Denver Beer Co. is heading to the suburbs.
The 5-year-old brewery has leased a 4,350-square-foot former car dealership on the edge of Olde Town Arvada with plans to open a new taproom early next year.
The Platte St.-based brewery will spend $600,000 to $700,000 on a new seven-barrel brewhouse and bar, co-founders Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford said.
“We kind of stumbled upon it,” Berger said. “We weren’t actively looking for something, but every one of us has spent some time in Olde Town Arvada and really liked the area.”
The brewery will open at 5768 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., at the former Craig Chevrolet dealership. The building more recently housed Carquest Auto Parts.
Berger and Crawford said they’re aiming to build a brewery with a similar feel as the flagship location on Platte Street. That will include more than 4,000 square feet of interior space with industrial finishes, garage doors and an outdoor beer garden.
“We’re going to take this place from an old body shop into a really fun place,” Berger said. “Something this is important to our brand is to build a great communal beer garden.”
Cathy Johnson, manager of building owner CHCKS Development, LLC, said Carquest left the space in April.
Frank Griffin of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank was the listing agent for Johnson’s building. Johnson said three potential tenants sent letters of intent. The other two suitors planned to open a restaurant at the space.
“We thought there are enough restaurants in Olde Town Arvada right now, and [business partner] Laura Tobey and I love beer,” she said. “So we met the Denver Beer Co. guys at their place at Platte Street, thought they were great guys and would be a great addition to Olde Town.”
Denver Beer Co. will hire a new brewer for the expansion, though the company’s founders said they could either bring on and train a new brewer to lead the Arvada taproom, or send a current employee from Platte Street or their Sunnyside production brewery to Arvada and then backfill that position.
The brewery expects to hire between eight and 10 new employees.
Arvada’s Denver Beer Co. will keep about 10 beers on tap between brewery staples like the Graham Cracker Porter and Incredible Pedal IPA, a to-be-determined brew exclusive to the Arvada taproom and some other limited-run varieties.
“We’re going to take some flyers,” Berger said. “We’re going to take some risks and brew different, kind of crazy beers.”
Denver Beer Co. has been running at Platte Street for about five years. They opened a second production and canning facility dubbed “Canworks” at 4455 Jason St. in Sunnyside in 2014.
The brewer makes about 60 percent of its sales from beer distributed to bars and liquor stores, and 40 percent from taproom sales. The co-founders expect that ratio to stay about the same once the second taproom is open.
“We’ve only been distributing to the entire state of Colorado for about nine months now,” Crawford said. “So we think there’s a lot of opportunity to expand sales of our six packs of beer around the whole state.”
Gensler is designing the Arvada taproom and Spectrum General Contractors will head up the buildout. The company’s co-founders said they plan to finance the project with a combination of bank debt and cash flow from their existing brewery business. Rodney Gustafson of Case Commercial represented the brewery in the leasing process.
The brewery’s founders said they’re keeping an eye out for more taprooms in the future.
“We’re going to take it step-by-step” Berger said. “We’re trying to build a sustainable business model at Denver Beer Co., so as opportunities present themselves, we’ll vet them all and jump on the ones we think are good fits.”