Westminster's fourteen-story city hall building and bell tower was designed in 1988 to resemble London's famous Big Ben, located in the Palace of Westminster, and the owners ofWestminster Brewing
, which opened last weekend, liked the tie-in so much that they incorporated the tower into their logo -- and specialize in English-style cask ales.
"We have a great selection, spanning across the board, but we'll also have four cask ales on at any time, and a big part of our beers are going to be English styles," says co-owner Brian Bissel, adding that he has two separate walk-in coolers, one for his regular lineup of ten taps, and one that is kept a little warmer for the cask ales.
Bissel, who is the brewmaster, and business partner Greg Quinones, met six years ago when Bissel was working a homebrew shop that Quinones frequented. They started working on the idea for a brewery about two and a half years ago.
Both men live in Westminster, and they picked their location, in a lone structure on a rural-looking stretch of 108th Avenue that backs up to a large subdivision on one side and Highway 36 on the other because of its potential to become a neighborhood hangout.
The brewery features a taproom, which they call "the Tasting Lab," and a seven-barrel brewing system. At the moment, Westminster Brewing only has a few beers on tap, including 12 Apostles, a light German-style ale, Sheeba IPA, an Irish ale an a chocolate porter called Moses. The Biblical names are also a play on Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Brewing is the first independently-owned brewery in the city, but a second, Kokopelli Beer Company, is slated to open in the next few weeks. There is also an outlet of the CB & Potts chain and two Rock Bottoms in town.
The brewery is currently open seven days a week and will hold a grand opening party next weekend with food trucks Friday through Sunday and live music on Saturday.
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