Denver Beer Company’s newest location in the Lowry neighborhood might be closest to the founders’ hearts. “It’s about a mile from our house, and it represents what we love and value, from our brews, to the fun for kids, to environmental sustainability,” says co-owner Patrick Crawford. The large, modern taproom showcases the craft of beer brewing, with 11 tanks operating behind the bar, and expands into two sprawling patios, with fire pits, a grill for the Taproom chefs, hot-weather misters, a grassy area for outdoor games, and a space for live bands. Thanks to these community-tailored features, the Lowry Taproom aims to deliver a fun experience for patrons and provide a neighborhood hub for events.
Since Crawford and his business partner Charlie Berger opened their flagship Denver Beer Co. on Platte Street in 2011, “We’ve always believed beer is serious fun,” Crawford says. A former engineer who quit his job at Lockheed Martin just before launching the brewery, Crawford explains, “The serious part is that we care about the ingredients we’re using, and we put in a lot of effort to make the best beer we can.” The team’s brewers travel to the Pacific Northwest for fresh hops, and 95 percent of the malted barley utilized in all four Denver Brewing Co. locations hails from Colorado. Crawford continues, “The fun part is easy—drinking beer at a German beer garden table, sitting with friends on a summer afternoon.”
He notes that Denver Beer Co. has grown “as we’ve asked what’s important to us and where would our friends want to hang out?” The new Lowry taproom is kid-friendly, which reflects not only the surrounding neighborhoods but also Crawford and Berger’s own growing families. “This is a place where mom and dad can grab a beer while the kids play,” Crawford says. The menu includes crowd pleasers such as the bacon jam double cheeseburgers, brisket street tacos, duck fat fries and buffalo cauliflower, alongside gluten-free and vegetarian options, sparklers, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Of course, the craft brews are the highlight of any visit to Denver Beer Co. Unique to the Lowry Taproom are the Low-Fi India Pale Ale (IPA), a nod to “Lowry Field,” and Citrus Tricks, a hazy IPA with notes of Key lime and Sicilian lemon. Crawford and Berger have been brewing in small batches from the beginning, when they experimented in their garages, and they’ve maintained the tradition to “ensure that a few old favorites are always on tap, but new goodies greet visitors each month,” Crawford says. Since Denver Beer Co.’s brewers draw inspiration from Old World beer styles as well as innovative techniques and local ingredients, beer selections change seasonally, “like a farmer’s table,” he says.
The new brewhouse provides “an incredible opportunity for experimentation,” Crawford adds. “Our brewers get to know the community and its preferences. Designing beers around and with our food menu is a great opportunity for our brewers to get creative.”
Community is a core value of Denver Beer Co., especially evident at the Lowry location. Based in the Exchange at Boulevard One, the Lowry Taproom patios are adjacent to a community playground and within short walking distance of residences and shops. “We are looking forward to hosting fun events such as community block parties, outdoor movie nights, and even yoga in the park,” Berger says.
Crawford says the Lowry Taproom has quickly become a central gathering place. “People come out for moms’ nights, book clubs, and birthday parties,” he says. A running club wraps up their weekly workout with a brew, and the Geeks Who Drink club holds regular trivia events. “We welcome everyone for a good time. Dogs, dirty shoes, bikes, they’re all welcome.”
Welcoming everyone is the inspiration for Denver Beer Co.’s many outreach projects. Each June, Denver Beer Co. donates a portion of the sales of their fruity sour Berry Proud to a nonprofit supporting Colorado’s LGBTQ community. Likewise, in October, a portion of sales of their pink beer, the Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch, is bookmarked for the American Cancer Society’s Colorado chapter.
Last month the Lowry Taproom hosted its first Neighborhood Hop Swap, in which Crawford and Berger gave hop rhizomes to neighbors to grow at home. Crawford explains that after gardeners harvest their hops, the Lowry Taproom specialists will brew an IPA “with local flavor” to share with the community.
Finally, Denver Beer Co. has put its commitment to sustainability on display at the Lowry Taproom. The beer garden’s efficient design, recycling program, and EV chargers “are important to us because they’re the right thing to do,” Crawford says. Denver Beer Co.’s main brewery is powered by solar, and a carbon dioxide reclamation unit and hot water reclamation system minimizes the environmental impact of the brewing process. Spent grain is sent to Front Range cattle farms.
“We care about our community,” Crawford says. “We love the Denver lifestyle, so we created a brewery to match our city’s personality.”
Front Porch photos by Christie Gosch