New brewery, Danico, opens off Pena Boulevard, near Denver Airport

Whether you’re in Denver for “business or pleasure” — as the airlines phrase it — there’s a good chance that check-out time at your hotel, Airbnb or family guest room is 10 or 11 a.m.

But what if your flight doesn’t take off until 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. or later? “People need to post up somewhere while they wait,” answers David Lotierzo. “There are thousands of hotel rooms out here, with business travelers, especially, during the week. We think we’ll get them here.”

On Saturday, Lotierzo and Nikki Harwood, opened Danico Brewing (named for the first two letters in each of their first names) at 66th Avenue and Tower Road, just off Pena Boulevard, the Uber-clogged thoroughfare that every traveler takes to get to Denver International Airport.

The 6,400-square-foot brewery will serve a wide variety of beers, including two kinds of IPAs, a pilsner, a porter, a Munich-style dunkel lager and a kettle sour.

But airport passengers are far from the brewery’s only target market, Lotierzo said. “They are building fast and furious out here. Whole condo complexes and sub-developments have been erected. So, it’s a good neighborhood location and think people will embrace us.”

That goes for families especially, said Harwood, who worked as a master brewer for Anheuser Busch in California and now has three children.

A “kids corner” includes a magnet board, TV, games and beanbag chairs, while a nearby high top table allows parents to keep watch. “A lot say they are family friendly,” she points out, but saying it and doing it are two different things. “Parents here can enjoy a beer and well-deserved break.” In addition to beer and kombucha, the brewery serves root beer, chocolate milk and juice boxes.

Harwood and Loterizo (who was global director of warehouse and safety for Anheuser Busch) are friends and business partners who first submitted plans for their brewery in 2020. But the pandemic played havoc with their timeline. Eventually, the pair actually bought the property and built the building. “It’s been quite a journey for us,” Harwood said.

Over the course of the pandemic, they changed a few of the brewery’s design details, including a switch from community tables to individual tables, and the installation of automatic sinks. But overall, the design and concept stayed the same, Harwood said.

On Friday, they’ll brew an apricot wheat in collaboration with Colorado-based international artist and muralist Kelsey Montague, who painted the mural on the side of Danico’s building.

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