Every once in a while I will go to one source or another to see what's new in the Denver brewing scene. Today I checked out the Beer Mapping Project at beermapping.com. I did this a couple months ago and stumbled onto the opening day for the Copper Kettle nestled between Denver and Aurora.
The two new ones I found today are puzzling business models.
The first is Caution Brewing. They are located near I-70 and Peoria in Denver. The twitter feed links to local publications that indicates that they purchased the old Odell's 5 barrel pilot system (if you have ever had Odell's 5 Barrel Pale Ale, an homage to this system). But, this brewery has no tasting room, and only one account, a family member's restaurant. The most puzzling thing, while you can follow them on Twitter, they have no website. The only information I can gather is that they make only the one beer for the one location (Lao Wang's Lager) and are to specialize in beers that will pair well with Asian food.
The second mysterious brewery is Leieritz Brewing Company, brewing under the Three Daughters Label. A Google Search indicates that they are at 31st and Blake, but the person (assuming Leieritz) also lists a residence in my neighborhood as the company's address (I might not be making the best beer in a six block radius after all). I have not had (or heard of) Three Daughters, but they have 4 products reviewed on Rate Beer and BeerAdvocate....but the reviews are unkind to say the least. From the reviews, I gather that they sell bottles locally and they have had at least 1 tap at the Atomic Cowboy on Colfax. Again, a mystery that they don't have a web site.
At least two other breweries open soon here in Denver. Renegade (open now, I think) 9th and Santa Fe(www.renegadebrewing.com), and Denver Beer Company (denverbeerco.com) in Lower Highland (Platte Street north of 15th). At least they have websites.
An explosion of new breweries are about to come on line, and as I have been saying, not all of them will survive. They never do. I remember Heavenly Daze on Santa Fe and Alameda, Champion Brewing on Larimer Square, Oasis Brewing in Boulder, HC Berger in Fort Collins, and i have an old keg (my first brew kettle) from a Springs Brewing Company, Denver, CO, that I have never been able to find information about.
Brewing is such a labor and energy intensive industrial process that requires expensive equipment, volume production, and saavy marketing. It is no longer good enough to open a brewery (build it and they will come business model)...you have to sell it, market it, get it in front of people, perhaps win awards.
I won't begin to predict who will survive, but it will be the ones who will be able to find a sellable niche, have a decent location, and beer worth returning for....oh, and deep enough pockets.
Sadly, the best beers will not always win the day.