I was with Bryan Selders the other day and he was eating a burrito. Frankly, he seemed pretty damn happy about it. The sun is out, which means it has stopped raining, which is a major break from the storms and floods that have been ravaging Northern Colorado for the better part of the week. Bryan recently moved from Delaware to Erie, taking his whole family with him, and I can only imagine what it must be like to experience this Colorado summer as your first.
“My 8 year old thinks he can control the weather, so this rain has really been going to his head,” he tells me. All that aside, he’s glad to be in Colorado and back doing what he loves – brewing beer.
Brian shocked the brewing world a few years ago by announcing his departure from Dogfish Head Brewing in Delaware to pursue web design. “It was an amicable separation. Sure, Sam (Calagione – owner) wasn’t thrilled about it since we had been working together for so long,” Bryan says. “Before I left town we had our last ‘man date’. He had snuck a bottle of Jack Daniels into the movies to add to our diet cokes. We’re at that age now, where we have to drink diet.”
With the hiatus behind him, the itch for brewing started up again about a year ago. In June, Big Red F restaurants went on a hunt for a lead brewer for Post Brewing Company – a restaurant concept they were developing for the town of Lafayette. Big Red F bought the old VFW building in downtown Lafayette, an 8000 square foot facility with just as much room outside as in. It was a move done in part to help revitalize downtown Lafayette – a long-term project orchestrated by the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority. Established in 1999 by the city council, the goal LURA is to transform blighted areas into a vibrant downtown area with economic and tourist opportunities. With the transformation of the old VFW building, Post Brewing will serve as an anchor to development in the area.
What is such a well-known brewer doing out in the suburbs? To my own recent revelation – there is something pretty heavy going on with beer in Lafayette and the Northern Colorado towns. Longmont is already a heavyweight with Oskar Blues and Left Hand. Grimm Brothers, Verboten, Loveland Aleworks are sudsing up Loveland. City Star from Berthoud is winning all kinds of awards. Post isn’t even close to being Lafayette’s first brewery – with Odd 13 and Front Range Brewing setting up shop months ago.
And there is more, a lot more, going on up in that area. With such a massively untapped market, what is Selders ready to bring to the table?
“I use an American Pilsner whenever I’m working with a hop flavor that I really want to showcase,” Selders says. With numerous hop farms across the front range, he’ll have plenty of local options to choose from. An IPA will certainly be in the mix, as well as a 3% beer that will serve as the brewery’s “session” beer.
With the new brewhouse comes opportunities for Big Red F to bring their previous brews in-house. In the past, Odell’s brewed an oyster stout to be served at Jax Fish House while Upslope is currently canning the Top Rope Mexican Lager that is only sold at Big Red F places like Lola and Centro. Selders is looking to bring these brews in house to make them uniquely his own. Additionally, he will be working with chefs to create specialty brews to pair with seasonal menus.
One thing craft beer fanatics aren’t likely to see? Brews that resemble Dogfish Head. While the separation was justified, Selders is looking to move his brewing in a new direction and implementing his discoveries from years of personal R&D. “Otherwise, it’d be like taking a step backward.”
As for the Post Brewing kitchen? It’s gonna be chicken – fried, rotisserie, as you have it – and beers to pair. Served in-house or through a pickup window where you could grab dinner and a growler to go.
Post Brewing Company is looking to open in late November with a Grand Opening in early December.