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Telling Stories: Grimm Brothers Brewhouse

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse is a tap room and brewery located in Loveland, CO. Started by two home brewers in 2010, the brewery focuses on German-style beers and looks for inspiration between the pages of its namesake book of fairytales. Last year was their first time at the Great American Beer Festival where they took home a gold medal for their altbier, Little Red Cap. Yesterday, days after this article was drafted, that same beer won a bronze medal at the GABF.

The tap room is open everyday and pints and growlers are available for purchase. The place fills up every night with friendly regulars happy to share a table. Each night a different food truck is out front, and cheese curds from Cozy Cow Dairy are available for sale and so are espresso cookies to dip in whatever dark beer is on tap. Tours are offered upon request in the brewery located across the parking lot from the tap room. Co-founder Aaron Heaton talked about the history of the brewery and what they brought to the Great American Beer Festival this year.

Who Started the brewery? Don Chapman and myself were two home brewers. We met at The Liquid Poets, a home brewers meet-up in Fort Collins. We had similar palates and started to brew together, our first beer was "The Count," an Imperial Stout.

What does Grimm Brothers focus on? We want to focus on that German-style beer, both traditional styles like our Fearless Youth, a Munich Dunkel, and non-traditional styles like our Snow Drop, a Köttbusser. Ever since Rhineheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law adopted in 1516 that states only barley, hops, and water may be used in the making of beer), there are a lot of beer styles that went out and they were way more creative than even the Belgian styles. It's hard to find the historical information on those old styles. Like a Köttbusser, we stopped making that beer in the 1500's. There's not much text out there to tell us how that beer tasted. We have a general idea of what it is. Which allows us a lot of freedom to make that beer. It's our interpretation of it. A lot of the ingredients we're using-our yeast, our malt, our hops are coming directly from Germany. There are these styles that nobody has heard of since they did those purity laws. We are trying to make ourselves a little bit different by coming out with these non-traditional styles.

So you don't do something like an IPA? We have done an IPA. Our emphasis is on German-style, but that doesn't mean we don't want to go out and play. We have a Wee Heavy, which is a Scotch ale, a big, malty beer that we came out with last week.

How did you decide on the name Grimm Brothers? We knew we were going to do German beers and Don's wife, Amelia, who is a school teacher, suggested we do it based off the Grimm Brother's fairytales. So we started reading some of the stories and they were crazy and dark. What's great is not only can I tell you a story about the Grimm Brother's tale like Snow Drop, but I can tell you a story about a Köttbusser, a dead historical style. There are 252 Grimm Stories. We are way behind on our beer production.

Does everyone that works at Grimm Brothers read the fairytales? Yes.

Why did you open in Loveland? Don is from here and at that time there were no breweries. There were all these people driving 30-40 minutes to get to the breweries in Fort Collins. We said hey there's a market here for that. We didn't expect it to blow up like it did. Now you're starting to see all these smaller breweries opening up in other towns around us-Berthoud, Windsor. People want to have that local place where they can either walk to or bike to, something close by. We want to represent Loveland. The people in my tap room right now, 90 percent of them live in Loveland.

Last year was your first year at GABF and you won a gold medal, what was that like? Yes, for Little Red Cap. That was our pride and joy. We won for the Alt category- a Northern German traditional beer style. We were sitting there and they announce the bronze winner and I'm like ah man, they announce the silver and I turn my back and then they announce the gold winner was Little Red Cap and I was like, oh my god! I was like a little girl seeing Justin Bieber for the first time, we were just hopping up and down.

What breweries inspire you? When we first started we were going to rent kegs from this one guy, we were cash strapped. So it's Thursday night, we are opening Saturday and we call the guy up and say where are you. Midnight goes by and he's a no show. So we contact Odell and New Belgium and we say hey listen we have 16 kegs to our name, can we rent kegs from you. Both of them said you don't have to rent we are going to let you borrow them.

If you are not up to Loveland, you can still find Grimm Brothers brews on tap in LoHi at The Ale House at Amato's and at The Kitchen in Boulder.

— Laura Saffioti

· All GABF Coverage [EDen]

[Photo: Courtesy of Grimm Brothers Brewhouse]

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Taproom

623 Denver Ave. Loveland, Colorado 80537