Located in one of the only two places in the country that Highway 6 and Highway 40 intersect, sits aptly named 6 and 40 Brewing. Thomas Schurmann opened the brewery in September as an extension of Tom’s Brew Shop — his retail store for homebrewing equipment and ingredients and his latest venture into the craft beer scene.
Schurmann didn’t follow the typical path into Colorado’s booming craft beer industry. He worked in the auto industry for decades and a basic lager has always been his beverage of choice. In 1988, Schurmann owned an auto repair shop and grew frustrated with chemical proof plastic trigger sprayers that forced him to bend down and pump over and over — so he designed his own. “I had people calling me up to build the sprayers so I figured I should start selling them,” said Schurmann. With his mechanical background, he was able to create a 5-gallon sprayer with a pressurized air valve that allows the user to continuously spray without stopping to pump. Though they were originally designed for automobile use, these sprayers are 304 food-grade stainless steel and can be used by medical, pharmaceutical and military for applying cleaning, disinfectants and antibacterial products in a safe and easy manner. Schurmann has even provided these sprayers to the medical community throughout COVID-19.
Schurman’s transition into the beer industry began when he purchased 400 five-gallon tanks that didn’t fit his hoses. “Those hoses were too short, so you wouldn’t be able to completely empty it,” he said. Luckily, he learned that homebrewers used these tanks and even wanted the hoses to be short to leave any sediment at the bottom during the brewing process. He began making and selling more of these tanks for homebrewers and opened up Tom’s Brew Shop in 2010. He was the first homebrewer supply store to have a booth at The Great American Beer Festival and felt very welcomed by the craft beer community. “I’m used to the automotive industry being competitive and cutthroat,” he said, “After we left the festival, everyone was buddies. I thought it was fabulous and knew I was in the right industry.” Throughout the pandemic, Schurmann has seen sales at the brew shop double. “People who already brewed are brewing more, those who used to homebrew and stopped are now getting back into it and some who have never done it and always wanted to are now starting,” he said.
Schurmann got the idea to open a brewery within the brew shop from The Brew Hut and after three years of construction and renovation, it’s finally open. He named the brewery after the location of his shop — where Highway 6 and Highway 40 intersect in Lakewood — as a nod to his former auto shop. The location currently has 13 beers on tap that include pilsners, lagers, sours, IPAs, stouts and porters as well as Happy Leaf kombucha and a seltzer. Each beer’s name is related to a car — you’ll find the 32 Coupe, Boot and Bonnet and No Emissions Required to name a few. You can purchase beers to go in a 32-ounce crowler, enjoy a beer in the brewery and walk around the brew shop or taste a few different beers with a flight. They also hosts food trucks every Thursday through Sunday that range in cuisine from German sausages to pizza to lobster rolls to Lebanese food.
While 6 and 40 isn’t your typical brewery, the beers are worth a stop. You may even find yourself going for a beer and walking away with the supplies to begin an entirely new pandemic project.
6 and 40 Brewing is located at 883 Parfet Street, Unit J, Lakewood. Open Monday – Wednesday 2- 8 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 12- 9 p.m. and Sunday 12- 8 p.m.