Southeastern Boulder County had one brewery until this week; by fall, it will have eight
Boulder is the cradle of craft brewing in Colorado, and nearby Longmont is home to two of the biggest breweries in the state, but until recently, southeastern Boulder County was primarily known only as the former headquarters for the Rock Bottom chain.
By this fall, however, there will be eight breweries in the area: three in Louisville, three in Lafayette and two in Erie, which is actually split between Boulder and Weld counties.
- Echo Brewing will open new location in Erie, team up with Atom Brewing
- Former Dogfish Head brew master Bryan Selders joins Big Red F's The Post Brewing
- Beer history is flowing at the Boulder History Museum
Gravity Brewing was the first to open for business; founded by John Frazee, Ryan Bowers and Julius Hummer, it started pouring in August 2012.
"I lived in Boulder for a long time before I moved to Louisville, and when I got here, I saw a real opportunity, so I went for it," says Frazee, who reached his ten-barrel system's capacity recently and added two new fermenters to keep up.
But Frazee has mixed feelings about the thought of being joined by seven other nearby breweries in rapid succession, including two more in Louisville: Crystal Springs and Twelve Degree Brewing, which just opened today.
"It is a concern. There is room for a few more, but hopefully not too many more," he says. "But at the same time, looking on the bright side, it will bring more craft beer drinkers to the area as a destination. People already know to go to Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins for craft beer, and now there will be a handful of breweries right here that will bring more of a regional draw rather than just a local draw."
Keep reading to see short profiles of all the new breweries in the works:
Twelve Degree Brewing
820 Main Street, Louisville
After many stops and starts, the owner of Twelve Degree Brewing, Jon Howland, secured a spot in a 120-year-old building that ironically housed Louisville's Temperance Hall during Prohibition. The brewery, located in a central location on Main Street, opened its doors on June 26, and will hold a grand opening on Saturday. It specializes in brewing Belgian-style beers like saisons, which are Howland's favorite.
Front Range Brewing
400 West South Boulder Road, Suite 1650, Lafayette
Chris Dutton and Will Boggs both worked in the software industry before deciding to open their own brewery in Lafayette. The two plan to brew beers that they call "continental with a twist of Americana." Most will be German- or Belgian-based styles or else American beers with Belgian or German twists. Located in a 2,000-square-foot space, Front Range hopes to open by July.
Crystal Springs Brewing
657 South Taylor Avenue, Louisville
Tom Horst didn't expect his beers to do so well when he started a tiny commercial brewery three years ago in the Sunshine Canyon section of Boulder. But Crystal Springs, named for Boulder's original Crystal Springs Brewing and Ice Company (founded in 1875) "has taken on a life of it's own," he says, which is why Horst will move his operation to a building in Louisville where he can run a taproom for the first time, add a few new fermenters and upgrade his two-barrel brewing system. Crystal Springs, which cans and bottles all of its beers, plans to open sometime in late summer. "We can't wait to meet the people who drink our beer," Horst says. The 1,200-square-foot taproom will have thirteen taps offering a variety of beer styles.