New Camber Brewing Co. in Fraser hopes to capture attention of beer enthusiasts, families alike
January 10, 2019
FRASER — A snowboard with traditional camber comes into contact with snow at the tip and the tail of the board with a slight convex arch in the middle of the board, which creates lively turns and constantly has edge contact with the snow.
This boarding detail was the inspiration for the name of the new Camber Brewing Co., opening in Fraser this spring.
"After several years of brewing, I wasn't making any bad batches at all and I was getting a lot of praise for my beer from people who tried it out," said owner and Fraser resident Nick Crabb. "I have a talent that this county has a limited supply of, so might as well capitalize on my talents and see if I can't make this whole thing work."
Camber Brewing Co., located at 365 Zerex St., is Crabb's passion project turned reality. The brewery has taken over the building that used to be the Mountain Recovery Upholstery and which has a storied history in Fraser, where it was built in the early 1900s. Crabb is currently in the process of remodeling the interior.
He started brewing about five years ago after receiving a homebrewer's kit from his wife.
"She thought I needed a hobby," he laughed. "And she was accurate."
Since then, Crabb has perfected his craft with the help of a homebrewing mentor, his friends-turned-taste-testers and his wife, and now hopes to debut several of his favorite recipes at Camber.
Crabb said there will be six taps with a variety of brews, including a stout, some India pale ales, a saison, which Crabb lamented was under appreciated in the brewing world right now, and the flagship amber ale, the Camber Amber.
"I try to make beer that everybody can enjoy," he said. "I go for what tastes good, not what the critics rave about."
Camber brews will also be rated using a one-of-a-kind hop scale that is designed by Crabb after the ski trail difficulty ratings. For example, a blue brew is less hoppy, like an amber ale, and a double black diamond brew is very hoppy, like an India pale ale.
Crabb said he hopes it helps people learn what they like, so his customers never have to suffer through drinking a beer they don't enjoy.
"I want to make sure everybody obtains a beer they can actually enjoy every single time versus having to drink a beer they don't want just because they ordered it," he explained.
Crabb also said that as many of the ingredients for each of his brews as possible will come from Colorado and he won't be wasting his spent grain, but instead donating it to farmers for feed or compost and making complimentary dog treats for guests' furry friends.
Eventually, he even hopes to add kombucha and cold brew to his brewing menu for variety and any drinkers preferring nonalcoholic beverages. Crab said he wants Camber Brewing Co. to be family-friendly as much as possible.
"I think it's hard for parents who like craft beer because breweries aren't too family-friendly," he said. "I want to have that family-friendly aspect that basically people can come in and have a beer and not worry about their kids being with them."
So, while parents drink pints, kids have access to Sprecher's sodas like root beer and cream soda. Plus, Crabb will supply a plethora of board games, though there will be a lack of TVs.
"I really want to focus on conversation versus entertainment and helping people reconnect," he said. "Hopefully, just knowing that you can have a conversation in here will bring people in."
Crabb said while the brewery will offer popcorn and some sandwiches, he invites guests to bring their own food.
Ultimately, Crabb wants Camber Brewing Co. to be a part of the community, a place that's relaxed, rustic and welcoming. Guests can really get to know their brews if they want or they can just sit back, relax and sip.
"Have a beer after a bike ride in the spring or summer and after the slopes in the winter, it will be really casual," he said.