in German-style lagers. Prost has been making Tivoli's beer. 

But last fall, Tivoli announced that it has signed a lease for 8,000 square feet of space inside the Tivoli Student Union, which is where the original Tivoli brewery – and its predecessors β€” had operated between 1900 and 1969, when it closed. The new Tivoli's thirty-barrel brewhouse was installed right beside and below the two original 250-barrel copper-plated brew kettles that the old Tivoli used and which are still in the building. "Our staff here is totally trained on the history and what has gone on at this site," says Marshall, who now has eighteen employees. "So when customers come in and have a seat at the bar, they get to hear the stories."

Metropolitan State University of Denver, which is a partner in the $7 million project, plans to use the brewery to help train students in the Hospitality, Tourism and Events program and to "develop new courses with an emphasis on teaching skills that apply to a wide variety of potential employment opportunities, including brewing sciences, beer industry operations, sales and marketing, and brewpub operations," the school says. 
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes