Jessica Fierro, center.
In June 2017, local Jessica Fierro
won on cable network Viceland’s Beerland homebrewing competition show
. Her winning brew, Doña Neta
, a tamarind Bière de Garde, was brewed, canned and retailed by Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned show sponsor Golden Road Brewing. At the time, Fierro said she hoped to open her own brewery somewhere down the line.
Somewhere down the line is now — as of Friday, Jan. 19, Fierro owns Great Storm Brewing
. She’s been working with former owners Jeff and Lynn Jacobs on the move since summer.
“Jeff and Lynn are great people, and they decided it was their time to sell,” says Fierro via e-mail. “We were lucky enough to have just won Beerland and were looking to move the brewing out of the garage.”
Of course, there’s a big difference between homebrewing and pro brewing — recipes don’t scale one to one for reasons you’ll find in any physical chemistry textbook, to list one of many complications. Fierro knows there's a difference. She says she’s been brewing on large systems across the front range to prep. Further, Great Storm’s current brewers Gretchen Foster, Kelly Bugbee and Ian Steele will be staying on. Long-term, Fierro plans to change the name and refocus the lineup to emphasize Latin flavors, honoring her heritage as she did with Doña Neta. She will, of note, be paying homage to Great Storm’s beers as well. She’ll also be redecorating the space in short stints — craft fans can expect a few one- to three-day closures throughout the process.
Unfortunately, she will not be brewing Doña Neta — Golden Road owns the trademark for the beer, which she named for her grandmother.
“I have other things I can do, and of course I can make a tamarind beer like nobody’s business, so there will be a tamarind beer in our future.”