When Grimm Brothers Brewhouse opens tomorrow in Loveland, it will be the town's only independently-owned brewery. But it will also be one of several craft beer makers around the state that focus on a specific style of suds.
"There are breweries in Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Estes Park, Lyons, but nothing in Loveland, so we thought we could fill a good niche," says Don Chapman, an electrical engineer and homebrewer who owns Grimm with Aaron Heaton.
The brewery, at 547 North Denver Avenue, makes beers based on old German recipes, particularly those that were outlawed in the 1500s by the German Beer Purity Law, or Reinheitsgebot, which only allowed water, barley and hops to be used in beer production.
I've always enjoyed brewing German style beers, especially lagers," says Chapman, who also commissioned some very cool artwork for his beers. "Before Reinheitsgebot, there was a tradition of lots of styles: sours and smoked beers and all kinds of different stuff. We wanted to go back to pre-Reinheitsgebot and resurrect some of those styles."
One of its first is called Snow Drop, and it's based on a recipe for Köttbusser, a style of beer that was outlawed by Reinheitsgebot. Snow Drop contains oats, honey and molasses.
Two other year-round beers are The Fearless Youth, a full bodied Munich dunkel made with toasted malt, and Little Red Cap, a copper-colored altbier.
Grimm is one of several breweries now that specialize in certain styles.
Del Norte Brewing, which opened in 2008 in Denver, only makes Mexican lagers, including Orale, Cinco and Manana. "I've kind of see that trend, and we are prime example of that," says Del Norte co-owner Joe Fox. "We found a niche that we serve and things are progressing well. It's great to brew something you love."
Then there is Black Fox in Colorado Springs, a tiny brewery run by Bristol Brewing company brewer John Schneider. The company, which rents Bristol's equipment makes only Belgian-style saisons.
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"We like the Belgian farmhouse styles. Our whole premise right now," Schneider says,"is that saison means 'season,' and we have great seasons in Colorado. My wife and I are going to take that and run with it. This is a style you can have so much fun with."
And then there's Caution Brewing, whose owner, Danny Wang, hopes to open in Denver later this year with a variety of beers that have an Asian influence, use Asian spices or pair well with Asian foods. For more on Wang, see our write-up here.