Former Belgium brewery opens Second Dawn Brewing near Stanley Marketplace

Aurora has a new tavern just a five-minute walk from Stanley Marketplace.

Owner and brewmaster Ross Koenigs recently opened his dream brewery, Second Dawn Brewery Co., with his wife Amy at 2302 Dayton St.

The name refers to Aurora, which in Latin means dawn. The Koenigs believe that if there were two dawns, the second would be after work enjoying a cold beer.

Ross Koenigs previously worked for New Belgium Brewing Co. as a sales associate, brewer and head of new product design and research. The couple decided to open their own brewery during the pandemic.

“It’s really always been my dream and ambition,” said Ross Koenigs. “Entrepreneurship has always been very important to me.”

Koenigs paid $1 million for the property last year. The 5,100-square-foot space used to be an auto body repair shop. Koenigs completely gutted the space, though garage-like doors still lead from the tap to the beer area behind it. There is 1,000 square feet of patio space that wraps around the side and rear of the building.

“We want to develop this whole area as a bar and restaurant, a nightlife scene that people can come out to,” Koenigs said. “Especially those who may not want to go downtown, but still have very high-quality options available in their own neighborhood.”

With 12 taps, Second Dawn focuses on IPAs and hoppy beer. One of the best sellers right now is an Italian Pilsner, Koenigs said, which is described as “crisp, refreshing and assertively hoppy.”

“The other thing we’re trying to do in the lineup, instead of offering every flavor permutation under the sun, we’re trying to bring more of a culinary and cocktail mindset to our beer offerings,” Koenigs said.

This means that instead of quickly expanding the number of taps, Second Dawn will offer blends that can be added to the base beers.

Koenigs said the technique was traditionally done in Germany with sour-style beers, but is new to the Colorado beer scene.

“It’s not exactly a new idea, but we’re trying to take it and bring it into modern thinking, reimagine it in a new way,” Koenigs said.

Right now, customers can order a lemon spritz mixed with beer or seltzers, as well as a traditional winter citrus, which is a combination of grapefruit, lemon and lime. On St. Patrick’s Day, Second Dawn is featuring a shamrock milkshake and imperial beer combo.

Koenigs plans to start bottling and experimenting with the sour mix in a few months. He said if people like the beer and business is good, Second Dawn will explore distribution and expansion.