Monument’s Pikes Peak Brewing Co. is expanding to Colorado Springs, with a lager-focused brewpub that will be an anchor business at the remodeled Trolley Building on downtown’s south side.
“We are super excited. It’s been a while in the making, so it’s such a relief to be entering the next phase,” said brewery President and founder Chris Wright.
Pikes Peak Brewing Lager House will serve the brewery’s familiar flagships, but the focus will be on small batch, hand-crafted lagers — a style Wright said often gets left out of the craft beer love, but that he believes is poised for a modern comeback.
“There’s no one else in Colorado Springs who’s focusing on lagers and I think that’s going to be the next big wave in craft beer,” said Wright, who opened his original brewery in 2011. “Don’t get me wrong, I love ales, but on balance, lagers are a more delicate style ... and they take longer to make.”
Wright said his plans to evolve the brewery brand had been in the works for more than a year, and hinged on finding the ideal location. That happened when he settled on space in the Trolley Building, Niebur Development’s “market style” concept collective taking shape in the 500 block of South Tejon Street. Neighbors who’ve already settled in include Streetcar 520, Coffee Exchange, The Atomic Cowboy bar, Denver Biscuit Co., Fat Sully’s Pizza, Dos Santos Tacos, Frozen Gold Ice Cream and Cork & Cask, a whiskey and wine bar.
The Trolley is part of a south downtown renaissance marked by major construction, including hotels, upscale apartment complexes, and city projects such as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, due to open in 2020.
“We knew we wanted to be in the Springs, and that is by far the hottest part of downtown in terms of growth,” Wright said. “I love the market concept that Joe (Niebur) is building, and just to be a part of that in downtown Colorado Springs is absolutely fantastic.”
The new brewery will include a 2,500-square-foot rooftop patio with views of the Front Range, as well as a mezzanine for live music performances and “lots of” private event space. Patrons also can enjoy a literal window into the historical lager-making process as they drink and dine from the limited pub menu.
“Before temperature control was a thing, they would age the beer in oak vessels in caves in Germany,” said Wright, whose new location will age its lagers in 600-gallon oak tanks in a production area visible through glass panels. “That’s been something that’s been really important to me, for customers to see where beer is produced, how it’s produced, to see people working on beer.”
The fact Pikes Peak No. 2 will be opening within blocks of a half-dozen other craft breweries — including FH Beerworks, Iron Bird Brewing, Local Relic and in-the-works Dauntless Brewing — was more of an inspiration than a concern, Wright said.
“I think we can create some nice synergy through all the breweries and create a destination for folks to come and try a bunch of different craft beer, kind of like the RiNo District in Denver,” he said. “There are so many breweries there and it shows that synergy between breweries can absolutely work.”