Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mountain Brew - Yes, It's My Book - Debuts Friday

Anyone who follows this blog knows its author's proclivity for drinking and writing. And they may have noticed too how all of that seemed to stop from January through mid-June of this year.

Well, here's what happened: In that time period, I was penning my first book, a look at each of the state's breweries and their unique personalities. And tomorrow, Mountain Brew: A Guide to Colorado's Breweries officially comes out.

The book is a labor of love for which I spent nearly two years travelling throughout the state to visit every brewery and to sit down with their brewers or owners and talk about the business. It does not feature critiques of beers, though it does list the signature beers of each establishment. Instead, it's meant to tell the stories of each institution and to serve as a companion guide for anyone who wants to travel through a city or even the state, visit breweries and understand the history of the beer makers they are enjoying.

Those who may want to visit some of the larger and better known breweries in the state can find out more about the outsized personalities in the industry in Colorado. When did Brian Dunn have the revelation that led him to open Great Divide? How did Kim Jordan come up with the idea of granting ownership in New Belgium to her employees? What is the most important thing Doug Odell wants people to know about his brewery? (Hint: It has nothing to do with Odell beer.)

Maybe the part I enjoyed most, though, was learning about the breweries in towns as small as 450 people across the state that rarely pop up on Denver beer-bar taps or at beer festivals but that have fantastic stories to tell. These are places like Three Barrel Brewing in Del Norte, a quiet San Luis Valley town where owner Jim Bricker brews his recipes in a room in the back of his insurance office. Or Ourayle House, a Ouray outpost where James Paul Hutchison makes 1-1/2-barrel batches that he hawks from a swing behind his bar and that he once traded for elk cleaned off a highway. Or Dolores River Brewery north of Cortez, where former Rock Bottom pioneer Mark Youngquist doles out as assortment of non-style-specific ales to rooms packed with what can be as much as 10 percent of the 800-person town's population on a Friday night.
The book will be available at local bookstores and national chains, at a number of breweries and online at places like Amazon or the website of my publisher, History Press. I'm also planning a number of book-signing events, including two launch parties: At 6 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Denver Press Club and at 4 p.m. on Aug. 6 at Strange Brewing in Denver. I'd love to see any readers there.

Also, I've expanded beyond the blog and now have a Facebook page (Mountain Brew), a website for the book and a Twitter account at @MtnBrewBook. Between this site and those, I'm hoping to spend even more time writing about beer and exploring the breweries of this state.

In the end, if no one bought the book, I'd still look back fondly on my travels across the state, my conversations with the good people in this brewing industry and the adventures that come when you're trying to cram nine brewery visits into one weekend. (A special shout-out goes to Tony Simmons of Pagosa Brewing, who began our 10 a.m. interview by serving me a three-year flight of his barleywines.)

But I'm hoping a few people might buy Mountain Brew and learn the sheer joy, as I did, of the all-encompassing brewery culture of Colorado. And hopefully, I'll even see a few of you when I'm out at those breweries in the months to come.



Congrats on your new book! I look forward to reading it soon.
Hi there, just found you and the book via Twitter. Whenever I see a book like this I wonder how up to date it is or if the author intends to do updated editions. It seems there are brew pubs opening every day here in Colorado. We have several brand news one just in the last year! Glad to connect!
You're right, Heidi. Ed said at his book signing at the Denver Press Club Thursday night 6 more breweries have opened since he sent the book to the publisher May 1.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?