Asheville’s Thirsty Monk Brewery Opening Portland and Denver Locations

Portland’s rival beer city Asheville, North Carolina, is invading Beervana. Thirsty Monk, brewer of Belgian-rooted modern ales and operator of a number of beer bars, is expanding to open locations in Denver, Colorado and Portland, Oregon. Brian Grace, former Crooked Stave Head Brewer and Jolly Pumpkin Production Manager, has been hired as Head Brewer of the entire brewery group to assist with this growth. He will be based in Denver, though a small brewery will open in PDX in a secretive location said to be a well known local beer bar.

More from a press release:

“Denver and Portland will be much more than just second homes to Thirsty Monk,” says Barry Bialik, Thirsty Monk CEO. “We will embrace the beer, food, and craft cultures in each of the cities, and operate as a true local brewery and pub. Thirsty Monk has always been about sharing beer knowledge and the European pub culture. Being in Denver and Portland will help us learn from some of the country’s best craft beer markets, and to design beers influenced by all the communities we call home.”

Asheville brewing operations will remain under the tutelage of Norm Penn, who has been promoted to Vice President of Thirsty Monk. Thirsty Monk Downtown and Biltmore Park will continue to serve the growing selection of Thirsty Monk beers along side curated, rotating guest taps. “As our Brother Noah Belgian Chocolate Stout is brewed in Asheville using chocolate nibs from our friends at French Broad Chocolate, Brother Noah brewed in Denver will utilize a local Colorado chocolatier and Brother Noah brewed in Portland will be made with local Oregon chocolate. “Imagine that vertical tasting!” says Penn.


Thirsty Monk will close on the purchase of a 12-Barrel existing brewery in Denver this month and will start immediate beer production there. Plans include a remodel of the existing taproom, slated for grand opening after Thanksgiving 2017. Head Brewer Brian Grace will be based in Denver, brewing Thirsty Monk beers and spearheading the creation of open fermentation, barrel aging and sour programs.

Brian Grace began his brewing career with Moylan’s in California before heading to Jolly Pumpkin in Michigan and then Crooked Stave in Denver. “We are so excited to have Brian join our Monk family, not just because he’s a well-respected Head Brewer, but also, he’s a creative and kind person. Good people make better beer,” says Bialik.

image of The Thirsty Monk in Asheville


In November, Thirsty Monk will close on the purchase of a well-known Portland beer bar. Operations will continue under the Portland location’s existing name until sometime early 2018, when it will shift to serve Thirsty Monk beers out of Denver. Thirsty Monk also plans to install a small batch brewhouse in its Portland location, and serve a selection of guest taps while brewing operations get going.

“We’re expanding Thirsty Monk in a whole new way, linking a network of localized brewing hubs. Smart growth, craft-style. No need to sell the soul to expand. Our soul, creative spirit and community roots are what we and our beers are all about,” adds Bialik.

For more information about Thirsty Monk’s expansion, contact Emily Hutto at


Thirsty Monk, founded in 2008, brews Belgian-Rooted Modern Ales in Asheville, NC, a world recognized craft beer destination. Thirsty Monk currently operates Thirsty Monk Downtown, Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park, Top of the Monk craft cocktail bar, and Brother Joe’s Coffee Pub, all in Asheville. Find the company online at

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact:


  • Tony Campbell
    Tony Campbell
    Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:03 PM

    Any word on who the “well known Portland beer bar” might be?