For nearly a decade, Sanitas Brewing Co. has been serving Boulder drinkers a variety of enticing beers to pair with one of the best patios the Front Range has to offer. Now, the company and its owl mascot are spreading their wings to the Denver suburbs.
Construction is underway on a new Sanitas brewery and taproom at 200 W. Belleview Ave.), in Englewood, which is expected to open in February 2023. It’s the first of what could be many satellite locations to come, according to co-founder and CEO Michael Memsic.
The move marks a pivot in strategy for the 9-year-old beer maker, which when it opened was focused on “large production, filling semis with cans, chasing after Odell and Avery and New Belgium,” Memsic explains. “And we thought we would be sending those semis across the country and growing a big brewery.”
But as the craft beer landscape has changed, so has his desire to widely distribute beer. Memsic said he would rather build places where he can welcome beer lovers and help cultivate communities.
“What we were able to learn, fortunately without losing our ass along the way, was that we are best at taproom,” he said. “We’re looking for places where we want to participate in that community and be able to grow our footprint.”
In Englewood, that means bringing locally brewed beer to an area that Memsic described as something of a craft beer desert — a selling point of the area in his eyes.
He also wants to up the “weird” factor in the brewery’s lineup with a new 3.5-barrel brewing system for recipe experimentation in Englewood.
“The goal of this location and continuing to add more locations (is to) really have brewers that are chasing new and fun and the crazy,” Memsic said. Sanitas’ brewing program has yielded more than 150 different styles since it opened in 2013 and the brewery keeps an annual calendar so drinkers can stay up to date on new releases.
“But we’re still really focused on that calendar,” he said. “I hope we can get crazy and wild out there.”
Once it’s open, visitors will find 15 to 20 draft taps of beer, as well as a coffee shop and food menu. Sanitas is building a kitchen in Englewood that will be operated by a yet-to-be-announced partner, who Memsic promised will “really improve the food culture in that area.”
While the Sanitas taproom in Englewood will be significantly smaller than the location in Boulder – about 4,500 square feet compared to 15,000 square feet – the brewery will have a 2,800-square-foot patio. Memsic hopes to expand the outdoor seating area in the years to come, too.
As for locations where Sanitas might expand next, Memsic said his vision is to continue adding locations throughout the west.
“Some of those I think will end up on the Front Range, some of those will probably end up out of state and kind of everywhere between,” he said. The company’s growth is due in no small part of the COVID-friendly nature of the Boulder brewery and patio, Memsic added.
Sanitas is just the latest Colorado brewery to add additional taprooms to its portfolio. Both Denver Beer Co. and Left Hand Brewing Co. have new taprooms with the restaurant due to open before the end of the year, and Prost Brewing Co. recently announced plans to move its production facility to Northglenn, complete with a massive taproom and biergarten, which will be its fourth.
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