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Max Taps was named after Dave and Shelly's dog, Maxine. Photo by Barbara Hunt.

Max Taps – Centennial. Photo by Max Taps, Co., Jan. 2022.

Entrepreneurship. Gatherings of friends and colleagues. Industry leadership. Great American traditions. These are prime ingredients of successful local community taprooms. And, as forecasted in my December 2021 post, these pieces all fell into place once again, this time in Centennial, Colorado in the new Max Taps – Centennial, which opened Feb. 2021.

In my prior post, I described how the Max Taps concept of local focus on Colorado beer, wine, and spirits, accompanied by the best food trucks in the Denver area, provide an almost irresistible combination for local community get-togethers and civic support. And now, thanks to cofounders Dave and Shelly Gardner – and a truly wonderful service team (to which I can attest to firsthand) – Max Taps has done it in the Denver Technology Center (DTC) in a new space that fully captures the beautiful vistas of the Colorado mountains and sunsets.

Shelly and Dave Gardner, Max Taps cofounders and owners. Photo by Max Taps Co., February 2022.
Shelly and Dave Gardner, Max Taps cofounders and owners. Photo by Max Taps Co., February 2022.

Joshua Hunt (who’s my son) is the company’s social media manager. He echoes Dave Gardner’s insights from the original article, noting that at Max Taps the community is the heart of their business. The Colorado Craft Beer community and the wonderful fans of the culture that this public gathering place brings together are the main beneficiaries of this philosophy.

One of the greatest things about enjoying a pint of beer or glass of wine at Max Taps is that it supports not only their own taproom business but also the many independent breweries and suppliers they work with,” Josh told me. “As Max Taps thrives, so do many small businesses related to the Colorado Craft Beer industry throughout the state.”

In the first article, I mentioned that Dave and Shelly have had the vision of growing community from the planning days for the first Max Taps. Dave earned his MBA as part of his vision to grow community around the local “watering hole” idea. He and Shelly took this on as more than a business — it’s a place for the public to gather, to build relationships, and to help their local community, knowing that American communities are better for having such spaces. Max Taps Centennial expands that definition of community by creating an even larger space for community to gather, share, and build.

“Dave and Shelly and the entire Max Taps team believe this is a great way to support the Colorado community as a whole. Through the joint efforts of the Max Taps staff and patrons they have raised over $270,000 for local charities,” Josh added. Just since the beginning of 2022, this has included the Boulder County Fire Victims as well as the Douglas County Fallen Officers’ Fund.

If readers would like to learn more about what the new Centennial Max Taps location offers, Denver’s Channel 7 News covered their opening, community support and objectives in a news broadcast on Feb. 10. Another local station, Fox 21 News, chronicled another fundraising event from November 2019, to support the family of a slain heroic student, Kendrick Castillo, killed in a school shooting in May 2019.

“This is Max Taps in its best community support role, giving back to those who have given to us,” Dave told me.

Back in December 2021, I wrote: “One of the most important things modern America shares with the people who founded the country is the sense of community and fellowship that comes with sharing time at the local tavern.” Max Taps is one of the greatest examples of community and relationship-building in Colorado, and perhaps even in our nation, keeping those rich traditions alive.

Carl W. Hunt is a retired US Army officer and graduate of the National Defense University’s National War College. He devoted the final half of his 30-year military career to the study and practice of the sciences of complex systems within military and government settings. Carl is the principal co-author and editor of Paradoxes of Power, Amazon, 2020, and is the co-author of the five-part series in Our Town Foundation on power and leadership in small towns and cities.