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By Ken Lutes

Patrons of Edgewater’s Joyride Brewing will have prime viewing of Sloan’s Lake and Downtown Denver from the rooftop deck nearing completion at 25th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard.

“The deck will comprise about 2,300 square feet, including bathrooms,” said Grant Babb, Joyride’s business developer, who co-owns the brewery with brewmaster Dave Bergen. Babb and Bergen expect the rooftop to be open to the public by the end of the year, depending on the weather.

“We’re proud to be Edgewater’s first, oldest and favorite brewery,” Bergen said. The rooftop patio will be another first for Edgewater on Sheridan Boulevard. “Denver has such a great rooftop culture. People want to be outside. I don’t think you move to Colorado to spend time indoors.”

Hanging radiant heaters and a gas fire pit will take off the chill during winter months; misting units will operate in the summer, under a pergola that eventually may sport a retractable canvas top for sun protection.

“We’ll have 12 taps for beer, same as downstairs, and we plan to plumb in some lines for kombucha as well,” said Babb. “With the deck, we can more than double the capacity of people we now serve,” Bergen added. More than 100 seats will fill the space, and there will be plenty of standing room.

The deck is not actually built on top of the roof. Because of the lake and the ground water beneath this part of Edgewater, the rooftop is anchored with steel bracing into bedrock 20 feet under the building.

“We ended up putting beams throughout the whole building, then placing a substructure on top of those beams,” Babb said. “Once that structural component was under control, everything else was classic building technique.”

“Our most popular social media posts are when we do construction updates,” Bergen said. “People have been waiting for this [deck] for four years.”

As a manufacturing facility with a tasting room, Joyride’s license does not include food preparation and will continue its practice of bringing in food trucks.

“We really don’t have a desire to do food – it’s a completely different bear,” Bergen said. “We’ll concentrate on doing what we do really well, which is making beer, and we’ll let the food trucks do what they do really well. It’s a great relationship.”

As a board member of the Colorado Brewer’s Guild, Bergen claims the industry is changing a lot right now.

“The consumer wants to go hyper-local. People want to have the experience of going out to a place, being social, and drinking a beer directly where it was manufactured.”

The owners are confident this venture will be a success. The tap room model leads the majority of growth in Joyride’s industry right now, according to Bergen, with a majority of sales occurring right in Joyride’s tap room, rather than the distribution model of bottling and canning by major beer manufacturers, such as Coors and Budweiser.

Bergen said that major brewers can spend their profits on Super Bowl commercials, “but we’ll invest our money where we think it makes more sense, which is to make better beer, and to provide a world-class experience on a rooftop in beautiful Edgewater, Colorado.

Contact Ken Lutes at ken.ngazette@gmail.com.