Founded: Opening Wednesday
Address: 6880 Winchester Circle, Boulder
The latest addition to Boulder's booming brewing scene will open its doors this week.
The Kettle & Stone Brewing Co., a startup brewery with a name that pays homage to the pure foundation of brewing (the brew kettle and the millstone), has set up shop at 6880 Winchester Circle in the Gunbarrel Technology Center.
Purity, quality and craftsmanship are the cornerstones of the brewing outfit where "all are welcome," said Eric Huber, The Kettle & Stone's head brewer, who founded the operation with cousin Sanjiv Patel, a veteran brewery accounting manager, and neighbor Marty Lettow, a Lutheran pastor and homebrewer.
"We're not going for insane volume," said Huber, who previously brewed for the likes of Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery and Oskar Blues Brewery " ... The beer will sell itself when the quality is really high."
The Kettle & Stone crew have worked to construct the brewery in relative stealth mode since moving forward on the business plan in December 2011, signing the lease in August of last year and creating the space during the past few months.
Huber, Patel and Lettow poured hours, day and night, into making The Kettle & Stone's home, hand-crafting the space -- including the bar and the wooden tap handles -- to serve as a neighborhood gathering place and a hub for the eventual growth of what now is a 10-barrel brewhouse.
"We kind of wanted this to be a landing spot for a wide genre of personalities," Lettow said, noting the potential for events such as on-site "beer weddings," bands and yoga classes.
The hope is for The Kettle & Stone to be a hub for a diverse neighboring landscape that includes some of Boulder County's largest employers, including Micro Motion and IBM. It also sits within an area of Boulder where thousands reside and several large-scale developments -- including a hotel, apartment buildings and Avery Brewing -- are, or soon will be, under way.
"It was just a matter of finding the right location," Huber said.
Keeping the efforts mum, however, proved difficult as word quickly spread around the neighboring business park and Lettow's church.
When Lettow recently passed out fliers to some employees of Micro Motion recently, he discovered The Kettle & Stone was the park's worst-kept secret.
"They said, 'Oh, we already know, and we're going to slam you (on opening day)," Lettow said.
The Kettle & Stone plans to open Wednesday with three beers -- Opening Day IPA, Freedom Stout and Solstice Wheat.
The brewery has eight taps, which will allow for the eventual dispensing of a variety of small-batch beer and ginger ale offerings.
In addition to developing a ginger ale portfolio, The Kettle & Stone crew hopes that the brewing system, process and results could help the brewery differentiate itself from others in the increasingly crowded local craft beer industry.
The brewhouse was custom-designed and includes several valves on the brew kettle to control the temperature.
"It's sort of like cooling spaghetti on your stove," Huber said. "If it starts to boil over, you turn the heat down."
Playing a starring role in the process is the hopback system, a tank with a colander that can hold roughly 8 to 10 pounds of hops. The device is used during the brewing process and allows for some of the dramatic flavors and aromas of the hops to be infused into the beer.
The intention is to use the hopback for the addition of other unique aromas and flavors from ingredients that could range from orange peels and wood chips to rose petals.
Once The Kettle & Stone is operational, the short-to-long-term plans involve growing into distributing the beer through keg accounts, or selling into restaurants and bars, and selling its beer wholesale in cans and bottles.
The Kettle & Stone's owners say they hope to bring the custom and unique elements of the brewing process to the wholesale market by offering can-conditioned and bottle-conditioned beers, which involves the yeast triggering a slow and natural carbonation in the bottle or can.
Being somewhat unique could be key to future growth, but The Kettle & Stone does not want to be an island, Huber said.
The proximity of Asher Brewing Co., Bootstrap Brewing and the eventual arrival of Avery Brewing Co.'s new brewery in Gunbarrel are critical to The Kettle & Stone's success, he said.
Adam Avery, founder of Boulder's Avery Brewing, said the diversity of craft beer choices would increase the vibrancy of Gunbarrel, which he argues should be renamed to reflect the booming sector.
"I don't think there's any guns being produced out there any more," Avery said. "So why not go with 'Beerbarrel'?"
Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.