PD takes a look at a brewery near you.
Tamir Danon isn’t concerned about your Instagram photos, he isn’t interested in your Untappd reviews, and you won’t be sampling a flight at his brewery any time soon. He just wants you to relax, step aside from all of the distractions and just enjoy the beer. Danon, along with his wife Chantel Columna, and college friend Ayana Coker are the co-founders of Denver’s newest brewery, Novel Strand Brewing. Opening today at 1st and Cherokee in Denver’s Baker District at 3 pm, Novel Strand will focus predominantly on lower ABV hoppy, sour and funky/wild beers, but will also open with a 4.3% oatmeal stout as well.
I’ve always been a bit cynical. I’m not a rare breed in that sense; the beer world has many stubborn, cranky cynics. We’re the ones shouting at you to get off our lawns with your sour, hazy, glittery slush stouts as we rock cantankerously back and forth on the porch with our pint glasses full of clear, reliable IPA. But even the most hardened beer traditionalist among us can look forward to summer. In summer, we can rise from the ashes of our self-loathing like a magnificent, tipsy phoenix. Even if for just a season, we can crack a smile and enjoy the sun on our face while the bubbles of an unfamiliar brew caress our puckered lips.
In that spirit, Colorado’s Rockyard Brewing Company is showing us how it’s done. Shedding its skin and undergoing a major renewal of its own, the brewery has done away with ALL of its award-winning original lineup.
The goal of any brewery should be to produce great beer and positively impact their community. Many breweries have this similar mission, but few are as mission-driven as Savannah-based Service Brewing Co.
Like many Coloradans who have traversed the winding I70 highway toward Summit County, you’ve probably at some point noticed the word BREWERY painted in big bold letters along the side of a building in the thoroughfare town of Idaho Springs. For those who keep up with the ever-evolving Colorado craft beer landscape, this mountain town spot has become a familiar requisite stop for those who appreciate well-crafted traditional styles paired with great eats. But what most don’t realize is that Westbound & Down Brewing has been quietly preparing to join Colorado’s storied lineup of esteemed sour producers.
Denver’s River North Art District is beginning to look completely different than it did even six months ago. Just along the once rough and tumble, sleepy main drag of Larimer Street alone, the transformation is none more apparent than the recent additions of American Bonded, the next chapter in Sean Kenyon’s (founder of Williams and Graham) burgeoning cocktail bar catalog, and Call, a trendy coffee shop, sandwich concept, along with it’s upcoming neighboring sister bar Beckon. The landscape has also been forever changed by the recent influx of satellite locations from several already well-established national brands. This recent flood of familiar faces includes one of the country’s hottest bar concepts in Death and Co, inside of The Ramble Hotel, the fast food behemoth that is Shake Shack, and chain wine bar concept Barcelona. And beginning Monday, Odell Brewing will extend their reach outside of their Fort Collins roots to Denver’s hottest neighborhood, when they open their second outpost in the heart of Denver’s River North Art District.
Downtown Loveland is currently home to three breweries (soon to be four) which are well-established in the community and gaining notoriety among the always crowded Colorado craft scene. Loveland Aleworks has been in their current residence, for a long while, and Verboten had a recent change when they moved to their current location on 5th Street. Crow Hop Brewing, the third of the trifecta, called 3rd Street their home since their opening in 2015. That all changed last week, when the team closed shop on 3rd and moved one block north to the east side of 4th Street in Downtown Loveland. Prior to their grand reopening in early June, Crow Hop has put on a few soft open events for their loyal patrons, and Thursday was the first soft open for folks outside of Crow Hops staff and immediate family, and the event did not disappoint.
Full disclosure, I’m a 20-year Navy veteran. In studying breweries, and meeting with their owners, it became clear that a huge number of those brewery owners had also served time in the armed forces, in fact, a much larger number than you would expect statistically.
I just moved to the UAE this past month for work. It’s an exciting and extravagant place to be — with the current and future tallest buildings in the world, white sand beaches, indoor ski resorts and camel’s milk ice cream dipped in gold. I thoroughly realized that I would be moving to the desert when I decamped from Los Angeles, and I don’t mean Jakku. I mean a craft beer desert almost as expansive as the Empty Quarter itself.
Located in the heart of Central Minnesota — a state known for its fierce Scandinavian pride — is a small Irish pub that almost seems out of place.
Hayes’ Public House provides the most authentic Irish experience some Minnesotans may ever have. And that’s the point. Owner and Head Brewer Pugs Hayes and his wife spent two months touring Ireland, absorbing as much of its culture as they could. With the help of friends and family, they recreated what they saw, heard, felt and tasted in a small brewery that has become the hub of Buffalo, MN.
Flix Brewhouse opened in Round Rock, Texas in 2011 with the unique concept of combining a state-of-the-art movie theater with a microbrewery. Today they operate four locations around the country with plans to more than double that over the next year. I caught up with Greg Johnson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Flix, to learn more about this ambitious expansion.
Built upon the wings of innovation, Colorado’s craft beer scene has already gained a reputation as trail blazers and pace setters for the rest of the industry. But when Longmont, CO’s Primitive Beer opens this Saturday, it’ll distinguish itself with a number of different milestones from day one.
One of Denver’s most anticipated brewery openings in 2018 has also had to endure the indelible distinction of having undergone one of Denver’s most maligned opening processes to date. Despite multiple failed general contractors, innumerable licensing delays and a scaffolding that tore through its ceiling, The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe and Brewery is finally open.
So, there I was, standing outside on a cold March night in Chicago watching Off Color’s social media manager Ben Ustick and co-founder Dave Bleitner (lovingly called “The Other Guy”) methodically put together the fence that would block off their soon-to-be-open patio space. There was a palpable excitement shared between Ben and Dave as they hammered each 2×4 into place. The patio meant something more than just providing extra seating on a swanky summer day. It was validation that Off Color’s grand experiment had paid off.
The new taproom space, dubbed the Mousetrap, has been a smashing success as it has provided Dave and the other Co-Founder Jon Laffler (the one you usually see in the papers) with more room to share their craft beer genius with hordes of willing Chicagoans. While 2017 was an exciting year for Off Color Brewing, with more momentum and new experiments in the hopper, 2018 is shaping up to be even better.
Philip Joyce and Eric Schmidt, co-founders of Amalgam Brewing, have never been ones to follow convention. In its first year of existence, Amalgam immediately established itself as a formidable contender in Colorado’s bountiful landscape of elite level barrel-aged blended sour producers, all without a physical taproom, its own production facility, or its own retail space, until now.
Fort Collins is what some would consider the genesis of craft beer. Names like Odell, New Belgium, 90 Schilling and Fat Tire are synonymous with the craft beer movement and the renaissance of delicious drinks that have flooded the United States in recent years. The volume of newcomers to the brewing scene increases while the available real estate decreases, meaning it can be hard to set your new entry into the game apart from the rest. Rookies and veterans alike are trying to poke their heads out of a large crowd, which leads to the question: what separates a brewery from all the rest? That is a question McClellan’s Brewing Company has begun to answer.
I’ve seen some environmental friendly breweries before, but nothing quite compares to the level of commitment to sustainability that 7Sisters Brewing has. The moment you walk through doorway you see a tasting room filled with repurposed materials. My favorite piece is their bar. It was built from school lockers and topped with zinc-wrapped wood from the shipping crate the lockers arrived in. Throughout the tasting room you will see lighting made from Cal Poly lab lamps and tables that used to be shop benches from LA technical college. Heading out to their patio you can see the patio railings that were repurposed from the wood forms used when pouring the concrete.
Many breweries begin with a familiar story: a homebrewer who’s tired of a desk job and decides to make a go at scaling up.
Brewability Lab is not one of those stories. Founder Tiffany Fixter had neither brewing experience nor a business background. What the former special education teacher did have, however, was an ambitious—even radical—idea. Why not tap into Denver’s affinity for craft beer to create jobs for adults with special needs?
Last year, Colorado added 30 new breweries to its already impressive arsenal. That means all new recipes, taprooms and beers to explore throughout the Centennial state. How many of the new breweries did you visit last year? How many of these have you heard of? Either way, it’s time to welcome Colorado’s new class of brewers.
A principal attribute of craft brewing involves the confluence of creativity and tradition. The summer ‘18 opening of the newest Tribes Beer Company location—a brewhouse, tasting room and beer garden—exemplifies that characteristic. Tribes draws on tradition while simultaneously adapting to an ever-evolving beer industry.
If you’ve been keeping up with Alpharetta, GA based brewery, Jekyll Brewing, you would know that their experimentation with juicy IPAs have increased overall over the last several months. One of their first juicy IPAs that gained tremendous traction in Georgia was Southern Juice. Since then, they’ve released the McLovin IPA, a NE-style IPA; 4Hundy, Milkshake Boys, Bad Breakup and Spaced Out. One of my favorites from their recent IPA trials was the Flightless Fowl, which was damn good.