New Belgium to open pilot brewery in Denver
While preparing for the opening of its second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, New Belgium Brewing Company announced a third, pilot brewery to open in Denver in 2017.
The Fort Collins-based craft brewery — the fourth-largest craft brewery in the country — will open a micro, 10-barrel pilot brewery at the forthcoming Source Hotel, 3350 Brighton Blvd., in Denver’s River North District (RiNo).
The 2,000-square-foot Denver concept will reside on the hotel’s ground floor, with barrel aging taking place on the eighth floor in the brewery and hotel’s collaborative rooftop lounge called "The Woods.”
"The Woods” will serve New Belgium beers and small plates and will include a snack counter, bar, sit-down dining area and beer garden, as well as the hotel’s pool and roof deck.
Hotel guests and customers at The Source culinary complex will be able to try New Belgium’s core brands there (but brewed anew on the pilot system) as well as other small-batch beers brewed and aged onsite.
Located in a converted brick foundry, The Source market hall is home to two restaurants, a bakery, coffee roaster, taproom, butcher, cheese shop and other artisanal vendors.
"I think that was really appealing to us, the idea of hands-on, artisanal, small and crafted,” said New Belgium Public Relations Director Bryan Simpson.
New Belgium’s expansion to Denver is markedly different from its move to Asheville, which will bring a 133,000-square-foot East Coast brewing facility, capable of producing 500,000 barrels of beer annually, along with a regional distribution center.
No distribution outside of The Source will take place from new Belgium’s Denver location.
It will be an expansion of New Belgium’s barrel-aging program, which already includes 64 giant barrels, or foeders, in Fort Collins, located in an area of the brewery dubbed "foeder forest.”
In 2012, New Belgium also introduced a 10-hectoliter (about 260 gallons) pilot system to its Fort Collins facility in order to experiment with new brands and one-off brews, while the entire brewery grew to production of nearly 1 million barrels of beer annually.
"I think part of the inspiration for this was having the pilot system here (in Fort Collins)... It allows you to be playful and try new things,’’ Simpson said.
Other New Belgium-branded concepts exist around Colorado, including the New Belgium Ranger Station in Snowmass Village and the Spoke and Hub concepts at Denver International Airport.
But The Source location will be New Belgium’s only other production facility in Colorado, and its third production facility once the Asheville brewery and taproom opens late this year or early next year.
For more information on The Source Denver, visit www.thesourcedenver.com/