Beer contains four main ingredients: Water (95% of beer), barley, hops, and yeast.
Water– From the headwaters of the Big Thompson River, high in the snow-capped mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park, our water filters down through the moraines of Glacier Gorge, cold, fresh, and clear, to our brewery. We run it through a carbon filter to remove the chlorine. For many of our beers we make the water a little harder by adding calcium sulfate (gypsum).
Grains– Our beers are made with malted barley and malted wheat. No cereal grains (rice, corn) are used. The malted grains supply the beer with body and sugars for the yeast to convert to alcohol. Specialty grains are used in various ways to color the beer and give it certain flavors.
Hops– Hops grow in tall vines which produce flowering buds. These buds are harvested and compressed into bales or pellets. Hops serve two main functions; the first is to give the beer some bitterness to balance the sweetness of the malt. The second function is for the aromas that they can give a beer. Hops have been grown for hundreds of years and there are many different varieties with differing characteristic.
Yeast– The job of the yeast is to convert sugars to alcohol. There are many types of yeast which have different characteristics. Our ale yeast will ferment a batch of beer in 5 days. Our Lager yeast will take 7 to 9 days. We reuse the yeast in subsequent batches for anywhere from 10 to 15 generations.