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Meet Ryan Wibby of Wibby Brewing in Boulder County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Wibby.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ryan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
While studying chemistry in college I was taught the chemistry of beer making. Immediately I became an avid homebrewer and with my first brew, I realized that I had found my calling. After graduation, I started working as a bottling line assistant and a bartender. I then worked my way up to a full time brewer with two years. After successfully operating a growing regional brewery I knew I wanted some formal brewing education. I was then accepted to the VLB in Berlin, Germany where I completed the certified brewer course and a four month internship.

During my time in Germany, I was taught how to properly produce delicious lager beer. I then started developing my own recipes which combine traditional German lager brewing techniques with the creativity of the American craft beer scene. When my time in Europe was over I accepted a position at Deschutes in Bend, Oregon, which was the 5th largest craft brewery at the time. I was then approached by an old college friend, soon to be business partner, about starting a brewery of our own. On my days off I would home brew small batches of beer to test out my recipes and write the business plan. In 2014 I committed completely by quitting my job and moving back to my hometown of Boulder to get Wibby Brewing started. We began raising money and found our location in Longmont, Colorado. Labor day weekend of 2015 we had our grand opening and we have been growing 30% each year ever since.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The best part about owning a brewery is that there is always beer to help smooth things out when you hit a bump in the road. I am very ambitious and have lofty goals for my company which means that even when we achieve success I am still looking to see how we can do even better.

Many of the challenges that we are facing, most breweries in the industry are facing. The craft beer industry has changed dramatically over the past 4 years with increased competition and many new products entering the market place. The main strategy that we have used to overcome these challenges is thorough research and planning. Having a good plan to execute gives a huge step up.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Wibby Brewing only produces lager bier. This is important because of the way we produce beer, cold fermenting and aging, we can create a diverse array of flavorful products but these products take twice as long to produce compared to ales, which most craft breweries produce. This means that as a small brewery we have to invest twice as much time and real estate in our brewery which requires a lot of space and capital. This is our opportunity and challenge because since all of our beers are lagers we immediately stand out from all the ales being produced in the state but at the same time, our costs are higher which means we have to be very strategic as we sell our products.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career was in 2017 when we won a silver medal for Moondoor Dunkel at the Great American Beer Festival. While accepting our award, which was the first time I ever received a GABF medal for one of my own recipes, I proposed to my now wife, Robin. I felt so lucky to be able to share a moment with her that I have been waiting for.

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