Hayden brewery moves forward with plans for new tap house, production facility

John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
A rendering of the new Yampa Valley Brewing Co.'s tap house In Hayden, which will be built on property next to the Hayden Granary.
Courtesy Image

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With plans to open a new tap house in Steamboat Springs, it appears 2020 will bring big changes for Yampa Valley Brewing Co., and its owners say that growth will help the Hayden business reach its goal of serving the entire Yampa Valley.

“We commit ourselves to the rural consumer and exploration of unconventional products,” co-owner Erica Tieppo said. “When there are so few breweries due to population base, it is important to explore more experimental styles, such as our braggot, oenobiers (beer-wine hybrid) and innovative emerging styles, so that the consumers have as many choices and opportunities to explore beer as their counterparts in more brewery-dense areas.”

Tieppo owns Yampa Valley Brewing Co. along with her husband, Christian Dufrense, and business partner Paul Brinkman.

“I think our goal is really to focus on providing different types of beers that cater to the different types of people and the diversity found throughout the valley,” Brinkman said. “Our goal has been really to have a product that is kind of specific to each area and each type of community.”

Together, the owners have purchased the property located at 200 N. Walnut St. next to Hayden Granary. They will transform the property into a new 1,100-square-foot tap house that is expected to be finished in March. Then, they plan to build a 1,500-square-foot addition that will serve as a new production facility. They hope to complete that project by August.

“We feel like we’re in the middle of everything that’s going on between Craig and Steamboat,” Brinkman said. “It allows us to be able to distribute to communities across Northwest Colorado from a more central spot.”

Currently, the brewery’s main tap house and production facility are located at 106 E. Jefferson Ave. in Hayden. Yampa Valley Brewing Co. also operates the Barrel Cathedral tap house in Craig at 576 Yampa Ave. along with a smaller production facility that produces specialty beers.

“Craig does have some manufacturing, and we’re doing some barrel-aged specialty beers there, and Steamboat would be the same,” Brinkman said. “Each place would have kind of its own manufacturing, but the main brewery production is going to take place in the new building in Hayden.”

Yampa Valley Brewing Co. products can also be found on the shelves of Steamboat liquor stores, at seven restaurants in Steamboat and at restaurants in Dinosaur, Craig, Hayden and Oak Creek.

“It appeals to the entire valley,” Dufresne said. “We are sticking to the mentality of making an atmosphere for everyone in the valley despite all the various values, opinions and ideologies that can be found here. We take pride in being able to bridge all of that through beer.”

Dufresne said a tap house location in Steamboat has not been identified yet, and planning is still in the early stages.

He said completion of the new production facility in Hayden is key to the brewery’s plans to expand to Steamboat. When completed, the facility will allow the brewery to double or triple its production, Dufresne said.

“The biggest thing about Steamboat, I mean beyond the price of the property and all that stuff, is just knowing how much beer is going to be consumed,” Dufresne said. “For us, it’s being comfortable with your production to hit that consumption number.”

“The origins of the brewery are in Hayden, and we have been blessed with so much support there,” Tieppo added. “We love that Hayden is a community with a strong intermingling of both area natives and transplants, that people share friendships with differences in lifestyle and world views.”

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