There is something truly inspirational about Crazy Mountain’s philosophy regarding living, let alone brewing. They’re all about the passionate pursuits in life and they believe that when your passion is your job, life is good – so why do anything else?
It was this kind of mentality that saw Crazy Mountain terraform its place in the Vail Valley; fed up with the rat race and ready to live life to its fullest, Kevin and Marisa Selvy followed their hearts to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains where they founded Crazy Mountain Brewing Company.
“After spending a bit of time in the financial industry, I realised that this wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted to lead long-term,” co-founder and CEO Kevin Selvy tells us. “I pursued my passion for brewing and moved to the beautiful Vail Valley in an effort to lead the life that I had always wanted to live – the one in which you’re free to skip out on the occasional Friday for a bluebird ski day.”
Indeed, Crazy Mountain is as much about the laidback, fun mountain lifestyle as it is about the beer, and this attitude carries over into everything that they do. “The two are intertwined for us – our brews and the outdoor lifestyle,” explains Selvy. “We believe that our beers are best paired with adrenaline. Whether spending the day scaling a mountain, white-water rafting, or skiing the back bowls, we strive to produce beers that reward the day’s successes, near misses and next-times.”
“We believe that our beers are best paired with adrenaline. We strive to produce beers that reward the day’s successes, near misses and next-times.”
That isn’t to say you must be a mountain climber, skier or white-water rafter to enjoy Crazy Mountain’s beers; their brews are for everyone. And they are inspired by a love and appreciation for good beer, and a passion for innovation that Selvy is glad to see being embraced by more and more craft beer fans in the UK.
“The UK craft beer scene has always been fascinating to me, but even more so nowadays as it is evolving more than ever. Beer drinkers in the UK are being more adventurous day by day and are always looking for innovative styles, so it’s exciting for brewers and consumers alike to share this ideology.”
Starting (as so many of the best did) as a homebrewer, Selby honed his skills and discovered a passion for developing recipes. Couple this with a commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients from all over the world and you have some truly exceptional, crowd-pleasing ales and lagers.
“The Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale is truly an ode to the lifestyle by which we define ourselves,” says Selvy, talking about one of the Crazy Mountain beers featured in this month’s Flavourly boxes. “It’s a beautifully crafted American pale ale that utilises two American hop varieties – El Dorado and Citra. The hop forward character shines through in the unique, tropical flavour. Jeremiah, the creature for Mountain Livin’, invites you to take a seat by the campfire, relax and enjoy a story or two, with a beer… or two.”
Ah, the creatures. It was only ever a matter of time before we encountered one of the Crazy Mountain’s inimitable inhabitants. Lurking on the labels of each of the brewery’s core beers, these unique creatures play pivotal roles for Crazy Mountain, according to Selvy.
“Lurking on the labels of each of the brewery’s core beers, these unique creatures play pivotal roles for Crazy Mountain.”
“They allow us to personify each beer and tell a deeper story both about our brand and the beers we stand behind. Each creature is comprised of three animals native to Colorado and the unique personalities of each creature are represented through the beers. In addition, you will have noticed that many of the creatures that reside on Crazy Mountain have roles in the brewing process.”
For example, there’s Sheamus, the oldest resident of Crazy Mountain. Made from various parts of the owl, mule deer and bobcat, he monitors the quality of the river with his sharp eyesight so that only the purest water makes it into Crazy Mountain’s brews. And like the beer he represents, he’s bold but agreeable, and surprisingly clean.
It’s certainly crazy, and perhaps even a bit weird, but the creatures really encapsulate the message at the core of Crazy Mountain and their beers – it’s all about leading life a little bit differently. As Selvy says: “After all, we believe that beer, just like life, is best with a touch of crazy.”
Originally published in Issue 2 of our Flavourly magazine. Written by Kevin O’Donnell.