Few things make you feel as tall and super grownup as a visit to your old elementary school.
Long-time residents of Colorado Springs' Roswell neighborhood can enjoy their nostalgia with a side of adults-only beverage now that the city's newest craft brewery is open.
Residents began popping by Goat Patch Brewing Co. last year, soon after Justin Grant and his partners hung a sign and started work on the taproom and brewing operation, in a redeveloped, 1940s-era grade school campus on North Cascade Avenue.
"Weekends, we'd get a lot of people from the neighborhood coming in and saying, 'Oh, this used to be the library, or the kindergarten,'" said Grant.
Before Monday's grand opening, he and his partners had to deliver the (somewhat) disappointing news: Class was almost - but not quite - in session. Now he can invite them to take their seats.
"We've all sacrificed so much along the way, and to see it come to fruition takes some of the pain away," Grant said.
The brewery joins a growing number of small businesses in the complex, including Lincoln St. Barbers, Cafe Red Point and Building 3 Coffee Roasters. Once it opens next door, Tailgate Barbecue will deliver food orders through a pass-through window.
Goat Patch general manager Johannah Murphy said she was excited to finally be able to tell everyone: "We're open."
"Every waking moment has been devoted to Goat Patch for the last six to eight months," said Murphy, who spent five years as general manager at Trinity before joining Grant and brewer Darren Baze, whose lengthy goatee inspired the brewery's name.
Spinning an impressive chin-braid into a decor concept for a two-classroom-sized taproom called for creative - and flexible - thinking, said Grant's wife, Jen, who handled design for the project.
"It's hard to nail down what 'Goat Patch' means," she said. "We didn't really go with a theme, but I'd say we just let it develop . into 'comfortable and rustic.'"
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