Industry veteran Eric Rode has been a professional brewer since a time before bushy beards became standard issue in the field. He began homebrewing in 1994, and decided quickly that turning his passion into a paying job was the way to go, so he left his native New York State and headed off to Colorado, where the craft brewing industry was just starting to take off.
His career began in late spring of 1995 at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins. Just a few days after arriving in his new home state, he secured a position on the bottling and kegging lines in the old railroad building that housed the brewery at the time. The fermentation cellar beckoned six months later, followed by a move to their new facility near the end of the year.
Eric followed his stint at New Belgium with a switch of allegiances to the C.B.& Potts/Big Horn Brewery. He was involved in the installation of the breweries in both the Fort Collins and Cheyenne pubs, working first in Fort Collins as part of a three man team before becoming the first Head Brewer (and one-man show) at the Wyoming location.
Having spent the first few years of his time in Colorado along the Front Range, Eric decided a move to the mountains sounded like a plan. He accepted a position at Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub in Idaho Springs, where he spent the next 17 years, the majority of the time as Head Brewer.
Opening Lariat Lodge Brewing Company fulfills a dream for him that has been in the making for over 20 years.
When Eric is not brewing award-winning ales and lagers, he enjoys playing guitar with friends at local open mics, trail running, and playing with his dogs and his wife, Margaret. He’s lived in and around Evergreen for 14 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
If you see him around town, be sure to stop and say hello!