It was just a year ago when we found ourselves peeking in the windows of the yet-to-be open Storybook Brewing on El Paso St. We stopped in this past Sunday and saw why Storybook has been so successful in only their first year: community. On a day when they were supposed to open at 1, they opened the doors a few hours early for the Broncos game and almost instantly had a full house. Their fans brought a potluck, and all were sipping on Pete’s brews. It was like a neighborhood gathering, not a brewery, yet that’s what makes Storybook special.
Storybook’s success has stemmed from an unplanned source. Pete’s pride and joy in brewing is the darker realm of beer, as can be seen in Storybook’s Java Dragon Porter and Over the Moon Stout(50 gallons of which is resting in Axe and the Oak bourbon barrels), both available on CO2 and Nitro, both well developed recipes. But, as Pete tells it, Java Dragon isn’t even in the top five in terms of sales. The leading seller? The Last Straw Berry wheat. A fruit beer from a guy who loves to make dark, malty beer. That’s where Storybook shines.
On Sunday, Pete had a new variant of his pale ale, a “Pineapple Express” hop infused treat. He’ll be the first to tell you he doesn’t even like IPAs or the hoppiest beers, yet he is incredibly good at making them. “Pineapple Express” was the color of pineapple, with a tropical fruit aroma that backed up an intense bitter backbone and slight tartness. Storybook continues to push out fruit-forward beers that never hide the fact that they are still beer. With his strawberry and blackberry wheat variants, he’s providing easy introductions to the craft beer world for those who might find themselves identifying with blue mountains or orange slices on a more regular basis.
Starting Tuesday with Storybook’s release of a Watermelon APA (which Pete has jokingly said could turn out being an IPA), and concluding on Wednesday with a release of their first sour, Storybook will be celebrating their first birthday. On a week where most people find them selves stuck in front of the stove, take the time off and head over to Storybook’s anniversary. You won’t regret it.