Vail Valley Bizwatch: Vail Brewing Co. set to open doors
Business name: Vail Brewing Co.
Location: 41290 U.S. Highway 6 Units B2 and 3, Eagle-Vail. We’re behind the deli and gas station.
Date opening: We expect to open today.
Owners: Garrett Scahill, Scott Harrison, Brian Harrison and Derek Whiting.
Contact info: Info@vailbrewingco.com.
What goods or services do you provide? We offer the highest quality hand-crafted ales, associated merchandise and an inviting family-friendly atmosphere where locals feel at home and visitors feel welcome.
What’s new or exciting at your place? We’re very excited about opening the brewery with a premier taproom that provides a mountain industrial aesthetic and typifies the Colorado high country lifestyle. We plan on opening our doors with nine different ales on tap and an expanded merchandise line.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We are a small capacity brewery that is focused on bringing the highest quality artisan ales to the community and an ability to innovate with unique ingredients. We specialize in small batch brewing to provide unique flavors and a rotating stock that keeps our products fresh and constantly changing. We are slightly different from many other breweries in that we are not looking to rapidly expand into large-scale distribution. Provided the demand is there, we are perfectly happy serving all our beer across our own taps. Quality comes first; growth and expanded distribution come second. Vail Brewing Co. is also committed to brewing using sustainable production practices to the full extent possible, especially in terms of re-utilizing water and reducing water waste. We are engaged with local farmers and local bakeries to reuse much of our spent grain produced in the brewing process as well. We are fueled by a passion for great beer and the outdoor mountain lifestyle.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? We seek to develop a strong local following and establish a healthy interactive relationship with our clientele that fosters quality feedback. Our products will be influenced by the feedback we receive from our customers. While we understand our beer must be outstanding to secure a solid following, our commitment goes beyond the beer. VBC strives to ensure the little details that provide the total experience are fully addressed. Our beer, the merchandise, the layout and design of our taproom, the dynamic of our partners and the great folks working for us all contribute to an atmosphere that embraces an adventurous high mountain spirit.
A great deal of thought has gone into all aspects of our company, from the glass garage doors that bring in abundant amounts of natural light and open in good weather to bring in the outside, to the mountain industrial mix of antique timbers and barn wood with corrugated steel and the stainless steel of our equipment, it all enhances the experience of VBC artisan ales.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: VBC has only four partners with no outside investors or venture capital. We funded this business exclusively from direct partner contributions and loans. We have a unique background — of the four partners, two are brothers, two are originally from the Portland, Maine, area, and three are Army Special Forces (Green Berets), two of whom served on the same unit in Germany.
Our brewmaster, Garrett Scahill (one of the partners,) began brewing about 15 years ago while still a student at the University of New Hampshire. Since then, Garrett has continued brewing, both commercially and for himself, all while serving as the head coach of the Big Mountain Freeride Team at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail for the past 14 years. In October of last year, he completed the intensive Brewing Technology Course at the world famous Siebel Institute in Chicago, the oldest brewing school in North America. We at VBC share a passion for great beer and a zeal for the outdoors. We strive to reflect both aspects in VBC and are excited to now come together to bring Vail its very own craft beer.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? Come back and ask us this in six months. If the community is even half as enthusiastic about our beer as we are about producing it, we’ll probably have plenty to share by then.