#soulcraftbrewing – PorchDrinking.com
CAN YOU? What single element can turn previously laid-back fun-loving brewers into nose-to-the-grindstone workers? Oh, that could only be…success. CEO and Head Brewer Mike LaCroix of Soulcraft Brewery in Salida, CO and his team are transitioning from very limited bottling to full-out canning.
On his first day off in three weeks, he takes some time to breathe and reflect on this next transition: The “big spark” he believes will revolutionize this small brewery into a nationally recognized brand.
The idea came to him in a dream. Soulcraft Brewing’s head brewmaster Mike LaCroix was so focused on brainstorming different kinds of beers to open the brewery with in November 2016 that it continued as he slept. He woke up and thought, let’s do a really great Coconut Milk Stout. And he did.
At first, this seemed so easy. Just write about the best things to do, see, experience, eat and drink in Chaffee County. But here’s the problem: It’s only for 2 days and 2 nights. Being in and around Salida and Buena Vista brings on that kid-in-the-candy store feeling. Except in terms of outdoorsy adventures. I want it all! So, I’ll steer you to a few of my favorite things, then it’s up to you to see where it all leads.
In Colorado’s crazy-competitive craft beer climate, what makes the difference between soaring success and sorry, we’re closed? Sometimes, in addition to making amazing beers, it helps to find a niche. Soulcraft Brewery in Salida, Colorado, found theirs, a little unexpectedly—in music.
A passionate group of local investors opened Soulcraft Brewery in November 2016 with every intention of simply being a local tasting room serving incredible beer. It wasn’t surprising that the locals responded immediately. It also wasn’t too shocking that tourists traveling to nearby Monarch Mountain Ski Resort responded big time. Soulcraft is right on Highway 50 with a bright neon sign shouting, “Brewery.” This is more than enough to entice adventure-seekers rolling through.
But then an intriguing thing happened. This music-loving town of just 5,500 residents had always had more soul than space. But Soulcraft’s location was in a large, former furniture warehouse so its rare spaciousness got people thinking. Dreaming. Could their tasting room become an entertainment destination? Oh yea.
Most beer lovers assume beer fests are for them. Like the liquid smorgasbord is a thank you gift for being loyal craft beer fans. But the Colorado Brewers Rendezvous wasn’t originally intended for you, the beer drinker. Don’t get me wrong, you’re invited now, you’re more than welcome, but initially it was just an annual membership meeting of the Colorado Brewers Guild. When a bunch of brewers gather to rendezvous, though, it’s going to be a party. And parties are meant to be shared.