Did you hear about the new brewery on Dolores Way? Mountain Heart opened casually on Sept. 1, trusting word-of-mouth to bring in a steady trickle of customers. The brewery features all in-house taps on rotation, with a few consistent “core” beers.
Josh Lange, decided to start this venture after recently moving to the Valley with his 4-year-old son, Kauri. Lange attended Colorado Rocky Mountain School and started a successful juice company, Just Squeezed, at the age of 22. Later he also started a coffee company that travels to festivals and has a cafe called La Luz in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
He hopes that Mountain Heart will be good for his family, and for the community. “Being a father is absolutely number one for me,” he told The Sopris Sun. Lange attributes his earlier years in the Roaring Fork Valley to “developing into a good human” and learning the necessary “grit” to be successful in business. He looks forward to Kauri growing up in the same mountains, experiencing Carbondale’s exceptional community.
The building, located at 1831 Dolores Way, formerly served as Roaring Fork Beer Company’s production facilities. Many locals will remember a Roaring Fork Beer Company tap room nearby prior to Batch opening downtown.
Chase Engel, former brewmaster and CEO of Roaring Fork Beer Company, put Lange in touch with Patrick Sullivan, a brewer from Ohio that specializes in IPAs, sours, lagers, pilsners and stouts.
Sullivan was introduced to home brewing at an early age by his aunt and became “obsessed with the process,” he said. He later studied chemistry specifically to master brewing. Sullivan also previously lived in the Roaring Fork Valley and worked at Aspen Brewing Company, which is how he met Engel.
“I feel like there’s been tons of synchronicity for me coming back to the Valley and being open to opportunity,” Lange said. “I want to be part of the community and do something I feel we’re missing a little, especially with Batch and Silo having closed.” He admitted, “I don’t come from a background of selling alcohol.”
He hopes Mountain Heart will retain a coffee-shop, family-friendly vibe, where all people feel comfortable. There will be juices for sale and other soft beverages like fresh-squeezed lemonade, teas and kombucha on tap. “A place where you can get any kind of drink, homemade and delicious,” Lange said, “that’s the plan.”
Mountain Heart is already donating beer for local nonprofit functions and looks forward to further supporting the community in that way. They also have more than a dozen accounts with bars and restaurants in the Valley to which they distribute kegs for beers on tap. The plan for now is to also sell their specialty beers in cans at the tap room, brewed with Crystal River water delivered by the Town of Carbondale.
“This space is created to be able to hang out with friends, but also, if you want to come in with a laptop and work, have a beer or a juice. It’s a comfortable space,” Lange said, pointing out that every seat has a cushion. “We did a lot of this stuff on our own, and we’ll continue to improve it as time goes on.”
Mountain Heart is currently open Thursday through Sunday, from 2 to 9pm, but plans to be open daily in the near future. They will soon start hosting open mic nights and live music in the space and, eventually, Lange aspires to bring in daily food trucks, too.