I’m not exactly sure when I first met Dev Adams, AKA Miss Lupulin, as there very may well have been beer involved. Regardless, we gradually became friends over our shared passion for craft beer. Dev’s knowledge and tasting ability is truly amazing. She is the first person that I would turn to if I had any questions about beer. I later met Dev’s partner in life & beer, Josh Norton (whom Dev affectionately calls the Beerd Wrangler). Simply put, Josh embodies the friendliness of the Colorado brewing industry.
Dev & Josh recently joined the small group of folks that have accomplished the feat of visiting every Colorado brewery. At the time of their accomplishment there were 340 open Colorado breweries (by my count). As I have done with the other Colorado Brewery Masters (Patrick Malone, Kevin Harris, The Colorado Beer Barons, Scott Young, John Vandewater, & Ruth Malone), I asked them some questions about their quest…
Who are Josh & Dev? (Tell us a bit about yourselves.)
Dev: I am a Colorado native from Littleton, currently working full time for Colorado Parks and Wildlife as an Information Systems Manager and System Administrator. That pays the bills. In what I call my “real life” I am an Advanced Cicerone ® and Certified BJCP judge and consult and blog under the name Miss Lupulin. I also design craft beer-related jewelry called Beerings.
Josh: I’m mostly from Colorado (I came here when I was seven) and have been a professional brewer for five years. I am currently consulting for a brewery that will be opening in Frisco in the spring and looking for another permanent Brewing job. I just make the beer – Dev is the one who knows everything about it.
Both: we met during GABF week in 2006 when we were both working for the Flying Dog Brewery on Blake Street. Dev was the tour guide and tasting room manager and Josh worked on the bottling line. In the intervening 11 years, we have visited 637 breweries together, including (obviously) all of the breweries in Colorado.
When and what was the first Colorado brewery that you remember visiting?
When and where did you accomplish the status of having visited every Colorado brewery?
What are some of your favorite memories of your quest?
Josh: for my birthday in 2014, Dev surprised me by setting up private tours at the not-yet-open Casey Brewing & Blending and Roaring Fork Beer Co. It was awesome to meet the guys opening those places and get an early peek at what they were doing (and an early sip).
Dev: the whole journey has been special to me since it’s essentially a story of our relationship. We don’t count a brewery unless we have been there together, which I think makes our quest unique. I have so many amazing memories that it’s hard to pick even a small handful, but they all come down to the relationships we’ve built:
– Camping out in our 4Runner as we traveled around Southwest Colorado visiting breweries for my birthday in 2016 and 2017Sometime along the way, I decided that we needed to take a selfie at every new brewery we visit, and I document those on my Instagram. It reminds me of all of the places we’ve been and the crazy, amazing people we have met along the way. Not to mention the incredible beers… so many incredible beers.
What are your favorite styles of beer and your top breweries in the state of Colorado in terms of your beer taste?
Josh: double IPAs are my absolute favorite style. My favorite breweries in terms of beer would have to be Locavore, Brewery Rickoli, Woods Boss, Broken Compass, Cannonball Creek, Baere, Dead Hippie, Yampa Valley, Riff Raff, Barrels & Bottles, Spangalang
Dev: I drink just about everything, and my tastes change by the day, so it’s hard for me to pick a particular style I gravitate towards. However, I’m always looking for a great Biere de Garde, I love all of the different interpretations of saisons, I adore a great pale ale, in the fall I cannot get enough Marzen and Festbiers, I generally judge a brewery based on their simplest beer – kolsch, cream ale, blonde. I also love breweries doing wild fermentation… it’s such an art.
My favorite breweries when it comes to their beer selection and how they consistently produce great products are Baere, Hogshead, Comrade, Locavore, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Bruz, Broken Compass, Paradox, Ratio, Jessup Farm, Colorado Boy, Copper Club, Manitou, Riff Raff, Elevation, CO-Brew (the most underrated brewery in Denver), 105 West, Telluride
The breweries that are not super established, so I can’t comment on long term consistency, but are making beers that make me excited to see what’s next: Woods Boss, Purpose, Cellar West Artisan Ales, Beyond the Mountain, Yampa Valley, Alternation, Mountain Cowboy
What are you favorite tap rooms in terms of aesthetics and atmosphere?
Josh: simple, beer focused taprooms are my favorites. I like to be able to see where the work is done. Woods Boss, Broken Compass, Locavore, GCB, Outer Range, Avalanche, Spangalang, Old Colorado, Bristol all have cool locations and unique taprooms.
Dev: I love taprooms that are cozy and comfortable; someplace I want to hang out for a while. Copper Kettle was the first brewery we visited that I was really attracted to how comfortable it is. I’m also such a Colorado stereotype as I love wood and fireplaces and a general feel of being in the mountains, but I also love anything that’s unique, because too many taprooms are following the same general aesthetic recently. Some of my favorites:
What are some of your favorite destination breweries?
What is your favorite hang-out brewery? (Where are folks most likely to run into you?)
What advice would you offer others trying to become a Colorado Brewery Master?