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The 2015 Colorado Brewers’ Festival will welcome four NoCo newcomers to the lineup this year, including Zwei Bruder Brewing Co. (ZB) and Snowbank Brewing Company (SB) (Fort Collins) as well as WeldWerks Brewing (WWB) and Wiley Roots Brewing (WRB) (Greeley). We talked with Kirk Lombardi (Zwei Bruder), Dave Rosso (Snowbank), Colin Jones (WeldWerks) and Miranda Carbaugh (Wiley Roots) about their brewery’s specialties and their 2015 CBF entries and their thoughts on the upcoming festival:
SCENE: What are your specialties and 2015 CBF entries?
ZB: Authentic German-style lagers and ales; other unique brews. Entries: ZweiPils, Zwei’s Weissbier.
SB: Innovative brews and unexpected twists on traditional styles. Entries: Flagship Colorado Red, Moon Arete Wheat, Cranknbrew Coffee Pale Ale.
WWB: Classic, historical recipes with creative innovation (example: Imperial Stout that will age 8-12 months in Breckenridge bourbon barrels. More barrel-aged and sour beers planned in coming months). Entry: WeldWerks Hefeweizen.
WRB: Unique, small-batch beers. Entry: Con Lima (collaboration with Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant).
SCENE: What are you most looking forward to about the CBF?
ZB: We look forward to being able to directly interact with the people who are sampling our beers.
SB: We look forward to “The Neighborhood,” since it’s such a change from the past, and we look forward to connecting with the craft beer lovers in Fort Collins.
WWB: Meeting people! We have a blast talking with beer lovers and fellow brewers. CBF is a great opportunity to introduce WeldWerks to the craft beer community.
WRB: We are excited to attend a festival in Fort Collins and connect with the attendees.
SCENE: Besides your own creations of course, what is your favorite local/Colorado brew?
ZB : Space Ghost (Equinox); Big Red (CB & Pott’s); Odell’s IPA; Saison (Funkwerks); Sad Panda (Horse & Dragon)
SB: Zwei Bruder’s HellerBock
WWB: We love what Odell’s, Horse & Dragon, and Verboten are doing…
WRB: Hermano (Three Barrel Brewing Company, Del Norte, CO)
SCENE: Tell us a bit about how and when you were founded.
ZB: Our name means “two brothers” in German and was founded by my brother Eric Lombardi and I, along with Drew Sheesley, Joe Gutierrez, and Jimmy Gallegos in August 2014. The goal at Zwei Bruder is to craft exemplary examples of Bavarian-style lagers and ales, to offer South Fort Collins their very own “neighborhood” family-friendly craft brewery and tasting room, and to contribute to the community through hosting of fundraising events in our facility.
SB: Snowbank was founded by a group of homebrewers, engineers, and craft beer specialists who wanted to take our passion from home to the professional level. We all have a shared passion for craft beer, quality, Colorado, and camaraderie of the craft brewing community. I am the Owner/Brewer and operate Snowbank with Becki, our Tap Room Manager, a staff of four taproom employees, Chris, our Assistant Brewer, and Janna, our finance and microbiology guru.
WWB: WeldWerks opened on February 20, 2015 when we got our Certificate of Occupancy at 3:30 pm and opened the doors at 4:00; the paint was literally still drying! Our story starts in the garage, like many others. Neil Fisher, our Co-Founder and Head Brewer, spent more than five years honing his craft and with constant improvement to his recipes, processes and equipment, it wasn’t long before he was taking medals in most of the competitions he was entering. I’m Neil’s partner and fellow Co-Founder. I approached him at the end of 2013 and we agreed to sketch out a business plan to see if it was feasible to start a brewery. We began with a strategy we would not compromise on: to be located in downtown Greeley (our community), to purchase a state-of-the-art brewhouse (our heart and soul), and to never compromise on quality and consistency by sourcing the best ingredients and continually improving processes. Fast forward through a difficult (but necessary and helpful) business plan, scouting locations, lease dealings, big equipment orders, remodeling, and finally—brewing beer and opening our doors!
WRB: My husband Kyle and I started the brewery in our basement, with dreams of opening our own brewery. As part of our research, we traveled to around 70 breweries in Colorado in one year to learn as much as possible. We both have strong agricultural roots and try to incorporate the agricultural process as much as possible in the beers that we make. In our taproom, you’ll find various flags that showcase our own family roots.