Brewery expands with patio opening

Popular Lone Tree beer makers juggle fast growth

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It would have been easier to build Lone Tree Brewing Company’s patio without the single tree that stands just outside the business. Instead, co-owners John Winter and Jason Wiedmaier constructed it around the Ponderosa pine, carefully encircling it with metal that easily can be widened to accommodate the tree’s growth.

“We just couldn’t cut it down,” Winter said. “It represents who we are.”

The fast-growing craft brewery celebrated the grand opening of its patio June 15, though the area opened for use June 8.

“We had no intention of putting a patio out there originally,” Winter said. “It happened through the requests of the community, and it’s certainly paid off. We’ve already seen an upswing in revenue.”

Highlands Ranch residents Colin and Michaela Trottnow were back on the patio for the second time in a week June 15, their dog Higgins relaxing quietly at their feet. The Trottnows said Higgins, typically energetic, is inexplicably mellow at the brewery.

“It’s nice to sit outside here,” Michaela said, and lamented the absence of a small, craft brewery in Highlands Ranch.

Standing-room-only crowds aren’t unusual at the 18-month-old Lone Tree business, and Winter said the added outside seating will help alleviate that issue as well.

The brewery’s growth doesn’t stop there. By fall, it likely will expand its original capacity of 49 barrels to 155 — a threefold increase that stuns Winter and Wiedmaier.

“It seems to me we’re kind of like a snowball going downhill,” he said. “More and more people are calling, asking us for taps.”

Lone Tree beer now is served in 40 metro-area restaurants, and its red and pale ale bottled beers are sold in 16 liquor stores. It soon will add its Hoptree Double IPA to the bottled selection.

Clearly, Winter said, the business someday will outgrow its current Park Meadows Drive space. It won’t outgrow the city.

“We have no intention of leaving Lone Tree,” Winter said. “We’ll work with the landlord, or something.”

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