DENVER (KDVR) — Falling Rock Tap House is the original Denver craft beer bar.
Owner Chris Black and his brothers opened their doors in LoDo in 1997. Since then, they have gained a nationwide reputation as one of the premier craft beer destinations in the country.
“My main focus is having really special beers that most bars are not going to get,” Black told FOX31.
During the annual Great American Beer Festival, Falling Rock is one of the places brew masters go to see what’s on tap. It is a pre-game ritual for many Rockies fans.
The pandemic changed all of that.
“It is really, unbelievably quiet,” Black said.
He says they’ve had about three-dozen regular customers visiting each week and are trying to rely on to-go food and drinks as much as possible. However, with their specialty selection of brews meant to be slowly sipped, they just don’t travel very well.
“We weren’t going to make it if we just kept on doing what we were doing,” Black said.
Luckily, for the past 23 years, Black and his team have been slowly amassing a nest egg.
“We have just probably a couple thousand bottles of beer that are vintage,” Black said.
The collection contains very rare, highly sought-after beers from big-name breweries around Denver and the US.
The most prized item is a 750ml bottle of a collaboration blended sour beer made in 2008 by The Lost Abbey Brewing Company called “Isabelle Proximus.” When the Cellar Sale list was posted, the lone bottle sold in one second for $400.
Other notable beers in the collection include imperial stouts, barrel aged sours and barley wines from Great Divide, Avery, Firestone Walker, Russian River and breweries from England and Belgium, too.
“Yeah, it is sad to see some of them go,” Black said. But, “it’s not doing as much good as this place being open.”
Since Tuesday, Falling Rock has sold about 500 bottles of rare beer.
“What we’ve sold so far will give us at least six more weeks of life and if we can sell the whole collection off, that’ll probably give us closer to four or five months where we can hopefully survive through this thing,” Black said.
You can purchase bottles from Falling Rock’s Cellar Sale on their website. Purchases must be picked up locally and are not available to be shipped.