38 State celebrates 38th state

New brewer finds lucky number

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Littleton had the most perfect place in the 38 state to celebrate its 138 birthday: 38 State Brewing Company.

“It was like the gods were smiling on us,” said Brett Blazek, an owner at the brewery.

Not only was it the new brewery's first observance of the birthday of its namesake, it happened to fall on a Friday, so the party was in full swing on the afternoon of Aug. 1. It was dubbed the “Firkin Birthday Party” in reference to a brewery measurement that equates to a quarter of a barrel of beer, and to kick off the party, they tapped two porters they had brewed up especially for the event.

There were plenty of ways to observe the occasion, including cornhole and giant Jenga tournamenta, Colorado Trivia and more — all with prizes and giveaways. Everyone came together at 8:01 p.m. (on 8/1) for birthday cake decorated as the state flag and the ceremonial singing of “Happy Birthday.”

The owners themselves are reflective of the Western spirit Colorado has always been known for, blazing the trail for other brewers opening in Littleton. Several manufacturers had expressed interest in the city, but 38 State was the first to actually get the barrel rolling. At the time, such companies were only allowed in industrial areas like the Santa Fe corridor, where Breckenridge Brewery will rise next year. The Old Mill brewery gets to be downtown because it has a full restaurant, so it's classified as a brewpub.

But after dealing with 38 State, city staff recommended last year that the law be changed to allow microbreweries, wine makers and microdistilleries in certain commercial areas like shopping centers and downtown. City council ultimately agreed, passing an ordinance that limits their size and requires 30 percent of the building to be dedicated to retail sales and a tasting room.

But the action actually came too late to help 38 State, which opened May 10 in a former automotive shop at Broadway and County Line Road.

“We are very excited and want to share that excitement with the all Coloradans, not only this Friday, but for many years to come,” said Blazek.

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