All posts by redwall

Curse of the Rabbit Mountain Red

It all started with our first batch of Rabbit Mountain Red Ale. It was our very first beer brewed on our system. And admittedly, we were not prepared for some things that happened…in short, we lost half the batch. But we had made beer, and we thought all was well! And, we hoped for something close to the Red we had lovingly honed while homebrewing. Perhaps the Curse started then, who knows….

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Then our much needed third fermentor came, and the Curse took strong hold. A bubble caught in the glycol line caused the temps in the fermentors to skyrocket. Our second batch of Rabbit Mountain was still beer, but with all that had happened, what would it taste like?

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The Angry Rabbit Mountain Red was born. And customers enjoyed it…sometimes too much. It was malty sweet, went down smooth and weighed in at 8% ABV – so it hit us like a ton of bricks in its delicious drinkability.

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We brewed it a third time hitting the original recipe on the mark. All went well and we thought the Curse and the high octane Angry Rabbit were behind us. We made the Rabbit Mountain Red and it was still malty and sweet but more balanced. And, you could drink more than one of them – always a plus on a night out with friends.

And then the Curse of the Rabbit struck again. One dark and stormy night (pretty much any night, the way this summer has been going), Mark needed to catch up on the brewing and decided to brew two beers in one day. All seemingly went well despite the early hour he completed his task (3:00 am).  We thought we had the next batch of Rabbit Mountain Red Ale in the fermentor, soon to be ready for our growing numbers of Rabbit Mountain Red lovers.

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Then, Mark transferred it and something was amiss. The color was not quite right, the flavor delicious, but not our beloved Red.

The curse had struck again! It turns out that in the wee hours of brewing, Mark had forgotten to add an itty bitty 20 pound bag of malt. We can hardly blame him, knowing that it was all the fault of THE CURSE. (Duh duh dummmmmmmmm…did you do the foreboding music in your head with us?)

We assure you, we are brewing it up again. And we are crossing our fingers, collecting four-leaf clovers, avoiding breaking mirrors and black cats, placing our horseshoes the right way, and blessing each other every time we sneeze.

In the mean time, take a taste of our Curse of the Rabbit Mountain Ale. Sit back, relax, and, well…who knows what will happen next…

UPDATE:

Mark and Candace got married (that’s not the Cursed part of the story, silly!) and that week Dan and Jean brewed the Rabbit Mountain Red Ale. OR SO THEY THOUGHT…One of the bag’s of grain, a large part of the grain bill, 120L Crystal Malt, was actually only 45 L. The type on the bag was smeared and it looked like 120…really it did. AND THE CURSE was brewed again.

 

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Name the White IPA

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Help us name our White IPA, and you could win a gift certificate from 300 Suns Brewing!

White IPA
IBUs 80, ABV 5.6%
Part of our Shades of IPA series. Crisp and refreshing grapefruity tartness with a tinge of pepper zing. Dry-hopped with Chinook hops.

What is a White IPA? A white IPA is a beer that mixes the hop-character and brewing techniques of an India Pale Ale with the wheat base of the refreshing Belgian wit beer. Our White IPA is brewed with white wheat to give it a lighter body and refreshing zing for summer.

How to enter:

Post your suggested name for the White IPA in a comment to our contest post on Facebook, or on Twitter using #300whiteIPA and @300sunsbrewing in your post.

Originality of name will be considered, so look on Google, RateBeer and Untappd for reference of whether the name you suggest is in use by anyone already..

Entries may also be submitted in writing in person or via mail to 300 Suns Brewing, 335 1st Ave, Unit C, Longmont, CO 80501. Mail in entries must be received by Jul 14, 2014. Names must be in good taste. 300 Suns Brewing reserves the right to delete any entries that are not seemed in good taste.

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Official Rules:

The “Name Our White IPA Contest” is sponsored 300 Suns Brewing. This contest is governed by these official rules (“Official Rules”). By participating in the contest, each entrant agrees to abide by these Official Rules, including all eligibility requirements, and understands that the results of the contest, as determined by Sponsor and its agents, are final in all respects. The contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law.

No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest. Must be 21 years of age or older to enter and a citizen of the United States.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to 300 Suns Brewing, not Facebook or Twitter

Entering: Post your suggested name for the White IPA in a comment to our contest post on Facebook, or on Twitter using #300whiteIPA and @300sunsbrewing in your post. Entries may be submitted in writing in person or via mail to 300 Suns Brewing, 335 1st Ave, Unit C, Longmont, CO 80501. Mail in entries must be received by Jul 14, 2014. Names must be in good taste. 300 Suns Brewing reserves the right to delete any entries that are not seemed in good taste.

Name will be chosen by the owners of 300 Suns Brewing based on how well they fit the brand and also taking into consideration how original the name is. Final name becomes the sole property of 300 Suns Brewing. By entering this contest, contestants relinquish all rights to the name they submit.

Contest runs from July 3 – July 14, 2014. Contest winner will be announced via Facebook and Twitter and it will be the responsibility of the winner to claim their prize. Prize is a $19.00 gift certificate to 300 Suns Brewing. Gift certificate can not be exchanged for cash value. Odds of winning depend on entries received.  Winner agrees that their first name (or first and last name with permission) may be used in promotional material online when announcing the winner of the contest.

INDEMNIFICATION AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, EACH ENTRANT AGREES TO INDEMNIFY, RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS 300 Suns Brewing AND ITS PARENT, AFFILIATE AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES, THE FACEBOOK and TWITTER PLATFORMS, ADMINISTRATORS, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL AGENCIES, AND ALL THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS FROM ANY LIABILITY, DAMAGES, LOSSES OR INJURY RESULTING IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, FROM THAT ENTRANT’S PARTICIPATION IN THE SWEEPSTAKES AND THE ACCEPTANCE, USE OR MISUSE OF ANY PRIZE THAT MAY BE WON. SPONSOR AND ITS PARENT, AFFILIATE AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES DO NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE CONDITION, FITNESS OR MERCHANTABILITY OF THE PRIZE. SPONSOR AND ITS PARENTS, SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL AGENCIES, AND ALL THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS DISCLAIM ANY LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO ANY COMPUTER SYSTEM RESULTING FROM ACCESS TO OR THE DOWNLOAD OF INFORMATION OR MATERIALS CONNECTED WITH THE CONTEST.

Big Brew Day!

Ok, we had such a blast on Big Brew Day! Takeaways:

1. Home brewers are some of the nicest people around. I’m not just saying that because one of them is my brother. The home brewers in BRUDE home brew group are typical of what we find of homebrewers everywhere. Nice, funny, fun and really enjoy a cold brew.

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Me (Jean), and my favorite brewer, my brother, on Big Brew Day.

2. There’s no right way to home brew.  These home brewers had equipment as simple as a pot on a burner all the way up to 3 kegs that were individually heat-sourced and converted into a home brewing system, mini-pumps housed in tool boxes and chill plates.

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3.  Home brewing allows you to be fun and creative. Recipes ranged from a simple pale to one with Hibiscus added at the end  into the fermentor. But most importantly, they MADE BEER! And making beer on any scale is really, really awesome. No seriously, it is, these guys are like heroes.

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Heroes

4. Home brewers will drink your beer even when they don’t like it because they are cool. Did I mention they MAKE BEER?

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BRUDE Big Brew day

Liquid Sunshine Club

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Introducing, our new club membership called the Liquid Sunshine Club. For $85 first year membership you get the following perks:

  • 20 oz. pours for the price of a 16 oz. pint (excludes other discounts & happy hours as well as beers normally served in 10 oz. tulip glasses)
  • $1 off growler fills at any time
  • free t-shirt for first year’s membership
  • 15% off merchandise (applies to regularly-priced merchandise only)
  • your email will be added to our newsletter list to be informed of upcoming events.

C’mon in today to join!

Happy Hour, Ladies Night and IPAs

Our “Your Two Cents” Jar is hard at work! We read everyone’s suggestions and implement what we think will bring a better experience to our customers.  Two of the things that have come out of that so far are the request for a happy hour and more hoppy beers for Hop Heads.
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So, we have added a happy hour which means $1 off pints for you, Monday – Wednesday 2-6pm. And because –  well we don’t really know why – but being a woman myself, I’m not going to question the rationale of LADIES NIGHT! I mean, $1 off pints for women all day Wednesday…really? Who cares why, we’re doin it.

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Mark has started what he is calling “Shades of IPA” which will be an experimental series of hoppy beers in various styles. The first of the series is out: Sunglasses at Night American Dark Ale. At 86 IBUs this Ale is black as night with roasted flavors on the front end followed by a strong hoppy finish.

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Final thoughts before we open

We’ve been asked lately why we decided to open a brewery and what it’s been like to go through this process. And because we are in the process of starting a brewery, our brows wrinkle and our eyes gloss over (We could all use a little sleep!). Well, here’s a little about it.

Why start a brewery?

We wish we could say something so unique that it knocks everyone’s socks off. But, 300 Suns Brewing was really just an idea brought up years ago, that kept surfacing every time a brewery was toured, a GABF was attended, a new craft beer was tasted, a bottle of homebrew was shared on the back deck in the cool summer evening air. It was just a dream and one day (gulp), we worked up the nerve to make it a reality. We wanted to put our time and our work into something that brought joy to others the way those moments brought joy to us. And we wanted to give our customers very meaningful ways that they could become part of the shaping of our brewery.

We had lots of ideas

Most of them sounded really awesome, especially when generated during a “tasting” session or a “research trip” to a local brewery. Many of them were discarded. Starting a brewery is a lot of work and it has taken a lot of editing on our part to put many of our ideas on the backburner because of time or money. That’s harder than it sounds. But, we hope it means we have lots of ideas to keep everything fresh in the coming years!

There are moments when you wonder if it is all going to go up in flames, or down in water.

A few days after we leased our space, the flood came. We nervously visited the building, watching 1st Avenue become an actual river and the water creep up the sides of the building, never making it in. Many were less fortunate, and the flood only delayed us a bit. We felt very lucky – so lucky that we named our pale ale after the temporary river.

Starting any business and dealing with plumbing, electric, licensing, permitting, etc. means that something can go wrong at every turn. And it seemed as some points that nothing was going to go smoothly, and we were never going to get around to the fun part…brewing and serving beer! We invested a lot in infrastructure that the customer will never see. BUT, our toilets flush, so that’s a really good thing.

One of our first deliveries of malt on a pallet rolled down the truck, through our garage door and into the tasting room, gaining speed at an ungodly rate. It nearly crashed through the glass-windowed wall but was stopped just a few inches to spare. I saw the life of the brewery flash before my eyes…then I immediately went over to smell the malt. It was calming.

Beer is a baby

So, we love our beer. It took months and months to hone the recipes, weekend after weekend of homebrewing double batches. And it was amazing when we created beers that we loved. But it’s one thing loving your own beer, it’s another pleasing the palates of customers.

The first time you serve your beer it’s like showing your newborn to a stranger and wondering if they think the baby is as cute as you do. We had a few opportunities before we started the build out phase to serve our test batches of beer to complete strangers. We had a private tasting and we got to serve at Longmont’s Oktoberfest. There is nothing more exhilarating and also as nerve-wracking as watching the reaction as each person took a sip. (Please love our baby, please love our baby.) But, man, was it addictive! It is life-affirming to create, serve and enjoy craft beer. The night of Oktoberfest, we all fell asleep with smiles on our faces knowing this was, well, right.

Everything is perfectly not perfect

It is really, really hard to put a lot of sweat, blood (literally, don’t look too close) and tears into constructing a brewery and making craft beer, only for it not to be perfection. We envisioned our first beers to be breathtaking, our penny countertop to be glass smooth, our woodwork to be flawless. They aren’t.

But what they are is something much better. The imperfections mean nearly everything in the brewery and certainly all the beer served here is hand crafted with passion. It means we learned something along the way. And it means we made some unexpected mistakes that turned out to be blessings. Building the brewery and crafting these first beers has taught us that owning a brewery is going to be a journey. One which will be fun and challenging. And the results, we hope, will be much better than perfection. The results will be interesting, sometimes flawed and always from the heart. And as for the journey, we really hope you will enjoy coming along on it with us.

Opening Date

Here we go people! We have set the tentative opening date for February 22. If all goes as planned (of course, when has any of it gone as planned?!?!?!) then we should be able to serve up our first beers that day. It’s been a hard, exciting journey and many things haven’t gone as planned, but many things have fallen into place thanks to great support from family and friends both old and new!

We look forward to the many trials and tribulations, as well as good times to continue as we strive to bring good beer and a community gathering place to Longmont, Colorado!

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Penny bartop – it took DAYS to lay down all these pennies. There are some foreign ones courtesy of Chamberlain Coins (Thanks Mark!) and of our brewer Mark Lusher (Thanks other Mark!).

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Julie Clement did this beautiful piece of art just for us in her signature style. Check out her other work at http://www.clementinedotart.com/

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We were fortunate to have Ted Wilson Structural Arts, sharing our building. He and his team created our railing for the deck. Now all we need is sunlight, warmth…and maybe a place to sit.

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Hops!

 

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Construction

A month from demolition and construction is well underway. Framing is up, electrical mechanical and plumbing rough are done and drywall is going in as I type this.

It’s very exciting to see everything taking shape:

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November 22, framing the cooler, digging the plumbing

Dec-5
December 5, rest of framing started, sprinkler system in

Dec-18
December 18, ductwork in, bar framed out

Upcycling

We were fortunate to land some great tables and chairs at an auction and we are refinishing them (all 34 chairs and 5 tables) for the tasting room. It has been a laborious process and isn’t done yet, but we hope the results will be worth it. At the very least, a lot of hard work and love has gone into them…

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Jean staining (hey, why am I next to the trash cans?)

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More fun with power tools – Mark makes the tables look pretty

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Sanding…and sanding and more sanding to beat the clock before the weather turns cold.