Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th St., Denver, CO 80202
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
C. Andrew Brown, Brewery Manager
Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th St. Denver, CO 80202
303-297-2700 x22; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please RSVP* by Friday, April 8, 2011 to
Cost: $15 for members/$30 for non-members
Pay at the meeting
Brewers please bring "samples" of your favorites to share at the meeting!
5:30 - 6:30
Social and brewery tours
6:30 - 6:45
6:45 - 7:45
7:45 - 8:15
The changing nature of innovation in craft brewing.
By C. Andrew (Andy) Brown
8:15 – 9:00
Closing social and door prizes
The changing nature of innovation in craft brewing
Much has changed in the world of craft brewing since the Wynkoop Brewpub first opened its doors in 1988. Today there is a much coveted award given every year by the Brewers Association named after the Wynkoop's original brewer: The Russell Scherer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing. This presentation will compare some of Russell's original recipes from the archives of the Wynkoop with more current ideas of innovation today. The intent is to define what it means to be "innovative" in a quickly changing industry. Also included will be some fun insights into the challenges and success the Wynkoop has had in attempting to redefine itself in the last few years through our efforts in self-distribution and a new joint venture with the Breckenridge Brewery.
C.V. - Brief:
Charles Andrew Brown, or Andy, is currently in charge of all things beer related at the Wynkoop Brewing Company. He attended the American Brewers Guild Craft Brewers Diploma Program shortly after moving to Colorado from his home state of Maine in 1999, followed by a brief internship at the Elysian Brewery in Seattle. Previous to attending brewing School, he worked on the bottling lines at the D.L. Geary Brewery in Maine and the defunct H.C. Berger Brewery in Fort Collins. After brewing school he landed a job brewing at Left Hand Brewery in Longmont, where he worked for seven years, becoming head brewer there. While working at Left Hand, Andy also earned an Associates of Science Degree from Front Range Community College. After Left Hand he worked for two years for Oskar Blues, helping transition to the Longmont facility, before becoming the first brewer the Wynkoop ever hired from outside the company.
Meeting Minutes/Press Release
The spring meeting for District Rocky Mountain was held at the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver on April 13. A very full bus headed down from Fort Collins and miraculously hit no traffic on I25. In total, 93 people were in attendance.
The meeting started off with a social hour, where the members enjoyed a selection of Wynkoop beers including the very tasty Coupler, a Stranahan’s barrel aged imperial milk stout. During the social Steve Presley sold stylish MBAA polo shirts (see accompanying photo 1).
After the social hour Brad Landman, one of the brewers at Wynkoop, took us on a tour of the brewery (see accompanying photo 2). Wynkoop has a 20 bbl brewhouse, made up of mash tun and brew kettle. To grain out, they use a wheelbarrow to carry the spent grain through the kitchen! In the cellar, they have mostly open fermenters, with 1 cylindro-conical fermenter. They typically keep 4 yeast strains going for their year-round beers. In addition to their year-round beers, the brewers are always experimenting with new projects. Right now they’ve got a Belgian quad with raspberries aging in an oak barrel, and they’re about to fill a Stranahan’s whiskey barrel with a barleywine they recently brewed.
In addition to serving the beers at the brewpub, they’ve started to can their beers on a 2-head canning system down in the basement. It takes 2-3 people to run it, and goes fairly slowly. They’re very excited about the recent partnership with Breckenridge Brewery down the road, and the prospect of being able to can beer there much more easily!
After the tour President Gary Dick of New Belgium Brewing Co. welcomed everyone and ran a brief business meeting (see accompanying photo 3). He started off by thanking the staff of the Wynkoop again for hosting the meeting. At this time, MBAA members were encouraged to introduce any visitors they’d brought to the meeting. Membership chairman Dana Johnson, Birko Corporation, reported that we currently have 217 members in our district.
Prior to the technical presentation, attendees enjoyed a delicious Mexican-themed dinner. The chili rellenos were hot and tasty, but the highlight for Steve of Asher Brewing was the stout float for dessert (see accompanying photo 4)!
Technical Chairman Finn Knudsen of Knudsen Beverage Consulting then introduced the guest speaker and our host of the evening, Andy Brown. Andy has been the brewery manager at Wynkoop for the past 3 years. The title of Andy’s talk was “The Changing Nature of Innovation in Craft Brewing.”
Andy started out by talking about the early days at the Wynkoop Brewery, started by now Governor John Hinkenlooper back in 1988. It was the first brewpub in the state of Colorado. Russell Schehrer was the original brewer at the Wynkoop, and the inspiration for Andy’s talk. In 1988, the brewery was a pioneer in the industry, brewing styles that were very unique at the time such as mead or chili beer, serving cask conditioned beers, and helping to revitalize a rundown neighborhood.
Andy and the other brewers’ attempt to be as pioneering in 2011 as the founders were in 1988. They do so by canning their beers, collaborating with the local arts scene and philanthropic organizations, and by being the only brewery in town to deliver beer by horse and carriage. (It’s the second largest Clydesdale fleet in the state, Andy jokes!) Andy looked at the term innovation from many different angles, to try and figure out what drives it and how we can all innovate. Today’s innovation is not coming from completely new ideas, but from synthesizing and improving upon others’ older ideas and making them our own. As an example he pointed to some of the ways brewers are being innovative with increasing alcohol content in the strongest beers being brewed and pointed out that it’s very similar to techniques in sake brewing.
Andy concluded that the customers are what drive innovation – none of us would be in business if we were only brewing to impress each other. He posed it to the group that though the Rocky Mountain region is known as “The Napa Valley of Beer” we do not really have a style of beer that we’re known for like West Coast IPA. This was just one of the many ways in which Andy Brown challenged the audience to think creatively and to strive for innovation in all that we do.
As is customary, the evening concluded with a very lively raffle of prizes supplied by many of the members. Perry Dickerson of New Belgium was probably the most excited about his raffle win (see accompanying photo 6).
The next meeting of District Rocky Mountain will be held in Fort Collins, CO on June 23rd at the Odell Brewing Company.
Master Brewers Association of the Americas District Rocky Mountain
April 20, 2011