Now in their 3rd decade of operation, the Boulder Beer Company was established in 1979 as Colorado’s first microbrewery. They are currently celebrating their 26th anniversary, a true rarity in the realm of US microbreweries. As one of the oldest in the country, they paved the way for others to follow. These days, the big CO is known for a number of award-winning micros—all of whom owe at least some success to our second featured brewery (thought they might not admit it). Founded by two college professors, David Hummer and Stick Ware, their primary goal was to produce beers in the traditional style of the robust European ales. And these folks weren’t afraid to move a few goats around in order to achieve their dream, neither! (The original brewery site was a small farm northeast of Boulder, and the brewhouse did in fact share space with a few goats. Lucky college-town goats! We can hear them now… “bleat… the bleatin’ freeeee beeeeeehhhrrr’s o-oveeer heeeeere, man…”) Five years later, as a result of increased popularity (with people, not goats), they moved their one-barrel brewing system to their current facility in Boulder, where they now have the capacity to produce 43,000 barrels of award-winning brew every year!
Sometime around the company’s 11th birthday, the publicly traded Boulder Brewing Company was purchased by Gina Day and Diane Greenlee, who renamed it the Boulder Beer Company (there’s just something so cool about the use of the term “Beer Company”, don’t you agree?) These two local women, along with their Brewmaster David Zuckerman, decided to upgrade the entire brewery. Among other things, this included reorganizing their well known yeast management program, and expanding their small tasting room into a full service restaurant and pub. Since 1992 this microbrewery has received more than 40 awards and citations for excellence in brewing, packaging and business. In 1993, the brewery acknowledged the regional influence of its brands by officially changing the company name to Rockies Brewing Company.
By the spring of 2003, the entire line of Boulder Beers had been reintroduced and repackaged, followed by the successful launch of their ‘Looking Glass Series’ of beers—a specialty line of beers characterized by bigger-bodied, higher-intensity flavors (see Mojo IPA Ale review below). This particular line really caters to the true craft beer lover. But don’t get us wrong—beer newbies and aficionados alike will enjoy any of the beers from this brewery, who, in 2004 decided to return to their roots by officially changing their name back to Boulder Beer Company.
For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (303) 444-8448 or check out their web site at www.boulderbeer.com.