Three years ago, Vine Street Pub opened their doors in Denver following in the footsteps of the famed and popular Mountain Sun and Southern Sun in Boulder
Both Mountain Sun and Southern Sun have subsequently been supplying the homemade, craft brews for Vine Street and producing their own brews. With their intact mission of having 50 styles of beer a year and compounding 21 taps, it has proven to be a challenge, albeit a fun one.
To solve this, Vine Street recently broke ground on a 3500-square foot brewery. The team plans to finish it by Fall 2011. They’re looking to implement a twelve-barrel brewing system and six 24-barrel fermenters.
Last week I had the pleasure of touring the brewery (in it’s beginning stages), meeting head brewer Brian Hutchinson (Hutch) and Managing Partner Paul Nashak and learn about the latest at Vine Street.
When opened in Fall 2011, Vine Street will be able to brew up to 5,000 barrels of beer a year which is about 50 percent more than its sister locations, Boulder’s Mountain Sun and Southern Sun pubs, can do combined. Currently, Southern Sun puts out 2,000 barrels a beer and Mountain Sun does about 1,100.
Head Brewer, Hutch, got his start with the team 7 years ago as a passionate teacher who loved making his own brews. He has been with the team ever since, thus collecting many awards including “Alpha King” for their Hop Vivant Imperial IPA.
Hutch has his hands and design in the new brewery. He wants to make sure there’s proper drainage, correct flow and that the floor plan is logical to production. The brewery will also have an outside beer garden for customers.
To stay current, the team at Vine Street traveled the country, studying other breweries and brewpubs to understand what worked and what didn’t work.
Owner, Kevin J. Daily says, “We’re tremendously excited about the new brewery. We’ll be able to produce more beer and more varieties. It also means fewer food miles – less driving to and from Boulder to Denver, which is good for the environment, and good for everyone.”
In a neighborhood, on 17th (Uptown Denver) and Vine, Paul emphasized the importance of being a good neighbor. They connect with their neighbors about the business and ensure that they’re doing their part to keep everyone happy.
Everyone who works at Vine Street is involved. Paul calls it a “team system,” where everyone does everything. Everyone hosts, serves, cooks even cleans dishes occasionally. I asked where the witty names for the beers came from and Hutch said it’s collective. There’s a pervasive welcoming within Vine Street, and they want to not only make their customers happy, but also everyone who’s part of the Vine Street family.
I love their ethics and responsibility, it is evident in everything they do and makes a difference.
Food and Beer:
We sampled a variety of nibbles and even had their newly named, Best Wings in Denver via Denver’s Westword.
They source their food locally and when possible, organic. Even the grains from the hops will be picked up immediately by farmers to be fed to nearby cattle (this eliminates the smell for neighbors, by quickly removing the grain).
With a large e-mail list, they survey their customers frequently for what they loved, what they don’t like and pay close attention to how they update their menu by customer feedback.
The beers this crew rolls out, are often the most creative and diverse I’ve ever had. Furthermore, their beers have won awawrds around the world. Check out some of their beers here.
Finally, check out Vine Street’s upcoming anniversary party and stay tuned for updates on the brewery to launch later this year! Whether you’re visiting Boulder or Denver, these guys are a must. They’re quintessential Colorado and are seriously OG (original gangster in the brew-pub/beer world).
Vine Street’s Smoking Hot Anniversary Party: Finally, to celebrate their 3 year anniversary, Vine Street is hosting a benefit and party on April 20th, starting at 4:20 PM to 1 AM (close).
There’s going to be smokin’ hot BBQ, anniversary beer which will be a Chupacabra, an imperial Mexican lager dry-hopped with mint leaves and aged in oak and live music! Entrance is free and all are welcome.
All proceeds for the event go to Judi’s House, a local non-profit in Denver that provides help and alleviation to grieving children.