Emobssed bottle from the original Crystal Springs Brewing and Ice Company, photo courtesy of Rick Sinner, noted Boulder County artifacts collector and historian.
Crystal Springs Brewing Company is the culmination of a dream that began almost 10 years ago – really over 20 years ago. In 1988, my son suggested to me that we brew beer. Home brewing had been legalized in 1979 (Jimmy Carter signed the bill in 1978), but it wasn’t necessarily legal in every state, if it violated state law. I’m not sure when it became legal to brew in Colorado, but the GABF (Great American Beer Festival) began in 1981, so it may have been right away. Regardless, my son and I began our adventure in 1988. There weren’t any home brew stores around at the time, but we were able to buy ingredients from “Colonel John.” We bought a copy of Charlie Papazian’s book (still have that original copy), got the ingredients we needed and brewed from a recipe in his book – I think it was Rocky Raccoon. We were blown away when the beer turned out to be not only drinkable, but also quite good. We were hooked! I’ve been brewing ever since and so has my son.
About 10 years ago, I started thinking about starting my own brewery. At that time, it seemed like an impossibility, but my wife, Kristy, continually encouraged me and we began a journey to make it a reality. While it took some time to make it happen, it all became a reality on May 13, 2010.
It was my friend, Rick Sinner, who first suggested the idea of using the name Crystal Springs for the brewery. The first brewery located in Boulder was a brewery called Boulder City Brewing (later Boulder City Brewing and Ice Company). Frank Weisenhorn and Charles Voegtle founded it in 1875 – the same year that Boulder Prep – now Boulder High School - was founded. In 1898, Samual Pell purchased the brewery and the name was changed to Crystal Springs Brewing and Ice Company - thus, the inspiration for the name.
We may be the smallest brewery in the United States, if not the world. Because we brew in very small batches, we can adjust, change, adapt, and create beers more easily than the big brewers can. The downside is that our beers are only available locally and in limited quantities. We will be producing mostly seasonal beers – one or two will be produced year round. Check out our “What’s Brewing” section to see what we’re up to. I am hopeful that you will enjoy our beers and always look forward to the next.