Parker is home to three craft breweries, started by local home-brewers who wanted to bring their love and passion for brewing craft beers to a whole new level.
And while brewing craft beer seems to be an up-and-coming industry that is generating a lot of interest and competition, that doesn’t seem to bother the owners of Barnett & Son Brewing Co., Elk Mountain Brewing Co. or Hall Brewing Co.
They consider each other “friendly” competitors and would go out of their way to help one another, whether they need ingredients or a part for their equipment.
Some of their locally-produced beer is available in area liquor stores and restaurants, so make sure you look for them. You also can enjoy a nice selection at each brewery’s tap house in Parker.
Here’s a quick look at each of them:
Barnett & Son Brewing Co.
18425 Pony Express Drive #125
Parker, CO 80134
Opening date: June 2, 2015
Brewers and their backgrounds: Alex Stansbury is the head brewer. He came to Parker after working as a brewer at Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub in Idaho Springs for 13 years, including the last four as head brewer.
Owner Andrew Barnett also helps with brewing. He says he has been a home-brewer for 15 years, giving Barnett & Son Brewing Co. “a good blend of experience.”
Style of beer: Barnett & Son makes true-to-style session beers, which Barnett says “are more modest in their alcohol content so that you can enjoy more than one without over indulging.”
Barnett says his beers run the full spectrum in terms of bitterness and color, so some beers will be more malty and some will be more hoppy. They also are available in light, amber and dark colors.
Where is your beer brewed and do you offer tours? Beer is brewed at Barnett’s facility on Pony Express Drive. Instead of “3-minute” tours, customers can see the brewing area from the tap room.
Why Parker? It’s home and where his family and community are. Barnett has lived in Parker since 1995.
An added word about “& Son”: Barnett’s son, Robert, is a sophomore at Chaparral High School who has been involved with his dad’s home-brewing and busses tables on weekends.
Elk Mountain Brewing
18921 Plaza Drive Unit 104
Parker, CO 80134
Opening date: July 1, 2010
Brewers and their backgrounds: Owner Tom Bell was the head brewer when Elk Mountain first opened. He now oversees the operation with help from his wife, Marcia.
The head brewer is now Zac Rissmiller, who worked previously as an audio engineer in Nashville but has home-brewed since he was 21 years old. He started as an intern and has worked his way up to the head brewership.
He is assisted by Shannon Madruga, who fell in love with the brewing process while working at a restaurant that also brewed beer on site. She then committed herself to learning all she could about beer, including learning to home-brew.
Style of beer: American, English and German style craft beers.
Where is your beer brewed and do you offer tours? Beers are brewed in-house at Elk Mountain on Plaza Drive. Tours are offered, but a time needs to be set up with one of the brewers.
Why Parker? Tom and Marcia Bell have lived in Parker for 20 years and “wanted to give Parker it’s very own hometown microbrewery, where friends and family could come and enjoy a craft beer or homemade sodas.”
An added word: Rissmiller’s favorite beer that he has brewed so far at Elk Mountain Brewing is his Red IPA. Madruga’s favorite styles to drink and brew are mainly Belgian.
Hall Brewing Co.
10970 S. Parker Road
Parker, CO 80134
Opening date: The production facility opened in 2012 on Aubrey Hall’s 7-acre homestead in Douglas County. The tap house on South Parker Road opened on Dec. 15, 2013.
Brewers and their backgrounds: Aubrey Hall is the head brewer. He graduated from the University of California-Davis’ brewing sciences program before working as a firefighter for 16 years. He kept up his “schooling” and decided to pursue it as a career after injuries forced him to retire from firefighting.
He is assisted by Fred Anaya, who was a home-brewer for many years and learned the ropes at Dry Dock Brewing Co. in Aurora.
Style of beer: “We brew what we like to drink. That’s our motto.” Hall says. “We just have a clean, easy drinking product.”
Where is your beer brewed and do you offer tours? Beer is brewed in a ranch-house-style brewery building hand-built with beetle kill by Hall and his family and friends. Tours are offered on a very limited basis.
Why Parker? Hall was born and raised in the area. He has owned the property, where the production facility stands, since November 1999. “I wanted to stay true to my roots. I love Parker.”
An added word: “My grandfather, Pete, was the inspiration for all of this. He got me into home-brewing before I was even the legal age to drink.”