A Drop in the Bucket…

At Denver Beer Co to date we have brewed approximately 2300 Barrels of beer in the 21 ish months we have been open. That’s a lot of beer.  But when you take into account all the beer that has ever been brewed in this town, even on our city block, that isn’t even a drop in the bucket!

We were recently lucky enough to host Dave Thomas, a beer historian who has worked and studied the brewing industry on the front range for the last 40 plus years, to speak in our Barrel Room.  His presentation touched on everything from the brew that the Native Americans of our region would ferment, (anybody ever heard of “Choc” beer, named for Choctaw Indians in Oklahoma which contained barley, hops, tobacco, fishberries (Coculus Indicus), and a small amount of alcohol?), to the hurdles early brewers had to clear (such as cutting and storing ice to keep beer cool, contracting barley from farmers, employing in house coopers to build barrels, and dealing with third party bottling companies!) and the size and scope of turn of the century breweries in our city.

Especially interesting to us was the history of our immediate neighborhood.  The Rocky Mountain Brewery (AKA the Zang Brewing Co) 1859-1934 was located just up Platte St from us in the location where the Denver Aquarium is currently. They made ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY THOUSAND barrels of beer annually in the mid 1890’s.  The Mexican restaurant across the street occupies the only remaining building from that brewery.  The City Brewery (AKA the Union Brewing Co) 1871- 1905 was on our city block, caddy corner from where we are now and where I-25 currently runs! They brewed 40,000 barrels of beer every year!  The Tivoli Brewery is probably the best known, and existed from 1866-1969 in the building that is still on the Auraria Campus. Their annual production in 1880 was SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND barrels.  1869 the Denver Ale Brewing Co was located at 9th and Lawrence until it closed in 1895.  Their facility took up an entire city block.  In 1945 another iteration of the Denver Brewing Company opened at 1611 Platte Street.  The address of our Barrel Room in which Dave was giving this talk is 1635 Platte! Our neighbors! They only lasted until 1950 though…

It was truly enlightening and showed how much passion and love has always gone into brewing in this town!  We are proud to carry on the tradition, and amazed at the volumes of beer that have been produced by our predecessors.  Now back to the brewhouse…

Cheers!

-Charlie

Categories: Uncategorized

One Response

  1. Johan Westberg says:

    Cool. On the Mexican Restaurant it may not have technically been part of the brewery, it housed Rocky Mountain Hotel and a restaurant. Built 1892 by William Weigele. Philip Zang with family lived in the mansion above on 7th St. Ref http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/83001314.pdf

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