WestFax Brewing lands second location in Colorado Springs
The Colorado Springs beer scene will soon get a little dose of the Denver area.
Anthony Martuscello, owner of Lakewood’s WestFax Brewing Co., recently purchased the building at 3043 W. Pikes Peak Ave., where Greeley’s WeldWerks Brewing Co. had already begun building a satellite location, plus a nearby parking lot. WestFax’s second location is expected to open in August 2023.
Martuscello opened the brewery, located next to Casa Bonita, in 2016 intent on being a neighborhood taproom that sells pints and beer to-go directly to consumers. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, shutting down taprooms and in-restaurant dining, he pivoted. WestFax purchased a canning line and began distributing its beer more widely.
As society returned to pre-pandemic habits, Martuscello began seriously considering opening a second taproom and he’s not shy about why.
“Our thought is the lower margin products, which are kegs and cans going out the back door, are probably not long term a viable solution unless we want to grow a lot,” he said, noting economic factors like inflation and the increased cost of materials that are cutting into WestFax’s bottom line. “The thought is to push more beer out the door at higher margin products via another taproom.”
Martuscello originally considered expanding to areas, such as Arvada, that he considers underserved craft beer markets. However, when WeldWerks pulled the plug on its project in the Springs in March — citing project delays and desire to focus its efforts on Greeley — the opportunity seemed too good to pass up. (Martuscello declined to disclose the purchase price.)
“It wasn’t initially on our radar to go that far south, but when we saw it, we started researching the Springs a little more and understand the market down there, and we think it’s a great opportunity,” he said. Colorado Springs is “growing like crazy and we wanted to be a part of that growth.”
WestFax plans to closely follow WeldWerks’ original plan, building a more than 3,000-square-foot taproom with a rooftop patio plus an additional 1,500 square feet of beer garden space. It’s an aggressive move for a brewery that’s on track to produce only about 845 barrels of beer in 2022.
“This is a bigger jump than I anticipated we were ready to make,” Martuscello said, “but when we put it all together and put it on paper and crunched the numbers and looked at what it could be, it all just made sense.”
WestFax has the capacity to brew up to 1,200 barrels annually, Martuscello added, and he expects once the Colorado Springs location is open, production will hit that within two years.
WeldWerks’ build-out had included plans for a kitchen, but WestFax won’t install one right away. Instead, it will invite food trucks to serve patrons. In the future, WestFax may add a kitchen or a small brewhouse, Martuscello said.
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