Construction crews continue to hammer away as fast as possible on RiNo's latest addition to the craft brewery scene, a 10,000-square-foot space belonging to the Bend, Oregon-born 10 Barrel Brewing. Its entry into the local craft market has been met with its fair share of drama and skepticism, as the Bend-based beer brand was purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2014.
The upcoming venue is taking shape, though will remain unable to welcome guests for this week's Great American Beer Festival. The team estimates the process – ensuring the structure at 2620 Walnut Street is sound, the wood-barreled roof was carved to perfection, creating an open-air mezzanine, and the four-foot pit was effectively dug for the fermentation tanks to rest – will be completed by mid to end October.
When it opens, patrons will be immediately greeted at the entrance a lumber and steel and a bulky 20-barrel sunken brew deck that anchors the two-story space, intending to seat more than 300 thirsty people. Those who belly up to the bar will be eye-level with brewers, who are said to have "full reign" to experiment with IPAs, traditional ales, sours, Belgians and more, using the venue as a laboratory for research and development, according to director of pub operations, Justin Hyde. "We want to give brewers the tools to push the envelop for what it means to make a great beer," he adds.
After venturing up the wooden staircase, the upstairs patio looks out onto the city, with community seating and an indoor-outdoor bar. Hyde says the bare walls will be peppered with chalkboards, for menu items, specials and drawing on creative inspiration from the art district neighborhood.
With a team of roughly 100 new hires, the Denver outpost has yet to find or hire a head brewer, though the team is scouting the local scene to complete the "dream team."
The food menu coming from chef Kiel Ard is meant to complement the beer and surprise guests with fresh salads, original sandwiches and of course, a helping of typical pub food. Standard menu items that appear on all 10 Barrel location menus include the steak and gorgonzola nachos and a wide variety of pizzas. Ard's favorite Denver dish is seasonal, including red and yellow beats mixed with a goat cheese yogurt, white sesame granola and a red wine vinaigrette, which he most closely compares to cereal.
The new brewery will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. 'til midnight on Friday and Saturday.