Coffee roaster and craft brewery opens in Keystone

Steep Brewing and Coffee Company, a new coffee shop and brewery in Keystone, operates as a craft nano brewery as well as a specialty coffee roastery.
Photo from Steep

Steep Brewing and Coffee Co., a shop that is both a coffee roaster and craft brewery has popped up in Keystone. The coffee house and brewery is roasting coffee beans in-house and serving both original brews as well as beers made at other local breweries. Owners Elissa and Justin Slezak are focused on serving custom, handmade beverages in a cozy, apres-type environment.

The two were getting ready to open up Steep last winter when the pandemic shuttered businesses across the country. Elissa Slezak said that after some thought, the duo decided to go through with opening Steep as they are confident the beverage spot will be successful in the long run. She said she feels Steep fills a need in Keystone for craft beer and specialty coffee as the area continues to grow.

Justin and Elissa Slezak opened Steep in December.
Photo from Steep

“Keystone is growing right now. I think it’s experiencing a pretty good growth spurt both in full-time, year-round residents as well as … visitation opportunities for Keystone,” Elissa Slezak said.

Steep was certified under Summit County’s 5 Star Business Certification Program on Dec. 18 and opened over the weekend with 25% indoor capacity and takeout orders.

“We’ve been doing very well, the 25% capacity has hamstrung us a bit, some people have been sitting outside waiting for tables and things like that but that’s usually the afternoon crowd. … Our apres has been very busy,” Justin Slezak said.

Steep brews a variety of its own beers in addition to serving beers from other local breweries.
Photo from Steep

As a craft nanobrewery, Steep creates several types of beer, including ales, stouts and India pale ales. There are six to eight taps on for Steep’s own beer at any given time, as well as collaboration beers with nearby breweries like HighSide Brewery, Guanella Pass Brewing Co. and Angry James Brewing Co., Justin Slezak said.

Justin Slezak pointed out that collaborating with other local breweries gives people the option to try beers made across the county, even if they don’t make it over to other parts of the county or can’t get into another brewery with capacity restrictions. Justin Slezak noted that Steep is serving other types of alcohol as well for groups with different tastes, such as whiskey flights from Breckenridge Distillery or canned wine from New Belgium Brewing Co.

As for the coffee side of the operation, Justin Slezak said that Steep has a rotating bean list for coffee. Syrups for specialty drinks like lattes or cappuccinos are also made in-house. Steep also has a nitrogen tap for cold brew coffee.

An espresso machine in Steep is shown. Steep uses housemade syrups for flavored coffee drinks.
Photo from Steep

“I’ve been roasting for quite a few years and what I’ve done is picked out beans that I’ve really enjoyed roasting and brewing and steeping, so I’ve been trying to bring those here but also, this is what I really enjoy about roasting, is trying all the different kinds of beans out there. There are so many different origins … A lot of our customers so far have found it very interesting and they are loving what we’re serving right now in the coffee realm,” Justin Slezak said.

The Slezaks have put together a team with a master brewer, beer and cocktail manager, coffee shop manager and barista manager but are working to hire more employees to keep up with demand now that Steep is open.

In addition to beverages, Steep has breakfast and apres food menus that include bagels, breakfast sandwiches and baked goods for breakfast and sausage platters, chicken skewers and pretzels to go with apres drinks. While operating under 25% capacity, the coffee shop and brewery can have 25 people inside at a time. Steep is located at 23110 U.S. Highway 6 in Keystone and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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