Crystal Springs turns 13! Want to know more? Read on.

Happy Sunday (I had intended to put this out yesterday, but our internet was down),
It’s pretty nice weather for this long weekend, so come on over today or tomorrow, enjoy a beer and sit in the sun.  We’re open today from Noon – 7:00 pm and 3:00 – 7:00 tomorrow.
We have lot of great beers on tap and to go – and Bond and Rousseau will be there to give you their incredible service.  
Our 13th Anniversary is May 13th.  Since we didn’t get to celebrate our Tenth Anniversary because of the pandemic and 13 is a special number for us, we’ve decided to go all out for this one.  We’re planning a weeklong celebration leading up to the 13th – starting May 8th.  So mark your calendars – it’s going to be quite the event.  In order to add a little depth to our celebration, I’m going to be putting out a special History of Crystal Springs Brewing Company newsletter, every other week, starting right now.
Two of the most frequent questions I get asked are, “How did you decide on the name Crystal Springs Brewing” and “Why did you decide to start a brewery and how?”
The second brewery in Boulder County was started in 1876 by Frank Weisenhorn and Charles Voegtle and named Boulder City Brewery.  On the wall by the back door in the downtown taproom, there are four photographs of the original brewery – one is a sketch the old Crystal Springs Brewing property by Joseph Bevier Sturtevant, aka “Rocky Mountain Joe.” The house in the lower-right corner of the drawing, which can still be seen today, is where unmarried brewery employees lived. (photos courtesy the Carnegie Library for Local History/Museum of Boulder collection).  By 1892, the sprawling Boulder City Brewery property had a beer garden, grape arbors, artificial lake, and ice-making equipment, which enabled it to offer the novelty of “clear, clean and wholesome ice” for sale, even in summer. In 1897, it was renamed Crystal Springs Brewing and Ice Company.  In 1901, it was sold to Illinois entrepreneurs Samuel Pells and Isidor M. Lobenstein and was producing 6,000 barrels of lager, as opposed to the 1,000 barrels it produced when it was established. My friend, Rick Sinner, an avid collector of Boulder County business artifacts, suggested we name our  brewery after it.  We liked the name and found the rights to it were available.  We produced 40 bbls in our first year and we now have the production capacity to produce over 4000 bbls this year.
Somewhere around 1990, I started homebrewing – thanks to my son, Bob, who thought it would be a great idea since it was now legal to do so in Colorado.  I did too.  We bought Charlie Papazian’s book “The Complete Joy of Home Brewing” – which I still have, a pot and carboy, and some ingredients (there were no home brew shops then, but “Colonel John” sold some ingredients for brewing out of the mudroom in the back of his house).  We brewed our first beer, waited for it to ferment, bottled it, let it bottle condition, chilled it and, finally, had our first sip.  To us it was incredible, and we were both hooked.  Bob is still an avid homebrewer and a high ranking BJCP beer judge.  Me, well……. 
Fast forward to Kristy and I having twin girls (helping me bottle in the picture above) in 1997.  Somewhere in the early part of the twenty-first century, we started looking ahead to when I might retire and how we might then get them through college.  I planned to retire the same year they would graduate high school, in 2015.  It was Kristy’s idea that we start a brewery (really, it was! The whole brewery thing is her fault).  By then I was homebrewing about every chance I got and, of course, thought that was a brilliant idea.  I started working on a business plan. In doing so, we found out we could start our brewery in a garage , thanks to Boulder County’s Home Occupation program.  (An aside:  ours was apparently the first licensed craft brewery to open in a garage in America).  It took a few years, a lot of headaches, planning, adjusting, explaining, and scheming, but by 2009 we were ready to get it going.  We had approval from the county and our neighbors, and had applied for our Brewer’s Notice with the TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau).  There are a lot of stories around all that, but in March 2010, we got the go ahead and applied for our Colorado licensing.  We got those at the end of April and decided to open on May 13, 2010.  We started with a 2/3 bbl brewhouse (20 gallons – also in the picture above) and two 20-gallon fermenters.  Our goal was to get accounts with 4 liquor stores and 2 restaurants (liquor stores were: Liquor Mart, North Boulder Liquor, Bottles and The Boulder Wine Merchant; restaurants: The Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale).  The first beer we released was Doc’s Porter (as with many of our beers, there’s a story), followed closely by Summertime Ale.  Originally we were going to call Doc’s “Port 13.”  However, the TTB disallowed it because it was “misleading” – people might mistake it for port wine.  When I taught at Boulder High School everyone called me Doc (I’m actually a doctor, just not a medical doctor – instead of an MD, I have a DMA).  Kristy felt we should name it Doc’s and our family and friends agreed.
Next issue:  More of the beers we released that first year, growing pains, stories, and searching for another location.
Cheers, Tom