If you go
What: Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co. grand opening
When: Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: 297 North U.S. Highway 287, Suite 100, Lafayette
Cost: No cover
It's finally safe for the owners of Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co. in Lafayette to park their cars in front of their brewery again.
During the past four months of construction and system setup, any time business partners Davin Helden, Seth Townsend or Eric Briggs left a vehicle in front of the building at Baseline Road and U.S. 287, an anxious beer enthusiast would come knocking on the door assuming they were open.
So it came as no surprise this week when hundreds of thirsty customers found their way to a seat at the bar during the first days of the brewery's unannounced soft opening.
"More than 45,000 vehicles go past this corner every day. All we did was put up an 'open' sign, but we've been doing about double the business we thought we'd do," Helden said. "It's going awesome so far."
That bodes well for the brewery's grand opening celebration on Saturday - the first official day of business for Lafayette's fourth brewery.
Erie resident Todd Heinze hit up the soft opening on Wednesday. He said there's plenty of room for another brewery in East Boulder County, and he could see a lot of beer-drinkers choosing Liquid Mechanics due to its location on two main traffic arteries.
"It's a good location and a pretty cool place," Heinze said. "With all these breweries opening, I'm starting to feel a little like a connoisseur."
Liquid Mechanics is featuring four beers — a kolsch, red ale, hefeweizen, and Belgian patersbier — during its soft opening week, and plans to add a Belgian IPA, imperial porter, chipotle lime kolsch and a saison for Saturday's grand opening.
Townsend, who serves as Liquid Mechanics' head brewer, said he's working on a single-barrel batch of peach saison in honor of the Lafayette Peach Festival, which will take place Saturday on Public Road.
But through three days of pouring beers, Townsend said the kolsch has been the headliner.
"We've got the system relatively dialed in," Townsend said. "We did the kolsch first, and it's rocking. People love the kolsch."
Briggs said he hasn't heard many objections to any of the preliminary beers.
"I gauge it by how many half-empty glasses we get back. And there aren't many," Briggs said. "We're pretty excited about the response we're getting."
Excited, and relieved.
Longtime homebrewers and former coworkers in the biotechnical industry, the business partners sank everything they had into the brewery.
"We didn't come from a lot of money," Helden said. "We drained our 401Ks and our kids' college funds, but we made it happen after four months of construction. And we did a lot of the work ourselves."
A false ceiling made of shipping pallets hovers above the bar, and two-by-fours stained various colors line a pair of walls. Light fixtures made of steel pipe and a raw metal bar top give the brewery an edgy look.
"Everything in here is supposed to look a little gritty, a little nasty, like the name suggests, but also a little sophisticated," Helden said. "I call it 'blue collar sophisticated.'"
An impressive 225-square-foot stage sits in the corner of the main seating area, fully equipped with stage lighting and plug-ins.
Helden said he and his partners didn't want live music to be an afterthought at Liquid Mechanics.
"A lot of times when bands come into a brewery they just clear a few chairs away to make room for them. We wanted a designated area," Helden said. "We plan to have live music every Friday and Saturday night."
While Liquid Mechanics anticipates bringing in food trucks every night of the week, patrons are welcome to bring in their own lunch or dinner. Helden said he is working with Protos pizzeria across the street on a possible order-in partnership as well.
Other in-state collaborations ensure Liquid Mechanics' beer is a truly local product. The brewery gets its malt and hops from the Western Slope, yeast from Colorado Springs and the honey for its saison comes from Lyons.
Liquid Mechanics will keep it local during the next month as well. The brewery will take part in Louisville's Pints in the Park brewfest on Aug. 30 and the Lafayette Brew Fest on Sept. 13.
Contact Colorado Hometown Weekly staff writer Doug Pike at 720-648-5022 or email@example.com