After a working a stressful job for a fortune 500 company in California and a diagnosis of Multiple sclerosis, Jim Jefferies began to make changes in his life. Previously, brewing was a hobby, but Jim, who was in need of a less-stressful job, was able to pursue brewing more seriously. He started his brewing journey through attending a brew master school and later started working for Palisade Brewing Company where he met some of is current business partners.
With initial plans of building a brewery in south downtown near the river, Jefferies hit many challenges and turned to a newly available location at 12th and Orchard that would become Kannah Creek Brewing Company. After eight years of continued success with Kannah Creek, Jefferies and his business partners looked back to the original downtown plan and went forth with building a brewery on a piece of land that Jefferies had purchased over a decade before. After the many hurdles, including the construction of the Riverside Parkway, the time had finally come to build the brewery.
Construction for the brewery began in October in 2012. Now with four 60-barrel fermenting tanks, and one of only 3 state-of-the art bottling systems in the United States, Edgewater is currently on track to brew 5,000 to 6,000 barrels annually with even more projected growth in the future. This is compared to the 1,000 barrels that the Kannah Creek location is able to produce. In July, Edgewater Brewery partnered with a distributing company that has successfully landed them in liquor stores both inside Grand Junction and all across the state of Colorado.
Edgewater distributes its two most popular beers, Lands End and Standing Wave, in bottles and is also available in kegs. Several local bars in Grand Junction now have Kannah Creek Brewing Company’s beer on tap as well. Originally , Edgewater was planned to just a have tasting room along with the brewing facility, but with a previous liquor licence’s rules in place, food is now served as well. This created a new opportunity and allows Edgewater to really differ from its sister location, Kannah Creek. Menus at either restaurant are completely different and allow patrons more variety.
With 2 locations full of bustling owners, managers, brewers, cooks, wait staff, and sales people, Kannah Creek and Edgewater rely on good communication and solid technology to keep business running and growing. Networks Unlimited has provided their phone systems and offers computer and technical support whenever it is in need. Their phone system provides features that make certain that all incoming calls are routed to the correct person and never go un-answered. This will only become increasingly important as Edgewater Brewery and Kannah Creek Brewing Company continue to grow and distribute craft beer throughout Colorado.
The bottling system was purchased from the Czech Republic and can turn out 40 bottles a minute. It is 1 of only 3 in the United States.