The “Leadville Lager,” Camp Hale Pale Ale” and “Poverty Flats Porter” are just a few of the beers to be served at Leadville’s newest brewery, Two Mile Brewing Company. The brewery, which featured a soft opening during skijoring weekend, will celebrate its grand opening later this month.
Sean Terrill, Two Mile’s co-owner and head brewer, bought the old gas station at 101 Harrison Avenue in 2014, shortly after moving to Leadville from Durango. For the last six years, Terrill has worked to make his brewery a reality by rounding up investors, applying for loans, finding contractors and of course, homebrewing beer.
Initially, homebrewing was just a hobby for Terrill who went to school in nuclear engineering. After working a 9-to-5 engineering job in rural Tennessee, Terrill decided to move to Silverton to pursue brewing full time.
“I really wasn’t digging the fluorescent cubicle thing,” Terrill recalled.
For years, Terrill brewed commercially at Silverton Brewery, Durango Brewery and Ska Brewing, progressively stepping up in size from a five-barrel to a 30-barrel brewing system.
“When you’ve been homebrewing for seven years, you think you have it all figured out,” Terrill said. “You step up a factor of 30 or 50 and realize you don’t know anything.”
Two Mile Brewing will focus on the brewpub experience; Terrill has no plans to bottle and distribute. Four of the brewery’s taps will be reserved for Two Mile’s core beers, the other six will alternate depending on the season. Lagers are set to become the brewery’s focal point, in part to set Two Mile apart from the many breweries in Colorado that heavily focus upon India Pale Ales.
Two Mile will also feature a full deli menu; the kitchen is to be managed by Alex Marcum of the Twin Lakes Inn. A self-described “chili head,” Terrill’s menu will include hot and cold pressed sandwiches, soups and salads with lots of spice. Toasted ravioli, a St. Louis favorite, and baked chicken fingers with Thai peanut sauce and buffalo sauce are also on the menu.
“We aren’t trying to hide the fact that the brewery was a service station at one point in time,” Terrill explained of the brewery’s industrial interior that includes exposed conduit and ducting.
The gas station, which was built in the 1950s, needed heavy renovations to function as a brewpub: a parking lot, gutting, new floors and framing and fresh paint and finishes. Terrill’s engineering background helped Two Mile save money throughout the renovations as Terrill was able to build select pieces of equipment himself.
“Our goal for the first year is to stay open and serve locals well,” Terrill said.
If the brewing tanks and kitchen are still cranking in a few years, Terrill hopes to expand the brewpub onto an 800 sq. ft. concrete slab that was poured to the west side of the building last fall. A rooftop patio is also on the table.
Two Mile Brewing will host a grand opening party in late March.