Rocky Mountain Brewing News October/November 2015 : Page 2

Rocky Mountain Brewing News October/November 2015 Burbs continued from cover venience, space, and price. Like housing, finding a brewery space is a very personal choice based on interests and priorities, but also shaped by economic realities. Some breweries find comfort and personal connections in a suburban home, with a support-ive and familiar community. Others locate outside of central Denver because of a desire for more space, or possibly a tradeoff between cost and functionality. According to David Lin, Chairman of Comrade Brewing Company, locating further out let him find a larger taproom and production area and purchase more expensive, American-made equipment than he could have if he paid central Denver rent. For St. Patrick’s Brewing Company, the reason for choosing a suburban location was the community connection. St. Patrick’s got its start in co-owner Chris Phelps’ Centennial garage, moved to a small industrial space in Englewood, and finally to its current location on the Platte River near downtown Littleton. Both of St. Patrick’s own-ers come from Littleton and as Phelps says, “It’s kind of our neck of the woods. I’m a suburban kid. We’re comfortable down here.” St. Patrick’s aims to fit into the community by defining themselves as a brewery with a tast-ing room and not a bar; thus, they’re not keeping “bar hours.” They also try to engage with the local community by welcoming families and being dog-friendly. Phelps noted, “You live in the suburbs and you see the demand.” As far as selecting the specific property, the owners did what many homeowners do and “just went by the feel of it,” according to Phelps. Like many suburban residences, St. Patrick’s has a sizable lawn, plenty of outdoor games to keep the kids (and adults) entertained, and lots of comfy seating and shaded spots for relaxation and con-versation. Vol. 13, No. 5 Publisher BILL METZGER Editor Amy Moses State Correspondents Colorado: Denver -Dan Olds Central Peaks -Jim Mitchell Western Slope/Four Corners James Hutchison Front Range -Amy Moses Idaho -John Campbell Montana -Alan McCormick Utah -Brian Manternach Wyoming -Ty Martinez Columns Art of Homebrewing -Bill Downs Webmeister Jamie Magee Design/Layout Jennifer Reed Rocky Mountain Brewing News is published bi-monthly, on recycled paper. Over 20,000 copies are distributed in breweries, brew on premises, homebrew supply shops & high variety beer bars and stores throughout the Rocky Mountain region. All material © 2015 by Rocky Mountain Brewing News unless otherwise noted. David Lin, Chairman of Comrade Brewing ready to serve his thirsty customers. ADVERTISING OFFICE PHONE 1-800-474-7291 Fax 1-888-665-5007 Next Issue Advertising Deadline: November 10th (800) 474 -7291 has already brought in additional tanks and equipment and has four more tanks on order. Lin said that every brewery grows and expan-sion space becomes critical. As an example, he cited Dry Dock Brewing Co., which started in a tiny space in the back of the Brew Hut and gradually took over much of that strip mall before opening an additional facility in north Aurora. Similarly, when Breckenridge Brewery needed to expand from its Santa Fe location it found the sizable space it needed in sub-Patrons fill the spacious tasting room at Comrade urban Littleton, and within the last year, both Brewing. Renegade Brewing Company and Avery Brewing have moved into larger facilities. because until recently, many suburbs simply didn’t know what to do with a brewery, from licensing to Where Everybody zoning to health codes. Cities regulated restau-rants, bars, manufacturing facilities and even pot Knows Your Name shops, but craft breweries did not fit cleanly into As a customer, visiting a craft brewery that’s any category. nearby your home is an easy decision. Suburban At St. Patrick’s first location in Centennial, tasting rooms let residents enjoy innovative craft Phelps had to help the city create their brewery Financially Feasible beers, hang out with friends and neighbors, and laws. Arapahoe County required Comrade to add As mentioned above, a struggle any recent avoid the hassle of traffic and parking downtown extra safety features applicable to grain mills homebuyer or renter can connect with is the dif--or in some cases avoid driving at all. Customers because the county was unfamiliar with how ficulty of finding space that meets your needs at are more likely to find a laid-back atmosphere, breweries use grain (hint: there’s no onsite milling an affordable price. Comrade Brewing Company, more room to spread out, and unique outdoor involved). The Brew on Broadway in Englewood located in the southeast metro area, found the spaces as well. For example, St. Patrick’s and and Kokopelli Beer Company in Westminster lack of reasonably-priced, brewery-usable space Wonderland Brewing Company each feature large faced similar challenges getting their cities to to be a challenge. David Lin was looking for a indoor areas with ping pong and spacious outdoor understand their business model prior to opening. space that could fit large-scale brewing equipment seating areas with amenities like fire pits and bar Thanks to those early pioneers, many sub-without making structural modifications and could versions of cornhole and Jenga. urbs developed an understanding of the brewery house a good-sized taproom. Significant space for business and now recognize the contributions expansion was also high on his priority list. Fierce Competition breweries make to both the community and the Lin spent three months looking at 36 prop-Finding the right space in the suburbs is no tax base. Within the past few years, cities like erties from Highlands Range to Arvada before easy task. Just like home-seekers, brewers face selecting the former auto body shop near Iliff and tight competition for desirable spaces. St. Patrick’s Littleton and Aurora have updated their laws and even specifically targeted the brewing community Quebec, in unincorporated Arapahoe County. In opened their latest location in March of 2015 for business development, making it more attrac-addition to making it easier to outfit a brewery with and Phelps said that they almost leased several tive for breweries to locate -or relocate -in the the right equipment, suburban locations also allow spaces, only to have another business beat them suburbs. easier access for trucks delivering grain and other to it by days or even hours. ingredients, removing spent grain, and loading up Lin had a less competitive real estate envi-finished products. Joining Together ronment when he planned Comrade’s April 2014 Phelps explains that breweries in close opening and felt that in a suburban location, the proximity can actually help each other by drawing Preparing to Thrive landlord was more willing to provide incentives more beer lovers to the area, in addition to fuel-Space to grow is very important and many to move in. Conditions have since changed, and ing competition. Breckenridge Brewing recently suburban spaces are less restricted than city loca-he would not find the same advantages today, as opened a 76,000 square foot facility 1.6 miles tions. After being open just over a year, Comrade commercial real estate site reports that from St. Patrick’s and according to Phelps, “Breck rental rates have is a benefit and a challenge – they’re a destination increased over 20% brewery.” while available prop-erties fell by a third since 2013. Looking Ahead What does the future look like for craft breweries located outside of the city? Overall, The suburbanites should find even more opportunities Dreaded to try craft beer in the coming year with 45 more Red Tape suburban breweries in the planning stages as of In some cases August. A quick look at a brewery map also shows brewers found an that there are many “holes” in the metro area for ideal space in the ambitious entrepreneurs to fill that will allow thirsty suburbs but encoun-suburbanites to get their craft beer fix in their very tered additional own neighborhoods. challenges that they Adults and kids alike enjoy the large outdoor space at St. Patrick's would not have had Brewing Company. in Denver. That’s

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