Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bootstrap Brewing

Back in the stone age, beer-drinking was something for the guys. The gals sipped fruity cocktails or wine.

Now, beer is an equal-opportunity beverage, and the soon-to-open brewery in Niwot, Bootstrap Brewing, is a husband-wife partnership.

Steve and Leslie Kaczeus will be hands-on owners, which is exactly what they want to be. "She wants to bring in the woman's perspective," Steve said of his wife. "It's kind of a nice balance."

Steve started home brewing in 1993, and soon the couple starting introducing craft beers to their friends.

They look like they're having fun, right?
Yep, that's the kind of friends you want - the ones that invite you over for beer sampling.

The couple said that some people who were initially wary of hoppy or dark beers often changed their minds. "We gave them a safe place to try a sip," Steve said.

Makes sense. If order a glass of beer in a restaurant or bar, you feel kind of obligated to drink it, so it's difficult to try something new. What if you don't like it?

But when a friend offers a taste, it's a lot easier to take a sip and then maybe try something different. But after a few sips, a lot of those folks got used to the stronger flavors and decided they actually liked more than just light beers.

While Steve was the one who graduated from the American Brewer’s Guild to learn how to brew beer, Leslie is working on becoming a member of the Pink Boot Society - a group for women who are involved in the beer world.

Those women might be brewers or beer writers, but they key is that they have to make some income in the industry. It won't be long before Leslie can join.

Meanwhile, the couple is hoping the new brewery will be a destination location that will draw customers from all over the local area - as well as tourists who love beer. They're also hoping it will also become a spot where the local hang out and relax. And Leslie is determined that the gals will be just as welcome as the guys.

Leslie was happy to introduce her friends to more interesting brews, and she hopes to do the same for the customers who stop by, with educational events like beer-pairings featuring food from local restaurants. The brewery won't be serving its own food, but Steve and Leslie were talking about having food trucks stop by and maybe some catered food, as well.

What was most obvious when I interviewed these two was how much fun they were having and how excited they were to open the brewery, be part of the community, and have a business that both of them can participate in.

And they've got lots of ideas. Niwot has long mourned the loss of Rev Taylor's restaurant that drew people to the town - could this be the new destination location? Given the enthusiasm these two have for their business and for the town, it's a possibility.

Bootstrap Brewing is on schedule to open on June 20 at 6778 North 79th Street in Niwot, just south of Cottonwood Park Shopping Center. Customers will be able to purchase tasting flights, pints and 64-ounce growlers to take home.

Initial hours for the tasting room will be Monday-Thursday 3-8 p.m. and Friday-Sunday noon to 8 p.m., but that may change. You can follow the progress of the construction on Facebook.

Here's more on Bootstrap Brewing on Boulder County Eats.
And in the Boulder Daily Camera.