Left Hand Brewing
“Guaranteed Right Brain Satisfaction” is the motto of Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. And, since left handed people are in their right mind, we are in good company and amongst good beer.
Following our weekend at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, we headed just over ten miles up the road to Left Hand where, like much of the region, scenic Rocky Mountain views are plentiful. We’ve enjoyed Left Hand’s brews in the past from Washington state (currently the brewery does not distribute in Oregon).
Founded in the early 90’s by homebrewing college buddies Dick Doore and Eric Wallace, Left Hand was officially incorporated in September 1993 as Indian Peaks Brewing Company, dba Name of Left Hand Brewing, in honor of Chief Niwot ( meaning “left hand”) of the Arapahoe tribe. Chief Niwot wintered in the valley where the brewery stand in the mid-1800’s. Since the name Indian Peaks was already taken, the brewery officially changed its name Left Hand.
In April of 1998, Left Hand merged with Tabernash Brewing and doubled the size of their brewery. In November of this year, the brewery formed their own distribution business, Indian Peaks Distribution Company (as you might be aware running both a brewery and distribution operation is not allowed by law in Oregon).
By 2009, Tabernash’s brands were phased out and began packaging 12 ounce bottles and six packs for distribution (before this only 22 ouncers were available).
Starting with Left Hand’s early success in 1994 winning medals at the Great American Beer Fest for their Sawtooth ESB and Black Jack Porter, the brewery to date has accumulated 17 GABF medals, including eight golds. At the 2010 GABF, Left Hand took home a gold medal for their Fade To Black Foreign-style stout. Unfortunately this beer is was not available upon our visit. However, we did get to try a few of their hop-centric ales including a Warrior Wet-hopped IPA and Twin Sisters Double IPA. The Warrior employs fresh Colorado sourced high alpha hops, while Twin Sisters is a big 9.6% ABV sticky pine bomb with lots of citrus from flint hop varieties.
For folks in the Portland region, you can find some of their well known brews like the acclaimed Milk Stout and the flagship Sawtooth ESB as well as other seasonals. The brewery currently produces in the ballpark of 35,000 barrels annually. Fans of highly hopped beers should definitely not pass up a visit to Left Hand’s taproom when in the Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins area. The clean and friendly pub features a knowledgeable staff, ten taps, and two beer engines. For more information, visit their website: www.lefthandbrewing.com