Four years ago, when David Shaver co-opened Brewer's Republic, he envisioned it growing into a brewery, beyond a taphouse. That obviously never happened; he and his two business partners later sold the business (which has since grown into its own heady hub of guest hops).
Flash forward, and Shaver's finally got a brewery of his own: Gold Camp Brewing Company (1007 S. Tejon St., 695-0344), which should open by mid-November in the former Players Bench retail spot. Shaver's wife Sarah, the chair of Pikes Peak Community College's theater department, co-owns the business, and Shaver will also keep his day job as a photography and video teacher for School District 11.
The two have hired Ben Wilder to be the outfit's brewmaster. Wilder belongs to the local Brew Brothers of Pikes Peak homebrew club, acts as a certified beer judge at events such as the Colorado State Fair, and has assistant-brewed at spots like Phantom Canyon and Great Storm Brewing. Shaver calls him "well-rounded," and cites a personal affinity for Wilder's high-gravity wee heavy style.
Shaver, a homebrewer of more than a decade, says to expect three flagship brews (with label-art design hopefully coming via local favorite Phil Lear), two seasonals and "a one-off thing" on Gold Camp's six taps, plus one experimental firkin at all times. He anticipates that one-third of the space's 2,300 square feet will be tied up by brewing, leaving room for 96 seats in the taproom. Guest food trucks will provide eats.
Two years ago here, we spoke of a second location planned for Jives Coffee Lounge (16 Colbrunn Court, jivescoffeelounge.com) in the former Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum just outside Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson, at 5865 N. Nevada Ave. Owner Randy Fair hoped to be open within months.
In the end, he launched last week.
"I ran out of financing," he explains. "I did this all cash-out-of-pocket. I had to ramp up my software company to make money, but then I had no time for this."
That, and he ran into some hurdles with the permit necessary to start an eatery and drink house in the location. Plus, the space had to undergo serious remodeling to fit a desired steampunk theme.
"It's hardcore, dude, you'll love it," he says, noting furniture assembled from whiskey barrels, giant wire spools and vintage sewing machines, plus elaborate pipework, oversized gear adornments and chandeliers. "Even Harley is putting it in their magazine."
With the newness comes a switch at both locations to Denver's Novo Coffee for espresso drinks and local Barista Espresso for drip coffees. A full liquor license should come shortly, and paninis and small plates now compose a new food menu, which should appear in OCC soon ,too.