Jerky jockey dishes at fest

Aug 202006
Authors: Jack Genadek The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Though jerky is his business, beer was on Chris Brennan’s mind this weekend as he manned his tent, doling out samples of chewy cuts of smoked meat at NewWestFest.

“Man, I can’t believe this,” said Brennan, 34, a resident of Castle Rock. “People shouldn’t have to stay in a certain spot when they’re drinking beer. This is the only gig I’ve been to this year where this is the case.”

The festival was Brennan’s ninth event this summer. With tens of thousands of people attending the event over the weekend, according to police, Brennan’s Oregon Trail Jerky stand caught the attention of many hungry Fort Collins citizens. His free samples left most wanting more.

“This is some of the best jerky I’ve had,” said Fort Collins resident Peter Warness. “The texture of the beef is just perfect.”

There were a few who didn’t feel the same way, trying the sample and turning quickly.

“It’s just not what I was looking for today,” said Elizabeth Jackson of Fort Collins.

Brennan wasn’t too worried about losing a few customers.

“It’s not for everybody,” he said. “But most people do like it and that’s what I enjoy the most. Seeing the people take a bite and give the nod of approval is very gratifying.”

Customer satisfaction may be what Brennan likes most, but if the jerky business wasn’t lucrative, Brennan wouldn’t be here.

“Nobody else out here is doing this (selling beef jerky),” he said. “On a weekend like this, I should be able to take in between $3,000 and $4,000.”

Despite his gripe about beer, which he says hurts business, Brennan still had a good time.

“You can’t beat this. Great food, great music, great atmosphere and most of all, great people,” he said.

Staff writer Jack Genadek can be reached at

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