Denver's craft brewing scene is poised to grow exponentially.
As host of the 29-year-old Great American Beer Festival, Denver has long been viewed as an epicenter of brewing. But if we’re being honest, the city’s beer scene paled in comparison to brewing juggernauts like Boulder, Fort Collins, and Portland, Oregon. Sure, we have a few esteemed breweries like Wynkoop, Great Divide, Bull & Bush, and a couple of Breckenridge Brewery outposts, but the taprooms are often so packed it’s difficult to get a pint.
Recognizing the pent-up demand, a wave of breweries has opened its doors in town over the past couple years. There was Del Norte in 2007, then Strange Brewing in 2010. This year, a quartet of breweries is coming to the Mile High City. Despite facing rents that are often higher than the suburbs, all these new breweries said location was a priority—and they wanted to be in the center of it all.
“We advertise Denver as the Napa Valley of Beer,” says Charlie Berger, the co-founder of Denver Beer Co., which opens in Lower Highland this month. “But we want to have little breweries like ours to add to the culture. It’s what makes cities like Portland what they are.” But isn’t he worried about the new and old competition? “No—craft beer drinkers,” Berger says, “are promiscuous drinkers.”