Meet City Star Brewing in Voyage Denver

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An Interview with Voyage Denver:

Whitney, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
City Star Brewing first opened its doors May 4th, 2012 after a year of construction and rehabilitation of the 100-year-old downtown Berthoud building. The taproom and brewery’s namesake is the City Star Barn livery stable, operated at the same location in the early 1900s.

Proprietors John and Whitney Way opened City Star, motivated by their passion for craft beer, community and creating meaningful experiences. Head brewer John Way was an avid home brewer with one year of packaging experience at Oskar Blues. He built the brewhouse, featuring a 3.5 barrel (100 gallons) direct fire brew system and two 7 barrel (200 gallons) fermentation tanks. The brewhouse has since grown to include 80 barrels worth of fermentation tanks, the addition of a whirlpool vessel, comprehensive glycol chilling system, installation of a second cold room, and an oak barrel aging program.

City Star Brewing was awarded Gold and Bronze medals at the world renown, Great American Beer Festival in 2013 and a Bronze medal in 2015. An extensive taproom expansion was completed in 2017, opening an outdoor beer garden and barrel house that doubles as an event space.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Opening and operating City Star has been a more than a worthwhile journey. The adventure has not been without its ups and downs and continual navigation of the tumultuous craft beer scene. Day to day struggles include (though are not limited to) frozen water pipes, refrigeration malfunctioning (over and over again), maintaining relationships with vendors, food trucks, musicians, staff, town, neighbors, customers, etc. Navigating actively running City Star as a married couple (especially during construction) has been a struggle at times. From every struggle we learn and grow making the business stronger as well as ourselves personally.

City Star Brewing – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
City Star is a taproom centric brewery with a focus on community and producing quality craft beer. Our taps line-up features 5 mainstay approachable beers and 5 rotating specialty beers. There is always a beer for everyone on tap, including our 3 Great American Beer Festival medal winning beers. With our relatively small brew system, we are afforded flexibility in regularly releasing new specialty and experimental beers.

John and Whitney are both very hands-on in the business, creating an inspired culture for staff and great experiences for guests. We are proud of all the details in our space that we crafted with love (and blood, sweat, and tears!)… from the oak barrel chandelier to the re-purposed wood tables, and hops in the beer garden.

As a keystone business in our small town City Star has helped revitalize the downtown business district. We regularly donate beer, merchandise, funds, and time to support local causes. City Star Brewing hosts the annual Hops and Harley festival in Berthoud, attracting 3,000+ festival goers to a fantastic community event that supports local non-profit Harley’s Dream. In 2019 the event raised $38,000 to support the organization’s mission to end puppy mills.

City Star also has a strong connection with the Berthoud Historical Society, sponsoring their events as well as raising funds for them at City Star’s Annual Flap Jack Day. In 2015, we brought back this Berthoud Labor Day tradition from the 50s. Now it’s an annual throwback event featuring vintage cars, Flap Jack Queen contest, 50’s dress, breakfast beer flights, and 1500+ free flapjacks.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for us is happiness… for us, our family, staff, and customers. Markers range from online reviews to nice notes left behind, from staff interest in our business to simple laughter.

We’re doing this interview on our way from a two-week road trip. While gone our staff went above and beyond to take care of the brewery and taproom. Regular customers sent photos and ideas (and mowed our lawn!). This is a success. 🙂

Original article: http://voyagedenver.com/interview/meet-whitney-way-city-star-brewing-north-denver-berthoud-colorado/

City Star Brewing Hosts 7th Annual Hops and Harley

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Celebrating dogs and craft beer, Hops and Harley festival expects to draw thousands of guests to Berthoud, Colorado from around the country.

City Star Brewing will host the 7th Annual Hops & Harley Festival on June 15th at Fickel Park in downtown Berthoud, Colorado from 11am until 6pm. The free community event features live music by Joe Kuckla and Irons in the Fire and By The Lee, City Star Brewing on tap, Spirit Hound Distillers cocktails, Shoes and Brews 5K Dog Jog, Hogs for Hops and Harley motorcycle ride to the event, food trucks, vendors and kids activities to raise puppy mill awareness. This year’s Woof and Wags Village will feature a dog agility course open to the public by Trust Your Dog Training, dog obedience class demo and mini training sessions with Double K Canine Training, Fluff and Buff Bar courtesy Dog Bath and Beyond. Visit Fun and Games Village to find yard games, photo booth, balloon twisting, interactive activities with Wildfire Community Arts and Berthoud Local, face painting, rocks painting, and a 2pm House of Joy Kids Show. Top sponsors for 2019 Hops and Harley are NomNomNow, Mile High Harley-Davidson, and Lamar Advertising. In 2018 Hops & Harley attracted well over 3,000 people from across the US and raised more than $25,000 .

100% of the proceeds from Hops & Harley will benefit Colorado-based nonprofit organization, Harley’s Dream, which was established in 2016 to create awareness and educate the public about the commercial dog breeding industry, also known as puppy mills. This event was created in honor of Harley, a tiny Chihuahua who was known as the “Little Dog with a Big Dream”. Harley’s life was truly a rags to riches story. After spending 10 years in a small cage he was freed and found a loving home where he began his triumphant journey. Harley’s efforts as a ‘spokesdog’ against puppy mills earned him the top honor as American Humane’s “Hero Dog of the Year”. Harley had been on The Today Show, HuffpostLIVE, Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family Show and numerous news segments. He also had the opportunity to testify during a congressional caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Sadly, Harley passed away on March 20, 2016, but his legacy lives on … he inspired so many people to do great things, and he continues to be the voice for the hundreds of thousands of dogs suffering in puppy mills today.

Learn more about Hops and Harley at www.hopsandharley.com
Learn more about Harley’s Dream at www.harleysdream.org

City Star is 7!

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City Star Brewing opened its doors in small town Berthoud, Colorado 7 years ago. Berthoud was thirsty, drank City Star near dry, and the new craft brewery had to close the following weekend to catch up. Fast forward to 2019 City Star has expanded its brewhouse cellar and more than doubled the taproom seating capacity with a beautiful taproom addition, barrel house and outdoor beer garden. A few Great American Beer Festival medals, a cease-and-desist letter (from a winery), and 100+ beers later City Star has become a destination for locals and craft beer lovers alike.

Saturday, May 4th City Star Brewing officially celebrates 7 years of beers with two new beers, live music all day, two food trucks, reopening of the deputy mug club program, $10 commemorative t-shirts, free beers …and the annual cupcake toast.

Taproom doors open at noon with the release of Granatum sour pomegranate barrel aged kölsch in bottles and on tap. The beerslingers collaborated to formulate and brew their own beer just for the occasion. The result is Salud, a watermelon tajín wheat featuring lime zest, sea salt and habaneros 🍉🌶🍺.

5/4 HOOTENANNY SCHEDULE
12pm Beer Releases: Granatum and Salud
12pm Deputy Mug Club Opens, Commemorative T-Shirts On Sale ($10/ea)
12pm Food Trucks: Ohana Eatery and Nacho Mama’s Tacos
2pm Music: The Seers
6pm Cupcake Toast (by Rise Artisan Bread)
7pm Music: Wood Belly, 2018 Telluride Bluegrass Band Contest Winners!

During the Hootenanny the first 50 guests who check-in or share a selfie on Facebook or Instagram with hashtag #CityStarIs7 and show a beertender will receive a FREE BEER! 🙌🍻

Pucker Up This Valentine’s Day

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She’s back and better than ever!

The newest creation from the City Star Zoller Barrel House – the 2019 vintage of Scarlet is a blend of sour stout aged in oak barrels for 2 years, sour imperial stout aged in oak barrels for 2.5 years, and Michigan Montmorency cherries. Soured with lactobacillus and pediococcus bacteria as well as brettanomyces yeast. The beer has a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Luscious waves of cocoa roll along the tongue, and the cherry sweetness rounds out the sour flavor profile. Each bottle is dipped in wax and hand stamped with the City Star Brewing seal.

22oz. Bottles: $17Scarlet Bottle Release
On tap for a limited time!

A Beer Dinner Pairing Experience

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We recently got to host an amazing beer dinner pairing with Juli Y Juan Kitchen and wow! What an experience it was. We originally wanted to collaborate with them after we had hosted them for a private celebration last year and we loved the food, energy, passion… EVERYTHING about working with this team. We recreated the magic and can’t wait to have them back again in May!

The 4 course dinner was expertly paired with 4 City Star beers served in our Zoller Barrel House and adjacent Great Room.

Here are some excerpts from Juliu Y Juan’s blog (https://www.juliyjuan.com/blog/2019/2/8/culinary-magic-under-the-city-star-brewery):

Nothing calls more our attention than a new challenge to make magic with new artists. This past January 31st we traveled to Berthoud where we had our first appearance and collaboration with another set of artistic hands in the world of brewing beer. Alongside John & Whitney, owners of City Star Brewing Co., the 4 of us joined passions and performed for 50 happy epicureans, as we share the delightful art of pairing. What an amazing and joyful time!!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TRUST!!
We want to thank everyone who attended this amazing and fun event, thank you very much for your trust and for letting us make magic together!! This will not be the last, we are already brewing and cooking some fun ideas for future appearances, so stay tuned!! =D

THE TEAM
Also we want to thank all the team who made this day possible, it is because of you that we can all have fun and create this amazing events. You guys are the souls and joy of our events and we are forever grateful for your time, patience, love and dedication to our art. Special thanks to Taylor, owner of Mountainside Events for her outstanding job, as well as John Robson, for his amazing photography. Please enjoy the pictures below!!

TO JOHN & WHITNEY
Thank you guys, for allowing us to share our magic at your home. Thank you for opening the doors and sharing your art. Your attention to details, and your presentation of tables and organization is beyond our words. You guys rock, and we look forward to making more magic together in the near future.

Al the Love from Juli and I, and our Kitchen Team.

City Star Releases Biggest Beer Yet

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For Immediate Release:
City Star Brewing Releases Biggest Beer yet: Outlaw Whisky Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, weighing in at 14% abv.

The latest in the City Star Zoller Barrel Aged Series will be released in the City Star taproom Saturday, February 2nd, Outlaw. The 2019 vintage of this imperial stout was aged 1 year in Spirit Hound Distillers whisky oak barrels and weighs in at a whopping 14% abv. Flavors of rich chocolate, toffee, dark dried fruit, oak, vanilla and of course American whiskey. A rich and creamy mouthfeel leaves you lingering for another pour.

A limited supply of orange and vanilla Outlaw variants will be available in bottles for purchase and sampling on Saturday only. Heirloom navel oranges were zested and soaked in Gran Marnier to infuse Outlaw for about 100 bottles. The vanilla variant features a brewhouse made tincture of Madagascar vanilla beans to feature in about 100 bottles.

Outlaw: $18/22oz bottle, $9/10oz on draft, $3.50/4oz tasters (tax included in prices)
Outlaw + Orange: $20/22oz bottle (6 bottle limit), Saturday only: $10/10oz and $4/4oz
Outlaw + Vanilla: $20/22oz bottle (6 bottle limit), Saturday only: $10/10oz and $4/4oz

Catch a glimpse of City Star’s labor intensive bottling process in action early in the day during the release. Interested in 2017 Outlaw? There will be a few bottles in the taproom for some vertical tasting fun!

Winter Solstice Party

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Join us on the evening of December 21st for a special celebration on the shortest day of the year! We will be releasing our darkest beer of the year… Widow Maker imperial stout with commemorative glasses. Tarot card reading, henna tattoos, flower crowns, and celestial telescope viewing with Berthoud’s Little Thompson Observatory. Live music with Dave Frediani at 7pm and Scratch Food Truck 4-8pm.

 

Scratch and Sniff – Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA Release

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Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA release today at 2pm (growlers welcome)! We know many of you are just as excited as we are to taste one of our beers featuring our homegrown Centennial hops. There’s something special about watching these bines (not a type-o!) grow through summer and then literally enjoying the fruits of their labor. John pulled hops before last weekend’s snow to wet hop two American IPA kegs for release in the taproom only. That’s under an hour from bine to beer! Definitely a dream of John’s. We are excited to share this special beer!

Wild Bill Sour Now Available

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The latest in City Star’s Barrel Aged Series, Wild Bill is a sour strong ale aged 20 months in oak barrels. Soured with a blend of lactobacillus and pediococcus bacteria creating a remarkably tart beer with a hint of honey and a lingering trace of the bouquet of spices from the barrels’ prior inhabitant (Hellbilly). As complex as its namesake, Wild Bill finishes at 12.2% abv.

Bottles will be for sale at $16/22oz bottle (1 case limit), AND Wild Bill will be on draft for sampling.

What are hops and who is Harley?

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City Star Brewing Gears up for its 6th Annual Hops and Harley Festival
Hops and Harley will take place on Saturday, June 23rd in downtown Berthoud’s Fickel Park, just 3 blocks west of City Star Brewing. It’s free to attend, and there is fun for the whole family!

What are hops and who is Harley?
Harley’s story is one of rags to riches. Harley spent 10 years suffering abuse in a small cage in a puppy mill, never knowing the touch of a kind hand … until he was rescued and found a loving home. During his 5 years of freedom, this tiny Chihuahua raised more than $1,000,000 to set-free and care for puppy mill dogs. He educated and inspired people world-wide, teaching them that they, too, can make a difference. Harley’s Dream was established in 2016 to create awareness and educate the public about the commercial dog breeding industry, also known as puppy mills. They believe that a grassroots approach by large groups of concerned citizens is the most effective way to bring about change. Their focus is to encourage advocacy by providing the tools necessary to educate children and adults alike.

Hops are one of the main ingredients in beer. As you’ll find across the world, many craft breweries love to find a local cause they can get behind. For City Star Brewing, helping Harley’s cause was a no brainer. City Star hosts this major event in Berthoud which not only raises awareness about puppy mills, but also offers folks a great time.

What to expect at Hops & Harley
Dog-loving people, live music, craft beer, and more! The Wendy Woo Band and South to Cedars will be performing on stage, and other events throughout the day include a grain sack race and other contests, Shoes and Brews Dog Jog, Mile High Harley-Davidson “Hogs for Hops and Harley” ride, ceramics and paint studio with Glass of Art, Wildfire Community Arts Center kids area, a wide offering of food trucks, activities for children and dogs, photo booth, puppy mill education, and of course…. great craft beer! City Star Brewing will be pouring a variety of beers including Harley’s Honey Wheat, and Spirit Hound Distillers from Lyons will have cocktails crafted with their award-winning spirits. There are several components coming together for a great cause. The music, beer, food, and family fun will make for a wonderful event. Hope to see you there! More information about Hops and Harley can be found at: www.hopsandharley.com