RiNo Art District hops into beer business to keep Ratio Beerworks open in Denver

The RiNo Arts District hopped into the beer business Sunday, after Ratio Beerworks faced an at least 20-day closure due to an issue with its license.
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Ratio Beerworks in Five Points. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; Five Points; beer; nightlife; food;

Ratio Beerworks in Five Points. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The RiNo Art District hopped into the beer business Sunday, after Ratio Beerworks announced last week it faces an at least 20-day closure due to an issue with its license.

RiNo Art District is buying beer from Ratio and then turning around and taking donations for it, district president Jamie Licko said Monday. The nonprofit is serving the beer inside Ratio at 2920 Larimer St. using the brewery's employees.

"It's kind of a RiNo tap takeover of Ratio," Licko said. "We can't charge. We can't force people to pay for the beer, but we're asking for donations. ... The money that comes through is covering our costs to buy the beer. We have Ratio's employees working as volunteers, so they're basically working for tips in the taproom."

A $6 donation is suggested for each beer, and RiNo is serving during Ratio's normal operating hours.

“We are beyond humbled and appreciative of Jamie and everyone’s efforts to help,” Ratio Beerworks c0-owner, Scott Kaplan, said in a statement.

Ratio Beerworks was forced to close its doors Thursday after discovering "a missing application/checked box" on its original liquor license application, the craft brewery wrote on Facebook. "In light of this discovery, we decided to voluntarily close the taproom for the next few days as we work closely and quickly with the state of Colorado and city of Denver to reopen and get back to doing what we do best."

Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses received a new liquor license application from Ratio on Thursday. The department has 45 days to get feedback from the neighborhood and then sends the application over to the state, a city official told Denverite in an email.

"Ratio Beerwork has a 'Sales Room' license, which is a type of license issued only by the state of Colorado. They are required to send it to us, but the city of Denver does not have any involvement on the licensing process," the official said. "We will approve or object to it based on the communities input."

It's unclear if Denver can give its decision before the 45-day comment period is up.

If Denver does take the fully allotted time to provide support or objections to the state on the license, Ratio could be closed until at least June 25, said Lynn Granger, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Revenue.

The state department declined to talk about what the issue was with Ratio's original license.

"We are aware of this situation, and we are working with the business, however, since the application process is considered an open and ongoing investigation, we can't provide any additional information at this time," Granger said in an email.

Ratio's closure was first reported Thursday by Westword.

Ths article was updated from an earlier version to include comments from the state on how long Ratio Beerworks could be closed.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at [email protected] or @adriandgarcia on Twitter.

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