Interview: Kyle Moyer – Crafty Fox Taphouse

Are you obsessed with all things craft beer?  You will be in good hands at the Crafty Fox Taphouse.  Owner, Kyle Moyer’s passion for beer was the driver for him to open the 6,000 square-foot, two-story taphouse offering 60 rotating taps.  Read on to learn more about the beer inspired menu, family friendly atmosphere, and what is next for the Colorado craft beer scene.

How did you come up with the idea of Crafty Fox?  
My shop, Bogey’s, is right next to this building, which was sitting vacant. (Bogey’s Beer and Wine is a craft bottle shop that carries virtually every beer that is distributed in Colorado.)   I saw this building and the views were great.  More and more I would speak to a breweries that had great beers only going into kegs.  I thought it would be cool to get my hands on them and work with both sides of the industry.  Also, I was intrigued at the concept of an all beer themed restaurant.  All of our food is cooked from scratch with beer ingredients.

What’s your inspiration behind the look and feel of Crafty Fox?
My wife, Angelique, and I wanted to stay true to the neighborhood.  We aimed to keep it industrial with more modern touches.  Everything is custom; we really did not want it to look like a chain.  We added the custom bar top from the old Elich Lanes Bowling Alley, as well as the community tables.  

Anything you definitely wanted to avoid when creating this space?
Concept wise, I wanted to avoid it being a bar.  I didn’t want the troubles that came with that. I was aiming to stay true to craft beer. Also to stay away from the chain feel. I was aiming to create a space with a local and family friendly feel.

What made you want to take the leap into owning your own beer/food related business?
I think things out for a really long time.  I knew the light rail was coming in next door, the location being so close to the city and seeing the really solid craft beer crowd coming into Bogie’s, it felt like it was the right time to open Crafty Fox.

Has the first year of the Crafty Fox gone as expected?
Actually yes.  Not a lot I would change.  There are always twists and turns opening a new business, but no big curve balls that we could not overcome.  I was actually prepared to be slower, but  business has been pretty steady. Bogies really helped set up a good crowd for the Crafty Fox.  The food got great ratings and the beer selection is even better than I thought.  Overall, it has been a really good year.

What is your relationship with breweries in Colorado?
The only reason I have this line-up is because of the relationships I’ve developed due to Bogey’s.  You can’t expect to get a brewery’s most rare beer without carrying their core stuff.  100% would not have this beer or whisky line up if it were not for Bogey’s and knowing the people or how the allocations work.  It’s a true passion for me and I want to get to know the brewers, owners and beer reps.  

The Crafty Fox is a true brewery-restaurant collaboration.  How did you come up with the menu?
Jenson Cummings, who now owns Brewed Foods, which is the concept of cooking with beer and beer ingredients.  He came on board as a consultant chef for the first three months to help with menu, hire and train chefs.  It is one of the only spots in Denver where 75% of the menu has beer items in it.

How do you decide what beers to have on tap?
Overall we are definitely a domestic tap house.  We have 60 taps and about 20 taps from Colorado.  We rotate our taps on style of beer vs. brewery.  

What sets the Crafty Fox apart?
I’d say our color-coded map and tap handles, which allow patrons to be able to learn more about the regional origin of the beer, making it more of an interactive experience.  Also, our creative beer focused menu.

Is there a brewery in Colorado you particularly admire?
Yes.  WeldWerks in Greeley.  They blow me away.  They do really good IPA’s and dark beers.  Their Juicy Bits IPA is ranked one of the best in the world. WeldWerks is also getting into the sour world.  If I had to pick one, it would be them.  There are obviously a lot I’m a fan of.  I look for small breweries, that are good and diverse.  In Denver, I’m really into Our Mutual Friend.  

Is there a trend in the Craft Beer that is hot?
I’d say fruity beers designated more for the craft beer drinker, fruited sours and IPA’s.  They have been big this last year.  The next trend would definitely be hazy IPA’s.  They’re tropical, very fresh with a lot of fruit notes.  They are done more in the East Coast.  New Imagine from Arvada is doing one.  They are just so good and hard to come by.  

Can the Colorado brewery market keep growing at this same pace?
Eventually no.  My opinion is, every time a brewery opens on a corner to become the neighborhood bar, that works.  People like that.  It is fresh beer and it is cool to see where it is made and meet the people brewing it.  I do think, eventually, the distribution needs to stop.  Even if it is good beer, distribution is slowing down because they are overwhelmed with options.

What beers are you drinking?  
I’m really into fruited barrel aged sours.  I’m really liking Casey Blending out of Glenwood Springs.  They do some really cool sours and farm houses.

Crafty Fox Taphouse
3901 Fox St, Denver, CO 80216
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-11pm
Sundays 11am-9pm

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