From its inception Craft Alley has been all about making craft beer accessible. It was about offering an alternative solution to running to the brewery or visiting your local liquor store which might not even have the latest Hazy IPA you are craving. Instead it brought the freshest beer to you, delivered, in crowlers for immediate enjoyment. It was the first of its kind in Denver, creating a unique partnership with local breweries and craft beer enthusiasts.
It comes as no surprise then that Craft Alley is responsible for another first, the first liquor store to have an on-premise beer garden. Our first thought like yours was how is that even possible? Until recently this sort of experience was something most Coloradans only saw while on vacation in states like Arizona. It’s all about the details.
No, Craft Alley was not granted some brand-new type of liquor license, instead, they are taking advantage of the current rules and giving back to the community. Craft Alley is partnering with non-profits who secure a special events license that allows them to host events and sell alcohol. These local non-profits are using Craft Alley’s event space, the patio, to host the events and they are buying the beer from Craft Alley’s coolers to serve since Craft Alley is a retail liquor store which is allowed by the special event’s license.
In turn, Craft Alley is giving back because a portion of the proceeds is going to the non-profit. The first local non-profit is Running Rivers, whose mission is connecting healthy people healthy freshwater ecosystems through novel recreation events, educational activities and on-the-ground projects. Each license limits the number of events to 15 dates (or individual days) so there will be multiple non-profits to follow as Craft Alley plans on keeping the patio open and available until the first week of October.
The special events beer garden is open Friday and Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. as well as Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This means for all you folks that frequent the farmer’s market on Pearl Street you can sip on some cold craft brews after picking up fresh produce. It won’t just be local favorites available via just crowlers anymore, Craft Alley is now carrying fresh 12 and 16-ounce cans from even more breweries which will also be available via its membership and local deliveries.
In addition, Craft Alley is getting into the collaboration game. For their first collaboration beer Craft Alley got together with Spanglang and brewed Notorious Juicy, a New England IPA. The beer was as you expect from the name juicy with a delectable malt backbone and dangerously crushable in a 32-ounce crowler, we might have finished the big can a little too quickly. Next up, is a release just in time for the fourth of July and this time it’s a collaboration with Launch Pad Brewery, Notorious American Dreams, an apple pie milkshake IPA.
Tucked away, the Craft Alley beer garden is like going to your friend’s house for a brew, only if your friend had several coolers full of the best craft beer from across the state. We asked, you do get glasses — but you can, of course, drink it straight out of the crowler.
Craft Alley is located at 1455 South Pearl Street, Denver. It is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.