Colorado Home Brew Mistaken for Meth Lab

It seems like you can’t throw a can of Old Chub in Colorado without hitting a beer geek, but an incident in Colorado Springs on Monday shows us just how small the world of craft beer nerditry really is.

I’m guessing the home brew guy didn’t have one of those sweet balconies…

It happened at the Hyde Park apartments at 2400 Tremont Street in Colorado Springs. The complex’s manager smelled something funny and witnessed two five gallon buckets with an unknown fluid in them.  Thinking he had stumbled across a meth lab, the manager called the authorities, who evacuated the immediate area and sent in the Hazmat team.

The buckets turned out to be a particularly stinky batch of home brew (is there any other kind?) and folks were let back into their homes about 45 minutes later.

There’s no word as to what happened to the beer, but if it made it through the ordeal intact and uninfected, the guy who brewed it can now give it a very cool name, like Tweaker IPA, or Crank Skank Stout, or Hazmat Hop Monster.




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Categories: Beer, Home Brew, Home Brewing, Lifestyle


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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19 Comments on “Colorado Home Brew Mistaken for Meth Lab”

  1. Don
    September 14, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    HaHa, stupid.

    • September 14, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      It’s hard to argue with such a well composed thought, Don…

  2. September 14, 2011 at 9:56 am #


    I guess (s)he should have put a sign on it. I also suspect that (s)he’ll be asked to vacate the premises. Apartment managers aren’t usually known for their tolerance of things like that.

    • September 14, 2011 at 9:58 am #

      Good insight. I’m sure some rule was broken which could be used as grounds for eviction. When they call in the Hazmat team on you, your days as a resident are most likely numbered!

      • September 14, 2011 at 11:24 am #

        I don’t know why a rule would be broken. It is legal, and if they brewed on their stove, there was no burner that would be illegal. It would be the same as if someone made a large batch of soup. There is no fault to the resident just because the landlord didnt know what it was. Think of all the stinky food that is made in apartment complexes that creep into the hall and through the walls- should they be evicted.

        • September 14, 2011 at 11:55 am #

          I agree with that many folks cook stinky food, but there may be something in the lease that stipulated that you can’t do certain types of projects or activities that create bad smells or are disruptive or whatever. While homebrewing has a cooking element to it, there’s a difference between it and making chili.

          one difference is that a pot of chili won’t explode if it has too much sugar in it… 🙂

        • Don
          September 14, 2011 at 11:58 am #

          yes…they should be evicted!

  3. September 14, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    You know, this is really scary for those of us who homebrew where it isn’t legal (READ: Alabama or Mississippi). If someone makes that mistake in my neighborhood, then I could be convicted of a felony.

    No kidding.

    • September 14, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      That’s true. It’s not as bad as meth, but you could still get punished, especially if the cops have to drag their butts to your house in response to a complaint.

  4. Matt M
    September 14, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    You have to admit that homebrew equipment and the process of homebrewing seems like you’re cooking up something “special.” White five gallon buckets, tubes, propane turkey fryers, sanitizers, etc would concern anybody that doesn’t know what making beer involves, including craft beer geeks. I can’t blame the neighbors for their concern.

    • September 14, 2011 at 11:50 am #

      Agreed – especially when you smell it before you see it.

  5. September 14, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I have had people drive by very slowly during many of my brew days. I always wondered if they thought I was doing something really illegal. Well, besides brewing that is as I get asked all too often if homebrewing is legal.

    • September 14, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      I always wave, as if to say “nothing illegal happening here folks!” It helps that I have a ginormous brew kettle – they probably think I’m cooking lobsters in the driveway!

  6. September 14, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    We brew at a friend’s place, and after we started brewing larger batches outside they asked him if we were cooking meth. This may be a common mistake. They did not call the authorities though.

    • September 14, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      I wonder if they were relieved or disappointed…

      • September 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

        I think they may have been a little disappointed. That whole gentrification thing can get on peoples nerves.

  7. FatCatKC
    September 14, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I’m always worried that will happen to me. The other day I was in the garage and the neighbor started talking to me so I walked out in the yard with a 2 liter erlenmeyer flask in my hand. Ooops. I’m sure they think I’m a “chemist” of some sort. You’ll never catch me coppers ya see!

    • September 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

      That’s a good way to get your phone tapped!


  1. For the First Time Since Prohibition, Homebrewing is Legal Across America | Beer & Whiskey Bros. - July 1, 2013

    […] So congratulations to all of you Mississippi homebrewers out there – you are now free to have your rig mistaken for a meth a lab! […]

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