A Twinkle In Their Eyes
Many moons ago, Danny & Betty went on a tour of New Belgium Brewing near Danny's old stomping grounds of Fort Collins, CO. On the tour they were both simultaneously inspired by the story of the brewery and its humble beginnings. During the tour - sometime in between the 4th or 5th free taster - Betty looked at Danny and asked, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" to which Danny replied, "If you're thinking that we should start brewing beer, then yes!"
Soon after their very first attempt (using an outdated extract kit Danny had received as a gift years beforehand), Danny & Betty brewed their first all-grain batch of beer with a starter kit they purchased from the Brew Hut in Aurora. Brewing with all grain gave the ambitious couple more flexibility in formulating interesting new recipes. Later that year, they took their first beer to a co-worker's birthday party. Everyone who tried their beer loved the taste and all of the comments they received were positive and helpful. Joining the Foam on The Range homebrew club also got them some more constructive criticism, some further education and a gateway into some contests, in which to enter their first beers - some of which won them some of their first, actual accolades.
By June of 2009, Danny & Betty had CAUTION: Brewing Company, LLC registered. You will have to ask them how they came up with the name, but it did involve some "roshambo." They set out to start their brewery with gusto, "throwing caution to the wind" by not following strict style guidelines by the addition of secret Asian spices, chrysanthemum or other wild ingredients, which would help build their unique flavor profiles of many beers to come.
In August of 2009, with the help of Doug Odell himself, they purchased Odell Brewing Company's original 5 barrel brew house. Although it sadly sat in the backyard for some time, because they did not yet have a location for their brewery at that time, Danny & Betty knew this system had some good juju connected to it and could not miss out the opportunity of making this piece of Colorado's craft brewing history the quintessential part of their own brewery. You can see the system at the CAUTION: East tap room to this day.
Building a Dream
Denver city approval for the CAUTION: East brewery came in late 2010, with construction starting in the early part of 2011. Still keeping their day jobs in order to help support their self-financed dream, things took longer than to be expected for opening such a small operation.
By May of 2011; however, CAUTION was a live brewery.
2011 Was a Big Year!
On April 3, 2011, CAUTION served their first brew to the public. The Westword ran a story welcoming them to Denver. 5280 Magazine listed them in their July 2011 article, "Tapped Out — Denver's craft brewing scene is poised to grow—exponentially". They also have them in their September 2011, Beer Buzz: The Great COntenders article.
On Father's Day of 2011, Danny and Betty Wang legally sold their first beer, thereby making their first dollar from the keg sold at Danny's parents' restaurant, the Lao Wang Noodle House. Lao Wang, Danny's father, had approached Danny & Betty back in their homebrewing days and gave them the special satchel of super secret Asian spices, which helped birth their now award-winning Lager. The same lager which will the the first beer to be sold in cans later this year!
In August of 2011, the awards started rolling in. The Lao Wang Lager and Honey Matrimony Brown won at the Jefferson County Beer Festival. They are featured in an article by Sean Buchan of Denver Off the Wagon titled, Meet the Brewers: CAUTION Brewing Co. That same month, Fermentedly Challenged mentioned them in their Colorado Beer News section.
In September of 2011, CAUTION started gearing up for their first time officially at the Great American Beer Festival. Draft Magazine listed them as Denver's Newest Brews. The previous year, Danny and Betty had attended - unofficially - and given out many buttons and other swag as a sort of gorilla marketing maneuver to build up a preliminary fan base. They still hand out their "OMGABF" buttons at every GABF festival now, but at their own booth, like any normal brewery would do.
By October 2011, along with Lao Wang Noodle House, The Kitchen Cafe [Next Door] had CAUTION beer on tap in Boulder, Colorado. By December they were on tap at Amato's Ale House. Also in December, Colorado Craft Beer Radio interviewed Danny and Betty.
CAUTION: East Taproom Opens
In the early part of 2012, Westword ran a teaser article that CAUTION would be opening up a tap room in the summer.
In April of 2012, CAUTION's neighboring unit opened up for the taking, and construction started soon thereafter for adding on their east taproom. On May 18th the taproom opened to the public. The size of the crowd supporting their new taproom on opening was wholly unexpected, especially in such an obscure location. Danny and Betty had many volunteers and many famous brewers from the surrounding small breweries, who helped make their opening day a very special one to remember for years to come!
Beer in Colorado ran an article about visiting the tap house. They loved the beer! Here's what Chris had to say, "You won't need to twist my arm to go back to CAUTION, though; they're out in the prairie but the beer's worth it."
In August of 2012, CAUTION won once more for the Best Lager and Best of Show at Jefferson County Beer Festival. They then took home the bronze medal at the Foam Fest in Pueblo for their Big Bunny CDA. Imbibe Magazine listed them in the Foam on the Range article.
Tying the Knot as Partners in Beer
On November 10th of 2012, Danny and Betty decided to tie the knot as more than just business partners. After opening their own business, marriage did not just seem as the next logical step, but it also would prove easier than running a business. The dynamic duo would have loved to invite all of their faithful friends and followers to their small ceremony on top of the Clock Tower in downtown Denver; however, the space would not permit it, so they instead streamed their wedding live into their taproom for all to see. That night, the taproom was filled with enthusiastic friends and fans, who had come out to support Danny & Betty.
CAUTION: Doubles it's size in 2013
In March of 2013, CAUTION collaborated with Strange Brewing Company on an Alt Bier, which was a recipe much like Strange's D&B Wedding beer that they had brewed for the couple's wedding the previous year. Continued love and support from other small breweries, such as Strange, is one main reason why it felt so good to be in the industry!
In May of 2013, Betty was interviewed by Community Radio for Northern Colorado titled, Three Designers On Their Art Of Beer (Labels). As an art minor and having some experience in graphic design, Betty's current title (besides co-owner & janitor extraordinaire) is "Creative Brain," as she is the creative force behind the names and artwork of CAUTION.
Also in May of 2013, the location of their CAUTION: West taproom was announced. They decided to be amongst the first to fill a rather large gap in the craft brewery scene by building up in their own sandbox in Lakewood, Colorado. their new taproom would be in a much more ideal location than their first - just right off of the main road at 1057 S. Wadsworth Blvd, Unit 60, Lakewood, CO, 80232.
In August of 2013, CAUTION's winning streak continued when their Honey Matrimony, won "Best Ale" at Jefferson County Beer Festival once more.
That was also the month when they broke ground of their new, Lakewood location. Permitting, planning, licensing and construction took much longer at their west location; despite their best efforts. They did not open the CAUTION: West Taproom for business until late in the evening of December 18th, 2013. This was a soft opening, in order to give them time to work out kinks and ramp up their beer production accordingly. They experienced a successful few weeks and were able to throw a grand opening in January, with Lakewood's mayor, Bob Murphy, in attendance for a special ribbon cutting ceremony.
CAUTION will continue to make history when they start up their canning operation - albeit small to start!
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