Crooked Stave will triple in size in 2013, sell sour beers out of state
The founder, owner and head yeast whisperer at Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is in the midst of a major expansion at his northwest Denver Barrel Cellar, adding employees, barrels, storage space and taproom hours, but that's just the beginning of what he has in store for beer lovers in Colorado -- and possibly out of state -- in 2013.
"This is an extreme labor of love," says Yakobson, who specializes in making wild and sour ales. "I can't explain the number of hours I spend here."
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Here, and just a mile or so away at Prost Brewing, where Yakobson contract-brews the majority of his beer before hauling it back to the barrel cellar, where his real work begins, culturing the beer with various strains of yeast and bacteria before aging it either in used wine or liquor barrels or in foeders (giant wooden casks used for aging wine or beer).
Crooked Stave produced 450 barrels of beer in 2012, and sold 250 barrels (the rest is still aging). This year, the brewery will produce at least 2,000 barrels, or roughly 315 percent more than in 2012, and sell about 1,250 barrels, or about 400 percent more.
To do that, Yakobson recently purchased four 60-hectoliter foeders from the Seguin Moreau Napa Cooperage. Each one holds the equivalent of 50 or 51 barrels of beer. They will complement the four existing foeders at Crooked Stave.
"It was so exciting when we go them in and now we have new ones. Every time we finish something, it seems like there is something else to do," Yakobson says. "We may have more foeders now than any other brewery in the country besides New Belgium."
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