Behind The Brew: Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery

March 7 2014, 1:32 PM

The Brewery: Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery

1139 20th St., Denver

Opened: November 2013 

The People: Randy Stinson (taproom manager), RJ Banat (finance guy), and Wayne Burns (brewer)

The Space: Stinson, Banat, and Burns have known each other for the past 12 years. They used to live in Michigan and played together in a local rec volleyball league. Eventually, though, the trio bonded over their mutual love of the outdoors. Banat started organizing outdoor-sports trips—mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing—and on one particular pilgrimage to Jagged Mountain, a remote peak outside of Durango, the three decided to open a brewery. Three years later, Jagged Mountain was born. Aside from the name, the brewery’s mountaineering theme is omnipresent the moment you arrive: The beers have names such as First Descent and Imlay, and there are pictures of rugged peaks on the walls. “We all appreciate and love the outdoors,” Banat says. “So the theme was natural for us.” The space itself is composed of a long L-shaped bar and a mix of smaller tables and open communal-type seating.

The Brews: “Adventurous beers for adventurous people” is how Banat describes the offerings at Jagged Mountain. “While we expect to consistently offer a selection of traditional beers along with a steady mix of specialty beers,” Banat says, “our goal is to gravitate more towards interesting beers; for instance, we don’t offer a wheat or amber.” The lightest Jagged Mountain brew is a session Saison. You’re more likely, however, to find bigger beers such as the First Descent Old Ale, a rich brew that clocks in at 13 percent ABV.

Buzzed Trivia: The Jagged Mountain bar top is constructed almost entirely from reclaimed wood. The front is made from an eastern Colorado barn; the top is constructed from the flooring of a semi-trailer; and the back of the bar uses doors from Englewood’s Flood Middle School, which was knocked down last year.

Sample This: While Jagged Mountain has been open for a few months, their official grand opening party is this Saturday, March 8 at noon. To mark the occasion, Jagged Mountain is releasing a small batch, barrel-aged version of their First Descent. Get it while it lasts.

Take Home: Fill up a growler of Imlay IPA, one of Stinson’s favorite brews and a crowd-pleaser in the taproom.