Brewers enter deal to share equipment

NIWOT – Bootstrap Brewing Co. on Wednesday announced that it has entered into an agreement to rent Sanitas Brewing Co.’s brewing tank part time as rapidly growing Bootstrap tries to ramp up production and distribution.

The alternating proprietorship deal will not only allow Niwot-based Bootstrap to brew at Sanitas but also to begin canning its Insane Rush IPA.

Sanitas opened in September in a 15,000-square-foot space at 3550 Frontier Ave. in Boulder with plenty of room to spare. But Bootstrap, which opened in the summer of 2012 with 1,200 square feet, now occupies all 3,200 square feet of its building at 6778 79th St. in the Cottonwood Square shopping center. And the latter is quickly running out of brewing capacity.

“We’ve always been able to supply enough for the tasting room,´ said Leslie Kaczeus, who co-owns Bootstrap with her husband, Steve. “We just wanted to be able to distribute our beer a little farther than Boulder County.”

Bootstrap brewed 437 barrels of beer in 2013 on its 3.5-barrel brewing tank, or brewhouse. But Kaczeus expects that number to at least double this year with increased capacity in Niwot and at Sanitas, which has a 15-barrel brewhouse. In addition to a new 15-barrel fermenter in Niwot, Bootstrap also has purchased a 15-barrel fermenter to add to the equipment at Sanitas.

Once the paperwork regarding the alternating proprietorship is finalized with the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Kaczeus said Bootstrap will begin brewing and canning in Boulder, possibly within a month.

Bootstrap will continue, meanwhile, to brew in Niwot and package kegs and 22-ounce bottles there. Bootstrap employs four full-time people, including the owners, plus a couple of part-timers, though Kaczeus said the goal is to add to that total.

Kaczeus said she and her husband had been friends with the Sanitas founders for some time, and simply approached them about the alternating proprietorship arrangement. She said Bootstrap isn’t looking for a bigger location in Niwot right now but is still finishing off a portion of the building it is in.

“It’s going to be a great arrangement for all of us,” Kaczeus said.

Zach Nichols, who co-founded Sanitas, with Chris Coyne and Michael Memsic, said his brewery has plenty of space to go around for awhile.
“We definitely don’t anticipate or foresee having Bootstrap working here a little bit interfering with what we’re doing at all,” Nichols said.

Sanitas has brewed upward of 500 barrels so far since opening. In addition to its brewhouse, Sanitas has two 15-barrel fermenters not counting the one Bootstrap just bought, plus a 60-barrel fermenter. Sanitas, which employs one other person besides the founders, cans its Black IPA and Saison year-round.

Nichols said there is ample down time on Sanitas’ brewhouse for Bootstrap to rotate in its own use.

“We’ve got a lot of space,” Nichols said. “We could add another three fermenters and still not be brewing around the clock. We’ve got plenty of brewhouse opportunity for them.”

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