If you go
What: Oak Room grand opening
When: 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25
Where: Oak Room at the Longmont Brewery, 1800 Pike Road
On tap: Special beers on tap, live music, parade and stiltwalkers
More info: facebook.com/events/132090277306491/
Old beer is in, and it's helping one local brewery grow.
Longmont-based Oskar Blues is opening its new event space, Oak Room, this weekend in a Mardi-Gras themed party open to the public
The 4,275-square-foot space is adjacent to Oskar Blues' barrel-aging room and, in fact, came about because of the need to store the brewery's growing collection of maturing beers.
"Our barrel aging program was really picking up, and we needed space for that," said Chad Melis, marketing director for Oskar Blues. "The oak barrels were really good looking, and that inspired the direction of the room.
"We figured we could turn it into something the community can use."
About 1,000 barrels of beer will be aging at any given time in the aging room, visible through a large window from the event space.
The space itself, which can hold up to 280 people, is outfitted with its own bar and a 24-foot projection screen.
Melis said that, while the room will be available to rent for private events, it will also host the company's internal gatherings.
Oskar Blues has undergone considerable growth since starting as a Lyons brewpub in 1997. It now has brewing operations in Longmont; Brevard, N.C.; and Austin, Texas.
Its beers can be found in all 50 states, and an international expansion announced in October will put them in 14 countries.
Oskar Blues' soda subsidiary, B. Stiff and Sons Old Fashioned Soda Pop Company, also expanded distribution in 2016, and reported a 68 percent increase in sales.
The brewery also made two acquisitions through its private equity owner, Fireman Capital Partners: Tampa, Fla.-based Cigar City Brewing and Michigan's Perrin Brewing Company.
Beers from both will be on tap during Saturday's grand opening, and at a Friday release party for Oskar Blues' Hotbox Coffee IPA.
The brewery recently started a club specifically for its limited releases. Memberships already sold out and there's a waiting list, proving how popular Oskar Blues brews really are.
Said Melis: "It's been cool to see people super engaged and enthusiastic about what we're doing."
Shay Castle: 303-473-1626, email@example.com or twitter.com/shayshinecastle
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