Scott Witsoe loves beer.
He loves to brew it, to drink it and think about it. Talk with him just once, and his enthusiasm for hops, barley and yeast foams over like a beer poured too quickly.
"I love the process of brewing," he says. "It's like a Zen moment for me."
He loves beer so much, in fact, that two days after he was laid off from his job at a company that makes gear for mixed martial arts enthusiasts, he had signed a lease on a building in a west Denver office park where he plans to open a brewery next month.
Wit's End Brewing, 2505 West 2nd Avenue, Unit 13, won't be much to look at when it first opens: It will consist of a bare bones tasting room in the front and a tiny, one-barrel brewing system in the back, along with eight fermenters. But it's all Witsoe says he needs to get his dream up and running.
"When Strange opened up last year with their one-barrel system, I was like, "Holy shit, you can actually do this on a small scale and make it work," Witsoe says about Strange Brewing, which went into business in May 2010 and quickly found its tap room packed with beer lovers. Strange recently upgraded to a seven-barrel system.
He credits Strange co-owner Tim Meyers, along with the owners of two other brand new Denver breweries -- Brian O'Connell of Renegade Brewing and Danny Wang of Caution Brewing -- for encouraging him and giving him advice.
Two of his first beers will be a black IPA tentatively called Super FL i.p.a) and a Belgian blonde with the working name of Jean Claude Von Belgian Blonde.
Witsoe says the tasting room will have limited hours at first so that he can continue to spend time with his family. But he plans to sell forty-ounce metal water bottles (as opposed to growlers) along with bomber bottles so people can take beer to go.
Wit's End should open in mid-August, pending approval from the city.
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