Since opening in November 2010, Bonfire Brewing in Eagle continues to grow faster than its owners initially predicted.“At minimum, we'll grow 100 percent this year, which a lot of craft breweries in Colorado are doing,” said Bonfire co-founder Andy Jessen. “Colorado has a lot of excellent brewers and there is a lot of demand from around the country.”This year, the Eagle beer-tasting establishment at 127 Second St. made its debut at the Vail Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival last week, showcasing its now-famous “Tebrew,” named after Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.“Tebrew definitely got a lot of attention at the festival,” Jessen said. “People were posing in front of the sign to have their pictures taken.”Since Tebrew came out in early December, complete with its logo of a beer-holding man kneeling in the “Tebow” prayer pose, Bonfire Brewing started getting calls from people all over the country who wanted to order the barleywine. While exporting Tebrew won’t be feasible, other Bonfire beer will be packaged and shipped by this summer.“You can start looking forward to stockpiling Bonfire beer in the very near future — small-scale bottling and canning is imminent, with the Tent Pole Porter, Awry Rye Pale Ale, and Firestarter IPA making their way to shelves and restaurants by summertime,” noted a recent email newsletter from the brewery.Jessen said the exporting has been part of the plan all along. However, in light of recent demand, the brewery will expand more aggressively than what was initially thought.“We always wanted to make sure demand warranted the beer supply rather than the other way around,” Jessen said.Now it seems demand warrants the supply.“The support from the community grows each week, with new people stopping in, and sales at restaurants have been good,” Jessen said. “We're just trying to keep our heads and maintain quality.”Currently only one of Bonfire's five co-founders/investors/helpers is technically working there full time, while the rest keep day jobs, but that might change by this summer, Jessen said.“We've even had friends occasionally cover some shifts,” Jessen said of how busy the brewing business has been.More information about Bonfire Brewing and its merchandise can be found at www.bonfirebrewing.com.
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