Roaring Fork Beer Co. celebrates 1-year anniversary with birthday bash
If You Go...
Who: Roaring Fork Beer Company
What: RFBC’s 1-year Birthday Bash
When: 2-10 p.m. on Saturday
Where: Roaring Fork Beer Company
How Much: Free admission
When Chase Engel and his wife, Aly Sanguily, opened Roaring Fork Beer Company (RFBC) a year ago, they had a vision for brewing seasonal beers and getting local brews in restaurants and bars all along the valley.
And they did that. But they were so successful right off the bat that they started packaging and distributing cans and bottles and getting their beer in liquor stores, too.
The process for opening up their brewery was a long one; Engel took about a year developing a business plan and another six months lining up investors. But Sanguily said those were steps they could take on their own; the real challenge would be getting the community through the door.
“We were just mostly concerned about how the valley was going to react to a new brewery,” she said. “We were lucky enough to be welcomed with open arms right away. By this Saturday, we will have sold 1,000 barrels of beer, which is 30 percent more than our projection.”
To celebrate their first successful year in business, RFBC is hosting a birthday bash from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday at the brewery. The event will feature five tappings, live music by Wink and the Signal from 7 to 9 p.m., birthday cake donated by Sunshine & Moons bakery in Glenwood Springs, food by SILO, happy hour all day, tours, raffle prizes and the announcement of the winner of RFBC’s first homebrew competition at 5 p.m. The birthday bash is not a ticketed event, and children are welcome.
The event on Saturday is the culmination of a week of special celebrations which coincided with Colorado Craft Beer Week. From Monday through Thursday, RFBC paired four beers of choice with four bites from SILO in its tap room. Tuesday featured a beer dinner at Town with six courses and six craft beers. A chocolate and cheese pairing with four beers took place on Thursday.
One of the most anticipated parts of the Saturday birthday bash is the announcement of the winner of RFBC’s first homebrew competition, entries for which were taken from Jan. 28 through March 14. Sanguily said 42 beers were submitted, and some were even shipped from Ohio, Minnesota and other states.
The first place winner of the competition will have the opportunity to brew their winning beer on RFBC’s commercial brewhouse, have their beer tapped in the tasting room and be entered into the Pro-Am Competition at the Great American Beer Festival.
This is just one of many examples of how RFBC has acted as more than just a brewery; it’s an entity focused on building community, and that’s always been one of Sanguily and Engel’s goals.
“We try to focus on being involved in non-profit events,” Sanguily said. “We do this on a first come, first served basis, and we try to support one non-profit a month.”
RFBC has sponsored the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities’ (CCAH) Green is the New Black fashion show, it will sponsor CCAH’s Mountain Fair this year, it donated beer for the Carbondale Clay Center’s “Pairings” earlier this month, and it’s worked with Sustainable Settings and more.
Looking ahead, Sanguily said plans for the next year will focus on expansion.
“We are thinking about expanding toward the Vail and Eagle Valley area,” she said, adding that they’re also looking at getting more equipment.
For now, though, Sanguily and Engel are focused on celebrating what they’ve already been able to accomplish in the last year with the support of their community.
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