The Denver craft beer scene is a community of mutual support. Although each brewery is technically in competition with every other brewery, that’s not the vibe broadcasted. Instead of backstabbing and undercutting each other like in so many other industries, the folks in craft beer promote each other and team-up for collaboration beers and tasting events. What can the laypeople—the non-brewers—do to get in on the lovefest? Not much, unfortunately; we can write nice things and we can buy their product but that’s pretty much the extent of it. Gardiner Hammond, brewer and owner of Alpine Dog Brewing Company, seeks to change that.
Alpine Dog is a brewery that’s yet-to-be but, with the help of beer geeks like you and me, “Denver’s first people’s brewery” will be up and running in no time. It just needs to procure brewing equipment and a location. That’s where you come in.
Visit Alpine Dog’s Kickstarter.com page to contribute funds to this endeavor. Hammond, who has previously supported beer documentaries such as Beer Hunter: The Movie and Two Girls One Pint via Kickstarter.com, may be asking for help but he isn’t asking for hand-outs; every person who donates will receive a prize that is in proportion to the monetary gift they give. For example, if you’re a little light in wallet and can only give $5, you will get a complimentary Alpine Dog sticker. If, however, you have $5,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you will have the opportunity to brew a commercial-sized batch of beer on the Alpine Dog system (Hammond is gunning for 7 barrels) plus every prize associated with those who contributed less. Basically, you could get a batch of beer, a sticker, and everything in between. The Alpine Dog Kickstarter page explains in more detail what you can get and for how much money.
Denver loves craft beer but we wouldn’t back something subpar. Not to worry, Hammond has a proven track record. As a student at Santa Clara University, a friend introduced Hammond to homebrewing and, from there, he taught himself the finer points of brewing through books and online sources. After college, Hammond started brewing for Old Mill Brewery & Grill in Littleton but he never gave up homebrewing; his homemade beers won him awards at the 2011 Colorado State Fair as well as the 2012 Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines.
When Alpine Dog opens its doors (probably either in Highlands or Capitol Hill), you can expect a very rustic, mountain-themed taproom and, perhaps down the road, a brewery-sponsored mountain bike and ski/snowboard club. As Hammond describes himself as an experimental brewer, you can also expect a wide array of beer selections. Although there will be a beer for every palate, there will be an emphasis on big, hoppy beers as Stone Brewing Co.’s Arrogant Bastard was one of the beers that turned Hammond on to the craft scene. There will also be an abundance of Belgian-style beers available.
It’s a crowded beer community here in Denver but any beer geek will tell you that there’s always room for more. Besides, never before has the beer-drinking public had the chance to be such a big part of a brewery’s creation. Go to Kickstarter.com now to support your local brewer.