On July 5, 2014 there was a new addition to Denver breweries. Baere Brewery in the baker neighborhood at 320 Broadway, is that great new addition. The co-founder Ryan Skeels has used his mindset as a skateboarder to build on the simple foundation of brewing to create unique flavors and styles. In skateboarding simply landing a trick and riding away is not good enough. One must have style.
The foundations of brewing beer are simple. Barley, malt sugar, and hops get boiled together. Yeast is then added to the mixture and left to ferment. In street skateboarding, the foundation is the ollie, or jumping with the skateboard. These two things might sound easy. What’s so hard about mixing a bunch of ingredients together? What’s so hard about jumping with a board. In reality, these are both very hard to learn. Mastering them is another story, altogether.
When kids first learn to skate, they practice for hours, days, even weeks to learn the ollie. When they finally get the coordination down and jump without falling, chances are they are barely leaving the ground. It takes another few months to actually get any height. Similar to brewing, which also begins with practice at home. Anyone’s first brew is probably drinkable, but usually lacks any style or complexity.
Once the ollie is master, to add complexity, the skateboarder learns flip tricks. Skateboarders do flip tricks by flicking feet in various ways while doing an ollie. This makes the board rotate before they land back on it, and ride away. Each variety of trick takes hours of practice, repeated failure, and often pain. After learning a trick, landing and riding away isn’t enough. The skater has to make it his own, by adding style. This basically means, making it look effortless in a personally artistic way. When it comes to brewing, simply creating a beer with an alcohol content isn’t enough for the skateboarding brewmaster. Through years of practice, he has learned to make beer personal, by adding complexity, artistry, and style. The people atBaere brewery really have created something amazing.
After I had a drink at Baere Brewery, later that evening I couldn’t get it out of my head. The smooth delicious taste, the aroma, the overall feeling, became a memory. I was back the next night to relive that memory.
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