“It’s a beer with a past,” remarks Founder George Hanna as he sips an Oasis Tut Brown. The sun is setting on the Denver skyline, and as we sit in the darkening but welcoming tap room of Prost Brewing, it’s hard not to pick up on a little bit of nostalgia.
Founded in 1991 by Hanna, Oasis was only the third brewery in Boulder. Today, with breweries almost as prevalent as Starbucks, that might be hard to believe. Hanna remembers and conveys to me a different era before the emergence of the microbrew when beer drinkers were limited in choice and quality. Oasis served Boulder for a decade before closing its doors, citing a downturn in microbrew sales.
Staying true to their original marketing and decor of Egyptian gods and lingo, Oasis resumed brewing operations as microbrew sales again started to upswing in summer 2015. All brewing is currently done at Prost Brewing in the Denver Highlands by head brewer Brad Landsman. This is quite a contrast from the all Egyptian themed Oasis Boulder location, but “if you build it they will come” is the philosophy that the Oasis-ites live by.
This transition is symbolized by the Oasis “mascot,” the god Anubis drinking, of course, a beer. In Egyptian culture, Anubis is known as the guide between life and the afterlife. The resurgence and rebirth of Oasis goes hand in hand with the Anubis figure, a god of transitions and new beginnings.
Oasis is run by Hanna, son-in-law Hawk Vanek and friend Erik Smith. The three operate Oasis as a family, which means no decisions are made without everyone’s approval.
“We look out for each other,” states Vanek.
It helps that they all agree on what tastes good in regards to beer. Having the same palate helps with brewing operations and was a driving factor in the resurgence of Oasis Brewing. Tired of beers that were either too hoppy or just poor tasting, the guys came together and decided to resume brewing “beer with taste for people with taste.”
And the people rejoiced.