After a 16-year hiatus, one of Colorado’s original craft breweries is back in business in the Highlands. Oasis Brewery, which opened in Boulder in 1991 on the front end of the craft brewing trend, closed in 2002 with the industry’s first big bubble. Now it has reopened near Highlands Square in the Tudor revival-style Beth Eden Baptist Church at 3257 North Lowell Boulevard.
“The space alone was too good to turn down because of what the potential was,” said Oasis owner George Hanna. The nearly 90-year-old, 4,000-square-foot building with vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows has been the subject of years of development debate in Denver. It now sits attached to the Highlands32 apartments. Hanna and his two sons, co-owners, have kept the bones of the structure, uncovering brick walls and positioning a 7-barrel brewhouse in place of a pulpit.
Oasis closed 16 years ago because of a sales slump and tight competition, Hanna said. But he sees beer’s trajectory as similar to that of the wine industry: “Now, it just isn’t quitting,” Hanna says of craft brewing. His re-opening beer lineup by head brewer Bernie Tonning includes a brown, red, ESB, and oatmeal stout — all GABF and World Beer Cup award-winners from the 1990s and early 2000s. “We might as well come back with the big winners,” Hanna added, explaining that a new IPA, French saison, and Scottish ale would also be coming down the pike, among other releases.
Oasis will hold its grand opening, with an all-evening happy hour and live music, on Thursday, March 29. For more information, visit the website.
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