After nearly 5 years as one of Denver’s finest homebrew shops and neighborhood craft breweries, CO-Brew announced they’ll be closing up shop. The announcement was made on their Facebook page on Friday. CO-Brew named downtown Denver’s rising rents along with the decline in the homebrew industry as reasons why they won’t be renewing their lease.
Denver’s CO-Brew Stood Apart from the Crowd
When CO-Brew opened in 2015 they had a unique business model. They were Denver’s first and only combination homebrew supply store, brew-on-premises destination, and small scale brewery. CO-Brew sold brew session packages that allowed homebrewers (and the homebrew curious) to experience brewing on professional-grade equipment. In addition to the brewing experiences, CO-Brew operated as a small brewery, keeping a rotating lineup of beers on tap. In 2017, CO-Brew won a Great American Beer Festival bronze medal for their Farmhouse Saison.
Visiting CO-Brew, Post-Announcement
We stopped by CO-Brew on Saturday for some beers and homebrew supplies. CO-Brew was bustling with activity, as customers like us stopped by to pick up supplies, snag a few tee shirts, or have a few pints. Jamie and Janna Williams, the owners of CO-Brew, were both there and happy to help customers… though they were understandably less happy about saying goodbye. But as Jamie told us, with increasing rents, decreasing sales, and the various stresses of running a business in downtown Denver, it was clear that the time has just come to close up shop.
You will never meet nicer people than Jamie and Janna Williams, which makes it all the more difficult to say goodbye to CO-Brew. While the two don’t have any immediate plans, we selfishly hope that they’ll be back at work in the Colorado craft scene, in some form or format, in the near future. In fact, all of the staff at CO-Brew is incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. We wish all of them nothing but the best.
While we picked up a few homebrew supplies and tee shirts, that wasn’t really the point of our visit. We wanted to stop by to show our support, express our thanks, and of course, enjoy a few pints of CO-Brew beer. We hung out for a while with friends while enjoying the Hazy IPA, the Brut Rose IPA, and the Imperial Coffee Cream Ale. All three were great, though the Imperial Coffee Cream was my personal favorite. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a coffee beer that isn’t a stout, and this one did not disappoint. We will be back again soon to help CO-Brew drain their kegs by enjoying a few more favorite brews before they’re gone.
Although CO-Brew isn’t booking new brew sessions, they’re still finishing up those that are already on the books. During our visit on Saturday, two separate groups showed up for their own personal brew day. It was fun to watch people with varying experience making their own beer with CO-Brew’s help. While too many chefs may spoil the soup in some kitchens, the attitude at CO-Brew seems to be “the more the merrier.” We watched as one large group traded off brewing duties, with one or two people actively brewing while the rest of the gang watched and took loads of photos. CO-Brew is making more than beer in these sessions, they’re making memories. When the brewery closes their doors for good, they should be proud knowing that the wonderful experiences people had at CO-Brew will long outlast the beers that they created.
One More For the Road
Whether you like homebrewing or just enjoy great craft beer, we suggest you stop by CO-Brew in the upcoming weeks before they close. Items in the homebrew shop are being sold at a discounted price, first-come-first-served. Eventually, CO-Brew will be selling off their equipment, shelving, furniture, and fixtures, too. Beers will be tapped until they kick, so get in and enjoy them while you can. If you ask nicely, they may even share the recipe for your favorite brew with you. While you’re there, raise a pint and thank the team at CO-Brew for nearly 5 years of good times and great brews.
CO-Brew’s hours may be reduced as they wind down their operations, so check their social media channels before your visit for the most current information.