Winter Park brewery gets back to basics
hideaway park brewery
78927 US Highway 40
Winter Park, CO 80442
Monday-Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday noon to 9 p.m.
Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
It’s Thursday morning, and the warm, grainy bouquet of wort is wafting through the barroom at Hideaway Park Brewery.
Andy Brumenschenkel periodically walks to a large, stainless steel vat and stirs the mixture, which will, given some time, technique and a little TLC, become a batch of the brewery’s signature Pocket Rocket Red Ale.
Named for one of the Fraser Valley’s earliest communities, the Hideaway Park Brewery is one of downtown Winter Park’s newer businesses along the eastern stretch of U.S. Highway 40.
Originally from Florida, Brumenschenkel first started homebrewing while studying construction engineering at Montana State University.
That was about 10 years ago.
He went on to pursue a career in construction, but it was brewing that would eventually be his ticket to paradise, so to speak.
“Honestly, I was trying to figure out how to move up to Winter Park for the last few years,” Brumenschenkel said. “This was the way to make my own job in Winter Park.”
Brumenschenkel’s new foray echoes the cliche´ retiree’s dream of moving to California and starting a vinyard, albeit with more skiing and less pretense.
But Brumenschenkel has experience and talent, and his microbrewery is quickly making a name for itself as a personable and inviting apres ski spot. And it’s pretty unique.
Unlike its nearby counterparts, Grand Lake Brewery, The Library and the Moffat Station Brewery, Hideaway Park Brewery doesn’t serve food, wine or spirits. Just beer.
“The whole plan is to not do food ever, but anybody can bring food in from any restaurant in town,” Brumenschenkel said.
In other words, it’s the opposite of BYOB, and given the brewery’s location within walking distance of some of Winter Park’s finest fare, customers have a number of convenient options.
It also lets Brumenschenkel focus on what’s important – brewing.
For any drinking establishment, the beer list is as important to its identity as a thumbprint, and the chalkboard behind Hideaway Park’s bar displays an impressively eclectic inventory of beer. Most have clever sobriquets like “Rye Not Try It Stout” and the “Witch’s Tit Wit,” a tribute to the Fraser Valley’s frigid climate.
The brewery generally maintains four standards, an IPA, Rye-style, Red Ale and Golden Ale, with a rotating list of seasonals and other concoctions. Customers can look forward to the Vandegaar Belgian Pale Ale to hit the taps in coming weeks.
Brumenschenkel said the brewery’s most popular beer is the BruBrew IPA, short for Brumenschenkel Brew.
The community of beers at Hideaway Park is as diverse as the community that lines the bar on any given evening, and Brumenschenkel says one the best parts of his job is watching the social interactions and community building that take place in his brewery. It’s become a popular third place for both locals and tourists, which is what Brumenschenkel envisioned.
“It’s been really rewarding just to sit back here and see what it has turned into,” he said, “which is pretty much exactly what we were shooting for.”
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.
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