Monday, November 12, 2007

Pug Ryan's Steak House Brewery Has Success

Pug Ryan's BreweryAnother Colorado brewery makes good at the recent 2007 Great American Beer Festival. I found this article out on the newswires about Pug Ryan's Steak House Brewery out of Dillon, Colorado. This one came from the Summit Daily News from Summit County, Colorado. Grats to Pug Ryan’s Brewery on the success at this year's GABF to this Colorado brewer.

Pug’s Pallavicini Prevails

For the sixth consecutive year, Pug Ryan’s has brewed up a winning beer for the Great American Beer Festival.

By Jason Smith - Summit Daily News - Summit County, CO
November 11, 2007

SUMMIT COUNTY — Dave Simmons, brewmaster at Pug Ryan’s Brewery and Restaurant in Dillon, wants you to know that the life of brewer is not as laid back as you may think. Only after you’ve put your heart and soul into crafting a beer that wins at the largest beer festival in the country can you then lay back and relax with a refreshing beverage in a tube on Lake Powell, and bask in the sun.

But that’s only for a moment; soon it’s back to the brewery and the business of making a beer that Summit County enjoys.

Thanks to that kind of hard work and dedication, Pug Ryan’s has won three medals this year, including the latest for their Pallavicini Pilsner, taking second place in the Bohemian Style Pilsener category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last month. More than 40,000 people sampled almost 2,000 kinds of beer in 75 categories. Judges picked the Pallavicini brew from 33 breweries that entered the category. The Brewers Association, who puts on the beer festival, notes that the craft beers, like those from Pug’s, have been a fast-growing segment of the overall beer industry, though it is still a small segment relatively speaking. The small Pug’s brewery has also won medals this year at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo and the North American Beer Awards held in Idaho.

Simmons never expected to win any medals when he started brewing about seven years ago at Pug’s. “I started brewing to make good beer for my friends and I to drink,” Simmons said.

From a quick glance at the wall full of medals near the entrance to the restaurant, it’s obvious that brewing good beer at Pug’s has become almost commonplace. However the effort needed to win those awards and brew good beer is becoming greater and greater for Simmons and his assistant, Kerry Hose; the two make up the full team creating what’s on tap at Pug’s.

Not only do they have to deal with the usual headaches of any business — equipment breaking and shipments coming in late, thus slowing the brewing process and pushing deadlines — but they also have a shortage of hops to deal with. That’s affecting brewers across the country.

“Daily, I have to deal with the inhospitable world of hops,” Simmons said, explaining that he tries to plan what hops he needs nearly three years out. Between recent bad crops, an oversupply in the past decade that saw farmers abandon crops, a fire that destroyed more than 60 tons of hops at a major distribution warehouse, and farmers slashing their crops to make room to grow corn for ethanol production, hops are getting harder and harder to find. Not to mention the increases in gas prices that will have an impact on any business. Simmons says he spends hours each day just trying to contract out enough hops to keep up with his brewing demands. Because of the high demand and the drop in producers of hops, brewmansters may need to start rethinking what brews they offer and how they make each recipe in the upcoming months.

Simmons calls his most recent prize-winning brew a classic Bohemian Pilsner, flavored with noble hops and finished with a cool, crisp, malty taste. You can find the Pallavicini Pilsner, along with Pug’s Pale Ale, Stout, Scottish and Wheat beers, on tap at Pug Ryan’s Brewery and Restaurant in Dillon and their sister restaurant, the Blue Spruce Inn in Frisco.

Original story can be found here.

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