If you’re a craft beer fan and have had the pleasure of visiting the small, laid-back city of Asheville, North Carolina, chances are you’re familiar with nine-year-old Thirsty Monk Brewery & Pub. The chain of brew bars is celebrated for its Belgian-inspired twists on modern beer styles (like the hoppy yet ester-y conundrum that is the Screaming Monk Belgian IPA)—and for the first time, it’s expanding outside of its home state into Denver. (It’s also planning a location in Portland, Oregon.)
“I’ve always liked the synergy and how many resources for breweries there are in Denver,” says Thirsty Monk owner and CEO Barry Bialik. In October, Bialik purchased the space formerly occupied by Deep Draft Brewing Company on East 17th Street in City Park West, where he’ll open his new outpost in mid-January.
When Thirsty Monk’s Denver location officially opens for business, craft beer drinkers will be able to sip signature house-made Monk ales, along with new barrel-aged and sour-style beers created by head brewer, Brian Grace. Grace recently joined the Thirsty Monk team after successful stints at Moylan’s Brewing Company in California, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (of Michigan), and most recently, Denver’s own Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project.
The location will offer food in beer-paired “snack packs”—small packaged fare and plates that Bialik hopes to team with neighboring restaurants to produce. Thirsty Monk Denver will also roll out educational classes and special tastings, and Bialik plans to incorporate a strong emphasis on local ingredients. “Asheville is a super local market, and the markets that we are looking to expand into are the ones that also have that super local vibe,” Bialik says. “One of the things that we’re looking at doing when we come to Denver is brewing our beer with local chocolates, local grains, and anything else local that we can get our hands on.”
Bialik and his team already have beer in the tanks at their new location. Stay tuned to Thirsty Monk’s website for updates and more information on opening details.
1604 E. 17th St.