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Side dish: The story of Kangaroo Coffee

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Coffee pouch

Rue Lyon and her husband D.J., a former medical field worker and contractor, respectively, spent three years deciding where to launch their new coffee business. Traveling from Grants Pass, Ore., they fell in love with Colorado Springs and vacationed here three times before moving a year ago.

On Sept. 9, they finally opened Kangaroo Coffee (434 W. Fillmore St., kangaroocoffeellc.com), a newly built, double-sided drive-thru with a walk-up window. The outfit, open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serves its own custom blends, individually roasted by Medford, Ore.'s Mellelo Coffee Roasters. Later, with anticipated expansion, they aim to roast here, themselves.

The New Zealand-born Rue, whose name inspired the business' (she also has a son, Joey) says almost all of KC's products are organic, including the coffee beans, milk, lemonade and chai. As part of a desire to "impact the community with our work," the couple has created the Kangaroo Cares Foundation, which will award a monetary gift monthly to a person or cause of some sort. You can post or read stories (effectively, nominations) on KC's Facebook page.

Side note: The Redstone Plaza shopping center housing the drive-thru was recently purchased by developer James Schwerin of Windy Creek Companies. Schwerin says he's putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into overhauling the façade, storefronts and roof in hopes of "repositioning the shopping center" and "chang[ing] the tenant profile."

Space savers

Mike Bristol of Bristol Brewing Company (1647 S. Tejon St., bristolbrewing.com) was hoping that development of the Ivywild project (see "Elementary ales," July 1, 2010), Bristol's relocation and expansion plan with the Blue Star, would be further along at this point. In a more idyllic scenario, he would have been moving his two new 102-barrel (3,162-gallon) fermentation vessels into place across the street from his current digs. Instead, earlier this week, a crane deposited the new equipment through newly cut holes in Bristol's roof.

According to Bristol "beerocrat" Laura Long, sales are up 23 percent over last year (40 percent in Denver alone), and brewing capacity has already been exceeded: the space was designed to facilitate 6,500 barrels a year, not the 9,000 currently being stretched out of it. "If a beer is ready at 4 a.m.," says Long, "we have a guy moving it at 4:01 ... we've managed to limp along.

"Customers haven't seen our pain yet, but it's on the verge of being obvious."

The new barrels essentially comprise a "Band-Aid" to allow for the desired brewing of more specialty ales in addition to more comfortable brewing of the staple beers until Ivywild materializes. At that point, capacity will likely double, with some old equipment joining more new purchases.

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