Grand Junction, Colorado:
Kannah Creek - Edgewater Brewery
Visited on: Thursday 7th June 2018
The interesting story behind the Kannah Creek Brewery starts with Jim Jeffryes enjoying a home made beer at his brother-in-law’s barbeque. That was 1990 and he was then hooked into home-brewing for himself.
At that time he had a job with Xerox in Palo Alto in California. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1994 and realised that the stress associated with his job would only make the illness worse. As a result he looked around for a new vocation.
In 1997 he quit the Xerox job and moved with his family to Grand Junction. He went to brewing school in 1999 and then served an apprenticeship with CB & Potts (a chain of brew-pubs). He followed that with a job in a local brewery. He purchased some land south of the town but a major road construction was about to begin nearby so that plan was put on hold.
He formed the Kannah Creek Brewing Company which is co-owned by his wife, Bernadette and managing partner Eric Ross. He renovated an old restaurant north of downtown in Grand Junction.
In this he installed a seven barrel (bbls) plant and opened up as brew-pub in 2005. He was soon selling beer to other restaurants in the area and demand soon outstripped supply.
Meanwhile work had finished on the road construction job south of the city so Jim broke the ground for the building of a new combined brewery, production facility and restaurant in 2012.
It opened its doors to customers during May 2013. Jim named it as the Edgewater Brewery as it is very close to the bank of the Colorado River. This was our first port of call on the day we passed through Grand Junction.
This brewery has a capacity of 30 barrels (bbls) and can supply many more outlets than the older facility. Add in the canning and bottling lines along with extensive storage facilities and you have a modern state of the art plant. I was with John and Linda that day as we called in on our way north from Durango to our overnight stop in Dillon. It certainly looked impressive from the outside.
We were very grateful for the air-conditioning as it was around 38°C that day. Once inside we found ourselves in a medium sized room.
The bar counter was along a wall to the right. We could see either the mash tun or copper through a glass window behind the bar, with the other beyond. I thought they looked older than their six years. In front of the counter were many high tables and we settled at the largest.
The seven regular beers served at Edgewater Brewery are: Island Mesa Blonde (5.2%), an English summer ale; Highside Hefeweizen (5.0%), a Bavarian-style wheat beer; Land’s End Amber (5.5%), described as an altbier; Standing Wave Pale Ale (5.5%), an American pale ale; Broken Oar IPA (6.2%), an American IPA; Pigasus Porter (4.7%), an American porter and Black’s Bridge Stout (6.0%), a sweet stout served by mixed gas.
There were two seasonal beers: Altbier (4.9%), the German classic from Düsseldorf and Pilsner (5.1%) in the Bohemian style. Then there were the specials: Kölsch (4.5%), the light beer from Cologne; Danish Lager (5.2%), Maibock (7.0%) in the Bavarian style; Cherry Bourbon Brown Ale (7.2%) made from tart cherries aged on oak bourbon barrels. The cherries are from the Palisade area of orchards near Grand Junction
They also had two cask beers and we tried them. Sadly the Porter was undrinkable and taken off immediately. Nevertheless you have to give them full marks for persisting this style of beer.
That attitude was confirmed by the cask Amber Ale which was delicious being very smooth in body and tasting like a good English premium bitter.
Of the keg beers, Kölsch was pretty well how it should be, Altbier was also very good albeit a little light on bitterness and Schwarzbier was enjoyed likewise with reasonable bitterness.
Kannah Creek’s Edgewater Brewery has a full menu and is well worth visiting.
Kannah Creek - Edgewater Brewery, 905 Struthers Avenue, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501
Tel: 970 243 3659. Web: kannahcreekbrewingco.com/edgewater-brewery
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11.00-21.00; Friday-Saturday 11.00-22.00
Grand Junction has a Regional Airport. Its railroad station is served by Amtrak’s California Zephyr train daily. From the east this runs from Chicago via Omaha, Denver and Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction. Continuing west it runs to Emeryville (for San Francisco) via Salt Lake City and Sacramento.
There is a network of eleven bus routes in Grand Junction operated by Grand Valley Transit.
They operate from 05.00 to 20.00. Route 1 goes to the Regional Airport.