Rocky Mountain Brewing News February/March 2013 : Page 1
ROCKY MOUN UNTAIN AIN MOUNTAIN W IN G N E W E S BR By Nathan Venner Colorado brewers celebrated a phenomenal year in 2012 and are set for more growth in 2013. ILLUSTRATIONS BY: HANS GRANHEIM IL Story and Photos By Jim “Doc” Damon Big Time Expansion n Award Avery Brewing is going big time! They just plunked down $1.5 million to purchase 5.6 acres on the northwest side of Boulder. The property is so big that it will take two or three months to build a road up to the site. Construction is sched-uled to begin in May of 2013 and the new brewery is expected to open sometime in 2014. This is no small potatoes; the brewery will wi ll wil w l l occupy 95,922 square feet and include a restau-rant, gift shop, and (of course) a tap room. The budget for this entire project is a cool $27 million. The new brew house is rated at 120 barrels and should be able to crank out over 120,000 barrels a year to more than double the capacity of their present facility. But don't wait until 2014 to go to the tap room and drink some beer. They have an amazing selection of limited production and cask-aged beers, most of which will not be sold in any other location. Avery remains on the cutting edge of craft beer production for the Front Range. Big Time B Expansion Ex E x R Ru Runner-Up u Doug Odell and his brewing D crew are also planning a significant cre cr c rew ew w a ar expansion. Although having exp expa ex e xpa p pa recently returned from Germany, re Doug’s been overseeing the D construction of his brand new co c brew house which will allow him b to t o increase production by least 25 percent. The brew house will 2 be housed in a new building on b his property and will include an h hi expanded outdoor beer garden. ex e exp ep xp x p ABOVE-Thai Me Up's party bus roaming around Jackson Hole, Wyoming. BELOW, L to R-Manager Corey Hen-negan and Thai Me Up owner Jeremy Tofte on the stage at GABF being awarded another medal by Charlie Papazian. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THAI ME UP. New Kid on the Block Award Opening recently in Ft Collins is Black Bottle Brewing located at 1605 South College Avenue. This project is the brainchild of Sean Nook and features a seven barrel system with plans to produce a wide variety of beers including Belgians, strong ales, session beers and even sour ales. Look for the Machete Series for a variety of strong ales, the No Season Series for seasonal brews out of season, and the Random Hero Series developed from customers within the community. We’re wishing these guys well and hoping they can pull off their ambitious plans. See CO Awards p 5 Upper Front Range ..........13 Central Peaks ...................14 Western Slope..................15 Denver ..............................16 Lower Front Range ..........17 Four Corners ....................18 Colorado Calendar ......................2 Homebrew ...................7 Beer Directory ....... 9-12 Montana ............. 4 Idaho .................. 6 Utah .................... 8 Wyoming ........... 9 hai Me Up Brewery of Jackson, Wyoming, seemingly emerged from nowhere and made enormous noise on the national radar this year. During the Great American Beer Festival they won two coveted gold medals in the Imperial Pale Ale categories, a silver in the IPA and Strong Pa Fruit Beer category and hoisted the gaudy and King paddle, hat and stein. Pure lauded Alpha Ki dominance. But we all know that it is impos-come from nowhere. sible to co Owner, and brewer of things, O Jeremy Tofte, sold his restaurant Jere Jackson several years ago in J on eBay after being repeatedly o denied a liquor license. He trav-d the world for a few years eled t surf before regaining the to s su business and applied for a bus sin brewing brew w license “as an f’ng joke.” joke e. Hardly a joke anymore, Tofte Toft e and head brewer Kirk McHale McH Ha have taken several national nat tio awards in the more-than-competitive IPA cat-th t egories recently. eg e Thai Me Up began brewing on a 20-gallon br b nano system. Since well-na n executed Belgian-styles ex e and IPAs pair exceptionally an a we w well with well-executed Thai c u cuisine, the beer sold as fa as as they could make it fast an nd their reputation grew. and Soon they needed a larger So S See Thai p 3
Colorado Brewing Awards
Jim “Doc” Damon
Big Time Expansion Award Avery <br /> <br /> Brewing is going big time! They just plunked down $1.5 million to purchase 5.6 acres on the northwest side of Boulder. The property is so big that it will take two or three months to build a road up to the site. Construction is scheduled to begin in May of 2013 and the new brewery is expected to open sometime in 2014. This is no small potatoes; the brewery will occupy 95,922 square feet and include a restaurant, gift shop, and (of course) a tap room. The budget for this entire project is a cool $27 million. The new brew house is rated at 120 barrels and should be able to crank out over 120,000 barrels a year to more than double the capacity of their present facility. But don't wait until 2014 to go to the tap room and drink some beer. They have an amazing selection of limited production and caskaged beers, most of which will not be sold in any other location. Avery remains on the cutting edge of craft beer production for the Front Range.<br /> <br /> Big Time Expansion Runner-Up <br /> <br /> Doug Odell and his brewing crew are also planning a significant expansion. Although having recently returned from Germany, Doug’s been overseeing the construction of his brand new brew house which will allow him to increase production by least 25 percent. The brew house will be housed in a new building on his property and will include an expanded outdoor beer garden.<br /> <br /> New Kid on the Block Award <br /> <br /> Opening recently in Ft Collins is Black Bottle Brewing located at 1605 South College Avenue. This project is the brainchild of Sean Nook and features a seven barrel system with plans to produce a wide variety of beers including Belgians, strong ales, session beers and even sour ales. Look for the Machete Series for a variety of strong ales, the No Season Series for seasonal brews out of season, and the Random Hero Series developed from customers within the community. We’re wishing these guys well and hoping they can pull off their ambitious plans.<br /> <br /> Most Medals Award <br /> <br /> Tucked away in the southwest corner of Colorado is a tiny little town known as Pagosa Springs. Originally made famous for its hot springs, visitors now travel there for another reason - beer! This is the place where Tony Simmons is now celebrating six years of brewing award winning beers. Pagosa Brewing has collected an amazing 48 beer medals to date…and is still counting! Wolf Creek Wheat, Kayaker Cream Ale, and Pagosa Pale Ale all won medals at the World Beer Championships in 2012. Powder Day IPA has won multiple medals at the Colorado State Fair. A few years ago Tony originated the recipe for Poor Richard's Ale to commemorate Ben Franklin's 300th birthday. His creation was then brewed by over 100 professional breweries to commemorate the event. Containing two unusual ingredients, namely corn and molasses, it remains one of his most popular beers. Tony remains on the cutting edge of Colorado brewing.<br /> <br /> Most Medals Runner-Up <br /> <br /> Also on the cutting edge of craft brewing is Jason Leeman at Rock Bottom Colorado Springs. His brews have won a total of 22 medals at the Colorado State Fair alone over the past several years. And he's done it with almost every beer style imaginable, from light lagers to Eisbocks and even malt liquor.<br /> <br /> Strange Brewing Award <br /> <br /> Opening with a lineup of very unusual beers, Tim Myers broke into the Denver scene a couple of years ago with a big splash. Strange Brewing, as he named it, certainly deserved its moniker. Starting with a tiny one barrel system, he had to brew night and day to keep up with his immediate demand. His success has been amazing; within a year he purchased a seven barrel system and now uses the one barrel system for his experimental batches. These beers have featured outrageous ingredients such as fresh rhubarb juice, graham cracker crumbs and lilac flowers. Tim, to this day, continues to push the envelope and richly deserves the title of "Strange Brewer."<br /> <br /> Tutti-Fruity Brewing Award <br /> <br /> Adam Drager from Yak and Yeti in Arvada wins this one hands down. This summer he put together a lineup of fruit beers for the ages. Every Wednesday he served a special keg of wheat beer that has “fresh fruit and spices served straight from the keg!” Here's the schedule for August: August 1-Ginger; August 8-Cantaloupe; August 15-Raspberry; August 22-Roasted Peppers. Fruit lovers, this is your place.<br /> <br /> German Brewing Award<br /> <br /> Bill Eye has been brewing award-winning German beers for many years, earning him numerous awards while working for several different brewers. Finally, he got a chance to open his own place and it has done a superb job. Prost! Is the name of Denver's first authentic German beer stube, located just west of I-25 and near Amato's. Following his opening on August 23, he has continued to brew on this storied 60-barrel system originally made by the Ziemann GmbH in 1963. It was installed at the Bucher Bräu in the German city of Grafenau and used there until 1984. In 1984 it was overhauled and sold to Brauerei Hümmer of Breitengüßbach, Germany, a village in the Franconian region of Bavaria. Brauerei Hümmer started brewing beer in the Franconian village of Breitengüßbach in 1642 and served the town for over 350 years. He made several styles including Altfränkisches Dunkel Bier, a rare specialty beer that Bill has revived in Denver. Currently on tap are Prost Pils, Weissbier, and Altfränkisches Dunkel Bier.<br /> <br /> Most Rapid Expansion Award <br /> <br /> Renegade Brewing Company is already expanding! Just 15 months after opening his first brewery, Brian O'Connell announced plans to open a new pub and restaurant in the middle of the University of Denver campus. Located on University Boulevard near Evans, this new 2,000 square foot the tap room will host 20 craft beers on tap, five to eight of them brewed by Renegade. The opening is planned for March of 2013. O’Connell plans to offer unique special brews only available at this new location which will be known as Renegade Publik House. In addition to his gourmet beer selection, he plans to offer grilled pizza and salads.<br /> <br /> Craft Beer Promotion Award <br /> <br /> Laura Lodge and her brother Bill have been promoting craft beer in the Vail Valley for over a decade. Every January she hosts the Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywines Festival as a benefit for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. This has become a nationally renowned festival attended annually by beer connoisseurs from all over the USA. This amazing festival also features world-renowned brewers giving instructional seminars, a home brewing contest, and the tasting of commercially brewed strong ales from around the world. She also sponsors Wednesday night craft beer tastings and Friday night flights of craft beer throughout the year. Keep up the great work, Laura.
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Thai Me Up Brewery of Jackson, Wyoming, seemingly emerged from nowhere and made enormous noise on the national radar this year. During the Great American Beer Festival they won two coveted gold medals in the Imperial IPA and Strong Pale Ale categories, a silver in the Fruit Beer category and hoisted the gaudy and lauded Alpha King paddle, hat and stein. Pure dominance. But we all know that it is impossible to come from nowhere.<br /> <br /> Owner, and brewer of things, Jeremy Toffe, sold his restaurant in Jackson several years ago on eBay after being repeatedly denied a liquor license. He traveled the world for a few years to surf before regaining the business and applied for a brewing license “as an f’ng joke.” Hardly a joke anymore, Tofte and head brewer Kirk McHale have taken several national awards in the more than- competitive IPA categories recently.<br /> <br /> Thai Me Up began brewing on a 20-gallon nano system. Since well executed Belgian-styles and IPAs pair exceptionally well with well-executed Thai cuisine, the beer sold as fast as they could make it and their reputation grew. Soon they needed a larger brewery and ordered a 3-barrel system, yet barely keeping with their growing demand.<br /> <br /> “Basically, make it over the top,” Tofte said of his and Kirk’s brewing style. “I’ve seen breweries make their products less awesome in an attempt to be more profitable. We won’t do that.” Thank you, Jeremy and Kirk. “The hops Kirk uses,” Jeremy explained, “go together like Boitano and tights.” <br /> <br /> And who else would know the validity of that analogy like these guys? A rare line-up of masterfully crafted Belgians, IPAs, herbed and fruit beers decorate the taps at this off the beaten path brewpub. This is one brewery worth the trip for traveling beer enthusiasts.<br /> <br /> About owning a coveted, world class brewery, Tofte admits he is “here to snowboard and hang out with life-long friends—Jackson provides a chance to leave during the off season for a few months a year, to surf…why work 51 weeks a year.” Kirk brews while Jeremy is chasing the sunset. Jeremy indulged some over-the-top stories that cement his “love over money” lifestyle he brings to the brewing community. “I really just have too much fun for most people’s taste,” he laments. “I’ve been kicked out of bars all over the world just having fun.” Jeremy remembers leaving a Left Hand party during GABF after tackling a 15-foot stack of empty boxes. “I guess they spent hours on it,” he recalls. He would like to apologize to anyone from Left Hand reading this article.<br /> <br /> After the GABF award ceremony he recalls being chased down an escalator at the Convention Center in Denver. “They tried to set up a human blockade, but we managed to red rover our way through.” Jeremy would like to apologize to the beautiful men and women who volunteered their time at the Great American Beer Festival who may have pulled a hammy because of him.<br /> <br /> A few times he has been spotted at the across-town brewery, Snake River, charging tourists a fake cover at the door. “I just spent their money at Snake River, so no harm really.” He is also very adamant that no one, ever, should accept a ride from a stranger driving a BMW minivan. Jeremy would like to apologize to everyone he convinced to get into that minivan.<br /> <br /> Jeremy reflects on his more serious moments working in the brewing industry for about 30 years. “I worked at my old man’s distributorship in western Washington since I was about 9, and at about 15 I discovered craft beer.” A little young, sure, but past the statute of limitations. “I moved to Bend at about 18 and was a regular at a local brewery until I moved away about two years later.” Jeremy does not advocate serving alcohol to minors - these are just stories of his formative years for the purpose of painting his picture in words.<br /> <br /> Currently, Jeremy is filming his travels and tours and would like to use this article to shamelessly solicit Jonny Knoxville to produce it. Jonny, if you are reading this, you know what to do.
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