Colorado’s first and only organic brewery fittingly calls Boulder its home. Asher Brewing Company, founded in 2009, carefully crafts each beer with USDA certified organic malt and hops on the brewery’s seven-barrel system. The brewery buys most of its malt from Canada and procures hops from a variety of farms ranging from Niwot hops to hops from New Zealand.
Organic food has proved to be a long-term trend. This Boulder-based brewery fits that niche in the vast Colorado beer industry, offering up the state’s only full line of organic beers. The company has created a culture around organic ingredients, and at the center of this is better beer.
The seven-barrel copper clad brew kettle and mash tun at the organic Asher Brewing Company. In 2009 Chris Asher founded the only organic brewery in Colorado. (CU Independent/Andrew Kaczmarek)
Chris Asher, company founder, says organic beer is “better for the consumer, better for the environment and keeps the yeast happy.” Beer’s fourth ingredient is yeast, the little fungi that turn sugar into alcohol, in turn making you happy. Asher went on to say that being a part of the large organic and natural food industry in Boulder has helped with success of the brewery. Boulder is the center of organic food, and it has certainly helped Asher Brewing Company with its beer sales.
Being an all-organic brewery is not without challenges.
“It been tough finding American organic hops,” Asher said. “There is no hop processing in Colorado, and often times we have to work beers backwards based on what organic hops we can find.”
Asher has worked through these challenges and helped to prove the long-term trend of organic food and now beer. The company has grown sizably over its first three years in business.
“We have grown from 400 barrels in the first year to 1,000 barrels this year with capacity for 1,500,” Asher said about the company’s recent growth.
The company also had an unexpected growth in taproom visitors. The company doubled the size of its tasting room just six months after it opened.
The taproom, located in an industrial park near Gunbarrel, has a constant crowd of regulars and thirsty beer drinkers waiting to try the fresh organic beers. The taproom features a small bar, two small tap tours, several tables and an outdoor patio complete with dogs, bikes and beer. Behind the taproom is a large game room featuring cornhole, pinball and a rack of oak barrels for ageing beer.
The brewery touts it’s saving the world one beer at time, and with its generous allotment of hops in its organic beers and bustling outdoor patio, the Beer Buff is convinced.
I sampled Asher’s two IPAs, the Greenade Organic Double IPA and the Green Bullet Organic IPA.
The Green Bullet IPA, 7.0 percent ABV, is golden, hazy and hoppy. It features subtle hop notes on the aroma blended well with sweet caramel notes, signifying a well-balanced beer. This IPA is hoppy from the start, blends into a sweet buzzworthy backbone and finishes slightly bitter and dry.
The Double IPA is the Green Bullet’s older brother, weighing in at 9.0 percent ABV. It highlights the hop plant’s notorious bittering acids more effectively than the Green Bullet. This beer, served in a smaller glass, has a similar golden color and appearance but is certainly a beer with more hop flavor than malt.
Stop by and sample some organic suds, because it’s better for the environment. The Asher Brewing Company currently has six beers on tap and is open from 3-9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 3 -10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The brewery offers free tours on Saturdays and Sundays.
Boulder’s own Upslope Brewing Company just released another limited edition canned beer, Belgian Style Pale Ale. This beer is sold in a white can and is available at your favorite Boulder liquor stores. This beer was the company’s first GABF medal winner in the Pro-Am category.
Boulder Beer will be hosting a nationwide simultaneous tapping of the Nitro Flashback India Brown Ale on May 14 at 4:20 p.m..
Twisted Pine brewery will release a Carrot IPA as part of their Farm to Foam series supporting Colorado agriculture. The beer is a tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Boulder Farmers’ Market and will hit shelves in 750 ml bottles soon.
Oskar Blues is planning to open a new brewery restaurant in North Carolina by the end of 2012. The brewpub will be similar to its Colorado ventures, featuring beer, food and music.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Andrew Kaczmarek at Andrew.email@example.com.
- Beer Buff: Avery Brewing
- Beer Buff: Boulder Beer
- Beer Buff: Twisted Pine Brewery
- Boulder's 'beer playground'
- B is for beer: Editor of “The Oxford Companion to Beer” comes to Boulder Book Store