LAFAYETTE - The city of Lafayette's craft beer scene gets sudsier Thursday afternoon with the opening of The Post Brewing Co. in the former Veterans of Foreign War post.

The brewpub and restaurant is the first brewing venture for owner Big Red F Restaurant Group - which also owns Jax Fish House, Zolo Grill, Centro Latin Kitchen, The Bitter Bar and The West End Tavern in Boulder in addition to restaurants in Denver, Glendale and Fort Collins.

The Post, at 105 W. Emma St. in downtown Lafayette, opens to the public at 4 p.m. Thursday after private soft openings earlier in the week. Regular hours will be 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Jan. 25, when a weekend brunch menu is added, Saturday and Sunday hours will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

"We had been talking about doing a brewery for a really long time," Big Red F founder and owner Dave Query said Thursday. "East Boulder County and Lafayette is pretty underserviced for restaurants of this style. When the building came available it just all made sense."

Big Red F purchased the 8,000-square-foot building for $616,500 in January after the local VFW post moved to a new location. The brewery has been in the planning stages since then, but serious work didn't begin until the end of August.

"Once we got rolling, we really got rolling," Query said.

The brewery is the third to open in Lafayette in the last six months, joining Front Range Brewing and Odd13 Brewing.

The Post eventually will distribute beer to all of Big Red F's restaurants, though the government shutdown last fall has caused some delay in getting brewing operations up and running. The Post didn't receive its brewing license until Christmas Eve.

Initially, The Post will have one of its own beers on tap, a beer brewed in collaboration with Odd13, in addition to various other breweries' craft beers. The Post will have its second beer on tap next week and will expand from there.

Bryan Selders, the former head brewer at Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware who starred on Discovery Channel's series Brew Masters, is The Post's head brewer.

"He is a huge asset for this team," Big Red F marketer Cherice Engel said.

The Post will employ about 35 people to start, but that number could increase to 50 once summer rolls around.

The Post can seat 118 patrons inside and another 125 on its outdoor patio. The Post's Good Bird Kitchen will be led by chef Brett Smith and will feature fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, catfish and various vegetarian offerings.

Query declined to disclose startup costs but said the city of Lafayette has been a dream to work with in getting started. The Post received a $75,000 grant from the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority to help with outside renovations of the building built in 1971.

Query said Lafayette's location was also a bonus for ease of distribution of beer to Boulder and Denver.

"The town of Lafayette, we're super-psyched to be out there," Query said. "We hope other restaurants follow."