Vicious Cycle hits the Fraser Brewery scene

The owners of Vicious Cycle Brewing in Fraser, Nathan Watts and Rebecca Bierden, are looking forward to opening in February.
Sarah Morin / For Sky-Hi News

For Rebecca Bierden and Nathan Watts, owners of the new Vicious Cycle Brewing in Fraser, turning their dreams into reality led to opening a brewery.

It all started with inspiration from a trip Bierden took to Antarctica and his realization that fulfilling his own desire to travel was inevitable.

“While I was (in Antarctica) I met some girls and they had been traveling the world for a few years,” Bierden said. “They had quit their jobs and sold their car. I came home from that trip and told Nathan we had to do it. Let’s do it now while we’re young.

In 2014, the couple did just that. They bought a one-way ticket to London

and started traveling around Europe. In nearly two years of travel, they

visited all continents and 29 countries.

“As we were traveling, we said when we got back, let’s not go back to our usual lives,” Bierden said. “Let’s open a brewery.”

While the couple was traveling through Cambodia, they came across a store called Vicious Cycle.

“We felt like that should totally be our name,” Bierden said. “We had started traveling because we wanted to get out of the vicious circle of life, like the mundane.”

Watts had begun brewing at her home in St. Louis several years prior as Bierden completed her residency.

“I bought (Nathan) a brewing system for his one-year birthday and he fell in love with brewing,” Bierden said. “He did it sideways, kind of like dabbling. We have always loved going to breweries.

When the couple moved to Loveland in 2011, Bierden said it cemented their love for the craft beer scene.

“Nathan (became) very good at home brewing and we both burned out in the medical field,” Bierden said.

Watts eventually graduated from the American Brewers Guild in 2015 and went on to brew beer for Left Hand Brewing and Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, turning his passion into a career.

The Vicious Cycle Brewing entity began to roll out once the couple returned to the United States from their overseas adventures in 2017.

“Our buddy has a condo here (in Fraser) and said you really should go see Fraser,” Watts said.

In 2019, Bierden and Watts bought the empty land next to Bank of the West.

“We started construction in late 2019,” Watts said.

“And our plan was to open in 2020,” laughs Bierden.

Eager to move the business forward despite the pandemic, Watts became the general contractor. Vicious Cycle Brewing began construction with the help of friends, family, neighboring breweries, local contractors and the couple’s hands-on labor.

“So we built (almost) everything except what we needed permits for,” Watts said. “My parents moved from Wisconsin to Colorado and they came every weekend for almost six months. We just broke it.

After many delays, Watts was able to start brewing beer in January.

“Beer is a living thing, you can’t rush it. It does what it does,” Watts said.

It plans to open with a New England India Pale Ale, Pale Ale, Irish Red and Coffee Stout. In the future, look for more sour beers and IPAs.

Vicious Cycle will be offering 12 beers on tap at all times. The brewery will have 10 house beers with two taps reserved for rotating a hard, gluten-free kombucha or reduced-alcohol beer option.

The Phlavor food truck, located next to Vicious Cycle, will serve Asian cuisine to complement the craft beer selections.

As Vicious Cycle and Phlavor food truck come to fruition, Fraser is eagerly awaiting the next brewery and food truck combination to come to town. Attention opening date at the end of February. The brewery is currently hiring bartenders.

Vicious Cycle plans to be open 6 days a week, closed on Tuesdays. Mondays will have a designated happy hour for locals. For more information, email [email protected].

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