LONGMONT — Even in the craft beer mecca of Colorado, Skeye Brewing will be pulling off a rarity of sorts when it opens its doors in Longmont on June 19.
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That’s because co-founder Kami Malanowski will be one of only a few female head brewers in the state, a small but growing group that also includes Lindsey Cornish of Fort Collins-based Horse & Dragon, which opened last year.
“I do think it’s definitely a milestone for women to show that, ‘Yeah, we can do this, too. It’s not just a guys’ world,’” Malanowski, a Marine Corps veteran and longtime home brewer, said in an interview with BizWest Friday. “All the guys have been wonderful, though. It’s more like a brother-sisterhood than any competition. That’s one of the things I love about this industry is, everyone is so supportive. … I haven’t felt like I’ve had to prove myself as a (female) brewer, unlike the Marine Corps, where I always felt like I had to prove myself.”
Malanowski, who brewed Skeye’s first batch Friday, is launching the brewery with her husband, Chris Malanowski, and their friend Steve Allen. Chris Malanowski is an electrical engineer with 21 years of home-brewing experience who will also pitch in with the brewing at Skeye, while Allen is a beer-industry veteran who has worked at two of Boulder County’s largest breweries, Left Hand Brewing Co. and Avery Brewing Co. Kami Malanowski has spent the past several years doing bookkeeping and accounting work.
Skeye — the name comes from the initials of the Malanowskis’ first three pets — will occupy 3,600 square feet at 900 S. Hover St., Suite D, at the southwest corner of the busy intersection of Hover and Nelson Road. The space formerly housed Front Range Indoor Golf and Tap, which already had a bar in place.
The June 19 grand opening will no doubt come as a relief to Skeye’s founders. The unusually rainy spring in Colorado led to delays in getting HVAC work on the brewery’s roof completed, squeezing out any time for a soft opening before the June 19 party that will include food trucks and live music by The Prairie Scholars and Interstate Stash Express.
“Getting away from the (construction) dust is the best thing right now,” Kami Malanowski said.
Most of the buildout is complete, and the brewery got its certificate of occupancy from the city on Thursday. Malanowski said there are just a few minor details to put in place before June 19, in addition, of course, to getting the beer brewed.
Skeye will operate with a 7-barrel brewhouse and feature four beers on opening day — Smash Pale Ale, Skeye’s the Limit IPA, Tobias Red Ale and Yakita Porter. A fifth, PoleSki Pilsner, won’t be far behind. The brewery will feature 10 taps in all once it gets rolling, and Malanowski said there is room to add five more down the road.
The taproom will have seating for 45 people and a maximum capacity of 94. Opening-day hours will be from 3 to 10 p.m. After that, the brewery plans to be open from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Skeye will become part of Longmont’s booming beer scene, joining Left Hand, Oskar Blues Brewery, The Pumphouse Brewery, 300 Suns Co. and Grossen Bart Brewery among the city’s breweries. Lager-focused Wibby Brewing, meanwhile, is expected to follow not far behind with a July opening. Malanowski said she’s not worried about whether there is room for another offering in the city.
“We’ve worked hard to make sessionable (lower alcohol content), flavorful, well-balanced beers, and we want to share them with the craft beer drinkers in the city that we call home,” Malanowski said in a release announcing the brewery’s opening day.