Drinks on the House: Couple serves craft coffees and beers

Phil Castle, The Business Times

James and Amanda Ferguson own and operate Colorado Craft Coffee and Beer House in Grand Junction. The couple serves a variety of coffees and beers sourced exclusively from roasters and breweries in the state. Rather than compete, the Fergusons say they collaborate and advocate for the craft coffee and beer industry. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

James and Amanda Ferguson have built their business on what they consider a large customer base — people who drink coffee, people who drink beer and people who drink both.

In operating a unique Grand Junction venture that serves both coffee and beer, the Fergusons also showcase the products of Colorado roasters and breweries and what the couple touts as vibrant industries in the state. Rather than compete, they want to collaborate and advocate. “It’s fun to cheerlead for all those great local businesses,” James says.

The Fergusons own and operate Colorado Craft Coffee and Brew House, a venture they opened in October. They serve a wide variety of coffees and beers, but only those produced in Colorado. They rotate what they serve on a weekly basis. By one estimate, they offer 20 different coffees and more than 40 different beers over the course of a month.

For customers who want to try it all, the Fergusons offer a flight of four coffees featuring blonde, medium and dark roasts as well as the weekly special. What’s dubbed as a day trip offers a flight of four beers. A road trip offers a flight of eight beers and a kind of excursion featuring breweries from around Colorado.

Still other Colorado beverages are available, including sodas and kombuchas. That’s not to mention Trail Water, a brand of carbonated water blended with hops.

While Colorado Craft Coffee and Brew House offers some packaged snacks, the Fergusons say they opted to avoid serving food. Customers are welcomed to bring in their own food to eat.

The Fergusons say the inspiration for their venture originated from their experiences working in the Colorado wine industry.

James previously worked as general manager for Talon Wines in Palisade and also was involved in sales. He says his job took him around Colorado to meet with distributors and customers. Wherever he went, he says he patronized local coffee shops and breweries. That gave him the idea of launching his own business in which he could showcase in one place the products of Colorado roasters and breweries.

Amanda says there are similarities among wines, coffees and beers in those beverages come with distinct flavors and aromas that can be discerned and appreciated. “There are different notes to showcase.”

The Fergusons say they found a good location for Colorado Craft Coffee and Brew House in a former bookstore located near the intersection of 12th Street and North Avenue and across
12th Street from the Colorado Mesa University campus.

It’s a central location affording easy access for CMU students as well as people attending events at the nearby Lincoln Park Sports Complex.

The Fergusons renovated the 1,100-square-foot interior of the Colorado Craft Coffee and Brew House to offer a welcoming environment with high-top tables as well as other tables, chairs and couches where students study and customers relax.

The Fergusons used the official palette of the Colorado Department of Transportation to paint the interior. Posters depicting various places in Colorado decorate the walls. The bathroom is decorated with posters from movies filmed in the state.

Books and board games are available for customers to use. A weekly beer bingo game runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., while Friday nights are trivia nights.

Books, jewelry and other items created by local authors and artisans are available to purchase as a way to showcase their efforts, Amanda says. “It’s another way we can build our community together.”

Customer service remains a priority, James says, as does creating and building relationships that foster loyalty. “Relationships are everything.”

It’s part of what James says is a mission statement for the couple: “Work hard. Be nice. Find a way.”

It’s a matter, too, of serving a large customer base, the Fergusons say — people who drink coffee, people who drink beer and people who drink both.

Colorado Craft Coffee and Brew House is located at 1144 N. 12th St. in Grand Junction. Hours run from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. For information, call (970) 644-5051.