Westminster Brewing, now open, serves a jolly pint of English cask ale

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 of Westminster 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.

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"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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