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Archive for May, 2012

Weekend Beer Buzz: Sour Fest Edition 05/31/2012

Wow, another week has flown by!  It’s about time for your Weekend Beer Buzz.  Unfortunately, I’ve had a one-track mind and all I can seem to think about is Avery’s upcoming 3rd Annual Sour Fest on Saturday, June 2nd.  sour fest, Sour Fest, SOUR FEST, SOOOUUURRRR FEEEESSSSTTTT!!!!!   Yeah, I can’t wait.  The back of my tongue is already feeling all tingly and my stomach is anticipating that jacked-up feeling from all those wild yeasts attacking my innards.  I can’t wait!

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In its’ short existence, Avery’s Sour Fest has quickly turned into one of my favorite annual events.  Nothing but funky, filthy, mouth-puckering sours, being poured at one of my all time favorite breweries.  I’m in!  If you don’t already have tickets, you’re probably out of luck.  I hate to be a downer, but it’s not going to be easy to find a ticket this late in the game.  Maybe you’ll get lucky and find a deal on craigslist, but these puppies sold out in a ridiculously short and nerve-racking 90 seconds.  Best of luck in your hunt.

If you were one of the few lucky beer nerds that were able to score a ticket, I’ll see you there.  The fun starts at noon and runs until 5 PM.  Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.  303-440-4324.

Come down early and listen to Gary V. as he broadcasts live from Avery Brewing on American Craft Beer Radio on 102.3 FM.  His show starts this week at 11 AM.  Yep, an hour earlier than normal, because he wants to get in and enjoy those sour specialties at noon just like everyone else.  You should definitely tune in this week as it will be my radio debut.  WooHoo!

Right after Gary fills your head full of foamy fun, flip over to Colorado Craft Beer Show on 760 AM.  The Gubna and John Turk kick off at noon and cover all the local beer news in this lovely state.  They’ve expanded to two hours and will be on from noon – 2 PM every Saturday.  They’ll also be broadcasting live from Avery Brewing.  Nothing like a little friendly competition.  Play nice boys!

Believe it or not, there’s actually more than just the Sour Fest going on this weekend.  What?!?!  Don’t get all sad on me if you weren’t one of the 400ish people to get a ticket to the funk madness, there’s always something else to do.  My suggestion…..  Get over to the Oskar Blues Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza!  This isn’t even a suggestion, it’s an order.

If you’re going to call yourself a beer nerd and are anywhere near the Denver metro area this weekend, you need to plan on attending either the Sour Fest or OB Tap Takeover.  Pick one, pick both, but don’t pick your nose and don’t miss out on these delicious events.  (Unless you’ve got a title like Firkin Master and your name is Walt.  He’s off the hook since he’s in freakin’ Hawaii!!! Again!!!)

I’ve managed to hit Parry’s past Tap Takeovers and these are the real deal folks.  I was in the back, super secret, retina-scan required keg vault over at Parry’s Pizza a few weeks ago and I saw the stash first hand.  They’ve been piling up an impressive lineup for this event, including a bunch of barrel aged gems.  I’ve been around the block (in a good way) and I hadn’t even heard of some of these beers before.  In other words, they’re super limited and won’t be around again anytime soon.  This is your chance people.  Don’t miss it!

Still don’t believe me???  I’ve seen the tap list and while I won’t give away all the surprises, let me just say they’ll be pouring both Buffalo Trace Whisky Barrel Aged Ten Fidy and Cabernet Barrel Aged G’Knight.  If that doesn’t excite you, then I give up.

Good gravy I love their food too.  Go famished and parched…  Leave happy.  Your tummy will thank you for it.

But wait, there’s more!  As always, kicking off your weekend is Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday.  At 3 PM on Friday, June 1st they’ll be tapping a Toasted Coconut Porter.  I’ve had this one before and really enjoyed it.  My wife, who’s incredibly allergic to coconuts, couldn’t get enough.  I had the EpiPen ready, but she powered through like a champ.  Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013.  303-400-5606.

Copper Kettle is getting the most out of their new fermenters, as they’re rolling out a new beer every Saturday in June.  For Saturday, June 2nd, they’re bringing back their Dortmunder Lager.  I made it to the Summer Ale release last week and also got to enjoy their Black IPA and Belgian Golden Strong, while Patti worked on the uber tasty and award-winning, Mexican Chocolate Stout.  They’ll have different food trucks out front for each release.  The beer goes on tap at noon and the food rolls in at 5 PM.

Copper Kettle is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.  If you haven’t yet paid them a visit, you’re long overdue.  They’re located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Not really an event, but the current Lips of Faith lineup in the New Belgium Brewery Tap Room is simply mouth-watering.

From sour treats like La Folie and Tart Lychee to sweet beasts like Cocoa Mole and Abbey Grand Cru, not to mention the new collaboration with Lost Abbey and the Valentine Ale brewed with rose hips and pomegranates.  Why does Fort Collins have to be so far.  Why man, WHY???  But, if you’re lucky enough to be up that way in the near future, stop by for a few samples or a growler fill.  New Belgium Brewing is located at: 500 Linden Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524.  Just follow the bikes.

There you have it.  Sour Fest at Avery or Oskar Blues Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza.  If I find out you didn’t go to one of these two amazingly, awesomely, wonderfully, beerily Colorado events, I’m pulling your Beer Nerd Club Card.  I might even tell your friends too.  Don’t test me…  Don’t you know I’m loco???

I think I’ll wrap this up with a few random shots from the two previous Sour Fests.  Hope you enjoy.  Cheers!


Lowry Beer Garden

This week marked the Grand Opening of the Lowry Beer Garden in Denver, CO.  My wife and I were scratching our heads on Thursday night, trying to figure out what we were going to do for dinner, when we decided to take the easy out and head over to check out Lowry Beer Garden.  We packed up the monkeys (aka our kids), called up some friends to meet us and headed out.

The Lowry Beer Garden is located on the east side of town, right next to the Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum.  It’s a quiet area, with little traffic, which is a huge plus for us.  As we pulled into the parking lot, our kids went bananas as we parked underneath the wing of a B-52.  I have to admit, I got a little excited myself.  It’s an impressive sight and makes for a great backdrop to the German-style beer garden.

We got our ID’s checked at the gate, my kids exchanged high five’s with the guys working and we headed in.

Once inside, we grabbed some menu’s and planned our course of attack.  When ready, they have a central point for placing orders towards the front of the beer garden.  One line is for food orders, one is for food pickup and another is for beer and drink orders (clearly the most important!).  When your order is ready, they send you a text message and you can pick it up.  For you technology fearing, non-texters out there, they have other ways of tracking you down too.

I went for The B.O.M.B., which is a burger with Bacon, Onions, Mushrooms and Blue cheese.  It was delish and at only $7, it’s tough to beat.  My wife also got a tasty burger and my kids devoured their grub as well.  Besides burgers, they have a variety of sausages, salads, appetizers and of course, pretzels.

Food’s cute and all, but let’s get serious and talk beer.  I spotted a ton of great brews on the menu.  My wife’s first choice was Boulevard’s Tank 7 Saison and I went for Avery’s Maharaja DIPA.  Glancing over the beer menu, quite a few of the selections caught my eye.  They had local fav’s from Copper Kettle, Odell, Oskar Blues and more, along with out-of-state selections including Dogfish Head, Stone and Firestone Walker.  For you Reinheitsgebot types, they even had Paulaner Hefe and Spaten.  Being the hop-lovers we are, we later moved on to pints of Odell’s Myrcenary DIPA.

As for the actual beer garden, they have both covered and uncovered seating, all of which is on long, wooden tables.  They have ping-pong and a handful of TV’s.  I had to ask about their plans for the winter.  They told me they were going to roll down the windows and keep the covered pavilion open year-round.  They have a heated floor, heat lamps and blankets available as well.

A nice, relaxing atmosphere and a great place to sit back and watch the world go by.  Count me in!  Between the great food and beer selection and the  friendly and helpful staff, we’ll be going back.  Add them to your ever-growing list of new places to check out.  Lowry Beer Garden is located at: 7577 E Academy Blvd, Denver, CO  80230.  303-366-0114.  They are open every day from 11 AM – midnight.

Check ’em out!  Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 05/23/2012

Sorry for the lengthy delay in posts.  I haven’t even had a chance to hit the latest news on the Facebook page…  I caught some sort of funk and it’s been a rough week.  I’m finally starting to feel better and just in time for your weekend beer buzz update!

Hope you were able to get out and enjoy Craft Beer Week.  I wrapped things up by attending the inaugural Taste of Tipsy’s beer festival.  Great event, despite the cool, wet weather.  Saw a lot of good friends and fellow beer geeks and got to try some awesome beers.  I’ll post some pics at the end if you’d like to see more.

Later that night, I had the opportunity to have dinner at Parry’s Pizza and attend the Odell’s Tap Takeover.  Man, they make some great food over there and the beer was obviously awesome!  Great event guys!  Looking forward to the next one.

Still looking for an Odell fix?  Then head up to Fort Collins on Saturday, May 26th for the annual Odell Small Batch Festival.  This is a great chance to try some of their unique and tasty one-offs like Wooden Elephant Oak Aged IPA and Footloose Golden Sour.  The party runs from 3 PM – 7 PM and beers costs $4 / each.  Click HERE for a beer list and all the details.

 

Grimm Brothers is going to be hosting their Maifest on Saturday, May 26th at noon.  This is a family friendly event that will feature the release of Little Farmer Maibock.  They’ll have food, music and games for the kids.  Grimm Brothers is located at: 632 N Denver Ave, Loveland, CO 80537.  970-624-6045.

Copper Kettle Brewing is set to release this year’s batch of Summer Ale on Saturday, May 26th.  This light, refreshing Wit is brewed with coriander and orange peel.  The tapping begins at noon, followed by a visit by the Uber Sausage food truck and live music at 5 PM.  Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.   720-443-CKBC.

The Denver Beer Company always seems to have something interesting on tap.  This week’s lineup is no exception.  They’ve got their delicious Graham Cracker Porter back on tap, along with Kaffir Lime Wheat, Misseur Flaneur Saison, Holy Cow Milk Stout, Centennial DIPA and more!  They’re also in the process of brewing a Raspberry Kolsch.  Sounds awesome for those upcoming warm days of summer.  Denver Beer Company is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-433-2739.  Here’s the latest list:

And don’t forget about Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday release.  On Friday, May 25th, they’ll be pouring a Dry-Hopped Red.  As usual, the beer begins flowing at 3 PM.  Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Need to get your beer fix before the weekend?  Then swing over to Lowry Beer Garden on the east side of Denver.  Think traditional, open-air beer garden, tucked away in Denver, CO!  They’ll have 16 craft beer taps and 30 bottles, featuring local breweries like Copper Kettle, Odell and Oskar Blues.  They’ll also be offering a variety of food, including brats, burgers, salads and pretzels.

Lowry’s Beer List

Lowry is family friendly, so feel free to bring the little ones.  Make an afternoon of it and visit the Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum next door.  Their official opening day is at 4 PM on Wednesday, May 23rd, but will be open every day from 11 AM – midnight.  Lowry Beer Garden is located at: 7577 E Academy Blvd, Denver, CO 80230.  303-366-0114.

And just in case you want some great beer, but don’t want to go far from home, keep an eye out for Elevation’s Apis IV.  Elevation Beer Company just opened their doors last weekend in Poncha Springs, CO.  Their first bottled release, Apis IV, is a Belgian Quad brewed with honey that is making its’ way into the Denver market.  A few local stores got bottles this week and many more should be getting cases over the next few days.  At about $10 / 750mL, you really can’t go wrong.  I’ll be grabbing one for sure.  I hear a barrel aged version will also be coming out shortly.  I’m really excited about Elevation and can’t wait to try their beers.

That’s it for now.  Follow the Facebook page to stay up to date throughout the weekend.  Oh, and here’s some pics from the Taste of Tipsy’s event last weekend.  Cheers!


Colorado Beer Week / American Craft Beer Week Update 05/17/2012

Here we are, right in the middle of Colorado / American Craft Beer Week.  What a great week to be off from work!  Hope you’re having as much fun as I am!  We kicked things off over in Boulder, CO, with a visit to both Mountain Sun Brewing and Avery Brewing.

The latest tap list at Avery.

From there, we drove up to Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids in Longmont, CO, where I got to try the new Chaka, in its’ hi-tech aluminum bottle.

Oskar Blues / Sun King Can-Laboration “Chaka”

Next, we scooted up and over to Grimm Brothers in Loveland, CO to sample a few German treats.

Eventually, we hit up Odell’s, New Belgium and The Mayor of Old Town all the way up in Fort Collins, CO.

Co-Pilot Tray at Odell’s.

The Great Wall of Taps at The Mayor of Old Town.

Tart Lychee & Higher Learning at New Belgium.

After that, we got our bearings, caught up on some sleep and made the trip back to Denver, with a side trip to Great Divide Brewing on the way.

The mighty Hercules Double IPA in the Great Divide Tap Room.

It’s been a whirlwind, and we’re only at the half way point!  Some of the biggest events are still to come!  So here are some reminders to help plan out your weekend.

On Friday, May 18th, Freshcraft in Denver, CO, will be hosting a Tap ‘Takeover.  They’ll be featuring 15 taps of Odell deliciousness.  This event will be going all day, beginning at 11 AM.  Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-758-9608

Can’t make it to Freshcraft?  Or maybe you’re like me and can’t get enough Odell brews…  Have no fear, I’ve got you covered.  On Saturday, May 19th, the good people down at Parry’s Pizza will also be hosting an Odell Tap Takeover!  Owner David Parry, even spent a day up at Odell brewing a special beer just for this event.  This should be a great time, with giveaways and rare releases all day long.  You’ll even get a chance to meet and talk with some of the Odell staff.  Bring an appetite as Parry’s food is not to be missed.

Here’s the tap list: 90 Shilling, Easy Street Wheat, IPA, 5 Barrel Pale Ale, Levity Amber Ale, St. Lupulin, Double Pilsner, Myrcenary, Cutthroat Porter on Nitro, Dunkel, Parry’s Empirical Pale Ale, Mello Yello Belgo and Wooden Owl Oak Aged Double Pilsner.  They’ll also have bottles of Shenanigan’s and Woodcut 5 and maybe a few more surprises.  Should be a great time!  Parry’s Pizza is located at:  9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

What would a weekend in Colorado be without another new brewery opening?  Elevation Beer Company, in Poncha Springs, CO, will officially open their doors on Saturday, May 19th at 11 AM.  Elevation has a 15 barrel brewhouse and will be experimenting with higher-end beers.  They have plans to experiment in barrel aging and are going to be releasing Apis IV, a 10.5% ABV Belgian Quad in 750mL bottles this weekend.  These should be making their way into the Denver market later this month and I’m really looking forward to giving them a try.

Their Grand Opening this weekend will feature live music, food, rootbeer floats and of course, plenty of beer!  Ride your bike to the event and get a free t-shirt.  Order a sampler and get a free pint glass.  Or go all out, ride your bike and order a sampler and leave with all sorts of free swag!  Colorado Governor and fellow beer lover, John Hickenlooper is expected to attend.  This sounds like it’ll be a ton of fun and I hope to hear more about Elevation in the near future.  They’re located at: 115 Pahlone Parkway, Poncha Springs, CO 81242.  719-539-5258.

Although, technically not a new brewery, CAUTION: Brewing Co., will be kicking off the grand opening of their tasting room on Friday, May 18th at 4 PM.  CAUTION has been brewing for the past year and has been supplying its’ beer to local Denver restaurants.  The new tasting room will give beer lovers a chance to try all of their brews under one roof.  They’ll be releasing their latest beer, Chrysanthemum IPA, during their Grand Opening weekend.  Check them out at: 12445 E 39th Ave, Denver, CO 80239.  970-315-2739.

Hops & Pie will be wrapping up Craft Beer Week with another round of Denver’s Littlest Big Beer Fest.  This time they’re going to be featuring some treats from Stone.  Plan on seeing some past releases from their Vertical Epic Series, Imperial Russian Stout and more.  The fun goes down on Sunday, May 20th at 2 PM.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Don’t forget about Strange Brewing.  They turned 2 this week and have a long list of events planned to celebrate the occasion.  Their brand spankin’ new biergarten is open and with the warm weather, it’s a great time to stop by and check it out.  Stop by on Thursday, May 17th to try their Cherry Saison firkin.  Or hit them up on Saturday, May 19th for Kegs & Eggs at 9AM and stick around for a live broadcast from John and The Gubna on the  Colorado Craft Beer Show at noon.  Strange Brewing is located at: 1330 Zuni St, Unit M, Denver, CO 80204.  720-985-2337.

Lastly, to round out your week of craft beer madness, be sure to head over to Tipsy’s Liquor World for their inaugural Taste of Tipsy’s Beer Festival.  This will feature more than 90 breweries from all over the U.S.  They’ll also have live music, food, activities for the kids and a paintball tournament.  The event is on Saturday, May 19th and will run from 11 AM – 6 PM.  The event is free, but admission to the beer festival will run you $25.  The first session runs from 11 AM – 2 PM and the second runs from 3 PM – 6 PM.  We’ll be at the second session, so be sure to say hi!

Gary V, will be broadcasting live from Tipsy’s on American Craft Beer Radio at 11 AM.  For a full list of breweries and ticket information, click HERE.  Not to be missed!  Tipsy’s is located at: 5869 S Alkire St, Littleton, CO 80217.  303-551-7000.

Wow, another weekend to remind me why I love living in Colorado!  Hope to see you around town.

Cheers!


Dry Dock Announces Plans To Open A Second Location!

Have you heard the big news yet?  Hmm, have ya???  Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO, kicked off Colorado Craft Beer Week by revealing their plans to open a second brewery later this year.  The 30,000 square foot facility, which sits on 5.7 acres near the intersection of I-70 and Tower Road, will give Dry Dock the ability to greatly increase production and take their microbrewery to the next level.

The location will house a new 40 BBL brew system, 6 fermentation tanks and 2 bright tanks.  With the increased production capacity, Dry Dock is planning to purchase a canning line and begin canning 4 beers later this year.  The new facility will also allow them to explore distribution opportunities outside the state of Colorado as early as 2013.  If all goes as planned, they hope to be brewing in their second location by Halloween 2012.  At first, this will be a production facility, but there’s talk of eventually opening a tasting room on the second floor mezzanine.

The new facility will take a great deal of pressure off their current 7 BBL system, which is currently running around the clock to keep up with demand.  Once the 40 BBL system is up and running, the current 7 BBL system will primarily be used to brew for their tasting room on Hampden Ave, and will allow the brewers to experiment more with one-offs, seasonals and barrel aged beers.  The current Dry Dock tasting room will remain at: 15120 E Hampden Rd, Aurora, CO 80014.

Huge news and a big shout out to Kevin, Michelle and the rest of the Dry Dock Crew!  I’m really excited for you guys.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz: American & Colorado Craft Beer Week Edition 05/10/2012

If you live in Colorado and like good beer, this is going to be a busy week for you.  It’s not only Colorado Beer Week, but it’s also American Craft Beer Week.  Nearly every brewery in the state has a full calendar of events planned every day.  So I’m a little unsure at where to even begin with the beer buzz for this weekend.

I’ll give you some highlights to look for and some links to find more information, but there’s no way I’m going to be able to cover the 100+ events going on next week.  If there’s a particular brewery or event you’d like more information on, the official list for American Craft Beer Week can be found HERE.  The official list for Colorado Beer Week can be found HERE.

Falling Rock Tap House is getting a jump start on the festivities, by hosting a Russian River event on Friday, May 11th at 5:30 PM.  They’ll be tapping some of the popular beers in the “-tion” series, including Supplication, Temptation and Sanctification.  It’s getting harder and harder to track down Russian River around town, so don’t miss your chance to try these great beers.

Falling Rock has other events planned throughout the week, including a New Belgium “Lips of Faith” Extravaganza on Saturday, May 12th and some hard to find beers from Lost Abbey & Port Brewing on Sunday, May 13th.  A full list of events can be found on their website.  Just in case you’ve been living under a rock or are new in town, Falling Rock Taphouse is located at: 1919 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Colorado Beer Week officially kicks off over at the Highland Tap and Burger, with a mini-beer festival on Saturday, May 12th.  This event will feature more than 15 local breweries and 2 distilleries, pouring more than 35 beers.  John Turk and the Gubna will be broadcasting their weekly Colorado Craft Beer Radio Show live on 760AM at noon.  Tickets and details can be found HERE.  This will definitely be an awesome way to get the week-long party started.  Highland Tap and Burger is located at: 2219 W 32nd Ave., Denver, CO 80211.  720-287-4493.

Strange Brewing is kicking off Craft Beer Week with the Grand Opening of their Biergarten on Saturday, May 12th.  They’ve got other events planned throughout the week including a 4-course beer brunch, the tapping of a Cherry Saison Firkin and the release of their 2nd Anniversary Beer – Munich Dunkel.  Check out this list for more details.   Strange Brewing is located at: 1330 Zuni St., Unit M, Denver, CO 80204.  720-985-2337.

Over in Aurora, Dry Dock Brewing will be releasing a different firkin every night of the week.  They will be releasing Hopricot 2.0 on Friday, May 11th at 3 PM for their weekly Firkin Friday.  Starting on Monday, they will tap a new firkin every afternoon at 3 PM.  With beers like Cranberry Wit, Peanut Butter Cup Porter, Mango Pale Ale and Green Chile Double IPA scheduled to be released, there’s definitely something for everyone.  Check out the full schedule on Dry Dock’s Facebook page.  Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO  80014.  303-400-5606.

Up north, towards Loveland, Berthoud and Fort Collins, the breweries have gotten together and planned a game of Bingo.  You can pick up a card at any of the participating breweries and get it stamped for the different beers you sample.  Complete a line and turn it in for a free T-shirt!  Cool idea.

Odell has a full list of events, both in Colorado and around the country, that can be found HERE.

Looking towards the following weekend, be sure to put the inaugural Taste of Tipsy’s Beer Festival on your calendar.  This event, which is scheduled from 11 AM – 6 PM on Saturday, May 19th, will be held behind Tipsy’s Liquor World in Littleton, CO.  This is a family friendly event that will feature face painting and carnival games for the kids, great food, live music and more.  The event is free, but entrance to the beer festival will run you $25 for a 3-hour session.  The beer tasting will feature more than 60 breweries, with proceeds going towards the Dakota Ridge Athletic Foundation.  You can find more information and tickets HERE.  Tipsy’s is located at: 5869 S Alkire St, Littleton, CO 80127.  303-551-7000.

Lastly, Parry’s Pizza is at it again with another Tap Takeover on Saturday, May 19th.  This time they’ve joined forces with Odell’s from Fort Collins, CO.  Parry’s Pizza owner, David Parry, even brewed a special batch of beer with Odell for the occasion!  After hitting up the Avery Tap Takeover last month, I’m really excited for this one.  Odell always has special, tasty one-offs, brewed exclusively for their tasting room.  They seemed to have perfected just about every style of beer imaginable, yet they still continue to push boundaries and come up with new recipes on a regular basis.  I’m really curious to see what they bring down for this event.  Don’t miss it!  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

Oh, I almost forgot…  If you’re like me and are one of those “Beer Hunter” types, always trying to track down the latest and greatest, then head’s up, Firestone Walker’s Parabola is in Colorado!  Get off your couch and get some!  This barrel aged beauty is a tasty Russian Imperial Stout, with notes of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, coffee and oak.  This beer is a delicious, high ABV sipper, whose flavors will age well and continue to blend together and smooth out over time.  An amazing beer for sure.  Get it now or kick yourself later.

So that’s all I’ve got for now…  There are events going on all over the state and around the country next week, so get out and have some fun.  I’ll post some updates throughout the week on the Facebook page.  Have an event you’d like to share?  Post it on the Facebook wall or leave a comment on here and I’ll be sure to cover it.

Here’s to Craft Beer Week!  Cheers!


Beer Trading Part Four: The Beer is Here!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve introduced you to beer trading and walked you through a simple trade.  Just in case you missed something, in Part One, we talked about how to set up a trade.  In Part Two, we picked a trader and agreed on beers to trade.  In Part Three, we packed and shipped our beers.  We’ve waited patiently for our package to be delivered and it’s finally here!

Yep, this is my favorite part, opening the big box of goodies.  When I open a box of beer, I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.  Even when I know what’s inside, it’s still exciting to dig in and unwrap all the beers.

Our New Glarus loot in all its’ glory!  Yeah, we pulled a ton of tasty brews from Wisconsin.  If you’ve never had the Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart, make sure you move them to the top of your list.  Big, fruity flavors that are appreciated even by non-beer lovers.  Drink it straight or get crafty and pour it over vanilla bean ice cream or mix it with some Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout.  Fun, tasty beers.

At this point, I’ll e-mail our trader to thank them and let them know that I got everything in one piece.   I’ll also ask if they got the package I sent.  If something breaks, it’s typically the responsibility of the shipper to replace the beer(s) or do something to make up for the loss.  Just another good reason to take the extra time to pack things up safely the first time.

After checking with our trader, Kody, he told me that our package arrived safely with no issues.  At this point, the trade is done.  Now all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy your beers.

I keep a list of people I’ve traded with and will generally trade with the same people over and over again.  For example, after trading with Kody, I know that in addition to New Glarus, he’s got pretty good access to beers from Goose Island and Three Floyds among others.  We’re already working on setting up our next trade.  It doesn’t take long to develop a network of contacts and beer traders around the country.  It’s that easy.

Hope this little trading guide answered some questions and encouraged you to take the plunge.  If anything’s unclear or you’ve got questions, by all means, let me know.  It’s a great hobby.  Hope you enjoy it!

Big shout out to all of the brewers that won awards over the weekend at the World Beer Cup in San Diego, CA!  The complete list of winners can be found HERE.  I’m really excited to see so many Colorado brewers bring home medals, including Oskar Blues, Dry Dock, Rockyard, Odell and many more.  Bull & Bush brought home a whopping 4 awards!  Congrats to all  the breweries!

The next World Beer Cup is scheduled for Denver in 2014!  Yeah, it’s two years away, but it’s coming.  It’s almost like Denver was picked to host the Olympics.  Brewers from all over the world will be in town for a long weekend of seminars, tastings, beer dinners and more.  They couldn’t have picked a better location.

Don’t look now, but Colorado Beer Week is right around the corner.  More details to come later this week.  Stay tuned and check the Facebook page for all the latest info.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 05/03/2012

There are a TON of beery events going down this weekend.  I don’t know if it’s the nice weather, Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby or just the fact that we live in the “Napa Valley of Beer”, but I like it.  Having options isn’t a bad thing, but it can sometimes make it tough to decide where to go and what to do.

The big news has to be the opening of not one, but TWO new breweries this weekend!  City Star Brewing and Big Choice Brewing will both be opening their doors to the public on Friday, May 4th.

City Star Brewing, located in Berthoud, CO, will be opening their doors for the first time on Friday, May 4th, at 2PM.   They will be pouring: Cowboy’s Double Golden, 6-Shooter IPA, Red Necktar (hoppy American red ale), Bandit Brown, Raspberry Bandit (brown ale fermented with puréed fresh raspberries) and Night Watchman Stout.  If you get the munchies, City Star invites you to bring food into the brewery or visit the food trucks on-site.

City Star Brewing is located at 321 Mountain Ave, Berthoud, CO 80513.  970-532-7827.

Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield, CO, will also be opening their doors for the first time this weekend.  They’ll have a ribbon cutting on Friday, May 4th at 3PM, followed by their first official happy hour, with $1 off pints.  Four beers will be pouring: Disconnected Red Ale, Poblano Stout, Type III IPA and a Saison.

 

The Oskar Blues Bonewagon will be on-site for the party on Friday, with burgers, wings and more for sale.  Saturday will feature a bouncy house for the kids and free BBQ starting at 11AM.  Sunday features a growler happy hour from 4-6PM with $2 off new growlers and $1 off fills.  Bring in your Rockies ticket stub after the game to get a free pint on Sunday afternoon.  Big Choice is located at: 7270 W 118th Place, Broomfield, CO 80020.  303-469-2616.

In other news, Equinox Brewing, in Fort Collins, CO, is celebrating their second anniversary this weekend with live music in the beer garden.  They’ll also be tapping an IPA brewed just for the occasion.  Congrats on two great years!  Equinox is located at: 133 Remington St., Fort Collins, CO 80524.  970-484-1368.

Over in Boulder at Twisted Pine Brewing, they’ll be releasing the latest addition to their Artisan Ale Series on Saturday May 5th.  This month is Big Easy Offbeat Brown, a brown ale brewed with wasabi, ginger, horseradish and honey.  Spicy enough for ya?

Stop by the brewery on Saturday to get your bottles and meet the artist behind the label.  Twisted Pine is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

But wait, there’s more!  Dry Dock Brewing, in Aurora, CO, just tapped a Coffee Milk Stout.  They’ll be doing their weekly Firkin Friday thing on May 4th, with a Brown Ale, dry hopped with Cascade hops.  The beer gets tapped at 3PM.

Go next door and visit The Brew Hut on Saturday, May 5th and take part in the American Homebrew Association’s annual Big Brew.

This is a great opportunity to make a batch of homebrew with friends, introduce new people to the hobby, share recipes and tips with other homebrewers and just have a bunch of fun.  More details and a list of participating stores can be found HERE.

If you make it to The Brew Hut, say “hi” to Gary V., who will be broadcasting live on American Craft Beer Radio, 102.3FM at noon.  Dry Dock Brewing and The Brew Hut are located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Copper Kettle will be releasing their latest creation, “La Palmoa Wit” on Saturday, May 5th at noon.  The ingredients used in this beer include fresh pomelos, grapefruit, key lime zest, agave nectar and coriander.  I’m not much of a wit guy, but this beer sounds amazing!  I’m loving all the citrus they used to brew it.  Can’t wait to give it a try.

Copper Kettle is now open on Tuesdays, so you can get your fix 7 days a week.  $1 from every pint sold on Tuesday’s will go towards charity.  This program is called “Pints for Purpose” and will feature a different charity each week.  Copper Kettle is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Have you been waiting patiently to try the line of AC Golden Beers?  Then head over to The Rackhouse Pub on Saturday, May 5th for the AC Golden Tap Takeover.  Don’t let the Coors building fool you, these cats know how to brew.  I’ve only had a couple of their beers, but I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve tried so far.  They’ve got 15 beers ready to be tapped this weekend including a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, a Belgian Saison, a Baltic Porter and 5 different sours!  The full lineup can be found HERE.

The Rackhouse Pub offers a full menu and is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  770-570-7824.

If you don’t see your favorite brewers around town this weekend, don’t be surprised.  Most of them are out in sunny San Diego, CA for the bi-annual World Beer Cup.  This is an international beer competition that has a judging system very similar to the Great American Beer Festival.  For 2012, more than 800 breweries from 56 countries have submitted nearly 4,000 beers into the competition.  Yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.

The Brewing Network will be broadcasting live from the awards ceremony on Saturday.  Click HERE to follow the action live.

Lastly, there’s a ton of great beers just waiting for you around town this weekend.  Stone Imperial Russian Stout (just had an ’06 bottle – ages really, really well), Sierra Nevada Hoptimum in 4-packs, Funkwerks White, New Belgium Tart Lychee, Avery Nineteen and Samael’s, Great Divide Barrel Aged Old Ruffian, some fresh Jolly Pumpkin and Dogfish Head and so much more!  There’s are so many great beers available right now.  If you need help tracking something down, give me a shout.

Man, that was a lot of news.  I love Colorado!  Hope you find something to keep you busy this weekend.

Time for a beer.  Cheers!


New Beers and Beer News 05/01/2012

Just a quick blog with some new beers on the shelves now and others that should be dropping soon.
First up is New Belgium’s newest addition to their Lips of Faith series, Tart Lychee.  I mentioned this beer a few weeks ago and am really looking forward to trying it in bottles.  I had the draft version at Avery’s SourFest last year and it was phenomenal.  If you like sours, I’d seek this one out.  It’s around town and shouldn’t be too hard to track down.  
Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale is showing up around town as well.  They say bacon makes everything better and until recently, I would have agreed with that statement.  That was until I tried this beer.  I hate to knock it, knowing that quite a few people have been patiently waiting to try it, but it’s just not for me.
I came across some bottles out in Arizona this past spring and at the time, was excited to finally give it a try.  It poured the color of maple syrup and had a ton of smoke aroma and flavor.  It was just too much for me.  I couldn’t finish my glass.  I actually gave it a second shot at room temperature, with my breakfast the next morning and enjoyed it a tad more, but still wasn’t sold on it.
 
I’ve enjoyed Voodoo Bacon Maple doughnuts and I’ve enjoyed Rogue beers, but the two didn’t mix well for me.  Still, if sweet, smoked beers are your thing, give it a shot.  If nothing else, it comes in a cool bottle…
AC Golden has delayed their first run of sour beers.  The “Hidden Barrel Room” project over at Coors in Golden, CO, was hoping to release their Peche, Kriek and Apricot sours in early May, exclusively at Mile High Wine & Spirit’s in Lakewood, CO.  Unfortunately, some labeling issues have delayed them for a few more weeks.  Once everything gets cleared up, they should be ready to roll out.

Aged in wine barrels filled with locally grown fruit and fermented with wine yeast and brettanomyces.  These should be some tasty lambics.  Don’t be scared off by the Coors name, the AC Golden guys know what they’re doing.  I’ve had the opportunity to try two of these over the past year or so and they are awesome!  These should sell for $21.99 / 750mL bottle.  Again, the only place to get these will be at Mile High Wine & Spirit’s in Lakewood, CO.  They are located at: 435 S Vance St., Lakewood, CO  303-936-0272.

Oskar Blues is set to release the CAN-laboration beer they brewed with Sun King from Indianapolis, IN.  The beer’s being called Chaka and will be released in 16 oz. aluminum bottles.  Chaka is an 8% ABV Belgian Style Ale, brewed with ingredients from each breweries home state.

6-packs of Chaka will be sold at The Tasty Weasel Taproom for $15.99 / 6-pack.  No word on whether or not this will see distribution.  The Tasty Weasel is located at:  1800 Pike Rd., Unit B, Longmont, CO  80501.  303-776-1914

Pssst, Parabola is coming!  Stay tuned!

Cheers!