If you’ve been keeping an eye on developments at the future WeldWerks Brewing Co. on Colorado Springs’ west side … well, there hasn’t been much to see aside from potential (and potential parking problems).
And if you’re a fan of the Greeley-based craft brewer’s suds, waiting with bated breath to get them locally at the (kind of) source, some mildly disappointing — but not entirely surprising — news:
The popular brewer and wizard of hazy IPAs, which returned from this year’s Great American Beer Festival with gold and silver medals, says its Springs taproom missed that hoped-for November grand opening.
Realistically, probably, it’s going to be a while.
The delay, according to the brewery, is due to a pending developmental review by the city.
“Obviously we had hoped to be further along in the project, but we remain optimistic that we will accelerate quickly once we get the green light from the city. Without question, we will be mindful of the city’s requirements around this location and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that we uphold community as one of our key values,” said WeldWerks CEO and co-founder Colin Jones.
WeldWerks isn’t the only new craft spot to hit a timeline stumble en route to new digs in the Springs.
In June, Monument’s Pikes Peak Brewing Co. announced it would be expanding south and opening a lager-focused brewpub that would be an anchor business at the remodeled Trolley Building on downtown’s south side.
Brewery founder Chris Wright had hoped to open his No. 2 location in 2019, but is now eyeing a 2020 grand opening.
“As with any construction project, we are behind schedule,” he said.
Ditto for Dauntless Brewing Co., which originally aimed to open in late 2019 in a former auto sales business at 428 S. Nevada Ave., about a block east of the Trolley Building.
“That area of town is just exploding right now and we wanted to get into the area before it becomes too competitive,” co-owner and CEO Robert Beaird said in July. “With the Olympic Museum, the new soccer stadium, several new hotels, and various other business developments going in there now, we think there is no better place in town to be.”
A Sept. 28 post on the brewery’s Facebook page let fans know plans had changed, but that owners remained undaunted.
“Unfortunate news, everyone — due to some issues that arose with our previous location, we have been forced to start finding somewhere new to open up,” it read. “See everyone in spring 2020, we hope!”
The WeldWerks brewery announced expansion plans — its first — in April, after purchasing the historic 110-year-old former diner near 31st Street and Colorado Avenue, a vacant bungalow with a slouching roof and basement stairwell that drew the homeless on cold nights.
“Anyone who has seen The Dive understands that it will be a full rehab but we will be basically keeping the same structure with new skin,” said Jones last year. “We came up with some pretty out-there designs, but, ultimately, we elected to retain as much of the original structure as possible.”
Renovations, he said, would be done with an eye to retaining the “cozy and funky character of Old Colorado City,” but with a WeldWerks flair. Even so, the vision for the new, 1,300-square-foot taproom, which will pour WeldWerks offerings brewed in Greeley, involves major renovations such as a two-story addition topped with a “treehouse-inspired” patio.
While the community awaits details about the new taproom, including its official name and date for the grand opening party, WeldWerks is initiating chumminess with its future neighbors and patrons. It recently joined Trails End Taproom to celebrate the nearby cycling-themed craft watering hole’s second anniversary, and even created a special gorp-inspired beer, 31st Street Trails Mix, to celebrate the occasion.
“As our work with the city progresses, we will continue to expand our presence by opening up several new accounts as we strive to solidify our commitment to the Colorado Springs community,” Jones said.
As for the parking issue — a potentially critical one given the site’s modest footprint and location near a busy intersection — WeldWerks’ Director of Operations Kristin Popcheff said in April the brewery was considering options, including off-site lots nearby.
“Yes, the parking is very limited on the property. We are loosely planning on sectioning off a few spaces for 15 minute to-go pick up parking for those who are wanting to purchase multiple cases to quickly pull in to load up,” Popcheff said.
“We have been scouting the area and there are indeed a few off-site lots within close walking distance and ample street parking. Customer experience is always on the forefront of our minds and while we don’t have a complete plan of execution, we feel confident enough with our resources that we will be able to create an accommodating atmosphere.”
“See everyone in spring 2020, we hope!” Facebook post by Dauntless Brewing