Durango Brewing Co. has closed its kitchen to focus on its brewery – inviting families and friends to order out or bring their own picnic basket while enjoying the brewery’s ales.
The move hearkens to the brewery’s origins, when it had a barbecue grill fired up and invited patrons to bring their own meat to grill while the microbrewery handled the beers.
Closing the kitchen also allows DBC to become “puppy friendly,” opening up its patio to dogs.
“We tried to do food, but it became a distraction,” said Tyler Brewer, manager of brewing operations and head brewer. “We are a production facility. We’re not a brewpub.”
Brewer said “a couple” of employees, most of whom were part time, were laid off with the closing of the kitchen.
Brewer said everyone is invited to order to-go food from other restaurants, or bring picnic baskets or pots of chili while enjoying DBC’s beers in the dining area and patio. To-go menus from Durango restaurants will be available at tables.
The brewery offers seven year-round staple beers – everything from its Dark Lager to its Four Corners Pale Ale.
It also offers seasonal stout beers and a taproom series of beers aged four to eight months in oak barrels and available only in the taproom. Another eight barrels are being added to expand the volume for the taproom series.
Durango Brewing Co., which is in its 28th year and is one of Colorado’s oldest microbreweries, distributes regionally in the Four Corners, extending into Pueblo and Colorado Springs, and the brewery has just begun distribution throughout most of New Mexico.
The business also may expand its taproom by moving into space now occupied by the kitchen.
Connect Four and cornhole tournaments will also be offered, and live music will be added on Thursdays. The brewery also will offer monthly sensory beer training sessions.
The microbrewery is owned by Miller International Inc., a Denver-based clothing firm with several brands, including Cinch Boots. Miller International has no relationship to the MillerCoors, a division of the Molson Coors Brewing Co.