What do a backcountry ski run and a summer afternoon have in common? Not a lot, really. But as Emilio recently discovered, Telluride Brewing’s Tempter IPA, named after an epic backcountry ski run in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, proves the weather doesn’t have to be wintery for a snow-melt IPA to hit the spot.
In all fairness to Emilio, he didn’t realize the Tempter IPA was a ski-themed beer when he cracked open the can and posed for his photo on a sunny August afternoon. Somehow the map of Telluride Ski Resort ornamenting the can escaped his notice. The depiction isn’t subtle, but Emilio’s a sloth from Costa Rica. He hasn’t learned how to ski or read a terrain map yet. Besides, who pays attention to the graphics on their beer can?
Most people do, it turns out. But Emilio isn’t most people.
Feeling the Colorado sunshine warming his fur, the golden rays bronzing his face, all he could think about was drinking a cold IPA with a respectably high IBU. Emilio likes full-flavored beer. He enjoys a good backstory too, which is why he feels the tale of how Telluride Brewing came to be is one worth sharing.
As the story goes, the idea for Telluride Brewing was born from a friendship between two adventure seekers named Fish and Tommy, who met at a local bar in Telluride. Through conversations that unfolded while tackling Colorado’s unforgiving mountains and raging rivers, the two discovered a mutual desire to find the perfect beer and one day open a brewery of their own.
It wasn’t a crazy idea. Fish had developed a talent for brewing beer long before Telluride Brewing was founded. He snagged gold and bronze medals at the Great American Beer Festival and developed a following across Colorado. Tommy, a teacher at Telluride Mountain School, was passionate about good beer too.
Those two ingredients—talent and passion—proved to be pivotal in turning their dream into a reality. Patience and partnership did too. It took ten years for Telluride Brewing to open its doors. Fish and Tommy poured their first beer in 2012, then scored gold medals at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival that same year. Since then, they’ve expanded their operations, added new beers to their lineup, and bagged more awards.