[To help point brewvana readers to the delightful underdogs hiding in the shadows of craft beer’s rocket-ride into the limelight, I’ve recruited a flock of fellow beer bloggers to help me underscore some of the Awesomeness you may not have heard of…]
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
By Dave Butler of Fermentedly Challenged
Colorado has over 140 breweries scattered across the state and for each community that has a brewery, each one of them is a hidden gem. When asked to come up with a brewery I thought was one of the best in my area that nobody outside of Colorado may have heard of, I did what any beer blogger would do, I asked my readers to come up with a brewery.
I opened up a voting Poll on Facebook and asked everyone to nominate a Colorado brewery that they thought was outstanding but probably nobody had ever heard of (outside of Colorado). The poll was open for over a full week. After receiving over 334 votes and 34 unique nominations, my readers selected Grimm Brothers Brewhouse of Loveland, Colorado as the Best Brewery You Never Heard Of.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse was a small start-up brewery that opened in July 2010 by three guys who were award winning homebrewers: Don Chapman (President + head brewer), Aaron Heaton (Vice President + Business Manager) and Russell Fruits (Sales Manager + Assistant Brewer). They saw a need for creating a line of quality German-style beers in the Northern Colorado area and came up with a small line-up of year round beer recipes and some tasty seasonal and specialty beers and went to work.
They opened up a small brewery with an equally small taproom out front at 547 North Denver Avenue in Denver. The tap room was so small that it could only seat about 20 people comfortably. It didn’t take long for their popularity to grow and a year later they were looking to expand. By December 2011, they found another empty unit in the same business complex (literally across a huge parking lot) and created a much larger tap room, enough to hold 60+ people and free up room to expand their brewhouse. The new taproom was a big hit. To top all that off, they also added a brand new bottling line at the end of 2011 and now bottle most of their year-round beers in 22oz bottles.
Grimm Brothers is known locally for their German-style beers. They have five year-round beers whose names are based on fairy tale themes: Snow Drop (a Kottbusser style), The Fearless Youth (a Munich Dunkel Lager), Little Red Cap (an Altbier), Master Thief (a German porter), and The Griffin (a German style Hefeweizen) .
One thing that helped Grimm Brothers Brewhouse stand out, besides their great tasting beers, were the eye-catching beer label logos (pictured above). Local business – Ten Fold Collective – worked with Grimm Brothers to come up with some colorful characters to represent each of their year-round beers. The graphics were a hit and have become the icons of the brewery.
It didn’t take long for Grimm Brothers Brewhouse to start earning awards and recognition from the community. During the 2010 and 2011 Gnarly Barley Beer Festival – Grimm Brothers has was named the People’s Choice Winner of the festival. In addition, the City of Loveland Colorado named Grimm Brothers Brewhouse the Small Business of the Year for 2011 for their outstanding contribution to the community. And top that off, in 2011 Grimm Brothers was awarded a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their Little Red Cap in the German-style Altbier category, beating out 29 other entries.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse brews up more than just their mainline beers. They also produce a Fabled Series of beers that are in essence an Imperial version of their year-round beers. Add to that, they’ve acquired several bourbon and wine barrels and have put out some outstanding barrel-aged beers including the recent Imperial stout called The Count. The City of Loveland also partnered with Grimm Brothers to come up with an official Valentine’s Day beer of Loveland called: The Bleeding Heart – a cherry chocolate porter.
The brewers are also experimenting with brettanomyces and soured beers and have put out a couple of beers like “Big Bad Bret” and a “Brett Bock” beer. The list of experimental beers they put out is constantly growing. They’ve done smoked beers, chai beers, an Oktoberfest and a Wet Hop beer. They plan to do some firkins coming up in the summer months as well.
While the brewery is growing in popularity, the owners are already looking ahead to their next expansion. As business units in their complex open up and vacate, they plan to buy out those units and expand the taproom and brewhouse.
So why haven’t you heard of them?
Simply put, these guys only distribute their beer around Northern Colorado. They don’t even ship down to Denver at present. All of their client accounts are scattered from Fort Collins, to Greeley, to Estes Park, around town in Loveland and down to Longmont. But you won’t see them statewide, at least not yet. They’d like to expand distribution at some point down the road, but for now, they’ve got all they can handle in their own corner of the state and like it that way. They are in essence, one of our best kept secrets in Northern Colorado. Check them out next time your near Loveland.
Monday – Thursday: 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Friday: 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Saturday: 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Grimm Brother Brewhouse
623 North Denver Avenue (taproom)
Loveland, CO 80538
Dave Butler has been writing the beer blog Fermentedly Challenged since 2007. He’s written over 1000 articles on his blog and focuses primarily on the craft beer industry of Colorado. He’s also been the Northern Colorado Beer Examiner for examiner.com, has written a successful poker blog and also works full-time as an IT Engineer for a major Fortune 500 company. Dave makes his home in Greeley, Colorado where he lives with his wife of nearly 30 years and has raised 3 grown children.
Follow Dave on Twitter: @ChipperDave
Or check him on Facebook at: facebook.com/FermentedlyChallenged.
Stay tuned. I’ve got one more guest blogger to round out the week!