Sometimes, it’s all about filling a need, and sometimes, it’s about knowing when to take a chance.
Such was the case when Brad Lincoln and Gordon Shuck struck out to open their brainchild brewery, Funkwerks. Little did they know that by their fifth anniversary they would have tripled their originally planned barrel production and completely reshaped their business model. It’s all thanks to the amazingly beer culture and craft-beer town that is Fort Collins, Colorado. Welcome to Funkwerks and Loki Media’s second article in a three-part feature on that bright-green brewery that is pushing the envelope of craft brewing up north, one bottle of saison at a time.
Also See: Part 1: A Visit to Funkwerks & Part 2: A Taste of Funkwerks (Coming 12/18)
“Beer culture” is a funny phrase really. Those two words paint an Oktoberfest-like scene in my mind: tall-German women carrying oversize glasses of golden-brown beer through a packed hall to thirsty men in lederhosen. There are 29 different articles on Wikipedia that attempt to explain it. However, many may find defining the phrase difficult to accomplish. My attempt: It’s when a brewery has more than just beer on tap. But is that what truly creates a good beer culture? According to Funkwerks Owner Brad, it’s a combination including the town and people who drink your beer.
“The beer culture of Fort Collins really came to us” Brad said, and it was that uniqueness that ultimate steered our brewery to become what it is today. Fort Collins has what could be considered an anti-corporate beer-drinking culture. Yes, it’s a college town where student specials drive Friday night consumption, but the access the town has to major players in the craft brewing industry is astounding. This access and the relationships with the good people of those breweries are what really influenced Funkwerks’ growth and success. When mixed with their strong vision to bring the underrepresented styles of saison and sours to the market, the result was a brewery that found itself pushing the envelope and experimenting with great success.
Brad openly admits the Raspberry Provincial was an off-batch of beer they originally did as an experiment. Once they served it though, it blew up. The Raspberry Provincial has been so popular that Brad and Gordon plan to make 4 total variations to the Provincial lineup. This is what Brad means by the influence of beer culture shaping Funkwerks. All the major breweries in Fort Collins have this selflessness that is truly influenced by the beer drinkers and in-turn keeps encouraging those brewers to continue to be creative in their beer making for their consumers. The creativity, dedication to quality, and innovative style of beer Funkwerks brings is a refreshing addition to the Fort Collins beer scene. Truly on par and parallel with Denver’s amazing beer culture.
Check out the amazing interview we had with Brad in the video above. My words can only do so much justice to the passion and dedication he brings to brewing his beer everyday. I’m pleased to recommend Funkwerks to your list of breweries to visit (multiple times) this year. So plan a day trip and head up north to Fort Collins and drink in some of the culture. Just don’t forget to bring home a Provincial four-pack for later!
Stay tuned for a full-tasting guide to all the beers offered on the Funkwerks taps in Loki’s third and final feature, coming soon!
All Photos Courtesy of Brad Gustafson at Loki Media