Seven years after Chad Yakobson moved his Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project from Fort Collins to Denver, the brewery is getting ready to go home again. Crooked Stave plans to open a new experimental brewery and taproom in the Exchange, a new commercial development located at 216 North College Avenue in Old Town Fort Collins.
The 3,000-square-foot taproom will have twenty taps that will pour a wide range of sour and wild ales, along with "clean" beers, like the IPAs, porters and pilsners that the brewery has been making of late.
“We had always hoped to bring Crooked Stave back to its roots,” Yakobson says in a statement. “This is where our company started back in 2010, and we always envisioned moving back and opening a location in Fort Collins. We were just waiting for the right fit for Crooked Stave.”
Yakobson, who grew up in Morrison, graduated from Colorado State University in 2006; he later got a Ph.D. in brewing science in Scotland before returning to Fort Collins and working at Odell Brewing. He founded Crooked Stave in 2010, fermenting his sour and wild ales at Funkwerks and then selling it in bottles.
“Being able to have an experimental pilot system right next door to the campus would allow us to work more in-depth with the students and the program itself," he continues. "Our brewery started as an extension of my master’s thesis on Brettanomyces yeast species and their use in the brewing industry, so what better way to give back to my alma mater than to help continue research through the program?”
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The taproom will give Crooked Stave another outlet for its beer aside from its existing taproom inside The Source (at 3350 Brighton Boulevard). Once the brewery is installed, it will also allow the company to make specialty one-off brews that will be available to bars and restaurants in the Fort Collins area.
The Exchange is "a revitalization of the northern corner of Old Town, featuring many other businesses with an open-air central plaza, canopied with strings of lights and community-style picnic tables," Crooked Stave says. "Patrons will be able to enjoy the outdoor patio with inspired cuisine from local vendors."
Founded in 2010, Crooked Stave moved into a business park at 1441 West 46th Avenue in 2011. In 2013, it opened its taproom at the Source. Although Yakobson planned to brew in that taproom, he eventually moved the equipment to the 46th Avenue location, where he now operates a much-expanded brewing and fermentation facility, which is not open to the public, though Crooked Stave holds periodic events there.
The Fort Collins taproom is slated to open during the winter of 2018-’19; a small brewery will be added later.