Wild Woods Brewery: A Nature-Inspired Craft Beer Story

Two of the most quintessential things about Boulder are the area’s love and appreciation for the outdoors and its love and appreciation for creative and imaginative craft beer. Wild Woods Brewery combines these two loves into a host of delicious nature-inspired beers, making it a uniquely Boulder craft brewery and entrepreneurial story.

Wisconsin natives who moved to Boulder about eight years ago, Jake and Erin Evans had an interest in and a love of beer long before coming to the area.

“We took home brewing to a pretty obsessive level,” says Erin Evans, owner of Wild Woods Brewery. Longtime lovers of camping, hiking, and the outdoors, Jake and Erin thought about how they could combine this love of nature into a business venture in a meaningful way, wanting to create something that they could share with others who could also enjoy it. The concept of Wild Woods Brewery, where elements of nature would quite literally be combined with their brews, came to be.

“Our passion for brewing turned into our American Dream,” says Erin. Opening Wild Woods Brewery in September of 2012, Jake and Erin found themselves at the forefront of the nature-inspired beer landscape in the area, fulfilling a craft beer niche perfectly suited for Colorado and, specifically, for Boulder.

Wild Woods Brewery offers both year round and seasonal beers on tap at their taproom here in Boulder. With a process of first thinking about the type of beer they want to make and its name (this usually occurs while camping or out on a hike), Jake and Erin then brainstorm about how they can incorporate nature into that beer in a meaningful way by means of some kind of specialty ingredient. According to Erin, the hope is that this special addition will trigger memory association with that time and place in nature for the drinker. From incorporating juniper berries into their Treeline IPA to adding jasmine flowers to their Wildflower Pale Ale, the beers at Wild Woods truly evoke the natural elements, locations, and experiences that inspired them.

The Wild Woods taproom is a cozy and inviting location in which to enjoy all of the beers that Wild Woods has to offer, and to perhaps play a game of Scrabble, Bananagrams, or Sorry! while you’re at it. The colorful and varied year round selections are currently complemented with big dark beers sure to warm you from the inside out on a flurry-filled winter day in Boulder. There is the Butternut Brown, an extremely flavorful beer with hints of molasses, pie spices, and butternut squash. The Black Smoke Imperial Stout, released on December 10th, is dark, smoky, and warming. A must-mention from the year round selections is the Smores Stout, a dark and sweet stout that tastes like a dessert you will most certainly want seconds of.

Wild Woods has grown immensely since its inception as a nanobrewery, as is evidenced by its continued growth in beer selection and availability. According to Erin, Wild Woods has grown very organically over the years and has been able to form their own reputation within the community in a methodical and meaningful way (and mostly by word of mouth), always drawing from their moments of mental clarity within nature to come up with their newest and most exciting beers.

Now bottling 22oz bombers of their Treeline IPA and Ponderosa Porter, and with beers available at certain bars in the local area, Wild Woods likewise has plenty of beer release events happening in the near future. Releasing a new beer every Thursday (recent releases include the casked Smores Stout with Mint, the Coffee ESB, the casked Wildflower Pale Ale with lemon and cloves, and the Black Smoke Imperial Stout), the brewery also released their Pinon Ale, an amber brewed with Pinon bark and Pinon nuts inspired by a visit to Santa Fe, this past Thursday, December 17th.

In addition, Wild Woods will be releasing new winter warmer beers over the next two months. January 2016 will see the release of the Winter Plum, while February will feature the Frozen Forest, a beer brewed with spruce and coriander. February will also see a new month-long event for Wild Woods called Frozen February, where big, bold beers will take over the taps and additional beers, both new and some saved from previous batches, will be available for the enjoyment of the community.

Wild Woods Brewery creates beers that will bring you back to our own experiences in the outdoors. Whether you’re looking to evoke memories of your first summit of a 14er, stumbling upon a mountain meadow while on a hike, or sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows with your friends and family, the beers at Wild Woods are a creative and delicious way to reminisce and remember your love for both the outdoors and great craft beer.