For those of you that just loved my last blog about what the building that houses our tap room used to be, I thought I would regale you with more tales about the space and tell you some fun facts.
We have two chalkboards behind the bar that list all of the delicious brews we have made for you. Ever wonder how we got a chalkboard to perfectly fit the bricked-in window on the west wall of the brewery? We cut it to fit from an original blackboard from a 1920’s era schoolhouse. That’s right, they are real slate blackboards. They are part of the charm of Renegade that leaves technology at the door. We used to write on them with chalk, and by we, I mean me. I have the worst handwriting known to man so after I started to hire some staff with better handwriting, I was quickly banned from writing on them. Now we use markers intended for chalkboards so that they are easier to read and the chalk doesn’t get smeared over time.
Ever wonder about the pieces of railroad track that sit around the floor of the bar? Those are from 1919 and were sitting down by the nearby railyard as scrap. We asked if they would let us have them and the railroad obliged. They had been sitting in the elements since 1919 when I got them in 2011 and there was an enormous amount of rust on them. So, I went to Home Depot, rented a grinder, and spent about 15 hours grinding them down and polishing them to what you see today. When I was finished I looked like a human Cheeto (Donald Trump jokes accepted here). I drove down to Home Depot to return the tool I rented so that I wouldn’t have to pay for another day. I was rubbing pennies together when I was getting that place open. I was completely zoned-out tired and drove past a speed camera on Kalamath so DPD has a wonderful photo on file of me. My eyes are completely closed and everywhere except where my goggles and mask covered were completely covered in orange rust while I sped along at 10 miles over the speed limit trying to return my grinder.
The bar at Renegade is one of the most iconic features of the brewery. I told my contractor that I did not want a wood bar. At the time everyone was doing beetle kill pine, and while it’s nice to put the wood to use, I thought I would barf if I saw one more beetle kill pine bar. One day I came in to the brewery and my contractor had a section of the bar covered up. He had brought in a local designer and wood worker named Jed Davis and he had put together a section of the bar. He said “I know you said you don’t want a wood bar, but….” and he uncovered the section that Jed had done. I loved it instantly. Obviously I was wrong and I did want a wood bar, I just didn’t know how unique Jed could make it.
The original signage at the tap room, including the original logo on the wall and the sign on the front of the building (both now replaced), were done by a good friend of mine. I told you I was rubbing pennies together to get the place open and my friend was kind enough to donate his time and talents to paint a logo on the wall and a sign on the front of the building. For those of you that have kids and have ever taken them to the play area in the Cherry Creek Mall, my friend designed that play area as well. So when you are at the mall watching your kid play, wishing you had a beer in your hand, think of that designer and the talents he donated to Renegade.
Well, that’s all the fun facts for now, but if you have ever wondered about something in the tap room, submit your question as a comment and I’ll tell you the really long and boring story behind it. Just remember, you asked for it.