TRVE Brewing (2015 winner of Westword’s Best Brewery Tap Room — Beer) cranked up its new production facility for the first time last week, brewing a saison that will be released later this month. Until now, TRVE, which was founded in June 2012, has made all of its beer at its tap room at 227 Broadway on a small, three-barrel system. The new, 5,000-square-foot brewery, called the Acid Temple, includes a ten-barrel system and room for dozens of wooden barrels and two twenty-barrel stainless-steel fermentation tanks.
And although there are no plans to add a tap room for the public, the Acid Temple, located at 2620 West Second Avenue (which is in the same business park as Colorado Cider Company), will allow TRVE to expand its line of increasingly popular bottled wild and sour ales, like Tiphareth and Manannan Sour Brown, and as well as other barrel-aged beers.
And the steel tanks, which weren't part of the original plan for the Acid Temple, says TRVE owner Nick Nunns, means that TRVE will be able to produce larger quantities of two of its most unusual beers, Grey Watcher, a Grisette-style farmhouse ale, and Prehistoric Dog, a salted wheat beer similar to a Gose. "We are going to package both of them in four-packs...twelve-ounce bottles," Nunns says. "It will be cool to have a Denver brewery making beers like that in an accessible format. We are really stoked about it."
TRVE’s original business model didn’t include plans for the second facility, but sours grew into a specialty in 2013 and 2014 as Nunns and head brewer Zach Coleman began to focus on them more. The majority of the rest of TRVE’s lineup will continue to be brewed at the Broadway tap room, which is known for its heavy-metal music and for naming its beers after certain songs or bands.
"We have been so constrained in terms of how much beer we can make and when we can do it," Nunns says about TRVE's original brewing system in the taproom. "But now, if someone wants to brew at 4 p.m., they can do that and it's not an issue." The tap lineup has diminished recently to six choices as the taproom has gotten busier, but that should change shortly.
The Acid Temple's pilot beer, called Life's Trade, is a non-sour saison that will be aged in barrels called puncheons and served soon. It was designed so that TRVE could test its new brewhouse before its starts in on the sour stuff.
With Life’s Trade, "we are paying homage to tradition with our grain bill and by fermenting in puncheons," Nunns wrote on the brewery's blog. "We will be using several yeast strains and then blending from the puncheons to produce the final beer. This beer — and The Acid Temple as a whole — represents a lot of dedication and soul just like the album it is named after. And, as cheesy as it sounds, this work really has become our life’s trade.
"The barrel-aged and sour beers we have been able to produce until this point act as a prologue to what is to come.”
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