On Tap: Offseason suds at Aspen Brewing Company | AspenTimes.com

On Tap: Offseason suds at Aspen Brewing Company


Aspen Brewing Co. Tap Room

304 E. Hopkins

Open noon-midnight, seven days a week

Brewery tours by appointment


After spending a recent weekend at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, it got me thinking more and more about the craft-beer culture — and our hometown brewery, Aspen Brewing Co.

Though it didn’t hold down a booth at the festival this year — hundreds of others did, including many mountain-town breweries (see High Country Hops in this week’s edition of the Aspen Times Weekly) — Aspen Brewing Co. is firmly rooted in the state’s beer world. The decision not to participate in this year’s Great American Beer Festival was a strategic one, said brewery founder and owner Duncan Clauss.

“To me, (the festival) is awesome,” he said. “But as it grows bigger and bigger, we have to weigh the impact of being part of it and the cost.

“I imagine we’ll go back another year or at least do a tap takeover. The (festival) isn’t just about the festival; Denver goes crazy for this. Colorado in general loves its craft beer.”

And Aspenites love Clauss and his brew crew, who are hard at work this offseason getting ready for the winter ahead.

“This is a big production time for us,” Clauss said recently from the company’s production facility at the Aspen Business Center. “No rest for the weary.”

Among the beers being brewed at the moment are a new imperial stout that will be released before Thanksgiving; its seasonal, award-winning Belgian Farmhouse Saison that will now be available year-round; and for the fall, the Double Conundrum Red Ale. It also is barrel-aging some beers for the Big Beers Belgians & Barleywine Festival in Vail this winter.

“That’s really a great niche: high-end craft beer,” Clauss said. “We’re looking forward to that.”

Aspen Brewing Co. also is looking forward to expanding its reach outside the state (it is about to install five new tanks that will nearly triple its production capacity) but recognizes that locals are its bread and butter.

“We’re a local company run by locals — and we love to serve locals and get the Aspen name out there,” Clauss said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User