Brewser of a work schedule: Mu-ving closer to suds in north Aurora

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AURORA | It’s rarely quiet at Mu Brewery these days.

Some days it’s the monotonous beep of a forklift as founder Nathan Flatland and his team haul brewing equipment into the future brewery at 9735 E. Colfax Ave.

Other days it’s the whir of saws and the pounding of hammers as crews from Gilmore Construction Corp. of Denver transform the building into a brewery and tasting room.

It wasn’t always this loud at Mu. In fact, for the better part of a year after Flatland announced plans to open his brewery last spring, little happened on the site.

Finally finding a contractor who could do the work within Mu’s budget took longer than expected, and it wasn’t until February that constriction finally started.

But since the crews first swung a hammer, progress has been swift. The tasting room and brewery have taken shape, with the bar installed last week and a fresh coat of paint on the recently built walls.

“Everyday something changes,” Flatland said.

The plan now is for Mu to open in early to mid April. Flatland said he has already turned some of his attention to the smaller details like picking glassware.

The progress at Mu these days isn’t just marked by construction, it’s also marked with deliveries.

Early this month, that meant a shipment of more than 150 empty kegs. The kegs — 75 quarter-barrel models, and 81 half barrels — now line the low-ceilinged basement beneath the tasting room.

Flatland said the deliveries always make for a happy occasion.

“I can’t stop getting giddy every time something shows up,” he said.

The latest major delivery came last week when two truck loads of brewing equipment — including specialized cleaning equipment, brew tanks and serving takes — arrived at Mu.

Much of the equipment had actually been delivered once late last year, but had to be trucked to storage to make room for
construction.

But this latest delivery is a permanent one, and one Flatland was more than happy to see.

Still, squeezing the hulking tanks through the brewery’s standard-sized garage door proved to be a bit of challenging. Mu’s chief technology officer Luther Price manned the forklift for the move. The tanks had to be removed from their palettes to fit, and Price said the narrow gap between the expensive tanks and the ceiling made for some nerve-wracking moments. But, in the end, all the tanks made it in unscathed.

Now that the tanks are in, Flatland said he hopes to start brewing the first few batches sometime this week.

In preparation, he recently visited City Star Brewing in Berthoud to practice on their equipment, which is almost the same as Mu’s.

While he has brewed plenty of beers at his home, Flatland said scaling his operation up to the size of equipment at Mu will be a challenge. That’s why spending time at City Star and learning from them proved so helpful.

Whitney Way, who co-founded City Star with her husband, John Way, said it’s important for craft brewers to work together.

“It’s in every brewery’s best interest to help out neighboring breweries,” she said.

When City Star launched almost two years ago, Way said they recieved help from several local breweries, including Upslope, Oskar Blues, Twisted Pine, among others. Flatland said he plans to keep that tradition of helping other brewers alive.

“And I’ll get to do that same thing when I open up,” he said.

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