The most recent addition to our New Brewery Series is Lofty Brewing, who will dethrone Great Storm Brewing as the smallest brewery in the region. Yes, this 1bbl nano-brewery is the same size brewery as GSB, but Lofty will operate out of a 150 square foot space and will sell their beer to different accounts in town without a taproom of their own. Compare their operation to the soon-to-open Red Leg Brewing, who will start with a 15bbl brewery with four 30bbl fermenters in a 5,000 square foot space and you get a picture of how nano this nano-brewery will be.
I like the idea that "Lofty," which means tall, high, comes in the smallest and humblest of packages. We caught up with Matthew Tussey, the brewer, and asked a few questions about his plans. Here's the interview we conducted by email:
What size brewery will you open, do you have an opening date, and where will you be located?
We are starting out as a wholesale 1 BBL nano-brewery, providing Colorado sourced tasty beverages to local bars and restaurants in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas. We've received our approval from the Tax and Trade Bureau [two weeks ago] and will submit our state paperwork next week. We have a small brewing space located at Fillmore and N. Prospect St. so, while we anticipate being fully operational by early June, our brewery won't be open for visitors until we expand in the future.
How did the name Lofty Brewing come into existence and who are the people behind the operation?
My wife and I love beer and the process of brewing. As Colorado natives, we have a strong family and friend base in Colorado and found ourselves sharing our love with many and talking about opening a brewery. Things fell into place when we found an affordable small space to start.
We want to provide interesting, high quality beer to our customers and recognize that we are living in the beer “Mecca”. So, we will strive to produce a Lofty beer to meet those Lofty expectations.
How did you decide you wanted to brew beer commercially?
Who doesn't want to? :-) We started as most do, homebrewing. After a few years of brewing we entered a competition in Denver to get some constructive feedback and took second place for our Colorado Chili Wheat. We always wanted to brew on a larger scale, but wanted to ensure that our product was tasty to discriminating palates, not just ours. We are building our brewery in small, controlled steps and will transition into a larger operation when the time is right.
What's your vision for the brewery, your plans, your goals and hopes?
We hope to expand our space to a customer-facing tap room within 3-5 years. As Colorado natives, our biggest hope is to have a name that becomes synonymous with Colorado Springs and partner with other local businesses and brewers to promote our state's greatest craft! My wife and I dream of retiring from "work" and just running the brewery.
The brewery's Facebook page mentions beers such as: Zeb's American Red, Dirty Thirty IPA, Colorado Chili Wheat, and A Lofty Pumpkin Ale. Sometime this summer we should start seeing their beers around town and at summer beer festivals. Lofty doesn't yet have accounts set up but they'll use FB and Twitter to send their fans down to specific bars when a beer is ready. I get a visual of one keg of beer showing up at a bar and droves of people coming in saying "I heard you had Lofty on tap?"
If Lofty's success is anything like the other local breweries in town, no doubt they'll want to expand within a years timing, and not a whole 3-5 years out. For me, Lofty will be interesting to follow because start-up operation costs look as if they've been kept to an absolute bare minimum. Many people dream of starting up a brewing operation but the costs involved seem daunting. Well, what if you could do it super cheaply and grow out of your garage space one keg at a time? How many brewers could do this before there are too many of them? Or because their size affords the opportunity to capture an extremely targeted local following, does the quantity of nano-breweries even affect the rest of the market? Lofty will be a fascinating operation to follow.
The Lofty Brewing logo was designed by Paul Moline, who has a nice portfolio of beer logos.
We'll keep everyone posted when we start hearing about and seeing Lofty around town. Until then, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and check out their website.
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