Zephyr Brewing, which was one of the first breweries to open in the River North Arts District before moving to an industrial spot in north Denver last year, closed for good on July 20.
But the brewery’s equipment has been sold to its former assistant brewer, Nick Crown, who will take over the lease and plans to reopen in the same location later this year under the name Blue Tile Brewing.
Founded in December 2014 by Brian Wood and Rich Wisniewski, Zephyr occupied a garden-level space at 1421 26th Street. But the brewery never really found a rhythm in the neighborhood, and in July 2017, Wood announced that Zephyr would be moving to an industrial spot at 1609 East 58th Avenue, Unit G.
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There he hoped to double the brewery's capacity and acquire a packaging system for canning beer. He also planned a secondary taproom somewhere in the Denver area.
At the time, Wood told Westword that the high cost of doing business in RiNo had forced him to leave, adding that "with rising rent rates in RiNo, built into our current lease as well as projected rates at the end of our lease, as well as the continued influx of big beer into the neighborhood, we felt it was in our best long-term interest to relocate sooner rather than later."
The plans didn’t take root, however, as Zephyr was never able to restart its brewing operations in the new location, despite operating a small taproom for several months. Wood couldn’t be reached for comment.
Crown, who wants to wait until the transition is further along before he reveals too much more, did say that he hopes to follow the same plan that Zephyr had, but needs to wait for licensing approval.