By Eric Peterson | Jan 30, 2017
Fort Collins, Colorado
Brewing systems and controls
Moore built Freedom's Edge Brewing Company in Cheyenne, Wyoming, before pivoting to manufacturing brewing systems in 2015.
"It's kind of a natural progression for me," says Moore. "Prior to moving to Colorado, I had an electronic manufacturing business in the Midwest, and I'm a welder by trade."
An early 2016 appearance on Animal Planet's Restoration Wild, a show where contractors renovate structures with an outdoor edge, helped catalyze growth. "A lot of word of mouth started spreading," says Moore. "It added legitimacy to the system."
Buckley's Canoe and Brew in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan installed one of the company's systems and it generated a number of inquiries. "It's exploded on us in the last year," says Moore. "We have 200 systems in seven countries," including Canada, Belgium, Mexico, Australia and Tonga. Colorado customers include Lady Justice Brewing in Mountain View, Castle Rock Beer Co., and Peaks N Pines in Colorado Springs.
"Our core customer is the little guy opening up a neighborhood brewery," says Moore. "Time is extremely valuable for them. Most of them still have day jobs."
He sees space for growth in this market. "There's no room left on liquor store shelves. There's no empty taps out there. To me, this is the way the industry is going."
Some larger breweries, including Funk Brewing in Pennsylvania, use Colorado Brewing Systems for pilot and experimental operations.
The most popular system is the $14,300 four-barrel (200-gallon) Nano Barrel Dual, which allows a brewer to brew two different batches in about four hours. The catalog also encompasses smaller systems -- the smallest, the 10-gallon Nano Brewer Home, targets homebrewers -- and larger ones that can handle 10 barrels at a time, or 500 gallons.
Colorado Brewing Systems is also a UL-listed panel shop certified by Met Labs. The company has new fermentation controls under development. "It'll allow you to control up to eight different tanks," says Moore, citing such features as scheduling and text-messaging alarms.
Colorado Brewing Systems is currently in its third space in Fort Collins, and has a 6,000-square-foot facility under construction in Wellington it plans to move to in March 2017. "That'll allow us to add more guys to the shop," says Moore. "We're going to add a few welders in the back. Our panel shop is keeping up."
After the move, he wants to shift the operation into growth mode. "To date, we haven't advertised at all," says Moore. "We definitely have a growth plan for 2017."
Favorite beers: Moore's a fan of the beers at Freedom's Edge, now run by his sons-in-law, and hoppy beers. "I'm definitely an IPA guy," he says. "Being in Fort Collins, Odell is one of my favorite breweries to hang out at."
Challenges: "Just keeping up with demand," says Moore. "I knew it would be popular, but I didn't think it would be this popular."
Opportunities: Craft distilling is one target: Moore targets mid-2017 for a market entry with a spirits-specific system.
Exports are another. "We're planning to kick up our exports business this year," he says. "We probably get six to seven inquiries from Europe every week. . . . We need a dedicated person to deal with that and handle all of the paperwork."
Needs: Better coordination and scheduling. "It's just a matter of getting those things in line," says Moore, noting that his lead time is about four months. He's hoping to shave about a month off of that in 2017.