Friday, May 26, 2017

Romero's K-9 Club and Tap House in Lafayette, Colorado

The first time I heard of this tap house I was a little wary because of the k9 aspect, all I could image was dogs running all over the venue. I have to say, I was wrong! It is a wonderful place to have a beer and you don't have to worry about the other patrons dogs either. Romero's is one of a handful of tap houses that has a wonderful tap list, I think with Lenny's background in beer helped shaped the venue.
On any given day they could have some local and out of state breweries, Romero's also has wine on tap and canned beers which is for drinking on premises only. You can buy pretzels from a local company and snacks for your pooch.

Lenny and Maria have it worked out. First you have to register your dog with all of the dog's information. Secondly, they also have house rules that are fairly enforced. The tap house has a nice size bar with a few tables that have carbine clips to secure your dog's leash. There is a large patio area that is enclosed during cold weather and two areas for dogs to run under owners supervision. Since it is a dog friendly bar, children under 16 aren't allowed. Lenny and Maria are very adamant about that, it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Lenny Torres and Maria Redondo started this idea of a tap house in 2013 while on vacation in the Southeast.  My husband and I met them at Oskar Blues taproom, The Tasty Weasel around 2014. They were on a beer vacation so we recommended a few of our favorite beer venues and also told them about our beer app, The Colorado Beer Tour. So we were surprised to see that they opened a tap house in our neck of the woods in Lafayette, Colorado. In Boulder county, there's a high per capita of dogs to people so I imagine that was a selling point.

In an email interview, Lenny told me that it was Maria that got him into craft beer. She was a bartender at World of Beer in Orlando, Florida and became infatuated with craft beer. Maria went from bartending to Opening Coordinator for the WOB franchise where she traveled to many cities outside of Florida. In that position she trained all new employees in beer, such as the background and the different styles.  Maria continued to work at the World of Beer as a Product Manager and General Manager when they moved to Colorado.

Lenny background was in distribution of beer. He started working as an assistant product manager at a farm to table restaurant when an opportunity came his way for an accountant manager position at a specialty beverage distributor in Florida. There he was able to make beer connections with the top breweries from around the country. When they moved to Colorado, Lenny was able to get a sales position with Crooked Stave Artisans, the distribution part of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project in Denver.

It really didn't take long before they had a business plan, secured capital, and found the right location for the tap house. They have been open since August 12, 2016 and will be celebrating their first year soon. Some time late 2017 they plan to have a permanent food truck on site and they will also continue hosting other food trucks. Due to the Health Department rules of forbidding animals in food production areas, Romero's can't have food preparations in the taproom.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Making Noise: a Pussy Riot Ale

The past election has left people with a feeling of hopelessness in many communities that Bess Dougherty, a brewer from Denver decided to take action. Bess and Kelissa Hieber from Goldspot Brewing collaborated on a protest beer for the upcoming inauguration.  What a fun way to voice one's political position. They had the intention to just brew a one-off beer at Goldspot Brewing but with popular response on Facebook the mission took off with 5 breweries wanting to host brew days and multiple bars will host tappings of the beer.  There were 20 ladies who participated in the brewing of the protest beer.

Bess Dougherty has worked in the brewing industry for many years. She was the head brewer at Wynkoop Brewing and is getting ready to open a new brewery. Kelissa Hieber works at Goldspot Brewing. Goldspot Brewing wanted to lead the way with this project. They like to get involved with the community in anyway they can and brewing a beer is right up their alley!

Bess and Kelissa decided on the style of for the protest beer, it’s an Imperial Saison and each brewery created their own recipe. Goldspot Brewing added strawberries, 3 Freaks Brewing made the Imperial Saison with lavender, Lady Justice Brewing did it with Warrior Hops, Black Sky made a black Saison with peppercorns, and Brewability Lab make it with Acai. I would be fun to go to all 5 breweries to taste each version of the Imperial Saison. The protest beer at each location is a tap release only, so once it’s gone, it’s gone!

The name, Making Noise: a Pussy Riot, it’s the Russian feminist protest Punk band, Pussy Riot. Bess has been a following them for many years and scored tickets to a panel discussion that a couple of the members of the band were on, this happened a few days after the presidential election. The event struck a chord with Bess, especially the words from one in the band, it takes action and activism to be a member of Pussy Riot.

The mission statement in making this beer is:

We believe in an America that celebrates its diversity, an America that protects and supports anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, identity, race, religious views or immigration status. We condemn the hate that has always existed against marginalized groups and we will not stand for the new strong wave hitting our country. We felt it necessary to take action and decided to use our art to make our voices heard. We are coming out in support of those most at risk in our community and doing what we can to stand together as a united voice against hate and intolerance. This beer works to combat the hate and oppression while also lending support and solidarity to the fight for equality. We believe in this beautiful community and we feel it is necessary to work together to protect it.
We are asking that at least $1 from every pint sold at each participating brewery will go towards a charity that supports those most at risk in our community. We are also working with our partners for tap takeovers to ensure that proceeds from those events also go towards the proposed charities.

You might be hearing more about Bess and Kelissa in future collaborations.

To get more information before Friday, they have a Facebook event page,