Spotlight on Business
Boulder Dam Brewing Co.
by Todd E. Cook
A Bolder Damn Beer
A couple of years ago, on a ferry from Seattle to Vashon Island, a man asked his son what his ideal career would be. The son said the only thing he’d want to do would be to run a small brewery. The father shrugged this idea off, more or less. A little over a year ago, the same man called his son and suggested they actually build a small brewery. Three and a half months ago, Boulder Dam Brewing Co. opened its doors to Boulder City.
Five years ago, I was given my first home-brew set-up from a friend. Several months later, and several bad beers later, I brewed a porter that was, in my opinion, as good as any I had ever had. I was hooked. Within a few months, home-brewing was more important to me than running the advertising company I had owned for seven years. A few years later, I retired from the industry.
Boulder Dam Brewing Co. is truly a family business. My parents, Toby and Gail Cook, in no small way helped to bring a dream of brewing for a living to reality. They can be found at the brewery at any given time on any given day. My sister, Lisa Thompson, a teacher at Martha P. King, works with us as well. Her two oldest, Courtney and Cameron, are also getting their feet wet, so to speak, in the family business.
A lot of people ask us why we chose to build a brewery in such a small town as Boulder City. My response to that is simple, “You’re not from here, are you?” We were all raised in small towns and we all live in Boulder City. The feeling of community, and the enthusiasm residents have for this town, is unbelievable. Why would you not want to put a small brewery in a place like this?
From the beginning, we wanted the brewery to reflect Boulder City and its past. We researched building styles and décor from the early 1930s and incorporated that in everything from the lighting to the seating to the millwork. We were also fortunate enough to have the city’s assistance in acquiring dozens of actual pieces of equipment used in the construction of the dam. They can be found throughout the brewpub and beer garden. Our goal was to create a place Boulder residents felt was theirs.
We currently brew up to seven different styles at a time, ranging from rich stouts and hoppy pale ales to our most popular, a light, refreshing hefeweizen served with a slice of juicy orange. Having brewed over 40 styles in the past, we will be continuing to release new beers frequently. In addition, we have some great wines and non-alcoholic choices. Our food menu is light, simple fare that complements the beers we produce. We even offer growlers, half-gallon to-go jugs, so our customers can enjoy our beer wherever and whenever they want.
The recently completed beer garden offers seating for over 60, shaded by sails and natural vegetation, and is the setting for live music on the weekends.
The phrase “Bigger, Bolder, Fresher” are words we live and brew by. We believe in the traditional rule of brewing - a beer should not be drunk farther from the brewery than a draught horse can carry it in a day. Twenty miles. We invite everyone to come have a taste of our passion for themselves.
Check out our new web site at www.boulderdambrewing.com.