Finding a good brewery can feel like good luck, but finding a great brewery, with a spa, and a resort with many activities is like hitting the jackpot! Snowy Mountain Brewery has a beautiful brewing system it is hard to go to any other brewery after seeing and tasting Snow Mountain Brewery. Keep reading to learn more about the amazing Snowy Mountain Brewery.
It only took a kiss to wake Sleeping Beauty, but for the small, sleeping brewery that was hidden in a tiny corner of the then Saratoga Inn that Mike “Doc” Jansen purchased in 2008, it was going to take a lot more.
“It was just sitting there with some equipment, in a very small area of the resort in a corner,” Jansen recalled. “Someone had a dream, but never took it any further.”
The three-barrel system would make just six gallons or kegs at a time, but it was the brand of the brewery system that caught Jansen’s eye. The company was well known for producing what is essentially the Ferrari of beer brewing systems.
In the beginning years of the Hot Springs Hotel and Resort, though, there were lots of other puzzle pieces to put in place first.
“There were so many components,” Jansen recalled. “The kitchen is HUGE in our resort, and the spa was there, and we didn’t have a workout facility, and we had hot springs, and we have historic rooms, and we had a golf course that had a sprinkler system from the 50s. So, you can imagine that it’s a puzzle, and it needed a 10-year-strategic plan to sharpen every one of those pieces in the puzzle.”
But, at some point, finally, things began to slow down, and one day Jansen knew it was time to wake the sleeping brewery.
Third-Oldest, But Smallest, Brewery In Wyoming
“It was called, when we acquired the resort, it had a license called the Sierra Madre Brewing Co.,” Jansen recalled. “It was the third-oldest brewery license in the state of Wyoming, but it was quite small.”
When Jansen told his wife that he wanted to build a really high-end, state-of-the-art brewery to complement their resort, she was skeptical.
“Mike, you don’t know much about beer besides enjoying it,” she told him.
Jansen figured she was probably right. He had read a few books about it, but that wasn’t enough. So, despite the fact he was already working full-time as an orthopedic surgeon, not to mention, overseeing the resort’s development, he went back to school.
“I got a master’s in brewing, and then I designed a new brewery,” Jansen said. “From there, it was easy to recruit a team to help pull all this together, because they want to work in the most state-of-the-art brewery that you can imagine, with top-of-the-line equipment.”
A Brewery Prince is Found
About the same time Jansen was ordering the equipment for the brewery, a certain brewer in Wisconsin named Richard Zielke noticed the Saratoga resort’s national ad, seeking a brewmaster.
Zielke’s son, it so happened, was living in Encampment at the time.
“He knew the bar manager at the time,” Zielke recalled. “He had been in the area while I was in Wisconsin for you know, five or six years.”
His son’s connection was an inside track to a job Zielke describes today as a “pretty sweet offer.”
“When I walked into this place, it was all brand new,” Zielke recalled. “It was like Doc handed me the keys to a Mercedes.”