Beer selections should revolve like the seasons — at least Chase Engel thinks so. The long-time professional brewer has announced plans to open the taps at his Roaring Fork Beer Co. in March, culminating a similarly long dream of producing creative beers that match the ever-changing seasons and ever-changing tastes. He’s also focused on making those craft beverages very approachable.
“I wanted to make our three mainline beers as session-able as possible,” said Head Brewer and CEO Engel in a recent press release. “Between the hopped up Extra Pale Ale, and the roasty and dark Nitro Pub Ale, I think we covered our bases between the hop heads and those who prefer maltier beers. And in the summertime, I’m very excited to make one of my favorite styles, which is an invigorating and crisp American lager.”
That’s the main menu folks. When the Roaring Fork Beer Co. has its grand opening celebration on March 28 and 29, it will be serving up trademark beers like its Freestone Extra Pale Ale and Nitro Pub Ale — and then experimenting throughout the year with seasonally inspired one-off batches. The full production brewery and tasting room is located less than one mile southeast of downtown Carbondale, Colo., at 1941 Dolores Way, near Carbondale’s Park and Ride and Ajax Bike and Sport.
“It’s been a long year trying to get this brewery off the ground,” Engel said. “I can’t wait to try that first RFBC beer, and more importantly, to be able to share them with the people in this valley.”
The party will have two main sessions. Tickets to each session will need to be purchased in advance through the brewery’s website starting March 6 at 7 a.m. with limited quantities available. A BBQ pig roast and eats provided by Mark Hardin of Craft Catering, and a commemorative glass with bottomless beer tastings are included in the $30 ticket.
A ribbon cutting will be held Friday at the tasting room at 4 p.m. to kick off the grand opening. Then sessions will run on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Raffles will be held each night for a chance to win special items such as a custom RFBC skateboard handcrafted by Meier Ski’s, a seasonal membership to the brewery and a keg. RFBC’s seasonal membership program will be revealed at the grand opening.
Engel has been what he calls “marathon brewing” around the clock to ensure that several choices will be available for guests at the grand opening. In addition to the Freestone Extra Pale Ale and Nitro Pub Ale, beers on tap for the opening will include a Belgian blonde and a Spring IPA. Beer styles will be ever changing with the seasons, the brewer’s inspiration and available local ingredients, but the Freestone Extra Pale Ale and the Nitro Pub Ale will be available year round as RFBC’s dominant beers, with the Slaughterhouse Lager being available June to November.
Grand opening kick-off parties will be held throughout the valley, including a “first tasting and can release party” at Sopris Liquor and Wine on March 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. and a beer dinner at Town in Carbondale on March 24. Tickets for the Grand Opening sessions will be available for purchase at the Sopris Liquor and Wine tasting on March 21st as well as online. Grand Opening tickets and more information on the kick off parties will be released on the RFBC website this week.