Cerebral Brewing hasn’t yet made it to its fourth birthday, but the little brewery in Congress Park has earned enough love to claim victory in the Mile High Brewery Battle.
Denver’s other breweries put up a good fight — particularly runner-up Ratio Beerworks — and really everyone’s a winner when good beer is being brewed. We learned a lot about ourselves on this bracketed journey. Now let’s learn a little about Cerebral.
As a company, it began in 2015, but owner and head brewer Sean Buchan was brewing for a while before then. He was in a homebrew club with some buddies who went on to open Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co. and TRVE Brewing Co. (both also Mile High Brewery Battle contenders) and decided he could open his own brewery, too. And so, with the help of two friends, that’s what he did.
They’d always had an interest in doing IPAs differently from everyone else in Colorado, so they started with a focus on the New England IPA, plus saisons.
From there, Cerebral grew. The current team is 13 people strong and the tap menu features IPAs, saisons, barrel-aged saisons and stouts sours, lagers, ales and more. They just hired for a new position and are adding five more tanks, maxing out the use of their current space. Their operations managers is already researching neighborhoods for a second location.
“Ironically, she found out the best place to open a taproom in Denver is Congress Park,” Buchan said.
It’s a lot of growth really quickly, especially for a brewery that’s maintained an identity as the neighborhood brewery.
“The one way we can always do it is always trying to pay attention to and take care of our regulars. We have people who come in a here a few nights a week, all the time,” Buchan said. “We try to do things with the tap list and events that try to maybe favor our regulars a little bit — our more exclusive beers, trying to have them on tap more frequently.
“It is weird. We’ll be at international festivals and we’re like, ‘We’re just this neighborhood brewery, it’s crazy that we’re here.'”
Cerebral Brewing is at 1477 Monroe St. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, 2 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.