(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 8 | View All Season 8 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: March 26, 2023
The Bar's Original Name Was: Colorado Cork and Keg
Valerie's Brewhouse Address: 971 Park St, Castle Rock, CO 80109
Colorado Cork and Keg, later renamed to Valerie’s Brewhouse, was a Castle Rock, Colorado bar that was featured on the third set of Season 8 of Bar Rescue.
Though the Valerie’s Brewhouse Bar Rescue episode aired in March 2023, the actual filming and visit from Jon Taffer took place around May 2022.
It was Season 8 Episode 28 and the episode name was “Pool House Rock”.
In this episode, Jon Taffer heads to Colorado Cork and Keg in Castle Rock, CO.
Castle Rock is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Statistical Area, but it’s well south of Denver proper.
It’s kind of in between Denver and Colorado Springs.
Colorado Cork and Keg marks the tenth time that Jon Taffer has visited Colorado, which makes it the sixth-most popular state for Jon Taffer to visit.
If you’re wondering, California is the most popular Bar Rescue state by far, with 48+ visits from Jon Taffer.
Colorado Cork and Keg is owned by Ed Komperda and Valerie Komperda, a husband and wife duo.
They seem like nice people, which is a nice change of pace given some recent episodes from this season (*cough* The Hideaway Bar and Grill in Idaho *cough*).
The couple purchased the bar in 2021, which means they’ve only been the owners for around a year at the time of the Colorado Cork and Keg Bar Rescue visit.
Ed had been in the corporate world for a long time but always dreamed of owning a bar.
I’d say that’s a pretty common scenario for bar owners, right?
Valerie wasn’t on board as much, but Ed did eventually convince her to make the change.
To purchase Colorado Cork and Keg, Ed and Valerie had to invest a good chunk of their money, including the $60,000 from their savings account.
They also had to move across the country, as they weren’t Colorado residents before purchasing the bar.
The couple didn’t have any bar or hospitality experience before purchasing Colorado Cork and Keg, so they’ve mostly been having to learn on the job.
Things aren’t so good now, which is why they had to ask for Jon Taffer’s help.
They’re working long hours, which means they can’t spend time with their kids.
Ed also might be leaning into the “fun bar owner” stereotype, as well, drinking with the customers sometimes and playing a lot of pool.
Bree, one of the bartenders, diplomatically says that Ed is a “little bit disorganized” with the bar side.
The couple also had to invest pretty much all their money into Colorado Cork and Keg, so things are tough financially, as well.
At the time of Taffer’s visit, the bar is supposedly $30,000 in debt and losing another $4,000 per month.
While that those debt/monthly loss numbers are actually pretty low for the bars that appear on Bar Rescue, it’s still a big hole to climb out of.
If they can’t turn things around, the couple might have to close the bar in three months.
As part of the rescue, Jon Taffer rebranded Colorado Cork and Keg to Valerie’s Brewhouse.
Obviously, the name Valerie’s Brewhouse comes from Valerie the owner/Ed’s wife.
So was the Colorado Cork and Keg Bar Rescue visit a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if this Colorado bar is still open in 2023.
Valerie's Brewhouse Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Valerie’s Brewhouse Bar Rescue episode, let’s talk about what happened to the bar after Jon Taffer and his crew left Castle Rock, Colorado.
First off, let’s talk some back story.
Around the time of the rescue (May 2022), a popular Facebook page called Colorado Beer Guy posted about the Bar Rescue change, which spawned a large comment thread of 136+ replies.
A lot of people criticized the name change because Valerie’s Brewhouse doesn’t actually brew their own beer.
They also seem to be ragging on Castle Rock in general.
What’s interesting, though, is that Ed Komperda responded in the thread and included some thoughts on his experience on Bar Rescue.
I’ll screenshot the full post below, but here’s the most relevant excerpt:
We have had pretty darn good reviews recently and rank pretty high in regard to bars in Castle Rock.
We have had many new people tell us this is there new go to bar after visiting.
We are proud of this place.
Is the location the greatest in Castle Rock…no, but it is castle Rock( which really doesn’t have a bad area), it is safe, and provides plenty of parking.
If to you this is ghetto AF then you truly have not seen a true ghetto and are quite privileged.
Bar Rescue is a reality tv show, so not all is 100 percent accurate.
Would I do this again…..most definitely.
They did a lot of good things to add character to the bar.
It will be airing in February or March of 2023.
Come in with an open mind and you may find it your favorite place to hangout in CR.
Just don’t knock it until you have visited.
So – overall it seems like Ed enjoyed the Bar Rescue experience and appreciated the changes that Jon Taffer made to the bar.
Side note – the same Colorado Beer Guy page also has another post with some behind-the-scenes pictures from the rescue.
Here’s a screenshot of the post – but the full post on Facebook has 32+ pictures, including some behind-the-scenes shots of the Bar Rescue production crew working on the bar.
I don’t know who you are, Colorado Beer Guy – but thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes shots!
It’s always interesting to look behind the curtain of Bar Rescue.
At the time that the Valerie’s Brewhouse Bar Rescue episode aired, the Komperdas also seemed happy to promote the episode on both the bar’s Facebook page and their personal pages.
The bar also hosted a viewing party for the episode’s initial air date, which is another thing that suggests they enjoyed Taffer’s visit.
Here’s a Facebook post from Ed promoting the episode teaser and the bar’s watch party.
It also includes Ed’s thoughts on why some Bar Rescue bars fail, including this quote:
Ultimately, yes, I do think Bar Rescue does help some bars.
Bar Rescue alone provides some of the best advertising out there.
When you couple that with the renovations that have no cost to the bar, they definitely provide improvement.
Next, let’s talk about where Valerie’s Brewhouse is now and then I’ll share some recent reviews for the bar.
Is Valerie’s Brewhouse still open in 2023?
As of 2023, Valerie’s Brewhouse is still open and serving customers in Castle Rock, Colorado.
It’s still doing so under the Valerie’s Brewhouse name and concept that Jon Taffer gave the bar.
It’s great to see the Komperda’s stick with the concept from Jon Taffer.
According to the Valerie’s Brewhouse Facebook page, the bar seems to have a pretty regular karaoke night.
Based on the screenshot below, they seem to have karaoke on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
They also seem to have live music sometimes, along with free pool and shuffleboard all of the time.
But overall, karaoke seems to be the big draw at Valerie’s Brewhouse.
There’s also an official Valerie’s Brewhouse Castle Rock CO website, which provides more information.
Here’s a picture of the Valerie’s Brewhouse menu to give you an idea of prices at the bar.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find what the Valerie’s Brewhouse Castle Rock CO location looks like today because it’s in a big shopping center.
The best I can do is this picture from Google Maps street view – however, it hasn’t been updated since September 2021, so it’s still showing the Colorado Cork and Keg Castle Rock CO location for now.
However, it will let you explore the area – Colorado Cork and Keg / Valerie’s Brewhouse is on the right right of the complex – look to the left of the McDonald’s and it’s the first suite in the complex.
Valerie’s Brewhouse reviews after Bar Rescue
Overall, the Valerie’s Brewhouse reviews after Jon Taffer’s visit seem to be pretty positive, with most of them being five stars.
People praise the atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff the most.
They also seem to like the beer selection.
One thing people complain about is the food smells (e.g. fryer grease).
According to a response from the Valerie’s Brewhouse owners, the bar isn’t able to put in their own structural changes to the building, so they can’t add an exhaust hood to the kitchen to get rid of the smells.
This seems to have been a problem with both Colorado Cork and Keg and the new Valerie’s Brewhouse.
However, outside of that (and a few other complaints), the Valerie’s Brewhouse reviews seem to be pretty good.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the remodel and visit from Jon Taffer…
5 star Google review from December 2022:
I “LOVE” this bar.
The atmosphere since the revamp has turned this place around.
The staff are super friendly, the owners are gold stars in my opinion.
Love the karaoke Friday and Sunday nights.
Parking is a great asset to this place.
They have poker and pool leagues, craft beers, yummy food.
I have nothing bad to say about the place.
If I could hangout there every day, I would!
3 star Google review from July 2022:
Recently remodeled, nice job, wonderful staff.
Unfortunately the old fryer grease smell the minute you walk in takes away from the newness…
Like the former establishment it just lingers and isn’t a great impression.
5 star Google review from December 2022:
Went in 9pm Sunday.
There were only a few people.
The staff was friendly.
We went to shoot pool, and both tables were in excellent quality and free to use.
We enjoyed the competitive patrons and playful banter.
They also mentioned that there are pool leagues, so I plan to try that out, too.
Definitely will return.
5 star Google review from July 2022:
Pool league Monday nights.
All Colorado based liquors and beers.
Formerly Cork and Keg.
Karaoke Friday and Sunday nights.
I love it
Here are some of the negative reviews that mention the smell, including the response from the owners that explains the situation.
It seems like a tough situation to be unable to put in an exhaust hood.
But other than a few negative reviews, things generally look very good for Valerie’s Brewhouse.
Final thoughts on Valerie’s Brewhouse Castle Rock CO
Overall, Valerie’s Brewhouse seems to be a real Bar Rescue success story, at least so far.
The Valerie’s Brewhouse owners are keeping Jon Taffer’s concept, which hasn’t been the case for a lot of recently rescued bars. For example, JJ’s Sports Bar went back to JJ’s Sports Cafe and Bar Retro went back to Rockabillies.
The owner from the episode that aired before this one, Rio Ultra Lounge in Charlotte NC, also seems to be keeping Taffer’s concept.
Beyond the concept, reviews for the bar seem generally good, so people seem to like spending time there.
Given those things, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Valerie’s Brewhouse Bar Rescue visit is a long-term success.
Ed and Valerie Komperda seem like nice people, so I wish them success and I hope that Valerie’s Brewhouse works out.
If you want to see some other nearby Colorado Bar Rescue episodes, you also might be interested in my updates for Wildefire Bistro / The Prime Bar in Aurora, Malloy’s / GI Jodi’s in Littleton, and St8 Pub / Downstairs Bar in Englewood.
Or, you can check out my full collection of all 10+ Colorado bars from Bar Rescue.
Thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-03-27 08:14