Big news as another Asheville-based brand goes national. Congratulations to The Thirsty Monk! Here’s the press release:
Asheville’s Thirsty Monk, the brewer of Belgian-rooted modern ales and the operator of world-recognized craft beer bars, announces its expansion into Denver, Colo., and Portland, Oregon. Brian Grace, former Crooked Stave head brewer and Jolly Pumpkin production manager, has been hired as head brewer of the entire brewery group to assist with this growth. He will be based in Denver.
“Denver and Portland will be much more than just second homes to Thirsty Monk,” says Barry Bialik, Thirsty Monk CEO. “We will embrace the beer, food, and craft cultures in each of the cities, and operate as a true local brewery and pub. Thirsty Monk has always been about sharing beer knowledge and the European pub culture. Being in Denver and Portland will help us learn from some of the country’s best craft beer markets, and to design beers influenced by all the communities we call home.”
Asheville brewing operations will remain under the tutelage of Norm Penn, who has been promoted to Vice President of Thirsty Monk. Thirsty Monk Downtown and Biltmore Park will continue to serve the growing selection of Thirsty Monk beers along side curated, rotating guest taps.
“As our Brother Noah Belgian Chocolate Stout is brewed in Asheville using chocolate nibs from our friends at French Broad Chocolate, Brother Noah brewed in Denver will utilize a local Colorado chocolatier and Brother Noah brewed in Portland will be made with local Oregon chocolate. “Imagine that vertical tasting!” says Penn.
Thirsty Monk will close on the purchase of a 12-barrel existing brewery in Denver this month and will start immediate beer production there. Plans include a remodel of the existing taproom, slated for grand opening after Thanksgiving 2017. Head Brewer Brian Grace will be based in Denver, brewing Thirsty Monk beers and spearheading the creation of open fermentation, barrel aging and sour programs. Grace began his brewing career with Moylan’s in California before heading to Jolly Pumpkin in Michigan and then Crooked Stave in Denver.
“We are so excited to have Brian join our Monk family, not just because he’s a well-respected Head Brewer, but also, he’s a creative and kind person. Good people make better beer,” says Bialik.
In November, Thirsty Monk will close on the purchase of a well-known Portland beer bar. Operations will continue under the Portland location’s existing name until sometime early 2018, when it will shift to serve Thirsty Monk beers out of Denver. Thirsty Monk also plans to install a small batch brewhouse in its Portland location, and serve a selection of guest taps while brewing operations get going.
“We’re expanding Thirsty Monk in a whole new way, linking a network of localized brewing hubs. Smart growth, craft-style. No need to sell the soul to expand. Our soul, creative spirit and community roots are what we and our beers are all about,” adds Bialik.
Why not just focus on expanding in the region?
Because at the rate we’re going in Asheville, by 2020 there will be one bar and/or “tasting room” for every fifteen residents of Asheville. For lack of a better word, when it comes to booze, we’re “saturated.”