Alpine Dog Brewing reopens this summer in the former Denver Bicycle Cafe space
Alpine Dog Brewing, which left its spot next to the Ogden Theater last August, will reopen this summer in the former Denver Bicycle Cafe, bringing more craft beer to the 17th Avenue row of restaurants.
The eight-year-old brewer is renovating the space at 1308 East 17th, which was a popular cafe, beer bar and bike shop until it closed in November 2019.
“He has a great heritage,” says Alpine Dog owner Gardiner Hammond. He plans to honor that legacy by also serving coffee before brewing hours and possibly incorporating some kind of bicycle decor in the dining room.
But his biggest focus will be on the upgrades this new high-profile location will allow him to do – things he couldn’t do at Alpine Dog’s former home at 1505 Ogden Street.
For starters, it will have a decent sized patio on the side of the building. And down the road, he may also be able to open up a second patio out front. “It was something we really missed,” he says. “Like everyone else, I like to sit outside, and we have nine months of time on the patio” in Colorado.
Hammond is also selling his fifteen-barrel brewing system in order to purchase a ten-barrel system, on which he can brew a wider variety of small-batch beers, including lagers. “That means we’ll have more variety at the bar and we’ll be able to flip beers more quickly,” he says. It will also allow it to focus on increasing bar sales and less on external distribution to liquor stores or restaurants.
Still, there’s room for a canning line in case it decides to take over distribution, particularly of some of Alpine Dog’s flagship beers, like Thunder Puppy Hazy IPA and Hyper Jam Blackberry Sour.
Once the brasserie opens, he also plans to open a separate cocktail bar in the former Tandem Bar space next door. With a work name from Elsewhere, it would focus on mezcal and bourbon drinks.
And finally, Hammond says he just really loves the neighborhood, especially its collection of bars and restaurants and its always lively atmosphere. “I thought Colfax would come back, but it’s not,” he says of his former location, adding that he feels the region hasn’t gained enough momentum.
Crazy Mountain Brewing, which moved from its old space at 471 Kalamath Street last year, has plans to open in the former Alpine Dog location, but so far progress has been slow.
On the 17th, however, there could possibly be a row of miniature breweries that would include Alpine Dog; Reverence Brewing, which opened in the former Thirsty Monk space at 1604 17th in 2021; and Vine Street Pub, at 1700 17th. Vine Street closed at the start of the pandemic and has yet to reopen, but owner Kevin Daly said he still plans to bring the neighborhood favorite back.