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The latest addition to Denver’s ever-expanding microbrewing scene aims to provide the city with textbook examples of good beer. In 2011, two years after connecting at the Colorado School of Mines, Mike Blandford, Paul Ogg, and Greg Schlichting—all unhappy with their pharmaceutical and energy careers—took science from the classroom to the taproom. They’re making chemistry, not palate whimsy, a central focus of their brewing operation, Declaration Brewing Co., which is set to debut with a two-day grand tasting Thanksgiving weekend. “Chemistry allows us to deeply explore the art of brewing beer, from quality to creativity,” Blandford says. “It simply opens different doors.”
The trio’s 2,000-square-foot taproom in Platt Park initially will offer 15 Declaration beers, with real estate for up to 40 spouts and the ability to produce 5,000 barrels a month. (For reference: New Belgium makes 79,000 a month.) The beer monikers are still under wraps, but expect everything from Kölsches to stouts, with an emphasis on IPAs. Inside, you’ll find a “legends” wall hung with skis and snowboards autographed by some of the state’s stars, Aspen’s Chris Davenport and Denver’s Marc Frank Montoya among them. The high-country culture spills outside, too: A 5,000-square-foot partially heated beer garden will boast lawn games, spots for food trucks, and space for impromptu winter rail jams. And, if you get cold, head in for a tour that provides an up-close look at Declaration’s “lab.” It might just be the most interesting chemistry class you’ve ever had. 2030 S. Cherokee St., 303-955-7410, declarationbrewing.com