Left Hand Brewing Company

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Left Hand Brewing Company
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1993
Founders Dick Doore
Eric Wallace
Headquarters Longmont, Colorado, United States
Area served North America
Products Beer
Production output 50,000 US beer barrels (2012)
Website http://www.lefthandbrewing.com/

The Left Hand Brewing Company is a craft brewery located in Longmont, Colorado.[1]

History[edit]

Left Hand began in December 1990 with a homebrewing kit founder Dick Doore received from his brother. According to Dick, "it was all downhill from there." By 1993, Dick had teamed up with college buddy Eric Wallace and they resolved to start a brewery.

On September 21, 1993, they incorporated as Indian Peaks Brewing Company, and purchased a former meat-packing plant next to the St. Vrain River outside downtown Longmont, Colorado. A few weeks after beginning production, it was discovered that the name Indian Peaks was already in use by another Brewery, so the name was changed to Left Hand, in honor of Chief Niwot (the Arapahoe word for "left hand") whose tribe wintered in the local area.

Left Hand's doors opened for business on January 22, 1994. Their first batch of beer was Sawtooth Ale, which has since become their most popular brew. In October of that year, Left Hand took home two medals at the Great American Beer Festival, a Gold Medal in the bitter category for Sawtooth Ale, and a Bronze Medal in the Robust Porter category for Black Jack Porter. In 1995, the brewery was able to start putting our logo on bottle caps. But when it came down to shrinking down the original logo to put on a crown, the design was illegible. Left Hand created a small hand to be the logo. It morphed into a sticker, and eventually into the company logo as you see it today.

The year 1998 offered big changes for the still young brewing company. In April, Left Hand merged with Tabernash Brewing, and doubled the size of their brewery. In June, they began packaging 12 oz. bottles for 6 packs (up to that point they had been bottling 22 oz. bottles and kegs exclusively). In November, they started their own distribution business, Indian Peaks Distribution Company. The next 10 years added some interesting chapters in the life of the brewery. Tabernash was phased out and Indian Peaks Distribution Company was sold, allowing Left Hand to focus and redirect their energy back to brewing.

In recent years, the brewery has experience significant growth.[1] With over 30% growth in 2010, Left Hand has steadily increased its production, making the Brewers Association’s Top 50 Craft Brewers list in 2012.[2] What started as a humble brewhouse extension in 2008, turned into a 5 year, $9 million expansion, as the brewery expands to meet demand. The brewery has added six 480 barrel fermenters, an additional 500 barrel bright tank, and a new KHS keg line. Moreover, Left Hand has also expanded the brewery property, purchasing the warehouse across Boston Avenue to house offices as well as the site of a new 6,000 square foot cooler, bringing the total brewery acreage to 5.5 acres. In the fall of 2012, Left Hand welcomed their most anticipated renovation, a new bottling line that runs four times faster than their previous system and fills 200 bottles per minute.

On the first night of the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, Left Hand introduced Milk Stout Nitro in a bottle, making it both the first American and the first craft brewery to bottle a Nitrogen beer without a widget. The beer has been received positively,[citation needed] as Left Hand's fans can now enjoy the experience of a Nitro draft beer at home. Two years later, Left Hand expanded the bottled Nitro series with Sawtooth Nitro and Wake Up Dead Nitro.

Since the Left Hand Brewing Company started out 20 years ago, they've racked up 21 medals at the Great American Beer Festival, 8 World Beer Cup awards, 5 European Beer Star Awards, and a growing loyal customer base in 26 states and throughout Europe.

Left Hand produces approximately 50,000 barrels a year,[3] and they currently distribute their beer in twenty-six states.

Bottled Beers[edit]

Note: all active beers are available in 6 packs of 12 oz bottles unless otherwise noted.

Awards[edit]

Beer Competition Category Year Place
Sawtooth Ale Great American Beer Festival Ordinary or Special Bitter 2013 Gold Medal
Milk Stout Great American Beer Festival Sweet or Cream Stout 2013 Gold Medal
Fade to Black Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout Great American Beer Festival Foreign Style Stout 2013 Gold Medal
Milk Stout European Beer Star Competition Sweet Stout 2013 Gold Award
Sawtooth Ale Great American Beer Festival Ordinary or Special Bitter 2012 Bronze Medal
Milk Stout European Beer Star Competition Sweet Stout 2012 Gold Award
Fade to Black- Vol.1 Great American Beer Festival Foreign Stout 2010 Gold Medal
Black Jack Porter European Beer Star Competition Porter 2010 Gold Award
Smokejumper Great American Beer Festival Smoked Beer 2009 Gold Medal
Milk Stout European Beer Star Competition Sweet Stout 2009 Gold Award
Milk Stout Great American Beer Festival Sweet Stout 2008 Silver Medal
Sawtooth Ale Great American Beer Festival Bitter or Pale Mild Ale 2008 Bronze Medal
Milk Stout World Beer Cup Sweet Stout 2008 Gold Award
Milk Stout European Beer Star Competition Sweet Stout 2008 Gold Award
Milk Stout European Beer Star Competition Sweet Stout 2007 Silver Award
Milk Stout World Beer Cup Sweet Stout 2006 Gold Award
Tabernash Oktoberfest Great American Beer Festival German Style Marzen / Oktoberfest 2001 Bronze Medal
Black Jack Porter Great American Beer Festival Brown Porter 2000 Gold Medal
Tabernash Oktoberfest Great American Beer Festival German Style Marzen / Oktoberfest 1999 Bronze Medal
Tabernash Golden Pilsner Great American Beer Festival European Style Pilsner 1998 Gold Medal
Black Jack Porter World Beer Cup Brown Porter 1998 Gold Award
Tabernash Weiss World Beer Cup South German Style Hefeweizen / Hefeweissbier 1998 Gold Award
Tabernash Munich Dark Lager World Beer Cup European Style Dark / Muncher Dunkel 1998 Gold Award
Tabernash Munich Dark Great American Beer Festival European Style Dark / Muncher Dunkel 1997 Gold Medal
Tabernash Oktoberfest Great American Beer Festival Marzen / Oktoberfest 1997 Bronze Medal
Tabernash Weiss World Beer Cup South German Style Hefeweizen / Weissbier 1996 Bronze Award
Tabernash Derailer Doppelbock World Beer Cup German-Style Strong Bock Beer 1996 Gold Award
Tabernash Munich Dark Lager World Beer Cup European Style Dark Lager 1996 Gold Award
Black Jack Porter Great American Beer Festival Robust Porter 1995 Gold Medal
Sawtooth Ale Great American Beer Festival Bitter 1994 Gold Medal
Black Jack Porter Great American Beer Festival Robust Porter 1994 Bronze Medal
Juju Ginger Great American Beer Festival 1994 Honorable Mention
Tabernash Denargo Lager Great American Beer Festival Dark Lager 1994 Bronze Medal
Tabernash Golden Spike Great American Beer Festival Export / Helles 1994 Bronze Medal
Tabernash Weiss Great American Beer Festival German Wheat 1994 Gold Medal

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rochat, Scott (27 May 2014). "Gardner tours Longmont brewery, says bill to protect brewers' 'spent grain' to reach committee soon". The Longmont-based microbrewer (Longmont Times Call). 
  2. ^ "Brewers Association Releases Top 50 Breweries". Brewers Association (Brewers Association). 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  3. ^ "Longmont Based brewers again see double-digit growth". Times Call (Times Call). 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  4. ^ a b Staff Writer (7 May 2014). "Left Hand Brewing expands product presence to Western Pennsylvania". Drinks Business Review. 

External links[edit]