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. Michelle attended San Jose State University and earned her degree in Education in 1993. After receiving her teaching credential, Michelle taught 3rd and 4th grade in San Jose California for 3 years. Upon moving to Colorado, she worked as a substitute teacher in the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, but 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.
Away from the kids, Michelle spends her time biking, hiking, playing cribbage, and tasting craft beer with Matt, or taking long walks with her rescue pooches, Shadow, Scout, and Gracie. 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.
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, 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:
- 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!
Home Brewing Awards
Matt has won 89 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.
Community is very important to Rally King and we consider ourselves part of the Midtown neighborhood. We love giving back to the community that has fostered our growth:
- Supporting local food businesses: we offer local, artisan snacks to support local food companies. We carry Lazo Foods Empanadas, MouCo cheese, Nita Crisp crackers, Blue Moose hummus, and Rocky Mountain Salsa. And if you don’t find something you like, you can either bring your own food or order in from the many places nearby that deliver to our taproom.
- Supporting local charities: Recently we held a fundraiser for Colorado Volleyball Charities and are open to helping other local charities in similar ways. This past year we donated Rally King merchandise to several local schools and charities as silent auction items and participated in the Fall Harvest Brew Fest benefiting Animal House Rescue and Grooming a local dog rescue.
- Featuring Artists: Every quarter we feature a new artist in our taproom. If you’d like to be a featured artist, please contact us. The featured artist holds an art show with beer specials.
- Featuring Local Musicians: We love music at Rally King and we love featuring local musicians in our taproom. Check our Events tab for upcoming live music dates.
- Having a pet-friendly, kid-friendly taproom: Our taproom is pet-friendly (on the patio) and kid-friendly with lots of games for the little ones.
- Donating spent grain: Every last grain is used! We donate our spent grain to local pig farmers.