Cheers. Sláinte. Prost. Na zdraví. Welcome.
In 2016, I started writing about beer for Boulder Weekly. At the time there were almost 50 breweries operating in the county, including Boulder Beer Co., the oldest continually operating craft brewery in the county, the state, and the nation. My job was to cover them all, one brewery at a time. I began talking to brewers, about their beer and about their stories. I discovered that almost all of them came from without: California, New Jersey, Chicago, New York City, the North, the South, even from overseas.
Why did they come here? Why did they choose Boulder? The choice seems almost arbitrary. Yet Boulder is home to the first craft brewery in Colorado and the first craft brewery east of the West Coast. It’s the headquarters of the Brewers Association, the American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Publications. It’s the birthplace of the Great American Beer Festival. And that’s just the city. Open the iris up to include the full county, and you have at least three of the most significant breweries in the craft beer revolution, not to mention a slew of impressive, if not under-the-radar, breweries, brewpubs and taprooms.
But the two iconic beers of Colorado reside either south, in Golden, or north, in Fort Collins: Coors and Fat Tire, respectively. Just about every brewer interviewed in these pages had a chance encounter with a Fat Tire that changed their life. It’s the beer that launched hundreds of Colorado breweries. If that’s the case, why isn’t Fort Collins the hub?
If there was an answer, I knew (hoped) it would present itself in print.Boulder County Beer, An Introduction By Way of Acknowledgement
The result is Boulder County Beer.