If you read our coverage of the Great American Beer Fest (Things we saw and half-remember), we gave a shout out to Wyoming’s Melvin Brewing for taking home the Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year Award and storming the stage with its state flag. Honoring the truly small breweries of the industry is always great — so let’s get to know Melvin a little bit more.
The Small Brewpub award was Melvin’s biggest award to date, and a tremendous industry endorsement for Melvin’s exceptional beers and the experience of its brewing team. Melvin also brought home two Brewer Association Medals: the Gold medal for American Style Fruit Beer and the Bronze medal for Fresh or Wet Hop Ale.
Melvin Brewing was founded in 2009 by Jeremy Tofte and Kirk McHale to fulfill their need to drink the biggest, most exciting West-Coast Style IPAs in Jackson, Wy., which is well off the well-worn craft beer areas in the country. Experimenting on a 20-gallon, then three-bbl system, they developed the Melvin IPA and 2×4 Imperial IPA, which went on to win Gold medals at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, back-to-back Alpha King awards in 2012 and 2013, and a Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup.
Melvin Brewing now has more than 40 beer recipes to its name, expanding its portfolio of hoppy beers and other styles, with brands such as ChChCh-Cherry Bomb (Fruit Beer), Killer Bees (Honey Ale), Coffee Ruckus (Coffee Imperial Stout), Hey Zeus (Mexican Lager) to name drop a few.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Melvin Brewing will open its production facility in Alpine, Wy., brewing on a new Newlands 30-bbl, 4-vessel system, which is currently being installed.
Kirk will keep manning the three-bbl in the closet at Jackson, Wyoming’s Thai Me Up Restaurant. He will keep creating some of the most exciting beers on the market today while listening to Wu-Tang at full blast. Dave Chichura, formerly of Oskar Blue’s, will helm the controls in Alpine, while listening to Ween at full blast.
So, in short, Melvin is doing pretty good.
“This is as much about the Brewers Association recognizing the incredible job that the Melvin Team has done as it is about the Brewers Association letting Melvin know that it’s ready for distribution in Colorado and everywhere else,” said John Fayman, a Melvin investor and craft beer authority.
As if on cue following the festival awards ceremony, distributors from around the country flocked to Melvin’s table to discuss Melvin’s distribution strategy in their territory. The success parallels the recent opening of Melvin’s new 20,000 square foot brewery in Alpine. Located just a few miles from Jackson Hole, where Melvin plans to make beer from the future. Melvin is expanding distribution this year to Colorado and Washington and points beyond in the future.