We had the good fortune of connecting with Angie Grenz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My father has always owned his own businesses and I have always had a similar drive. When my husband became beer-obsessed and started home brewing with such great success, I told him we should start our own brewery. That was about ten years ago. And though it has been hard at times, and we have been broke at times, it has been fun and so rewarding to build something with husband that we can be so proud of and I don’t think I could ever go back to just working for someone else.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our business, Verboten Brewing, is a small craft brewery in Downtown Loveland. We started our brewery as interest in craft beer was skyrocketing, which brought with it both good and bad. Our niche was making interesting or unusual beers that were a very high quality and to never serve a poor quality beer. We have stuck to this through the years, achieving a lot of recognition for the quality of our beer and for our barrel aging program, which we have taken several awards for over our eight years in business. However, our road has not been easy. Two years into owning our business, our initial business partner wanted out, which was difficult on so many. levels. At the same time they were selling their shares, our landlord decided not to renew our lease and we had to find a new location in a hurry, including shutting down much of our production and our taproom for five months. We weren’t sure we would survive it. Now we are dealing with a pandemic, which has forced us to close or open at reduced capacity. It has been a wild ride! However, I am so proud of the fact that my husband and I have made sure the business survived—no matter what. We have worked seven days a week for weeks. We have given up our savings at times. We have taken no pay in order to pay our amazing employees. We have weathered two different partners, but through it all, we were determined that it would survive and it has! Despite everything we are flourishing. And we have stuck to our initial philosophy of creating delicious, interesting beer that is of the highest quality. And, through it all we have maintained a culture of having fun and enjoying what we do—you can’t ask for more than that.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Loveland is such an amazing area. We live and work in downtown, so that is always a highlight for us. We would most likely start them at Taste Local for breakfast, venture up to Estes Park to shop around or head into Rocky Mountain Park. After a long day, we would come back down to Vatos Tacos at the Foundry. The next day we would take them to Benson Sculpture Park, which is just amazing. After a leisurely stroll, we would hit up some of the shops downtown, then get a beer at (if we didn’t take them to our place) Loveland Tap and Tavern or the Laureate and dinner at Door 222. The Flipside, an arcade and bar, is a fun way to end the evening. Loveland is small but growing so quickly and the art and sculpture in public places is not to be missed!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Hmmmm. We have had so much help along the way. But when I think about the entire journey and who was really there for us when we needed to talk or simply didn’t know what to do, I think of our friend, Randy Lerich. He sat with us during some of our most difficult times, never made a judgement and just told us what he had learned in his 20+ years of owning a sign company in nearby Fort Collins, Action Signs. He was just this wonderfully supportive force during it all. And after that, it would be the support of our town of Loveland. The city leaders and our neighbors have advocated for us so wonderfully.