Pressed for space, RiNo cidery looks to expand

Stem Ciders is housed at 2811 Walnut St. Photos by Amy DiPierro.

Stem Ciders is housed at 2811 Walnut St. Photos by Amy DiPierro.

In a town known for breweries, a RiNo cidery just landed $1.2 million to expand its taproom and production.

RiNo’s Stem Ciders is seeking a total of $1.5 million, according to an SEC filing on Feb. 9, and has raised the money from 17 investors.

Manager Arline Kellogg said the cidery needs more production space. Right now, the crew moves material from the cider-making facility to the bar during the daytime and back again just before happy hour.

“We need a bigger bar, and we need a larger room to keep up with production,” she said, adding that the taproom will likely remain in RiNo but the company is currently looking for more spacious production space off-premises. She said the business has looked in Arvada, Broomfield and in other buildings in RiNo.

Bottles of Stem Ciders sell for between $10 and $12.

Bottles of Stem Ciders sell for between $10 and $12.

Kellogg said Stem is also working on the licenses and distribution contracts it would need to start selling cider outside Colorado. Right now, it ships its own kegs and bottles to locations between Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.

Kellogg said the company would like to start canning the ciders for camping trips and venues that don’t allow glass.

The company got its start in January 2014 when it launched its first three cider flavors, distributing them in kegs to customers in the Denver metro area before launching a bottled cider operation the following year.

It was founded by Eric Foster and Phillip Kao, Denver transplants who both grew up in Michigan cider country.

Kellogg said Stem Ciders now sells its brews at between 45 and 50 liquor stores and around 100 pubs and restaurants. The company has 10 employees including part-time bar staff, she said.

This is the second time the company has passed the hat to investors; it raised $350,000 in 2013, SEC filings show.

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