history in the making (literally!)
All content © San Juan Publishing Group, Inc, All rights reserved.
SOME THINGS don’t change. Like beer. Good after a long day. Good after a hot day, good after a cold one. Welcome in crowds, by yourself, at a bar, at a party, at home with the ball game on the TV. OK, the TV part may be new, but the love of a good brew goes back hundreds, even thousands of years. (The Egyptians and the Romans drank it, the Maya and Aztec brewed it, and betcha the caveman and his buddies knew how to ferment some grain for a heady thirst quencher). According to Wikipedia, “descriptions of various beer recipes can be found in Sumerian writings, some of the oldest known writing.” Today, beer continues to be a world-wide favorite, and microbreweries a good hedge against recession!
Joel and Kate Harvie of the Silverton Brewing Company, and their head brew master, Colin Peterman, don’t have to go back a thousand years for their recipes, but they do use a slogan coined over a century ago by the original Silverton Brewery. “Pure as the waters that flow down these mountains.” That water is a special ingredient to their popular beers, six now on tap and three being distributed throughout southwest Colorado.
How did the Harvie’s happen to resurrect the most famous of Silverton’s dozen historic breweries? “Although there are (and were) a number of breweries in this area, the Silverton Brewery was the first, operating since 1883 (related story, click here). We decided to bring back a little of Silverton’s history, it’s heritage,” Joel said.
“Our name and our slogan are the same as that first brewery,” added Kate. “When we opened in 2005, the granddaughter of Charles Faden, the brewery’s last owner before it closed, came in to wish us luck.”
And luck they’ve had, as their brews continue to win medals in national and international competitions
—14 so far, and their capacity keeps growing. “We went from two fermenters to nine,” said Colin. “We do it all right here in our basement brewhouse in Silverton, even the canning.” “We also recently began to distribute our beer,” Joel explained, “mostly wholesale now to liquor stores across the western slope, but we’ve added a few restaurants as well.” “And we’ve tripled our production,” added Kate. Future plans include distribution to the entire state of Colorado.
We’re more than just a Brewery said Kate; “We have excellent food as well, from our bratwurst simmered in beer and spices to our award winning chili and soups made from scratch. “The restaurant is open only during the summer months but we brew and distribute our beer year ’round.” said Joel.
Wherever you find Silverton beer, belly up to the bar and let one of Silverton Brewery’s brews slide down...nice and easy. It’s always a good time for a beer!
Silverton Brewery. 1333 Greene St , Silverton, Colorado. www. silvertonbrewing.com
Top: Joel Harvey and Colin Peterman at the bar.
Bottom: Joel and Colin at the fermenters.