Thursday, November 24, 2016

13 Colorado Brews in Texas

The ski season is starting in Colorado but the weather in Texas still hasn't made up it's mind.

Texans are lucky enough to have a variety of Colorado born beers distributed at their local watering hole.

Even though Colorado may be a thousand miles away you can have a taste of it with the 13 Colorado breweries that are distributed to Texas.

To distribute in Texas is not the easiest task to accomplish because of the antiquated and archaic TABC laws. Due to the endless paperwork, and the $5-10k cost for application fees, it is impressive seeing a out of state brewery make it across the border.  

This is a list of independent Colorado craft breweries you can find in Texas. Some are regionally specific, such as DFW, but many of them are distributed across the entire state. 

1. Avery Brewing Company | Boulder, CO 
A photo posted by Avery Brewing Co. (@averybrewingco) on
     Avery Brewing was founded in 1993 by Adam Avery when the craft beer scene was just getting started. Due to capacity restraints, the brewery left 18 states in 2010-2011 but returned in 2015 when Avery expanded it's operations doubling the capacity and allowing their classic artisan style beers such as "The Reverend" to be distributed to Texas and many other states.

2. Backcountry Brewery | Frisco, CO 

A video posted by Backcountry Brewery (@backcountrybrew) on
         Backcountry opened operations in 1996 and branched out to Texas in August of 2015. The beers where so well received the owners looked into opening a satellite brewery/taproom in Texas. A former brewery that closed its door in Rowlette, Texas allowed Backcountry to take over operations and brew their beer. In January of 2016 Backcountry officially opened its door in Texas and became a satellite brewery.  

3. Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. | Edwards, CO
     Crazy Mountain Brewing's founder was a former brewer at Anchor Brewing in California before he returned to Vail Valley in Colorado to open his own brewery in 2010. Crazy Mountain ramped up production in 2012 and distributed to several different states along with Texas. If you like West Coast IPAs mixed with a Colorado style of rich maltiness, this is your beer.

***Update - Sadly Crazy Mountain is not currently distributed in Texas.

4. Epic Brewing Company- Denver, CO

     Epic Brewing is Utah's first brewery since prohibition to brew exclusively high ABV brews. After a larger demand for their award winning beers, they expanded operations to Denver in 2013 and distributing to Texas in 2014. For those that need soul cleansing, be on the look out for the Big Bad Baptist, the 12.7% Imperial Stout. 

5. Elevation Beer Company |  Pagosa Springs, CO
A photo posted by The Elevation Team (@elevationbeerco) on

      Elevation Beer Co. is an artisan microbrewery located in Poncha Springs, Colorado. Elevation teamed up with Favorite Brands in 2013 to distribute 750ml bottles to DFW, Houston, and Austin. Texas was Elevation's first out of state distribution and is known for award winning beer. A crowd favorite, the "Bourbon Stout Oil Man" is here to warm your spirits during this cold winter season.

6. Funkwerks | Ft. Collins CO 
A photo posted by Funkwerks (@funkwerks) on

      Distributed exclusively in the DFW area in 2015 with Andrews distribution and recently signed on with FLOOD distribution in 2016.  Many a Texan have mistaken Funkwerks to be "That Fort Worth Beer" because of the FW on the tap handle. Funkwerks is one of the premier Saison breweries in the nation and is a staple in Ft. Collins.
You can find limited Kegs and Bombers in DFW and Austin markets.  

7. Great Divide Brewing Company | Denver, CO

      Great Divide was born in 1993 in Denver when the craft beer scene did not exist as we know it today. Great Divide has won 17 GABF metals over the years and is rated one of the top breweries in America. Great Divide was originally brought to Texas through Ben E. Keith and you can request it at many bars in Texas.  You can find seasonals as well as their Expresso Oak Aged Yet in your local beer stores.

8. Left Hand Brewing | Longmont, CO

A photo posted by lefthandbrewing (@lefthandbrewing) on

      Left Hand Brewing is Colorado's 4th largest brewery and exploded on the craft beer scene with the Nitro Milk Stout. Known for their bold brews and creative artwork, Left Hand is well known and distributed in most states. Distributor Ben E. Keith originally brought Left Hand to Texas and 2016 marks a important year as they transition to a canning line.  

9. New Belgium Brewing | Ft. Collins, CO
A photo posted by New Belgium Brewing (@newbelgium) on

      When you think of Colorado beer many people think of New Belgium and Fat Tire.  The brewery was founded in 1991 after the founder came back to Ft. Collins from a trip to Belgium. Known for their creative culture and eco-friendly practices, New Belgium strives to be a model company that is dedicated to it's employees, environment, community, and craft beer fans. Today, New Belgium is the 4th largest American craft brewery and the largest Colorado craft brewery distributed to Texas.

10. Odell Brewing Co | Ft. Collins, CO

       It's not a coincidence that 3 of the 13 breweries are from Ft. Collins, CO which is also home to the Cache La Poudre River.  Known for it's excellent water quality, it was an easy decision for Doug Odell to move to the area from Seattle in 1989 and open up the brewery. Texas was a enormous undertaking for the brewery as they expanded operations in 2014. On a brewery tour they show their two storage coolers for distribution. Both of them are the same size, one is for Colorado and the other states/countries they distribute to, and the other is entirely for the state of Texas. 

11. Oskar Blues Brewery | Longmont, CO

      In 2012 Oskar Blues expanded operations to Brevard, NC and in 2016 they opened a brewery and taproom in Austin, TX. Following their success that started in a pub basement in 1999, the brewery has consistently raised the bar for other craft breweries by pioneering in canning (first for craft beers) and the Crowler. The owners have not forgotten their roots even though they are one of the largest craft breweries in America. Today you can go by and visit their original pub in Lyons, CO with 45 beers on tap.

12. Ska Brewing | Durango, CO

       Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 by two friends who had two similar interests- Good craft beer and Ska music. After much success with their award winning beer and they expanded operations to Texas in 2009 and signed on with Ben E. Keith distribution.  

13. Upslope Brewing Company | Boulder, CO

       Upslope Brewing was founded in 2008 and quickly rose to popularity. Along with many other Colorado breweries, they package their beers in aluminum cans to accommodate the active Colorado lifestyle. Upslope choose Texas as their first out of state distribution in 2013. You can find their beers in DFW, Houston, Austin, and East Texas markets.

* I left out the Macro Breweries and Corporate owned (ie. Coors, Blue Moon, and Breckenridge) that are easily distributed in most states. 

The Happy Chappy (Jeff)

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