Our downtown Denver brewery resides in a 125-year-old brick warehouse building that’s seen a lot of changes over the last century. In the past year or so, we made a few changes of our own when we updated our 30-year-old tap system, replacing all of our taps, lines and pumps so we could get fresh beer from the basement up to our bars. And just recently we installed brand new, state-of-the-art brewing equipment, making our brewers’ lives (and backs) easier with our newly implemented grain elevator.
While updating our systems, we spent a lot of time in our basement. Down there, you really get a sense of the history of this place. You’ll find some interesting remnants from the past, such as the bricked-over tunnels that lead all the way to Union Station and the Brown Palace. Because our building used to be a mercantile, these tunnels served to move the merchandise coming in off the trains. (Interesting trivia: The Beatles once had to use these tunnels to get across downtown to avoid the frenzy of fans up above.)
But like many turn-of-the-century buildings, we have our fair share of ghosts. Not the horror movie kind, more of the sort-of-annoying-but-harmless kind. Since our restrooms are located in the basement, we’ve had a few guests tell us they’ve experienced “encounters” while using the facilities, especially men who claim that they could feel something brush the backs of their legs while they were using the urinals.
While most ghostly encounters seem to happen in the basement, sometimes the spirits make their way up the stairs. There’ve been a few late nights where I’ve turned off all the lights upstairs, walked down the basement to check on the bathrooms, walked back up the stairs and all of the lights were back on. (I was the only one there.) And some customers have claimed to see a lady in a red dress walking across the room in our upstairs pool hall.
So a few years ago, we decided to do our own “paranormal investigation”. A few of our staff members stayed overnight in our basement using a “spirit box” that supposedly contacts spirits through the use of radio frequency. While down there, they asked the ghosts if they knew where they were. They claim they kept hearing “Koop” coming through the static. They asked who the lady in the red dress was. They heard “Isabelle”. Coincidence? You can watch this video online and decide for yourself.
One of the more unsettling things from that night is the video capture of a shadow darting along the wall. Everyone is seated, no one is moving. Who made that shadow? You can watch this video and see if you can figure it out.
Despite our “visitors”, we think our downtown Denver brewery is pretty amazing and if we have to share it with some folks from the great beyond, we’re okay with that. If you’d like to find out more about the history of our building, as well as the history of Wynkoop Brewing and how we brew our fantastic beers, we offer free tours to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays at 3:00 and 4:00 pm. Hope to see you there!