Remember Alpine Dog Brewing Company? It launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 to help founder Gardiner Hammond—formerly of Old Mill Brewery & Grill—get his brewery up and running. Well, it didn’t meet its funding goal and Alpine Dog basically fell off everybody’s radar. So, it’ll probably come as a surprise to many that Hammond is hosting a grand opening on November 22nd (with a soft opening on the 15th).
Despite falling short on Kickstarter, Hammond overcame that hurdle and, in the process of opening, was forced to overcome several more. First, he had to secure a location. “Finding a location in Capitol Hill, which was where I always wanted to be, took about a year and a half,” said Hammond. “I had a space locked down in the Ballpark Neighborhood only to have it pulled out from under me at the last second after putting decent amount of money into architecture and engineering.”
Hammond eventually signed a lease for 1505 Ogden Street, a space made available by the downsizing of Angelo’s CDs & More née Independent Records. Offering large, street-facing windows in what was at the time a brewery-less neighborhood (Lost Highway Brewing Company has since opened in the area), Alpine Dog was beginning to make headway.
That is, until Hammond ran into a quagmire that slows all upstart breweries down to a crawl: city approval. “The city was painfully [slow], though my seven week wait reportedly could have been worse,” said Hammond. “It took repeated calling and showing up on their doorstep to get it done.” Unfortunately, once approved, construction was no walk in the park, either, with delays causing an anticipated one-month construction schedule to stretch over a three month period. Hammond took it upon himself to complete some of the construction projects on his own including demolition, moving in equipment, building the walk-in cooler, pouring concrete, sealing floors, painting, glycol piping, building the bar, and installing beetle-kill pine finishes. To alleviate the workload, Hammond’s friends and family lent a hand: “I had a ton of help from my father, especially on the pine and walk-in, and my friends on painting, bar building, and several other tasks.”
Despite the trials and tribulations, Hammond was able to fire up his equipment in October and start brewing Alpine Dog’s amber ale, rye blonde, IPA, and Belgian/American pale ale to be available for the soft opening. Time permitting, there will be even more options for the grand opening including an imperial red and a stout.
Cap Hill and Uptown drinkers can enjoy their neighborhood’s newest beers in a taproom that’s “part rustic/mountain lodge, part urban/industrial.” The name of this rural oasis in the middle of the city refers not just to Colorado’s love of canines but also to its love of down-to-earth, mountain activities like hiking, biking, skiing, and snowboarding; the patrons of Alpine Dog are alpine dogs just the same as their four-legged friends.
Head to 1505 Ogden Street on November 15th or 22nd and welcome this new brewery to Denver. It’s been several years in the making but, if Hammond had the heart and dedication to see his business through to opening day, it’s a sure bet he put equal emphasis into crafting his beers. I do not think Cap Hill residents will be disappointed by their latest addition (especially if they have an affinity for beers that are bold, hoppy, or Belgian in nature).