Tivoli Distributing and Tivoli Brewing Company
Take a behind the scenes look at the newly renovated Tivoli Brewery and Tap Room, located in the Auraria Campus Tivoli student union building.
Earlier this year, Yolo Rum partnered with Tivoli Distributing as our exclusive distributor for the state of Colorado. It was an honor to to forge this relationship with a company that has such a long standing tradition and with a rich history deeply rooted in the Denver community. The relationship with Tivoli Distributing expands Yolo Rum’s availability to more locations throughout Colorado and the addition of Yolo Rum to the Tivoli Distributing portfolio is in alignment with Tivoli’s goal to support local craft brands in increasing brand awareness and market share. As part of the family of brands under the Tivoli Distributing umbrella, it was especially exciting to be a part of the grand opening of the new Tivoli Brewery and Tap Room on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. On Saturday August 22, we were offered a VIP behind the scenes look at the newly renovated and soon to be open Tivoli Brewery and Tap Room. The 9,000 square foot brewery and tap room now occupies what was the former Cimarron Café and Boiler Room student lounge in the Auraria Campus Tivoli student union building. After a multi-million dollar renovation project, the Tivoli Brewery is back in business after a decades long hiatus. Once again one of the most prominent names in the Denver business community was poised to serve the citizens of the city that they have called home for well over 100 years.
The history of Tivoli in Colorado
(From the Tivoli Brewing Company website)
The story of Tivoli began with the formation of Denver and the settling of the Colorado Territory in 1861. Gold was discovered in July 1858, and soon thereafter the German settlers arrived and began brewing beer. The first two breweries in Colorado were the Rocky Mountain Brewery and Sigi’s Brewery. The Rocky Mountain Brewery, established in 1859 by John Good, eventually became the Zang’s Brewery. Sigi’s Brewery, established in 1864, evolved into the Tivoli Brewery. In 1900, John Good, the original owner of The Rocky Mountain Brewery, acquired Sigi’s Brewery (now named The Milwaukee Brewery) and renamed it Tivoli, after the famous amusement park in Copenhagen. Until Prohibition, Tivoli and Zang’s were the two largest breweries west of the Mississippi.
Tivoli continued to grow and the public continued to embrace Tivoli beer. After Good died in 1918, the brewery stayed in the hands of Good’s descendants and his long time business partner, William Burghardt. By the 1950s, the brewery became one of the largest breweries in the county by producing up to 150,000 barrels a year, which were sold everywhere west of the Mississippi. In the early 1960′s Tivoli continued to grow with the Hi-En-Brau brand.
When Loraine Good, the final Good descendant, passed away in 1965, Carl and Joseph Occhiatio purchased the Tivoli-Union Brewery from the estate. The brothers immediately faced hardship when the Platte River flooded in 1965, damaging the brewery. One year later, a labor strike set the business back exponentially. Sadly, in April of 1969, the Tivoli Brewery closed for business. Until Tivoli closed, it was the second oldest continuously operating brewery in the country with Pennsylvania’s Yuengling brewery being the only brewery with an existence surpassing that of Tivoli.
In 2012, a group of native Coloradans formed the Tivoli Distributing Company and Tivoli Beer was reborn. The first batch, a recreation of the historic Tivoli Beer recipe, entered the brew kettle on August 1, 2012. At this time, establishments in the Denver area began selling Tivoli Beer for the first time in over 43 years.
Tivoli now, and into the future
The Tivoli Brewing Company currently brews two beers. The first is Tivoli Beer, which is a German Helles style lager. Tivoli Beer is made with all German ingredients and is a true recreation of the beer first made over a century ago. The final Tivoli Brewmaster, who last brewed Tivoli in 1969, participated in this historic re-creation. Tivoli Brewing’s other beer is Sigi’s Wild Horse, which is a Buck Beer (brown ale brewed to mimic a bock beer), a historic beer style that no longer exists. Sigi’s Wild Horse is a recreation of Sigi’s Buck Beer, which was a unique style of beer that was famous to the Colorado region and produced only by Moritz Sigi. This style of beer was lost when Sigi met his untimely death in a freak carriage accident at 19th and Wazee in 1874 (thus the name Sigi’s Wild Horse). Along with these two beers, Tivoli Brewing has also acquired the rights to some of the other beer names and trademarks from Denver’s brewing history, such as Zang’s, Neef’s, and Hi En Brau. Their goal is to brew some or all of these beers using recipes recreated to match the original.
While Tivoli Brewing is the company behind Tivoli Beer and Sigi’s Wild Horse, sister company Tivoli Distributing acts as the distributor for several other local beers, wines and spirits. These partner companies include Yolo Rum, Aspen Brewing Company, Backcountry Brewery, Big Choice Brewing, Centennial Beer Company, Crabtree Brewing Company, Gravity Brewing Company, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, High Hops Brewery, Odyssey Beerwerks, Pipeworks Brewing Company, Tivoli Brewing Company, Big B’s Hard Ciders, Portland Cider, Wild Women Wines, and Light Lips Wine.
The Tivoli Brewery and the Tivoli Tap Room and Restaurant
After a $7 Million face lift, the former Cimarron Café and Boiler Room student lounge has been transformed into the the new Tivoli Brewery and the Tivoli Tap Room and Restaurant. The Tivoli Brewery will be the first full-production brewery on a college campus. The Tivloi Brewery occupies approximately 5,000 square feet, and will now operate in the same building that these same beers were brewed in a century ago. The revitalization project united the old with the new, bringing back the original brickwork and wooden floors, and then adding modern infrastructure to support the brewing operations. The thirty-barrel brewhouse boasts eight vertical 75-barrel fermentation tanks and nine 75-barrel lagering tanks. Enough to support the capacity to produce 15,000 barrels a year. Tivoli’s beers are currently being produced at Prost Brewing, but brewing will be moved on-site to the Tivoli when the brewery officially opens on September 24th, which will give Tivoli full control over the brewing process from beginning to finished product. One of the historic and decorative mainstays of the building are the two original 250-barrel copper kettles, which have been on display inside the building for years, will remain as part of the décor. The 4,000 square foot Tivoli Tap Room and Restaurant will offer 50+ beers on tap, including Tivoli Brewing beers, as well as beers from the family of 12 other breweries that Tivoli Distributing supports (Unfortuantely, Yolo Rum is not available at the Tap Room, however you can expect to see us at other future Tivoli events). The restaurant will be operated by the Consumer Concept Group, whose existing brands include Smashburger, Tom’s Urban, and Live Basil Pizza. The decor is a throwback to the heydays of the Tivoli’s past, and includes imagery of classic advertising and pays homage to previous beers in the Rocky Mountain Brewery umbrella. The upper tap room even has original flooring from the height of the breweries popularity, and it occupies the same space where John Good’s office originally overlooked the brewery.
The arrival of the brewery also creates an academic partnership between the Tivoli Brewing company and the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Hospitality, Tourism and Events program. Along with the creation of the brewery and tap room, there is also classroom space designed to integrate with brewery operations. The goal is to train students in its beverage-management program. The program will provide hands-on education opportunities to students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in brewpub operations and brewing industry operations at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Through the partnership, students will have unparalleled access to the brewing, bottling and distribution center through internships, classroom experiences and more.
The Tivoli Tap Room and Restaurant will provide an optimal setting to enjoy Tivoli beers, as well as beers from the family of other local breweries supported by Tivoli. Not only that, but their presence on campus will continue to provide a welcome place for students, faculty, and the general public to gather and enjoy the company of friends. The name “Tivoli” resonates with people in this city. Even if they don’t fully grasp the historical significance of the Tivoli name and the Tivoli brand, they still associate the name with the city’s past. With the renovation and reopening of the brewery, Tivoli secures it’s place in the cities future as well. It’s the perfect marriage of Denver’s past and its future. They are an integral piece of Denver’s history, and will continue to be a major player going forward. It is a great honor to be affiliated with another proud Colorado company that strives to provide excellence to the people of this fine state. Here’s looking forward to the day that Tivoli Beer is once again Denver’s beer, and Yolo Rum is Denver’s rum.