A Kremmling Trifecta

Photos: Paul Johnson

Photos: Paul Johnson

Crafting quality beer, food and spirits in Kremmling  

By Joe Ross

Rick Reliford realizes that sometimes you have to crawl before you run but it’s taken less than two years for the Kremmling brewer to reach his stride.

Reliford launched Grand Adventure Brewing Co. in 2017 and began brewing in March of 2018. With a nice selection of beer and a small kitchen, he found himself working around the clock to keep customers in the small northwest Colorado town happy. It was then that he set his sights on forming partnerships to enhance his business that serves the community.

With more adventurers finding their way to the area, Kremmling has become a great place to set up a base. Nearby Woolford Mountain Reservoir and Williams Fork Reservoir attract large numbers of fishing enthusiasts and others who plunge deep into water sports. Throw in rafting, hiking, biking and campers filling up the backcountry and Kremmling begins to shine as a tourist destination.

Reliford’s brewery is located just a block off the town’s main drag in an old building that was recently remodeled.

Grand Adventure Brewing Co. founder and brewer Rick Reliford, left, poses with The Dean West restaurant’s Jon Harvey. They have combined efforts with distiller Red Waldron to provide craft brew, food and spirits under one roof in Kremmling.

Grand Adventure Brewing Co. founder and brewer Rick Reliford, left, poses with The Dean West restaurant’s Jon Harvey. They have combined efforts with distiller Red Waldron to provide craft brew, food and spirits under one roof in Kremmling.

His brews range from a refreshing pilsner dubbed the River Ranger to some heavier hitters, such as Mary’s Wall Blackout, an imperial stout with a hint of whiskey and chocolate that registers 10 percent ABV.

With plenty of space outdoors for live music, corn hole and fresh-air dining, Reliford decided it was a great time to form a partnership and expand. Enter chef Jon Harvey.

Harvey took over the kitchen at Grand Adventure, named it The Dean West, and came up with a menu that is creative and pleasing to the wide mix of guests living in and visiting Grand County. In addition to soups, salads and burgers, Harvey is producing bison short ribs, a rack of lamb and other tasty entrees.

Harvey’s expertise in the kitchen was key, Reliford said. “We have hit the level of food service and guest experience that we have always strived for.”

To round out the food and drink package in the town that was founded in 1881, a distiller named Red Waldron was brought on board and launched Blue Valley Spirits adjacent to the brewery and restaurant. With his eyes set on bourbon and whiskey down the road, Waldron is currently distilling vodka, gin, rum and moonshine, which has recently become available.

Blue Valley Spirits celebrated its soft-opening early in September with a party featuring live music.

Reliford’s small-town brewery has suddenly become a big-time attraction with great food and promising spirits. He said the trio has dubbed it Colorado’s first Brewstillery. “The three of us have created a very unique establishment and guest experience and this is only the beginning,” he said.

As for working around the clock?

Although last spring’s remodel made it impossible to take a day off, things have improved for the young brewer who learned the ropes at Dillon Dam Brewery.

“After making such a huge push during the remodel, putting in so many hours, it felt very strange to take a day off,” he said. “I would literally be anxious after about six hours of not being on site.”

And now? “It is funny that you ask that,” he said. “Prior to bringing on The Dean West, days off were several months apart, but now I am able to take one day a week off.”

When he gets a break, you might find Reliford hunting or fishing – living the grand adventure that he fell in love with when he moved to the area several years ago.

Joe Ross is editor and associate publisher of Thirst Colorado Media.

IF YOU GO:

Grand Adventure Brewing
The Dean West Restaurant
Blue Valley Spirits

grandadventure.us

207 Central Ave. Kremmling