The first time I visited the Bootstrap Brewery in Niwot, I was on my bicycle, riding into town from Broomfield to attend a Rock & Rails concert. Somehow, I took a few wrong turns, ran into a couple of dead-end roads, and found myself somewhat lost. Forty miles later, I located the brewery where I was to meet my wife. I was thirsty. Very thirsty, in need of a good, cold beer. I had come to the right place.
Situated in downtown Niwot, not too far from Whistlestop Park and the old railroad depot, Bootstrap is easy to find, and quite a find if you like good people and good beer. Opened in 2012 by owners Steve and Leslie Kaczeus, Bootstrap has become a popular stopping-off place for locals and a destination when visiting Niwot.
When entering Bootstrap, the first thing you might notice is the sign on the door: You must be 21+ – No Children. I asked Leslie about their decision to make Bootstrap one of the area’s few adult only breweries. “We struggled with the decision for a while.” She replied, “and it became increasingly difficult to look after wandering children”. She acknowledged that they may have lost some customers, but sales are good and customers like the new atmosphere.
The brewery atmosphere is very comfortable and clean. Bootstrap is in the Cottonwood Square, and has a great tap house feel as opposed to an industrial feel (it is not in an industrial park like many local tap houses). Bar space is limited, but there are several tables inside, more on the back patio, and a new stage for live music. Their tap room provides a great place to sit and enjoy their craft beers.
Bootstrap has ten taps behind the bar, and serves up six-to-eight core beers, such as their Insane Rush IPA, Flagstaff Amber (Leslie’s favorite), and Stick’s Pale Ale. IN addition, they regularly mix things up with rotating seasonals and specialty brews Steve creates. I had an American wheat infused with passion fruit, named Taheati Wheati. It was light, crisp and fruitfully delicious. I also had their Backfire Chile beer that was a bit heavy on the hit for my taste, but Leslie mixed it with their Worthog Stout, and it was quite refreshing.
“Steve is the recipe guy,” Leslie said. He has been home brewing for over twenty years while both he Leslie worked hi-tech jobs. After five years of planning, trying new recipes, employing their friends to judge their beers, and figuring out how to finance the brewery (a larger tap room and more fermenters were scrapped due to their “bootstrapped” budget), they opened their doors. Their doors open daily at 3:00 PM and 2:00 on weekends.
It you’re in Niwot, looking for a great place to enjoy great beer, or if you want to fill a growler or buy their beer in cans (they are currently canning Insane Rush IPA and Stick’s Pale Ale), Bootstrap is the place to go. You can also enjoy evening activities – Open mic on Mondays, Trivia on Tuesdays, Euchre on Wednesdays, and live music on Saturdays. And if you’re riding your bike around Boulder County, get lost, and end up in Niwot, stop by Bootstrap and quench your thirst. You’ll be glad you did.
Sidebar: If you happen to go to Niwot Thursday evenings during the summer months to listen and maybe dance to great music at the Rock & Rails series, you can have a Bootstrap beer too. Bootstrap is sponsoring the concert series for their second year.