Cellar West founder, owner, & brewer Zach Nichols began his journey in beer in 2009 while working at a small bottle shop in his native Madison, Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter he spent time as an assistant, and later lead brewer, at a small brewpub in the midwest countryside, crafting traditional lager and occasionally experimenting with eccentric Belgian farmhouse ales. In 2012 his now wife, Rachael, lead Zach to the Front Range where he spent several years working in the Colorado brewing industry, including a stint in the world of mead-making.
In January 2017, after years of brewing observation and application, Zach's longstanding dream of a small, artisanal beer company was brought to life in a little garage space in North Boulder. There, nestled at the base of the foothills beside autobody shops, a homeless shelter, and strip club, Rachael and Zach founded Cellar West Artisan Ales.
After two years in North Boulder, including many glasses of beer and lively evenings, it was time to add more space for additional barrels, a 7bbl brewhouse, and spacious tasting room. In late 2018, an 11-mile move would land Cellar West in an expanded space in nearby Lafayette, where Zach and Rachael had been living. After much planning & work, our Lafayette brewery, barrel cellar, and Bier Pub is the current home of Cellar West Artisan Ales.
We strive to create expressive, inspiring ales and lager for those that seek tasteful & refined beer. At Cellar West, our great team serves the community and our customers with respect and dedication to the craft, and we hope you'll join us in our journey.
The founding inspiration behind Cellar West was to bring the same storied Farmhouse Ale tradition we fell in love with in Belgium to America. Farmhouse Ale is not any single style of beer. Originating in South Belgium (Wallonia), this family of ales was first brewed on small farms using local ingredients. Made during the winter and enjoyed by farm workers during the warmer months, these beers tended to be modest in strength but quite characterful. Farmhouse Ales are known for their effervescence, nuanced flavors, enticing yeast character, and pleasantly dry finish. Every traditional Farmhouse Ale brewer developed his or her own “house character,” just as we have at Cellar West Artisan Ales.
As our small brewery has gown up a bit, we've expanded our offerings with an additional focus on rustic, traditional lagers. These small batch Pilsners, Bocks, Märzens, and other biers are brewed with the finest German ingredients and have been received to much acclaim. You can expect to find many great lagers at our Lafayette brewery, along with a small collection of classically-styled American IPA's & Pale Ales.
Accolades & Media
Westword: Cellar West to Open
Boulder Weekly: The Uncommon Tale of Cellar West's Uncommon Beer
Draft Magazine: The Best Beers we Tasted this Week
303 Magazine: The Story Behind Colorado's Best Beer Labels
BeerAdvocate: Sapience Biere de Mars Review
Draft Magazine: Barrel Aged vs. Barrel Fermented
BeerAdvocate: 50 Best New Breweries
Daily Camera: One Down for Cellar West
Eater Denver: Hottest Breweries in Denver
Daily Camera: Cellar West Moving to Bigger Space
Boulder Weekly: Tour de Brew - Cellar West Artisan Ales
303 Magazine: Best Pilsners in Colorado