Upslope Brewing, which got its start in 2008 in a tiny office-park space on Lee Hill Road, plans to open a huge new brewpub in central Boulder in 2017, at which time it will also close its original location.
The 11,000-square foot facility, at 34th Street and Valmont Road, will include a full-service restaurant with a mezzanine patio and will handle all of Upslope's barrel-aging and experimental brewing. It will complement Upslope's 30,000-square-foot production facility and taproom on Flatiron Court, which the company built in 2013.
Although that production facility was built to brew and package Upslope's flagship canned beers, leaving the Lee Hill location free to make one-off and small-batch beers, the brewery now needs even more space.
“It's been a while in the making, and we think it makes sense,” says Upslope founder Matt Cutter. “Lee Hill is getting tight, and we are sandwiched in on both sides by other tenants... As our taprooms expand, we are brewing all the time at Lee Hill now, and the batches are smaller than are adequate to provide enough beer in our tap rooms.”
The new brewpub, which will be part of S'Park development's new Markt building, will include a fifteen barrel brewhouse (more than twice the size of the one at Lee Hill), along with several fifteen, thirty, and possibly even sixty barrel fermenters.
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Cutter says the experimental side of the brewery has simply “morphed” into a component of the business that has become increasingly important. “We say 'no' to a lot of opportunities that come our way. This one just fit what we were all about and our goals for the future.”
Nevertheless, he says he'll miss the great vibe at Lee Hill and hopes the neighbors, who supported the brewery so much, will follow Upslope to Central Boulder.
The new location – and the restaurant – will also help Upslope compete in Boulder's ever-growing craft-beer scene. Avery Brewing recently opened a $30 million brewing campus and restaurant, and Boulder Beer plans to increase its footprint significantly as well. The Mountain Sun group now operates three properties in Boulder, while Fate Brewing, West Flanders, Bru, Twisted Pine and others all include restaurants as well.
Cutter says Upslope is looking to team up with a local chef to handle the restaurant side of the brewpub – rather than running it himself.