30 years ago Kurt and Barb Biegel, the owners of Big Thompson Brewery, met in Virginia. Kurt Biegel had always imagined brewing his own beer to carry on the family tradition of home brewing, but when life took off with Barb, their four kids, and the responsibilities that come with being an adult, Kurt’s dream was set aside.
Fast-forward 25 years, and Kurt and Barb decided to stop at a home brew shop in Fort Collins. After browsing through the store, the couple decided to buy a kit for Kurt. Soon, his hobby turned into a passion. Kurt bought new brewing equipment with each brew, which eventually became more frequent than they had ever imagined.
The engineering couple worked as a team when Barb would design and Kurt would make household appliances into brewing equipment- their deep freezer was transformed into a genuine kegerator. Family and friends praised the great brews coming from their home, and it didn’t take long for Barb and Kurt to realize that they should take brewing more seriously.
Big Thompson Brewery is located in Loveland where the old skating rink, Skate Castle used to be. They named the brewery after the major geographical landmark because of its significance to the community, and because it made such a big impression on them when they moved to the area.
Barb recalls many memories of driving through the canyon after just moving to Loveland in 1977, “It’s one of my favorite drives. It’s gorgeous. The river is beautiful.” Barb and Kurt hope to honor the importance of the river with their beer. “We are trying to make really good beer and provide an entertaining place for people to come hang out,” Barb explains, “we think we can be a part of the community here because there is a lot of interest in beer.”
When customers first enter Big Thompson Brewery, they’ll immediately see the brew house through large openings and windows. The open taproom, which wraps halfway around the brew house, is designed and decorated with repurposed and recycled materials that the couple found and utilized for tables, chairs, and the bar itself. Not only are there chalkboards used for the menu and art, there is also an old fashioned chalkboard located near the games for families and friends to use.
Customers can expect trivia and game nights to be hosted at Big Thompson, as well as food trucks on occasional nights. If the entertainment and décor isn’t enough, the great craft beer will surely bring people into the establishment. One beer in particular that is in the works for the brewery is their beer they call “Dinky,” a beet beer. Big Thompson Brewery, with their beer and background will surely add to the community, and supply another great place for people to relax and enjoy craft beer.
Between their jobs and responsibilities, Kurt and Barb have been endlessly working trying to prepare the brewery for their grand opening on September 15, 2015. They will be up and running at 1pm, and are planning for a large crowd throughout the day. If you are a craft beer fan, someone looking for a place to hang out with friends, or someone looking to try something new, this brewery should absolutely be one of your destinations.