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December 15, 2011
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'Tebrew' gets Eagle brewery national attention

EAGLE, Colorado - Tebowmania has brought national attention to little Bonfire Brewing in Eagle.The brewers at Bonfire a few months ago cooked up a barley wine - a high-alcohol, heavy-drinking concoction - with the intent of selling it at the brewery and putting it into the commercial tasting event at the Jan. 7 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival in Vail. The brew is ready, and last Sunday the Bonfire team was tasting and trying to think up a good name for the stuff. Like many people who enjoy beer, the team was also watching football while they tasted, and watched the Denver Broncos pull out another in a series of improbable wins since Tim Tebow has become the team's starting quarterback. That's when Ken Hoeve, Bonfire's "Ale Ambassador" said, "Let's call it Tebrew!"The name stuck, a logo was created - a beer-holding man kneeling in the now-familiar "Tebow" pose - and the company put up the name on its Facebook page.At that point, automatic Internet thingies trained to search for anything with the word "Tebow" in it went to work. The name soon hit beer blogs and newspaper websites, and the Tebow tsunami soon engulfed Bonfire."We've been getting calls from all over the country," brewery co-founder Andy Jessen said. "It's been great for the brewery, great for Eagle and great for the state."Jessen acknowledged that he doesn't know whether Tebow drinks beer or not - but said the brew is more about fans and football than the player. "It's just a good time to be in Colorado and be a football fan here," Jessen said. But only a few fans will be able to appreciate Tebrew.While the brewery has some of its other products available in bottles, cans or growlers, and sells draft beer at a handful of local restaurants, Tebrew is only available at Bonfire's tasting room/brewery on Second Street in Eagle. It won't be sold in growlers, and is poured only in 10-ounce portions - barley wine is potent stuff, so a pint would be excessive. Also, there just isn't much of the stuff.Barley wines are complicated and expensive to brew, so Bonfire did a batch of just 150 gallons. That's enough for a short stay in the tasting room, and an appearance at the Big Beers festival. And, given the cost, this batch may be it, at least for this season."I don't think it'll last long," Jessen said. "I'm trying to convince (co-founder Matt Wirtz) to make another batch, but it might not happen right away."


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 15, 2011 07:48PM Published Dec 15, 2011 07:44PM Copyright 2011 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.