Denver Beer Co Interview

More Beer! Denver Beer Co. is one of a few new breweries opening in Denver this year.

Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford met while at Colgate University. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

– I like beer
– Oh, me too.
– Sweet, let’s be besties and make beer later
– Cool. But let’s not ever use the word “besties” again.
– Done and done.

Something like that at least.

Fast forward a few years. Berger and Crawford are opening Denver Beer Co. in LoHi/RiNo/WeDoUnHi. I made the last one up – they’re at 16th and Platte, near REI, Colt & Gray, My Brother’s Bar, etc. They found an auto body shop, gutted it, and are currently building out their brewery. It’s a 7 barrel (1 barrel = 31 gallons) system with 3 7-barrel fermenters. and a whole lot of 7-barrel brite tanks. The equipment came from a decommissioned brewery in Connecticut.

Berger has been working in the industry for a while. He started off at Great Divide on the bottling line, then moved around to a few other breweries, including Morgan Street Brewery and O’Fallon in St. Louis. Berger studied at Siebel, including a stint in Munich. His last gig was with Wynkoop, gaining more experience with some account sales, among other things. Crawford has spent his time in the business world, homebrewing the entire time. Together, they have the bases covered.

Wherever they’ve spent their time before, the goal has always been to open a brewery.

The space itself is perfect. The entire street-facing wall is made of glass garage bay doors. In front, they plan to have two massively long community tables.


Before the glass doors went in

“Denver has a great beer scene. People go to work, go home, and drink great beer. We want to improve the beer culture. Bring people together. Meet your neighbor!” says Berger. His time in Munich taught him that it doesn’t matter what language you speak or how long you’ve known someone; share a beer, and you’re friends.

Denver Beer Co. won’t have many food options. They will offer some locally made pretzels with specially paired dipping sauces. Beyond that – and why go beyond that! – they’ll provide spots for food trucks to hang out. The area also has a bunch of options within a block or two, including Colt & Gray, Paris on the Platte, Proto’s Pizza, My Brother’s Bar, Forest Room Five, and plenty more.

Berger says they’ll have 7-10 beers on tap at any one time. Almost every beer will be a one-off, unless people request it again. As almost their entire production capacity will be sold on premise, people are coming directly to them for the beer, and Denver Beer Co. will make exactly what people want. Summer time? Plenty of lighter, crisper beers on tap. Getting chilly out? Bring out the stouts!

Speaking of winter, they’re planning on business being pretty weather dependent, but they also plan on leveraging Denver weather’s multiple personality disorder for their own benefit. There will be a discount of undisclosed magnitude for drinking outside in the snow.

Pending TTB approval, Denver Beer Co. hopes to start brewing late May, and be open mid June. Berger was nervous last week, as the government’s potential shut down would have delayed his opening. But, at least for now, things are still on track. And Berger couldn’t be more excited to get started. “I love this industry, and I love this town.”

Bring your dogs, bring your homebrew equipment, bring whatever. Denver Beer Co. will be a fun and friendly place with some serious beer.

[Stay up to date with Denver Beer Co. on their Facebook page]

About PJ Hoberman

PJ likes beer. A lot. And whiskey. Gin. Wine. Cocktails. Um.. what were we talking about?

  • denverbeerchick

    THESE GUYS ARE SO COOL!!! Looking forward to the opening – and drinking in the snow!

  • CONK

    More BEER!

  • CraftBrewDude

    Man… I can’t WAIT for all the new breweries opening this summer! Between Copper Kettle, Renegade, and Denver Beer, my summer’s already packed!

  • gabriella

    RiNo= River North. Which is north of Coors Field. 16th and Platte is not RiNo.

    • PJ

      Ya I couldn’t really figure out what to call that area, because it’s not quite LoHi either. WeDoUnHi = West of Downtown, Under Highlands.. which was a joke, but.. ya, what would you call it?