The Left Way
Our story started in December of 1990 with a small homebrewers kit. Dick Doore, the co-founder of Left Hand, received the kit as a Christmas present from his brother. According to Dick, “it was all downhill from there.” His obsession with homebrewing led him back to Colorado in August of 1993, where he met up with a former college buddy and soon-to-be Left Hand co-founder, Eric Wallace. It didn’t take the two long to start brewing beer. Dick had been homebrewing for years, and Eric had traveled extensively internationally, seeking out great beers wherever and whenever he could. After brewing several batches that impressed their friends and lucky neighbors, Eric and Dick became more confident in their craft. It was only after drinking quite a lot of really good dry stout that they had brewed, that they had their epiphany: “Let’s start a brewery.”
Brewed on the Banks of the Mighty St. Vrain
We incorporated in the September of 1993, and then the search for the location was on from Golden to Loveland. In November of that year, home became a former meat packing plant nestled next to the St. Vrain River near downtown Longmont. We named our brewery Left Hand, after Chief Niwot (meaning left handed), a Southern Arapahoe chief whom wintered his tribe in the Boulder Valley area of Colorado. In just a few weeks, the brewery was starting to take shape, labels were being produced, and kegs and bombers were purchased. We opened our doors for business on January 22, 1994. Our first batch of beer was Sawtooth Ale, solidifying our award winning Amber Ale as our original flagship and longtime Colorado favorite.
Over the years just like our neighboring St. Vrain River, Left Hand has ebbed and flowed with the changing beer environment, evolving into the brewery we are today. In our first 20 years – we merged with Tabernash Brewing from Denver, founded a distribution company, released Milk Stout Nitro – founding America’s original Nitro bottles, and even survived a 500-year flood. In 2008, we tackled our first expansion and fortunately for us, never quite slowed down as thirsty beer fans kept coming back for more.
Hand on the Future
Twenty-three years later, Left Hand Brewing is the 39th largest craft brewery in the U.S. with a growing fan base in 37 states, the District of Columbia and throughout Europe & Japan. Famous for our Nitro series and America’s Stout – Milk Stout Nitro, Left Hand Brewing is also one of the most honored and recognized breweries in the state, with over 27 Great American Beer Festival medals, 11 World Beer Cup awards, and 9 European Beer Star awards. With a longstanding commitment to our community and people, Left Hand has contributed $2.8M since 2008 in donations and goods to Colorado and beyond. In 2015, Left Hand became an employee owned, ESOP structured organization honoring our dedication to brewing independence and broad employee ownership. As we move towards the future, our philosophy remains the same since day one – Left Hand will continue to be a brewery driven by quality, integrity, and the customer experience, one pint at a time.