In 2003, Jeff Crabtree started dabbling in homebrewing. Shortly after, the Union Colony Brewery—the only brewery in the industrial farm community of Greeley, Colorado—went out of business. Bitten by the brewing bug, Jeff got a loan and snapped up Union's brewing equipment. But Jeff hedged his bets and took a job in the corporate world, and started Crabtree Brewing as a side project in a gritty corner of Greeley. For the first few years he focused on brewing the beers he thought the local community would want. Progress was slow, and some frustration followed. The tipping point came when Jeff decided to work full time at the brewery, and brew only the beers that he wanted to.