28 Oct A New Key on the Ring
When we began the search for a location to build Cerebral Brewing, for me there was only one place I wanted to be. The location was known to most as the old Galaxie building on Colfax. I lived a block from it for years and every time I walked past the place or turned up through the alley, it just demanded to be a brewery. My brewery in fact. A lot of time has passed since then. I know of a number of brewers that tried to make this spot work. For one reason or another, it was not feasible. Based on these stories and other rumors, I figured the building was destined to remain empty or razed to make room for something new and shiny. With that, I also figured that the idea of opening my own brewery here should be considered a dream deferred.
We got things underway and we were targeting neighborhoods all over Denver with the Galaxie building floating in the back of our minds. Sean also spends a lot of time in the area and was aware of the building too. We were spending evenings driving around Denver weighing the pros and cons of particular neighborhoods, but I knew where I wanted to be. Thanks to the whirlwind that followed, I don’t actually remember how we found out, but one of us saw a new “for lease” sign and Dan found the listing for the building online. We sent our brokers out for more information just to see what the story was with the spot.
As it turns out the landlord was beginning a new development push on the building. The surrounding stretch of Colfax is getting a facelift and the owner wants this building to get shined up as well. We began what turned out to be a way longer process than any of us could have expected. First there was a presentation to the owner and his brokers. We followed that with what I think was nearly six months of meetings, walkthroughs, and negotiations.
That long wait ended on October 27th, 2014 at 4:00pm, when Cerebral Brewing stood around a desk and signed a nice long lease on 4,000 square feet of concrete slab that we intend to transform into an amazing brewery and a fantastic taproom.
Speaking for myself, there were so many mixed emotions as I signed the lease. In all honesty, my biggest feeling was relief. I had been chewing on it all weekend, waiting for the meeting where we would get some assurance that our brewery has a home. That was huge but to tell the truth, I was hoping to be a bit more elated. When we first started the negotiations, it seemed like once we signed the lease we magically had a brewery. That just isn’t the case. I am very happy, don’t get me wrong, but after this long my mind has moved on to what happens after the lease is signed. What the lease gives us is access to the next step in a long process of contractors, invoices, construction, headaches and inevitable delays. That is OK though. If anything, we have learned to wait and have become a bit less naive.
We had a few beers to celebrate getting what we wanted. Sean and I deserved it. We will get Dan on Skype soon and have a toast or two and a few celebratory laughs. This lease is big and huge and scary. It feels pretty good and we should acknowledge it. But for now we will just get back to work. We have a long way to go and a tight budget to get there.
Regardless of the work to come, my sentimentality forces me to reflect a bit on what this means. I get the opportunity to execute what I figured was just a dream. I am building a brewery in a place that I love. The neighborhood around the Galaxie building means a lot to me. I have spent a lot of time there over the last fifteen years. The PS Lounge was the first bar I drank in in Denver and my first show at the Bluebird was the same night. I have had great times and rough times there. I live there and am now raising a kid there. This is my opportunity to finalize my mark on this section of Colfax and that is an exciting prospect.
So we hope that you will celebrate our new home too. Tip a glass for us and the renovation of the crusty old Galaxie building. We appreciate it and we will work diligently to give you a new and wonderful place to drink excellent beer. See you soon!