Welcome to A Pint With, where Eater uncovers and features the city's most interesting beer-brewing talent. In this edition, brewers Betty Fey and Danny Wang of CAUTION: Brewing Company, get the spotlight.
Betty Fey in the Mashtun [Photo: CAUTION: Brewing Co.]
"I am a native German, which of course means that beer is second nature to me," says Betty Fey, co-owner at east Denver's CAUTION: Brewing Company. Her business partner and husband Danny Wang hails from Fort Collins, Colorado, another part of the world that seems to breed brewers.
The homebrewing duo opened their taproom last May near Interstate 70 and Peoria Street. It's a small space in an industrial complex that sports clever road signs and warning labels. Their construction-themed marketing is fitting —from the very beginning CAUTION has been a work in progress. When the taproom opened a year ago, the production side of the brewery was already one year old. Betty and Danny wanted to get comfortable with their large new brewing system and familiarize themselves with the industry before the doors opened directly to the public. Two years since CAUTION got its start, the two are still cautiously building their business.
CAUTION brews its inventive beers on Odell Brewing Company's original brewhouse (on which the infamous Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale was created). "We like to take the styles that we love and twist them a bit to make them more to our liking," says Betty. "I like blonde ales, for example, but we wanted more creaminess and nuttiness in one, so we put organic wild rice [in a mash] and birthed the Wild Blonde, one of our flagships."
CAUTION's other flagships are also thoughtful twists on popular beer styles made with unlikely ingredients. Their Hippity Hops Chrysanthemum IPA is brewed with whole flower chrysanthemums and Chinese rock brown sugar and their Holy Matrimony Brown Ale is brewed with wildflower honey from Clark's Honey Farm in Evans, Colorado. "We'll never make a new beer just for the sake of making another beer," Danny said in an interview at last year's Great American Beer Festival. "We want to do something with the beer that makes it unique and different."
Perhaps CAUTION's best-known beer, the Lao Wang Lager is a spiced Asian Lager made with a secret blend of five spices and five rices perfect for pairing with Xiao long bao, or Chinese soup dumplings. The Lao Wang Lager is available on tap at Lao Wang Noodle House, a tiny Taiwanese food joint on west Federal in Lakewood that Danny's parents own.
"Lakewood is our stomping grounds," says Betty. She's thrilled to report that CAUTION will soon open a new location on Wadsworth Boulevard where the two are building an even larger taproom and will be canning the Lao Wang Lager. They also plan to collaborate with the Barley Heaven homebrew shop across the street.
As CAUTION continues their construction, it's making a splash as the only Colorado brewery (and possibly one of the few breweries in the country) committed to making beer to pair with Asian food. Together Danny and Betty have created a business that diversifies Denver's booming craft beer industry - innovative, ever-evolving, and rooted in multicultural traditions.
CAUTION at a Glance
Locations / 12445 E. 39th Ave., Unit 314; Denver, CO 80232
1057 S. Wadsworth Blvd. Unit 60; Lakewood, CO 80226?
Digits / 970.315.BREW
Website / cautionbrewingco.com?
Brewhouse size / 5 barrels (155 gallons brewed at a time)?
Annual production / 100+ barrels, hoping to triple production in the next year?
Most popular pint / Lao Wang Lager?
Find their beer / On tap at Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver Bicycle Cafe, Lao Wang Noodle House, Rackhouse Pub, The Ale House at Amato's, Cedar Creek Pub, The Kitchen Next Door, and Lowry Beer Garden... to name a few?
Grub / Baker St. Pretzels served in the taproom; The Pride of Philly and The Döner King food trucks on Friday nights
Upcoming Events / See their website