Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar ordered to stop selling draft beer

Categories: Beer Man

Crooked Stave on opening day earlier this month.
The Update, September 28: Crooked Stave is now serving draft beer again after having come to resolution with the Department of Revenue's tobacco and liquor enforcement division. It turns out that Crooked Stave owner Chad Yakobson, who has researched Colorado's odd liquor rules, had asked Funkwerks Brewing in Fort Collins, where he used to make his beer, to designate Crooked Stave as the sole distributor and wholesaler for eighteen specific Crooked Stave beers. Since Funkwerks has a manufacturer's license, Crooked Stave doesn't need one in order to sell those beers on tap at its taproom.

Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar, which opened just a few weeks ago, has been ordered by the Colorado Department of Revenue to stop selling beer on draft -- though it can continue to sell bottles.

"They have a wholesaler's license, not a manufacturing license, so they can only sell alcohol for off-premises consumption," says Mark Couch, a spokesman for the department, which licenses all alcohol-related businesses in Colorado.

See also
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- Crooked Stave will rely on sour beers for sweet success

To be able to sell draft beer, Crooked Stave needs to apply for a manufacturer's license, Couch explains. Although he can't discuss the details of the investigation, he says an agent with the department's liquor and tobacco enforcement division visited Crooked Stave last week after receiving a tip about the licensing issue.

Crooked Stave, which specializes in wild and sour ales, can still sell bottles from its location at 1441 West 46th Avenue, but those bottles can't be opened on-site.

Brewery owner Chad Yakobson, who's currently traveling out of state, says he's trying to figure out what is going on.

Yakobson opened his brewery in Fort Collins last year and moved the operation to Denver this past June. He opened the Barrel Cellar on September 5 and had been operating it as a taproom ever since.

Crooked Stave doesn't actually make beer at the Sunnyside-area warehouse; instead, Yakobson brews at the nearby River North and Prost breweries, and then transfers the beer to the Barrel Cellar, where he ages it in oak wine and spirits barrels and bottles it.

In spring 2013, he plans to open an innovative, twenty-barrel brewery and taproom in The Source, a European-style open market planned for the old foundry building at 3550 Brighton Boulevard. The Source will also include a chocolatier, a coffee roaster, a wine maker, a sausage-maker and two restaurants.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

Location Info

Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar

1441 W. 46th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

Gotta keep all those bureaucrats fully employed.  God knows our society, as we know it, would melt down without them.  Most "agencies" have long outlived their usefulness and only serve to hinder business success.  Your tax dollars at work - not.


Gotta follow the rules. I'm certain that when you're applying for these licenses they are quite clear about what you can and can't do.


 @Denver Dave Do you like those building codes that keep you from dying? you know the ones that require inspections to verify that the building is sound throughout the building process. Govt. does have purpose, and this isn't a case of govt. solely for the purpose of govt. The liquor laws in this state are very clear about what you can and cannot do. He signed the application, so he knew what was required or at least claimed he did.



Yeah, I'm sure this was just an oversight, but the rules are rules. I'm guessing when the owner applied for his initial license in Fort Collins this is the license he was advised to get, since he was just selling bottles to outlets. He probably didn't think to revisit the issue when he opened the tap room.


From the statement it sounds like the Dept. of Revenue just wants him to just apply for the manufacturing license and doesn't plan on hassling him about the time the drafts were being served . Hopefully it ends up just being a minor hiccup in the growth of the brewery.




I agree, and I hope so. It's ironic to me that it could've been an oversight, as most people involved in the brewery world that I know are meticulous control freaks. Best of luck to them though! Think of it as free advertising... 

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