Cedaredge couple opens first combined brewpub and pharmacy

Story and photos by Carolyn White

John and Barbara Breitnauer of Cedaredge turned an empty building on Main Street into a brewpub and restaurant two years ago, naming it The 4B’s.

“We wanted to draw more people into the area and introduce craft beer to a small town,” said John, a licensed pharmacist.

That small town just happens to be the last stop before Grand Mesa, the longest flattop mountain in the world. Every year it attracts thousands of travelers, and now they have the perfect place to stop, enjoy a great meal, and sample what’s on tap.

An advantage to brewing in Cedaredge is the water, which is spring-fed off the mesa and has a unique taste.  John and his brewmaster Patrick Wright have developed their own style, and the new creations (including certain menu items) are named after local sites or people.

“Our Grand Mesa Blond is a crowd favorite,” John said, followed by Thunder Mountain IPA, Black Swede nitro, Raven Red, and Ragin’ Rhonda — a limited edition, tongue-in-cheek nod to a favorite pharmacy grad student.  

For entertainment, the Breitnauers have added an antique soda fountain, large-screen television, jukebox, shuffleboard and a pool table. Assorted board games line the window sills, and each Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, poker tables are hauled out for card players. Every Saturday night there is live music.

It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a beer, a glass of wine, or a mixed drink while you visit with friends, shout for your favorite sports team, cool off after a hike, or wait for your prescription to be filled.

Wait…what was that last thing?

Last November, after nearly two decades, the Breitnauers moved their original pharmacy out of its corner of a grocery store. The newly remodeled pub, with 5,000 square feet of floor space, had plenty of extra room. Truly unique, the 4B’s is the only craft beer establishment in Colorado — and maybe in the entire United States —  that also houses a working pharmacy.

Both partners jump in as bartenders, dishwashers, and servers whatever needed, although “I do all the paperwork,” said Barbara with a groan. Once combined, the 4B’s and Cedaredge Pharmacy were affectionately nicknamed “Pub and Drugs” by the longtime staff and some townsfolk.

Out-of-towners have been relieved to find that Cedaredge Pharmacy accepts prescriptions written in other states, and is set up to run most insurance cards. It boasts a comfortable waiting room with leather furniture, magazines, and newspapers, plus there is a well-stocked, over-the-counter section. Other shelves display souvenir T-shirts, ballcaps, and sturdy beer steins, all imprinted with the 4B’s logo.

Service is fast and friendly in both the pharmacy and the pub. Meals are generally served within 15 minutes, while new prescriptions run half an hour. It’s not surprising that most customers opt to hang out at the bar or order a meal while they’re waiting. John and Barbara Breitnauer counted on that from the start, and it’s working.