Matt Kriewall, owner and head brewer at Rally King Brewing, wore many hats over the years. Born and raised in Saratoga, California, Matt always took on challenges with hard work and commitment. In high school, Matt was an extreme athlete, participating in everything from competitive cycling to high-speed waterskiing to wrestling. After earning a Bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University, Matt ultimately received a Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine.
During his chiropractic studies, he was introduced to rock climbing, which led him to meet Michelle, his wife of 20 years. It actually was on a rock climbing road trip that they found Fort Collins in 1995. Like many people, Fort Collins called to them and left a mark on their souls with the beautiful outdoors and “small town feel” (smaller than the Bay Area anyway!). Matt and Michelle married in 1996 and moved to Fort Collins one year later. Matt opened Vital Link Chiropractic in 1997 and has treated patients ever since. He and Michelle run the chiropractic practice together along with parenting their two teenagers, Michaela and Mason. They also have two rescue pups, Shadow and Scout.
Matt and Michelle love craft beer! Like many other brewery stories, it all began in their garage. In 2009 after receiving a beer-making kit as a gift, Matt became intrigued with home brewing. He brewed batch after batch and entered home brew competitions. He started winning A LOT (he won 80+ awards over three years). After much encouragement from family and friends who believed he had something special to bring to the Fort Collin’s beer scene, he bit the bullet in 2013 and started plans to make Rally King Brewing a reality. In 2015, Rally King Brewing opened its doors.
Michelle, Rally King co-owner with her husband and head brewer, Matt, hails originally from Santa Clara, California. Having earned her teaching credentials in California and worked as a substitute teacher in the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Michelle put her teaching career on hold to raise their children, Michaela and Mason, and help manage Matt’s chiropractic office.
Having been a soccer player for 20+ years, Michelle seized the opportunity to coach her kids’ soccer teams when they were young. It was a great way to spend time with her kids, and share her love and knowledge of the sport at the same time. Now that her kids are grown up, she still enjoys cheering them on in their sports of choice: volleyball and cross country.
When not on the sidelines cheering on her kids, Michelle spends her time biking, hiking, playing cribbage, and tasting craft beer with Matt, or taking long walks with her pooches, Shadow and Scout. Michelle loves being able to call Fort Collins her home! She is humbled by the amazing following and support of Rally King neighborhood regulars and is grateful to be part of the awesome beer culture in Fort Collins.
Home Brewing Awards
Matt has won over 85 home brewing awards since 2012, including a Best of Show award at the Great American Beer Challenge, an award at the National Homebrew competition, and several Taste of Fort Collins awards which allowed Matt to brew at Odell Brewing and have his American Amber and American IPA served at Taste of Fort Collins in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Here’s just a taster of some of the awards Matt has won:
- Colorado State Fair – 3 Second Place awards
- Gnarly Barley Brew fest – Second Place award
- Great American Beer Challenge – Second Best In Show award + First Place in Barley Wine + 4 other awards
- National Homebrew competition – Third /First Round Blonde
- Great American Beer Challenge – First Place in Barley Wine and a ProAm win – brewed at Yak&Yeti in Arvada; served at 2014 Great American Brew Fest
- Taste of Fort Collins – First in American Amber, later brewed at Odell Brewing, served at Taste of Fort Collins 2014, and served at the Brewery
- Taste of Fort Collins – First in American IPA, and brewed at Odell Brewing again. Beer was served at 2015 Taste of Fort Collins
- 25th Annual Dredhop Competition – several awards
- Peak to Peak – several awards
What is a Rally King exactly?
Yes, our name has raised an eyebrow or two. What is the meaning of RALLY KING you ask? Well, for Matt and Michelle Kriewall, there is deep meaning in our name. According to any dictionary, the word “RALLY” has several meanings depending on usage or context. As a verb “RALLY” has the following meanings that apply to us and our story:
ral·ly1 — verb
come together again in order to continue fighting after a defeat or dispersion
to bring into order again; gather and organize or inspire anew
to draw or call (persons) together for a common action or effort
to concentrate or revive, as one’s strength, spirits, etc
Let’s face it. Life can be tough! Life is full of peaks and valleys, joy and pain, gain and loss. We head out on one journey with specific life goals in mind, but may find ourselves one day somewhere totally obscure and unplanned, thinking, “How did I get here?” and “Now what do I do?”. Others may stay the course that was planned all along and wake up one day wanting more; more joy and living life with passion. Both of these scenarios apply to the founders of Rally King. Life has been crazy….beautifully blessed at times, yet heartbreakingly hard at others. We made the choice to stay positive, live out our dream with passion, do what we love (and what we are really good at…brewing great beer) and RALLY to get through this thing called life!