WestFax Brewing System
We brew on a 7 barrel brew house, built by Bennett Forgeworks in Ridgway, CO. Three of our tanks are 7BBL Fermenters and one 7BBL brite from Stout Tanks based out of Oregon. In addition, our newest production member is a 15BBL Tank purchased used from River North Brewing Compay. We’ve named each of our tanks because if you can’t have a good time while brewing beer, when can you? We went for a “yeast” theme for our Fermentors; the names of each are as follows: Yeastmaster, Yeastiality, Yeaster Bunny, and the big boy – Clint Yeastwood. Our bright tank (where all of the beers are carbonated) is named CARBOTRON 3000 (please read in a Monster Truck show commercial voice). Our pumps and heat exchanger are from CPE Systems.
In our first year, we brewed 250 barrels worth of WestFax beer. In 2016, we grew to 352, and our current projection for 2018 is 475 barrels. Our production area is approximately 1,800 square feet, which gives us enough room for further production expansion. As of Q2 2018, we have 133 brews under our belt (not too shabby), which on average is 6-7 brews per month currently.
Barrel Aging & Souring
We currently have 4 barrels (53gal each), 2 of which are Bourbon Barrels from Breckenridge Distillery. The other 2 barrels are from Laws Whiskey House in Denver – one was a bourbon barrel, and the other was rye whiskey. We use all of these barrels to age specific beers for months at a time to help us garner flavors we think you’d enjoy. Our goal is to keep at least one sour ale on tap at all times at our brewery. We use an expedited souring technique in our kettle, which allows us to produce quality sours at a faster rate. When souring, a similar base and sour fermentation is used whenever we are creating a new sour ale. We then concentrate on infusing new fruits to blend-in and create deliciously balanced sours, such as our Blackberry Tart, Funky Blooty, and Peaches Be Crazy.
Facility & Taproom Information
Our taproom and production facility are both within the same building at 6733 W. Colfax Ave. on the border of West Denver and Lakewood, CO. Our total brewery square footage is approximately 3,610 square feet. The building is nearly a 50/50 split between the taproom and the brewery production area. Our taproom occupancy is 102 indoors and 17 on our outdoor patio.
Additional Brewery System FAQs
- Do you offer tours of the brewery? We sure can, its a smaller facility which can create a shorter tour, but we are happy to set something up for your group or special occasion.
- Do you use CO2? We carbonate most of our brew products, however occasionally we will Nitrogenate a batch or a special release brew. We serve carbonated beers in our taproom with a blend of 60/40 CO2/N2 and Nitrogenated beers with a 25/75 blend.
- Do you use Brettanomyces? We occasionally experiment with Brettanomyces or “Brett” for some small pilot brews. Please check the Our Beers page for information on upcoming or current Brett beers.
- Do you use Lactobacillus? Yes, our sour ales go through a Lactobacillus fermentation prior to the yeast fermentation.
- Do you use whole fruit or puree? We purchase fruit as an aseptic puree. The fruit is ground down and free of contaminants that could affect flavors. We do not use extracts in our brews only true flavors from actual ingredients.
- Where do you get your grain from? We use grains from lots of different regions and countries, depending on the flavors we want in our beers. Some are harvested here locally in Colorado, but it really depends on the needs of the beer we are creating as to which grain we order from which region.
- Where do you get your hops from? Mainly from the Pacific Northwest for American Hops, we have been known to order in hops from England, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, others. Again, it depends greatly on the needs of the brew and the hop variety needed (and inventory available) to create the flavors we like, however we try and stay local as much as we can.
- Why does WestFax concentrate on brewing ales? There are two main types of beer; ales and lagers. We brew ales so that we can make more great beer more often. On average, ales take about 2-3 weeks for fermentation. Lagers however, take almost twice as much time. The fermentation for a lager on average takes 5 whole weeks. By creating ales we can produce two beers in the same amount of time it would take to make one lager.