It’s September 2009. Tap Room Manager and avid homebrewer, Chad Pieper, brought in a bottle of one of his latest concoctions. It was his first attempt at a brown ale. He wanted something a little non-traditional.
Sure the British introduced the Brown Ale way back in 17th century. It was light brown and sweet, and brewed exclusively with brown malt. Chad decided that this was a good foundation, but as Americans do, the style needed to be Americanized. It needed to be roasted, and malty, and it needed to be a little more bitter than the style that was an English second cousin to the mild ale.
As the bottle of homebrew was emptied into small glasses, the brewers took notice. Chad brewed another batch. After multiple hours of spooning with his closest friends and family, the sampling continued. The brewers scaled the recipe up to a 4 barrel batch. The tap room starts to serve it. More brown is brewed and it starts to generate interest at local restaurants and taverns. It goes on tap for the ski season at Eldora Mountain Resort. Over several months, the brown becomes a mainstay in the tap room.
It didn’t stop there. We continued to tweak the recipe; switch up the specialty malts, bring out new flavors and finishes with different yeast strains, and combine American hops with the English hops. In time, we gathered feedback from our customers in the tap room and wherever it gathered a following in local restaurants and taverns.
As the brewery expanded in March, the potential for a third can gained interest. Summer came to the Front Range and the new fermenters were brimming with ale intended for rusty red and indigo blue cans. The idea is shelved.
With yet another expansion in the works, ideas bubbled up again. Is it finally time? Which style would it be? Looking toward the history we had with our beloved brown ale, and our customer’s call of “Do you have anything darker in cans?”, the wheels are set in motion.
ABV 6.7% – IBU 45