Parker brewery celebrates 3 years in operation

Owners say it feels like 'light at the end of a tunnel'

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When Sharon and Aaron Murphy started the Welcome Home Brewery in Parker, they wanted to try something different from other craft brew spots.

Instead of metal accents and sleek, identical furnishings, the brewery features mismatched chairs, old doors used as tables and vintage windows hanging from the ceiling. The space, located off Hess Road just south of Salisbury Equestrian Park, also includes an old piano and a fireplace to give it the feeling of a living room.

“They're all things you would find in someone's home,” Aaron said. 

The hope was that the brewery would make customers feel like they're sitting in their home, enjoying a beer with friends.

Now, the brewery is celebrating its three-year anniversary, which is even sweeter this year because it means they survived the pandemic restrictions of 2020, Sharon said.

“The first year of business is never easy and when you hit something like that in your second year, it's kind of a kick to the gut,” she said about the pandemic. “When you really get to celebrate the third year it's like okay, there's a light at the end of the tunnel now”

The Aurora couple opened the Parker brewery, the only one of its kind, on Oct. 20, 2018. 

“We started as a pipe dream a lot of years ago,” Aaron said. “I was a home brewer.”

Eventually the couple decided to move forward with opening a brewery and found a location in Parker right next to Rocky Mountain Pizzeria. Now, the brewery allows drinkers to bring over pizza and food from the restaurant next door. They also offer charcuterie, soft pretzels and other small bites. 

The brew house always has 16 beers, one root beer and multiple seltzer flavors on tap. Six of those beers, including a cream ale, juicy IPA and golden ale, are constants on the menu. The rest are rotating brews, including a Mexican lager in the summer and an icing-rimmed gingerbread beer in the winter. 

Blue-friendly brews

Aaron, who is also a sergeant with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, says he welcomes other law enforcement and first responders to their location.

Inside the brewery, Aaron and Sharon have put up flags and artwork showing their support of these groups. They also have a program where customers can pay for an extra beer, which will go to a first responder or law enforcement officer when they come in next.

“Law enforcement and their families can come and feel comfortable,” Aaron said. 

The couple also seeks to attract families to stop by their brewery.  Many of the customers at Welcome Home Brewery are regulars, Sharon said.

“We've gotten to know a lot of our regulars and they've become our friends,” she said. “I think that's indicative of the Parker community.”

During the pandemic, those regulars continued supporting the brewery and have stayed consistent after restrictions were lifted, Sharon said. The brew house never had to lay anyone off because of programs like the federal Paycheck Protection Program, Aaron said. 

When indoor dining was limited, the couple added an outdoor patio, which has remained ever since. Eventually, they were able to apply for the county's 5-Star program, which allowed businesses with extended COVID-19 protection measures to open their doors to more customers. 

“Celebrating three years felt like another milestone, especially through the pandemic with so many small businesses not being able to make it,” Aaron said. 

For their Oct. 23 anniversary event, the brewery hosted a party featuring ax throwing and a live band. 

“Thank you for making us a part of your families and your lives,” Aaron said. “We look forward to seeing all our familiar faces and we hope to stay for a long time and get to know a lot more.”

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