I am going to let you in on a little secret on where I get a lot of my information. It really is no secret, as I always cite my sources, especially when I talk to brewery people where I heard about them. I enjoy the Denver Post's Blog, First Drafts by Eric Gorski.
Last night, my brother and I attended First Draft's 1st Craft Beer Roundtable at Wynkoop Brewery. I got to thank Eric for hosting the symposium, but I really didn't get a chance to hang around and talk as I would have liked as my brother and I both needed to feed the Denver parking meters. We did come back to have dinner and beers at Wynkoop (thanks Wynkoop for hosting the event).
The speakers were Chad Yakobson, from Crooked Stave Brewery (Denver, CO), Brad Lincoln from Funkwerks Brewery (Fort Collins, CO), and my friend Kevin DeLange from Dry Dock Brewing (Aurora, CO), speaking about their experiences in the past, their current challenges, and where the future of craft beer in Colorado are heading.
The answers weren't all that surprising. There was talk about the saturation point of breweries in Colorado/Denver especially, and the importance of differentiation and locality as secrets to success for new brewers. There was a discussion about the Brewers Association coming out against the big breweries for creating faux craft brands and how that doesn't make sense from these brewer's perspective, and a number of other topics.
The most surprising things came from my brother's mouth. Firstly, he wondered aloud if we should have moved to open a brewery three or four years ago when we first started talking about it and if we "missed it". The answer is probably yes. If there was a good time to do it, 2008 was as good as any time you will ever see. But, facing facts....we make too much money doing what we currently do. We'd have to keep our day jobs, and all of our endeavors (including our relationships with kids and spouses) would suffer. That, and we'd have to decide on a location that was either close to Denver or Colorado Springs. I think the surprising take away is, that some day in the future, one or the other of us will come to the other and say...."Let's Do IT!, and we just might.
The other thing is my brother's new(ish) affinity for saisons. His tastes continue to evolve as he learns and experiences. I bet we will try brewing one soon.
We have also made loose plans to try a Polish-Germanic smoked wheat beer called a Gratzer that the Brewer's Association just recently included syle guidelines for. Again, First Drafts reported on it here....again, where I seek information about local beer things.
It was nice to go out, but it being Tuesday, we wanted to check out Black Shirt Brewing, Our Mutual Friend, or one of the other breweries up in River North, as a nightcap (around 9pm), but all of these small artisinal places are not open late, nor until nearer the weekend.