‘Manufacturing’ expansions are part of the Grand scene | SkyHiNews.com

‘Manufacturing’ expansions are part of the Grand scene

Patrick Brower
Grand Enterprise

I’m guilty of saying it out loud, but I’ve been wrong when I’ve said it.

I’ve said Grand County doesn’t really have any manufacturing base. I was thinking about companies that make widgets, valves and hardware. We have a little of that, but not much.

However, we really have a strong manufacturing base when you consider that making beer and making spirits is a form of manufacturing. In that “manufacturing” sector, the truth is that not only do we have it, but it’s expanding at remarkable rates.

Consider a few examples. I’ll start with Hideaway Park Brewery and its owner Andy Brumenschenkel. People surely have noticed that he has expanded in Winter Park, to the point where he has moved his expanded brewing operation into a building next door to open up space in his brewery for more clients.

Andy tells me that demand has grown ever since he opened and that the expansion to the new space next door was needed and important. And this is after he expanded upstairs earlier.

Take another example, this one in Fraser. Nick Crabb at Camber Brewing Company has undertaken a major expansion as well, just to accommodate demand that was outstripping his ability to meet it — even with his relatively small space. So, in a similar fashion, Nick moved his brewing process over to a former car wash in Fraser so that he could make more of his product to meet expanding demand.

Nick Crabb, owner of Camber Brewing Co. in Fraser, pours a sample of his rail slide red India pale ale.
McKenna Harford / mharford@skyhinews.com

As he told me, he had times last winter when he was not able to make enough beer of particular types to keep it flowing.

So he expanded by moving his brewing operation out of his property on main street. Another benefit, of course, is that such a move has opened up more seating and meeting space in his Fraser main street operation.

Another example of this is what’s happened at Idlewild Spirits Brewpub and Restaurant, owned by Jeff Ruhle. Located on main street in Winter Park, Jeff and his team have been struggling with how to accommodate a busy bar and restaurant, while still needing the space to distill and store more of the product they make to meet demand. And demand has been good.

Jeff has been doing the best he can with the space in his business, but with cramped storage it can get time-consuming and stressful. And yes, those barrels on the walls in Idlewild Spirits aren’t only there for aesthetic embellishment. They are holding real distilled products that need time to mature.

Mason jars containing Idlewild Distillery’s spirits.
Travis Poulin / Sky-Hi News |

Jeff is on the lookout for the right expansion space for storage and manufacturing in addition to what he has now.

I mention these three businesses because they worked with me as Enterprise Facilitator when they were getting started. They’ve exceeded all their projections.

But other similar operations in Grand County are also seeing expansion and growth. Vicious Cycle Brewery Company opened last year to great reviews with a massive space that can accommodate future growth. Fraser Valley Distilling in Fraser is also on a growth track.

The owners of Vicious Cycle Brewing in Fraser, Nathan Watt and Rebecca Bierden are eager to open in February.
Sarah Morin / For the Sky-Hi News

Then consider expansions of Dean Public House in Hot Sulphur Springs to Kremmling with a brewery and distillery, and Never Summer Brewing’s growth in Granby, and it’s obvious. There is expansion in that “manufacturing” sector of the economy.

They all have good products, good service and excellent market presence.

They are all wanting to expand to meet the demand, right here in little ol’ Grand County.

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He is also the author of “KILLDOZER: The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage.”  He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at patrickbrower@kapoks.org.

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