Aurora beer maker doubles down on production and taproom space

peak to peak owners

Peak to Peak owners Gordon and Joy McKennon in the original Aurora brewery. (Kailyn Lamb)

Husband and wife Joy and Gordon McKennon are restarting the beer-making equipment at a shuttered Aurora brewery.

The McKennons’ Peak to Peak Tap & Brew will open a second Aurora brewery this summer in the former Mu Brewery at 9735 E. Colfax Ave.

They said the space will help them keep up with restaurant demand for their first location. The original space has a three-barrel brewing system, and the new 2,000-square-foot brewery and taproom will focus on production, Joy said.

“It’s difficult to fill all of our taps with just three barrels. It’s constant brewing, and we just can’t keep up,” she said.

Beer produced at the current taproom, at 16701 W. Iliff Ave., goes directly to taproom sales. Gordon said he distributes to four restaurant accounts, but doesn’t have a surplus. The new building will have a seven-barrel system and Gordon estimated it will nearly triple the brewery’s production.

“We’ve pulled back to four (restaurant) locations and that’s it,” he said. “The plan is to go to 30 guest accounts in a month.”

Mu Brewery closed in February 2016. Joy said Peak to Peak worked with the city of Aurora to secure the space. Gordon said the business will put in about $50,000 of equipment. The pair is funding the expansion with cash from the business.

The McKennons opened Peak to Peak as a craft beer bar in 2014, featuring 20 taps of local Colorado beers. Joy said the building is owned by neighboring business Treads Bicycle Outfitters. The owners let Peak to Peak expand their taproom space, which allowed them to add their own brewery in April 2017.

Joy said that when they first opened Peak to Peak, there weren’t as many taproom options in Aurora.

“If you wanted good craft beer you had to drive to it,” she said. “We thought, ‘We need a good place in this area where people can come enjoy all those breweries from across the state.’”

The bar now has 30 taps. Guest taps and brewery taps fluctuate depending on the beer Peak to Peak has. Gordon said he’s added two guest taps for cider since it has become more popular.

“I don’t compete with myself. If I have an amber I’m not going to buy a guest amber,” he said.

peak to peak owners
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