Found the dream
There's another brewery coming to Colorado Springs, hopefully in spring of 2017. Andy and Alyssa France plan to open Lost Friend Brewing Company (2458 Montebello Square Drive, see Facebook page) at a storefront they've leased right next to Peak Place coffee. Construction is due to start within the month.
"It's always been a dream of mine to brew for a living, and Alyssa has always wanted to create something of our own," he says. "We started really thinking and planning about two years ago. Then a few months ago, we stumbled on our location, and we knew it was time to go for broke."
Andy, a fourth-generation Springs native, has been a homebrewer for eight years, boasting a half-barrel brew system in his garage. He says he's been working with several local brewers and training up on the substantial differences he'll face with the 10-barrel rig he and his wife will be working with at Lost Friend.
"We've learned a little bit from those other breweries, and we can streamline some things," he says, but notes that he's aware of the various unforeseen delays that could yet plague Lost Friend. "Every other brewery in town has been so helpful. It's such a wonderful community... It helps get us on the map as a serious beer town, just like Fort Collins or Boulder or San Diego."
Andy's background is in geography and anthropology; he was, until committing to the brewery, a field mapper. Alyssa worked at a credit union and has a background in finance and accounting, which she'll handle for the brewery, along with masterminding the hoppier beers. Andy says she's a hardcore IPA-fiend who will apply her passion to the creation of those styles. Andy, though, loves malty beers, especially Belgian-style ales, which he'll focus on. But he says it's unlikely the brewery will open with Belgian-style beers.
"It'll be a while before those are ready," he says, citing a desire to properly oak-age some of his recipes. The Frances already have plans to add a bottling component to their brewery, too, partially in order to properly bottle-condition some of the Belgian ales, though they're still working out the details.
"We're not going to stick to one regional style," he notes. "We try to find historical examples of beers." Though he refrained from giving specifics, he says the brewery will open with a "good, broad range of beers," with a balance between hoppy and malty options. He was happy, however, to talk about the environment and mindset the Frances are trying to create in their brewery.
"We're focused on making sure our brewery has a good community feel to it," he says. "That's being involved with local charities and really fitting in as a neighborhood brewery."
So how about that name?
"We find lost dogs a lot," he says. "In the last two years, we've found around 60 lost dogs that we return to their owners... we just got to calling them lost friends."