Tucked away in the idyllic town of Glenwood Springs just off the Roaring Fork River sits not only a blendery, but one man's years-long dream.
Casey Brewing and Blending, spearheaded by Troy Casey, opened in Fall 2013. A short four years later, its popularity has exploded.
Troy's never been a stranger to beer -- his father worked at Coors when Troy was growing up, which led him to become a tour guide at the Golden facility when he was 20.
Like everything he's done in this realm, Troy's route from Coors to Casey was a slow and deliberate process.
"There were definitely a few years of planning that went into it," Casey said.
He pursued a degree in chemistry at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs and worked at Bristol Brewing Company in the Springs during school.
It was his time at Coors spent pilot brewing and crafting small, handmade batches of beer that pushed him to get his masters in brewing at University of California at Davis and ultimately pursue business classes.
Protecting the Casey name
Casey Brewing and Blending is well-known and renowned in the sour and wild beer scene - especially in Colorado. It's nearly impossible to have the conversation about this style with brew fans without his name coming up.
Knowing that, Troy says, just gives him the push to work even harder.
"It definitely can keep me up at night sometimes," Casey said. "[To make] sure we’re making the best beer possible to earn those consumers coming from so far and giving them and giving them an experience that’s worthy of that trip."
Faced with the reality that online beer sellers will sometimes have his bottles listed for hundreds of dollars, Casey remains humble.
"It’s humbling for sure and we just want to keep making beers at that quality where people are going that nuts for them, driving from all over the country to come get them. It’s something that keeps us going," he said. "We don’t want to be known for making OK sour beer. We want to be known for making the best sour beer."
Despite Casey's commanding name in the beer scene, it's a relatively small operation behind-the-scenes.
"We’ve got a huge team of three of us," Casey said with a laugh when he was asked about his squad.
Besides Troy, there's tasting room manager John and cellar manager Eric. At the beginning, Casey says he got by with a little (or a lot) of help from his friends and family.
When asked about the rise of sour beer lately, he concedes he's just happy to contribute.
"I think it shows that consumers that we have here are excited about just going to a place and only drinking sour beers," he said. "It’s been really exciting to see as the industry grows in Colorado more specification in the styles of beers that breweries are making."
How and why people started to turn to sours? Casey says it was bound to happen.
LISTEN: Full interview with Troy Casey
"I think it’s just a natural progression that consumers have and hopefully it will lead them to us and to other breweries in Colorado that are making great sour beers."
As a Colorado business owner, it's important to give back to the state that's already given him so much, he says.
"The majority of our beers are made with 100 percent Colorado ingredients. We know the first names of all of our suppliers here in Colorado. They know our family story; we know their family story. When we purchase from them, those purchases are significant to their businesses, as they are to ours."
If you want to learn more about Casey Brewing and Blending, you can catch up with them on their website. Although they won't be at the Great American Beer Festival this year, catch them when you can in Garfield County.