The beginning of the end…
Wit’s End Brewing is the crazy scheme dreamed up by founder Scott Witsoe (and tolerated by his super-cool wife Heather!). Scott moved from his hometown of Seattle to Heather’s hometown of Denver just at the turn of the millennium. After a difficult time acclimating to that strange glowing thing called the Sun, Scott was elated to see there was such a thriving craft beer community in Denver much like in Seattle. What’s more was his discovery that the Great American Beer Festival was a real event, not some made up infomercial award he saw on TV from that famous brewer in Boston. After attending his first GABF, it was immediately in this moment that Scott called Denver his new home and the barley seed was fatefully planted. Scott is the head brewer, manages the overall business operations (i.e. everything) and tends to get lost going down rabbit holes. Heather’s role is being awesome and helping where and when she can.
We like to think that our brewery is not small, people are just big…
Wit’s End Brewing Co. is what is becoming a more accepted (or tolerated) classification in the craft beer world called a nanobrewery. Does this mean we are 1000 times smaller than a microbrewery? Sorry, our understanding was that there would be no math. Let’s just say most people get a smirk on their face when they see how small our equipment is…but as everyone knows, it is not about the size, rather how you use it! The original thought was…why must a brewery be some large scale production facility? Isn’t it better to start out small rather than not at all? (hey that rhymed). There are artisan bakers, cheese makers, etc. who successfully operate on a small scale, a brewery should be able to so as well (plus we can’t afford the big equipment yet).
Slow Beer for Fast Times…
We brew 1 barrel (31 gallon) batches of beer at a time. This small scale allows us to be very intimate with the brewing process as well as flexible in trying out new recipes. Everything we do is intensely manual—so when we say handcrafted, there is no euphemism in that statement, it is literally handcrafted. We will self-distribute our beer to just a handful of beer-centric stores, restaurants, and bars, as well as hold some limited tasting room hours at the brewery. Our goal is to create a sustainable business and grow at a comfortable pace that never compromises our quality, but will meet with the growing demand.
From the Brewer…
I knew the instant I heard that wonderful fizzy sound come out of my first bottle-conditioned homebrewed beer that this was to be my destiny. Much like the reaction Tom Hanks had to making fire, I proudly proclaimed…“I-MADE-BEER!” So, like many home brewers, I often dreamt about starting a so called nanobrewery on the side, but things like raising a new family and working a day job sidetracked me a bit. This all changed in March of 2011 when I finally felt the brunt of the weak economy and was laid off from my job. After dreaming a lot, and panicking even more, my wonderful wife and I decided to take a chance and pull the trigger on this crazy idea of owning a brewery. Well, as what was once said to Tom Cruise before he started jumping on couches and obsessing over E-meters… “Joel, sometimes you gotta say what the f*ck, make your move…” The rest as they say is history…
Jean-Claude Van Blond
Super FL i.p.a.
Green Man Ale
Kitchen Sink Porter
The Mad King