360 Craft Brewers Dominate Colorado Market
Believe it or not, the Colorado marketplace is home to not one but a staggering 360 craft brewers, at the time of my writing this blog. How in the world did we get here? Probably one beer at a time.
Little Gal Makes Big Waves
Little gal or guy. Craft brewery is all about taking unique, high quality ingredients plus a passion for brewing the best damn beer of all time and making something special. Its not a hard and fast rule, but these type of breweries tend to be small. Any given batch of beer might be severely limited in total quantity. A brewer like this might play around with a recipe, making changes, tweaking this and that, searching for the perfect IPA or stout!
This is the ultimate refreshing alternative to Big Brother beers! A great Colorado example would be Atrevida Beer Co down in the ‘Springs. If you get the chance to visit, be sure to check out their one-of-a-kind clothing options. Some great T-shirts and gear.
Boulder County and Micro Breweries
There are so many options just around Boulder County. Numerous taprooms and micro breweries each offering a unique and custom selection of beers. Some of these operations are small, but with super loyal followings. Others have become household names across the country, transcending from a small local operation to a global one.
In 1979 Friends Found Craft Brewery Beer Company
Boulder Beer Company comes to mind as a company that has gotten so large, it strictly focuses its efforts on national sales. Versus when it got its start as a place to go and have a beer. Talk about success.
This is part of what makes living in Boulder so exciting. We have a lot of creative, energized people who make things happen. From legalizing something to just accepting, Boulder has always been on the cutting edge. And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that craft beer pretty much got its start here too.
Since Before Colorado Was a State
There’s been a love of beer here in Colorado since before statehood. The earliest brewer, Rocky Mountain Brewers operated out of the back of a Denver storefront. There brew didn’t even featured Hops. I’m not certain we would recognize their beer by today’s standards.
And Coors, not a craft beer, but my goodness, growing up in the midwest, we came out here to ski. I remember Dad carrying a twelve pack of beer back on the flight to Cleveland. I’m not sure you can even do that today, with all the rules around liquids. And in a way, beer continues to be part of the Colorado mystique.
Today, Colorado is considered one of the mecca-like journeys for connoisseurs seeking the best craft brewery in the United States.
Excavation Leads to Adventuring and an Ice Cold Beer
When the state first got going, people were coming here for careers in excavation. The gold rush brought the initial round of settlers to the area seeking fortune and fame.
Beer was served in saloons. These were more than rowdy gathering spots. They might also serve as post offices and banks. Frequently a saloon would be a gathering spot for a group sharing a similar cultural heritage.
The early day saloons were nothing like today’s craft brewers tasting rooms.
For starters, nice women didn’t frequent saloons. And housing was at such a premium back then (this sounds similar to Boulder’s dilemma today), some men would sleep on the floor of a saloon because there was just nowhere else to live.
Visit The Gold Hill Inn For A Throwback In Time
Or simply to throw back a drink in the beer garden. This spot is one of those old timey joints with rough hewn wood walls and the whole nine yards. These days, the beer garden caters to couples, long gone are the no women allowed days.
Along Comes Prohibition
Prior to prohibition, which believe it or not came to the area four years before the rest of America, drinking was 70% higher nationwide. Prohibition was born out of good intentions. When our state – along with the rest of the Union decided to re-legalize drinking, the new bars replacing saloons were less of a cultural gathering spot. And, women were welcome.
Prohibition in Colorado was driven by concern about over-drinking. Today Colorado has ended the latest prohibition against marijuana. What are your thoughts on these changes coming to the state? Are you for? Against? Not even concerned one way or the other? Or chatting about all of this at your local favorite beer garden while quaffing your favorite craft beer?
After WW II, local bars began in earnest an advertising campaign called, Beer Belongs. The idea being, we were ready to full on embrace our drinking ways in Colorado. And from humble beginnings, in a state with a lack of hops, barley and some days water, we are now at the epicenter of the craft brewing world.
Side Note: Funny thing, after the war Boulder started making big changes as well. At just about the same time is when Martin Acres subdivision popped up.
Visit Pearl Street Mall and you’ll even find an association headquarters.
Colorado’s Natural Foods Industry Support
Because we live in a State that is already focused on alternative and natural foods, it makes sense to see the local craft brewery scene continuing to grow. The two pretty much go hand-in-hand. Craft beer makers are all about unique, high quality ingredients. As are natural food makers. Each industry is taking old ideas and improving on them. Trying new combinations. Considering Colorado didn’t start as a spot with the requisite ingredients, it sure is interesting to see our community become a leader in the industry.