We set out in 2015 to share our unique fresh tasting apple ciders with the good people of Colorado and beyond. Setting up shop in an under utilized warehouse building on the edge of downtown Denver, the streets outside our building barely had sidewalks, and looked more like bomb cratered remnants from a war-torn country. After renovating the empty square shaped building we came to affectionately call the “juice box”, the first bottles and kegs of cider started to roll out in July of that year, finding an audience, making fans, and connecting with cider drinkers statewide. As our sales grew, we purchased equipment to meet demand and started sending our ciders out into other states, while also winning numerous awards and medals along the way.
After five years in business and watching our neighborhood fill up with usual signs of growth in Denver, we came to a crossroads. Down one path lay skyrocketing rents and exponentially increasing city taxes for another five-year lease, and down the other path a historic apple barn in a somewhat forgotten apple growing region of Colorado: Penrose. C Squared co-founder and operator Andy Brown found the former Red Barn Orchard in Penrose up for sale in late 2019 and immediately saw the possibility and potential in the old apple and cherry packing barn, and the path was clear. A connection to a historical agricultural region perfect for a cidery could be made while keeping our customers supplied with the ciders they loved, and Brown pounced on it, purchasing the property in late 2019 with the help of his family.
Fremont county, where Penrose is located, also helped by allowing the previously unavailable licensing for wineries in rural zones to happen shortly there after. The path seemed clear for our cidery as we moved into 2020, but the timing was such that even as a pandemic wreaked havoc with much of the world, Brown was able to get the old barn renovated and producing cider again by April. “working and living in Penrose agrees with me”, says Brown, “and commuting out the backdoor to work isn’t half bad either.”
The history of Penrose as a major apple growing region is well documented and dates back well over a hundred years, but the current decline of the orchards in Penrose could be traced to several factors including loss of economic viability as a result of change to modern agricultural practices, the sale of Penrose water rights to nearby Colorado Springs in the1970’s, and some climate change with severe drought and freeze wiping out most of Penrose’s apple trees in the early 2000’s. Moving forward, we are happy to have found a home for our cidery and look forward to making more connections with the people who seek us out herein Penrose or across the country. Our path to get here may not have been a straight line, but as many businesses have found lately, sometimes you have to change course to stay on the path.
Craft is a great word to describe what we do at the cidery and one of the things we enjoy about our business. The name C Squared symbolizes our commitment to take cider making to the next level, in terms of both the mainstream acceptance of cider and what cider can become. To do this, we are combining our decades of craft brewing experience with cider/winemaking techniques to bring new flavors to the world of cider.
We use the international term “cider” to refer to our beverages, but here in America, “hard cider” is more commonly used to denote the alcoholic content. So don’t worry, there is alcohol in our ciders, and it is not for anyone under the age of 21.
C Squared Ciders supports sustainable business practices whenever possible. We keep our carbon footprint small by sourcing everything as close to home as possible. We conserve water, minimize our cleaning products and recycle everything we can. We believe in fostering community engagement through philanthropic involvement and we participate in local charitable causes.
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