The wait is over. This fall, beer aficionados from across the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond can finally sip their favorite sours (and more) at Casey Brewing and Blending’s sleek new taproom in the heart of downtown Glenwood. After a lengthy permitting process kept the company from debuting the tasting room this summer, its doors officially opened to the public over Labor Day weekend. Suds lovers, rejoice.
“We’ll have four of our sour beers on tap, always seasonal and based on what we have available at the particular time of year,” says founder and brewmaster Troy Casey. “We’re also doing IPAs and stouts now, which are a way for us to be creative and expand what we offer to people who might enjoy those more. And we’re rotating guest taps with Colorado beers that aren’t offered anywhere else on the Western Slope.”
For a time after its 2013 founding, Casey Brewing seemed to be one of the valley’s best-kept secrets: a niche brewery specializing in old-world techniques and Colorado ingredients, which many locals knew little about. Even as Casey amassed a large cult following—not to mention a slew of prestigious awards—after its signature sours hit the taste buds of beer lovers around the globe, the brewery managed to remain fairly under-the-radar here at home. Tasting events at its unassuming facility in south Glenwood soon exploded in popularity among far-flung Casey fans, with some devotees traveling great distances to attend. Troy was forced to begin doing ticketed tours and tastings due to limited parking and a modest occupancy requirement. Although this may have heightened the Casey mystique for outsiders, Troy says that attendance of his local fans began to decline.
“People who live around us wanted to come but didn’t want to deal with some of that hassle, so we weren’t seeing them as much any more,” he recalls. “Recently I had been working on a business plan for a second location, and a big question was, ‘How do we make this more accessible to locals?’”
Then, out of the blue this past spring, Troy got word that The Lost Cajun restaurant, with its prime location just off the 7th Street Restaurant Row, was closing.
“We jumped on it,” he says. “It was really just perfect for us. In a place like this we can offer our beers to visitors and locals in a way that makes sense.”
Troy’s sister-in-law Diana Adkisson is managing the new location, and their staff are well armed with knowledge about each tap. So if you want to talk beer, you can still talk beer, just as you would during a tasting at the original brewery—only no tickets required.
Be sure to ask about Troy’s favorite beer of the season, a standout sour called Blackberry Fruit Stand. Its full-bodied flavor is not only perfect for autumn, he says, but its ingredients are also a prime example of the company’s commitment to using local whenever possible.
“We have a single farmer in Hotchkiss who grows blackberries for us, a variety called Black Satin,” he says. “We pay a premium for his berries but we want to support someone local. He grows them just for us every summer.”
With the taproom now marking its “best-kept secret” years as officially over, Casey Brewing is poised to grow an even bigger fan base in the valley. This new phase is a win-win-win for all: a homegrown business, using Colorado ingredients, that’s now more accessible than ever for locals to enjoy. Cheers to that.
Casey’s fall 2019 taps: How many will you try? (Troy’s top picks of the season are starred.)
Blackberry Fruit Stand* Oak fermented and aged for six months, a sour ale with 100 percent Colorado ingredients. Two pounds of fruit are used for every gallon of beer.
Cameo IPA* A hazy IPA made with Mosaic and Nelson hops, super juicy and tropical.
Dry Hop Apricot Fruit Stand Oak fermented and aged for five months, a sour ale with whole Palisade apricots and dry hopped with Nelson hops.
Funky Blender: Balaton Oak fermented and aged for six months, a sour ale with sour Balaton cherries from Hotchkiss. 100 percent Colorado ingredients.
Funky Blender: Dry Hopped Oak fermented and aged for 10 months, a sour ale dry hopped with Nelson hops.
Stout Tribe Collaboration brew with Mikerphone Brewing of Chicago, an imperial stout with whole Madagascar vanilla. Dark and rich.
Synthetic Substitution* An imperial stout made with whole toasted coconut and cacao. Rich and decadent.
Transmountain Diversion Collaboration brew with Weldwerks Brewing Company of Greeley, a hazy double IPA made with Mosaic and Nelson hops.
- West Dank A hazy double IPA with a blend of proprietary hops from the southern hemisphere.