A look at the people in our community

My Name Is... Chris Garner

Co-founder of west Centennial’s Halfpenny Brewing Company


Thornton to Centennial

I’m 53, and I live in Thornton. I’ve been in Thornton for about 12 years, but I lived nearby in Brighton for about 10 years before that. Over the 27 years I’ve been in Colorado, I’ve been moving slowly south — starting in Fort Collins. Most of my non-brewing career has involved working in Denver. But we ended up in Thornton for the community and schools.

From kitchens to brewery

My business partner is also my best friend since high school. We started home-brewing about 20 years before we opened the brewery, just as a fun hobby. We started in our kitchens, and as our home-brew system expanded, we ended up setting it up permanently in my garage in Thornton … We had to make larger and larger batches because we were giving it away to family and friends, and that gave us the idea that we should open a brewery.

A few years before we started, we realized we had a window of opportunity to open the brewery between the times our kids went off to college. We started trying to get more precise in our brewing, making sure we could reliably make the same beer. Once we figured out we could do that, we went to brew on a commercial system at a small brewery. That gave us the confidence to do it ourselves, so we started planning and looking for locations. Centennial was the center of our location search since before we opened, there was only one brewery in the city, and we liked the area and the community. 

The thing I like the best is that there are a lot of people who enjoy being (at Halfpenny) and feel like they are part of the brewery. That sense of community was something we wanted to create, but it’s nice to actually see it happen.

Information security by day

I’ve got an engineering background, working in network engineering and information security. While I’d love to get to the point where the brewery was my only job, I still work as an information security engineer during the day. It is nice to have two jobs that are so completely different, though.

Giving back

Before my kids headed off to college, I was involved in their activities including being a Scout leader for many years. In Centennial, we sponsor charity events at the taproom, and we also support some local 5K races through a South Suburban Parks and Recreation (program) and others. For the 5Ks, I try and run and get back in time to pour the beer for the post-race party.

Not just pounding beers

I love to ski, hike in the mountains, and run. I’ve finished four marathons, including the Pikes Peak marathon. My wife and our combined family of four kids all ended up being lifeguards in high school and college.

If you would like to suggest someone for My Name Is ..., or if you would like to be featured in the segment, contact Ellis Arnold at earnold@coloradocommunitymedia.com or 303-566-4109.


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