The Napa Valley of craft beer is about to get a little foamier.
A dream that began a couple of years ago comes to fruition this weekend when 300 Suns Brewing opens at 335 First Ave.
300 Suns will be the first craft brewer to open in Longmont since Oskar Blues moved its brewing operations here from Lyons in 2008, and the first start-up craft brewery since Left Hand Brewing Co. opened in 1993.
The four founders all have full-time jobs away from the brewery. Husband and wife Dan and Jean Ditslear own Longmont-based Red Wall Communications, a marketing and public relations firm; Mark Lusher is an IT consultant who also runs a co-working space in Boulder; and Lusher's fiancee, Candace Newcomb, is a full-time accountant.
If you go
What: 300 Suns Brewing
Where: 335 First Ave., Longmont
Opens: To family and friends Friday, officially opens Saturday
"It was a bigger time committment than anything we ever anticipated," Lusher said of getting the brewery open. "We've all been in business before but there was just a lot of stuff to go over."
The partners — with the help of many friends — did as much of the finish work on the 3,000-square-foot space as they could. They bought some tables at auction and refinished them to incorporate the 300 Suns logo. They covered the bar in copper pennies and included medallions with names of people who backed them in their Kickstarter campaign, or otherwise invested in the business.
For the beer, they installed a walk-in cooler big enough to hold 10 tanks. 300 Suns is starting with a seven-barrel system. For now, they will offer growlers for sale and serve patrons in the 1,250-square-foot tasting room.
Eventually, they plan distribution to area restaurants, the owners say, and their landlord has already suggested he'll have room for them to expand production.
But first things first, and that means getting the doors open.
They'll start out with four brews: red, brown, pale ales and one they're calling a "smash" beer, made with single malt and single hops. All the ingredients from the latter beer, Lusher noted, are Colorado-sourced.
Its licenses prohibits 300 Suns' serving beers made by other breweries, but they are planning "collabeeration" brews with local home brewers.
The signs are up, the tables are in and the doors are ready to open. The opening might have seemed impossible in September.
Days after the founders had signed the lease on the building — as described in a recent 300 Suns Facebook posting — First Avenue was a flood and the water was lapping right up to the building's foundation. A sinkhole on the property behind them swallowed a couple vehicles.
"My dad used to say 'come hell or high water,'" Dan Ditslear said. "And we had high water."
Contact Times-Call staff writer Tony Kindelspire at 303-684-5291 or firstname.lastname@example.org