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Archive for June, 2012

Weekend Beer Buzz 06/28/2012

Wow, what a week.  It’s been a little tough to take around here.  High temps and wildfires up and down the front range.  I hate to be a downer, but I’ve got some good friends being affected by this and I think we’re all just ready for a nice, long rain shower (minus the lightning)…

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I like to get you pumped for the weekend with a rundown of everything happening around town.  It just feels a bit “off” this week.  I’m going to keep it short, hit the highlights and hope for better conditions next week.  These fires have hit us hard and I’m just feeling “funny” about the beer scene this week.

Dry Dock’s got their weekly “Firkin Friday” coming up on June 29th.  This week is a Roasted Almond Brown Ale.  Tapping is at 3 PM.

Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.

Maggie Smith’s Irish Pub is tapping a keg of Firestone Walker’s Parabola on Friday, June 29th at 5 PM. Parabola is a 12.5% ABV, barrel aged, Russian Imperial Stout and it’s an amazing beer.

Bottles hit the state a few months ago and it didn’t take more than a few days to sell out.  If you missed out or just want to try it on draft, be sure to hit up Maggie Smith’s.  They’re located at: 6631 S Peoria St, Centennial, CO 80111.  303-999-2010.

Renegade Brewing is turning 1 this weekend!

One Year Anniversary

They’ll be throwing down on Saturday, June 30th from noon – 10 PM with all sorts of tasty brews. Look for Elevated Wood, a Bourbon Barrel Aged version of Elevation (their Triple IPA!) and special vintage brews like Hammer and Sickle (Russian Imp. Stout), Radiator (Winter Warmer) and more!

Stick around for live music, food trucks and the kickoff of their first canned beer, Ryetous IPA.

Renegade Brewing is located at: 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204.  720-401-4089.

Don’t forget to turn your radios on this weekend.  American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from Echo Brewing in Fredrick, CO.  Get the latest updates on what’s going on up there at this new brewery. Gary will be joined by Elizabeth Kegan from Firestone Walker Brewing.  Get your phones ready as he’s got some giveaways too.

American Craft Beer Radio is on 102.3 ESPN Radio at noon on Saturday.

On the AM side, Colorado Craft Beer Show will be doing their monthly broadcast from Arvada Beer Company.  They’ll be joined by David Parry from Parry’s Pizza and the gang from The Beer Drinker’s Guide To Colorado.

The Colorado Craft Beer Show is on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM.

Bottles, bottles, bottles!  Lots of fun stuff showing up on shelves this weekend.

River North Brewery has two, barrel-aged releases this weekend.  Whiskey Aged J. Marie Saison and Unified Theory Oaked Imperial Wit will be going on sale at the brewery today.  There will also be a small amount of bottles showing up at select stores in the Denver Metro area.

251 bottles, first come, first served.  River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-296-2617.

The freaks at Stone also have some new beers hitting shelves right now.  Be on the lookout for Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans and Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers.  They’ve made these beers before, but until now, it’s only been in kegs and in very limited amounts.  This is your first chance to get grab them in a bottle.  Look for 120z. bottles to sell for right around $4.00.

They’ve also hit us with their 10th Anniversary of Ruination IPA.  This already amazing beer got pumped up with double hops for this special batch.  This beast clocks in at 10.8% ABV, 110 IBU’s and will be selling for $8.00 / 22oz. bomber.

TRVE had their official Grand Opening earlier this week and from what I hear, the turnout was great.  I visited them and blogged about them twice this month and there are plenty of details about TRVE here.

I also hear that Hogshead Brewery will be opening their doors tomorrow.  These guys will be pouring 3 English style beers.  Look for Chin Wag – a Red ESB; Lake Lightening – Summer Ale and Gilpin Black Gold – a chocolate, roasted nut brown.

Hogshead Brewery is located at: 4460 W 29th Ave, Denver, CO 80212.

Lastly, Chad’s packing his bags, barrels and brewhouse up at Crooked Stave in Fort Collins and headin’ South to his new digs down in Denver.

I can’t wait to visit his new place.

That’s it folks.  Have fun this weekend, be safe and pray for rain!


TRVE Grand Opening Is Tomorrow. Join The Cvlt Before It’s Too Late!

Don’t forget beer peeps, TRVE Brewing’s Grand Opening is tomorrow, June 27th at 4 PM.  You won’t want to miss this.  Nick and his team are ready to serve up some tasty metal music and awesome beers for you.

They’ll have four beers flowing tomorrow: Wanderlust, a Belgian American Pale Ale; Prehistoric Dog, a Salty Wheat; Black Cascade, a Black IPA; and Tunnel of Trees, a Piney IPA.

I had the chance to visit TRVE a few weeks ago and get the scoop from the man himself.  Here’s the link in case you missed it.

There’s still a handful of memberships available in the Cvlt if you’re interested. But don’t wait long, these are sure to go quickly.  Miss out, and you might get stuck listening to Celine Dion and drinking Coors Light.  Brutal…

So get on it, head over, drink up, rock out.  TRVE is opening their doors at 4 PM tomorrow.  Basic Kneads will be set up on Broadway firing up some tasty pizzas to enjoy.

TRVE Brewing is located at:  227 Broadway #101, Denver, CO 80203.  303-351-1021.


Beer Trippin’ in Wisconsin. Part 1 – New Glarus Brewing

Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to spend 36 hours in Wisconsin.  Time for another round of Beer Trippin’.

We started our day with an early flight out of Denver International Airport, bound for Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I like to get a jump-start on things and before lunch time, we had already gotten a rental car and were headed off in search of good beer.  Without hesitation, we set off towards the town of New Glarus, WI.

Only about a two-hour jaunt down the road from Milwaukee, New Glarus was founded by Swiss pioneers in 1845.  The Swiss heritage is alive and well in New Glarus today.  Many of the buildings around town were built with chalet-style architecture, while the restaurants serve traditional Swiss meals.  It’s a beautiful town, surrounded by green rolling hills, farmlands and blue sky.

It’s also the home of New Glarus Brewing.  Yep, the yummy brewery that makes the super popular Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart beers.  The ones that create all the lines and buzz every year at the Great American Beer Festival.  New Glarus has been on my short list of breweries to visit for years and they didn’t disappoint.

The original Riverside Brewery was built in 1993 and is still in operation today.  Tours of the facility are offered once a week, on Friday’s at 1 PM.

The Hilltop Brewery opened in 2008 and is open 7 days a week from 10 AM – 4 PM.  We rolled into the parking lot of the Hilltop Brewery just after lunch time and were blown away by the beauty of the place.

They’ve gone out of their way to bring the European experience to the little town of New Glarus.

It feels like a fairy tale.  I couldn’t wait to step in and see the list of beers being poured.

Am I dreaming?  Pinch me!

During our visit, they were pouring Totally Naked (Czech Lager), Spotted Cow (Farmhouse), Two Women (Lager), Moon Man (Pale Ale), Fat Squirrel (Nut Brown) and Belgian Red (Wisconsin Cherry Ale).  For $3.50 you can get a sample of 3 beers and a taster glass to keep.  For $6, you can get a full pint and a glass to keep.  The popular fruit brews will run you $9.

Aaaah, Belgian Red…  It’s so worth it.

There’s a self guided tour which is free and gives you access to the brew house, bottling line, fermentation tanks, quality control lab and more.

One lonely barrel of Enigma.

After exploring the brewery, we sat outside in the garden area to enjoy our beer and take in the views.  Patti and I both agreed that this would be a great spot for a wedding reception.

Eventually, we made our way back inside to do a little shopping.

In addition to the tasting room / gift shop, they also have a Beer Depot dedicated to 4-packs, 6-packs and 750’s to go.

Seeing this room made me wish I had a bigger bag to bring more beer home.  The beer is delish and unfortunately, isn’t distributed outside of WI.  Like any good beer nerd, I remembered to bring a styrofoam shipper.  We filled it up and set off for our next destination.  New Glarus Brewing is located at: 2400 Hwy 69, New Glarus, WI 53574.  608-527-5850.

Coming up in Part 2 of our Beercation in Wisconsin, we head back towards Milwaukee, WI, with a detour to Lake Mills, WI and Tyranena Brewing.  Check back soon for updates.


Weekend Beer Buzz 6/20/2012

We’ve got another beer filled weekend coming up.  You ready?  Get your calendar’s out, here’s the run down.

The 23rd Annual Colorado Brewers’ Festival is this weekend.  The festival runs from 12:30 – 6:30 PM on Saturday, June 23rd and Sunday, June 24th.  More than 40 breweries will be pouring their brews including the usual suspects from Fort Collins, along with out of towners like Crazy Mountain, River North and Ska.  Tickets can be purchased in advance by clicking HERE.

If you’re really looking to geek out and try some amazing beers ahead of time, then head over early for the VIP Connoisseur Tasting on Friday June 22nd.  This is sponsored by Choice City Butcher & Deli and is sure to have some nice beers available to taste.  Sour heads will want to check out Crooked Stave and Black Bottle Brewing.  Black Bottle hasn’t opened yet, so this might be your first chance to give them a try.

The 2012 Colorado Brewers’ Festival is being held at Civic Center Park in Fort Collins, CO.  Check out the official website for a brewery and beer list, hours, directions, ticket information and schedule for the weekend.

Fire things up with Firkin Friday over at Dry Dock Brewing.  This week is Starship Enterprise.  Firkin Master Walt took their Enterprise IPA and dry-hopped it with Galaxy, a citrusy, Australian hop.  Tapping is at 3PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Copper Kettle Brewing is releasing another brew to the tap lines on Saturday, June 23rd.  This round is their summer Kolsch.  With more 90 degree weather on the way, this is just what you need.  The fun starts at noon and The Vegan Van will be rolling in at 5 PM.

Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

The Falling Rock 15th Anniversary celebration wraps up this weekend.  Friday will feature a special barrel aged version of Bull & Bush’s Legend of the Liquid Brain Imperial Stout.  Saturday will see New Belgium’s sour LOVE on tap and Sunday will feature a variety of special kegs from Dogfish Head.  It’s Falling Rock, you won’t be disappointed.

Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Benjamin Weiss, Marketing Director for The Bruery, is in town visiting Colorado for a few days.  He’ll be hosting a beer dinner in Boulder on Thursday, June 21st.  Pizzeria Basta will be pouring Sans Pagaie (sour cherry), Loakal Red (hoppy, oak aged red), Smoking Wood (imperial, smoked, barrel aged rye porter) and Birra Basta (brewed exclusively for the event).  A special food menu was created to pair with each beer.  Call to make a reservation if you’re planning to attend.

Pizzeria Basta is located at: 3601 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302.  303-997-8775.

Ben will stick around and share some more Bruery specialties over at Hops & Pie on Sunday, June 24th.  This mini Tap Takeover will feature Otiose (sour guava), Loakal Red, Hottenroth (berliner weisse), Tradewinds (Belgian golden) and Mischief (hoppy Belgian golden).  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Aside from the Birra Basta, I’ve had the chance to try all of the beers that The Bruery is sending out our way.  Several of them have never been available in Colorado until now.  This is a rare opportunity to try some of their sours and Loakal Red, so check out these events.  You won’t be disappointed.

Wrap up your weekend with Avery’s next release in their Barrel Aged series.  This round is Oud Floris, a Barrel Aged Sour Brown Ale.  You can purchase beers at the brewery on Sunday, June 24th at 4 PM.  Bottles are $8 / each, cash only, with a 6-bottle limit.

They’ll have plenty of sours on tap just for the event, including Bad Apple and Grapes of Wrath.  Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.

Last, but not least, another new brewery opened their doors for the first time this afternoon.  Bootstrap Brewing is open and ready for you!  They’re located up in Niwot and are currently pouring: 1956 Golden Ale, Backfire Chili Beer, Boomer Brown and IPA Batch #1.

Congrats on the opening guys!  Their hours are Mon-Thur 3-8 PM, Fri-Sun 12-8 PM.  Bootstrap Brewing is located at: 6778 North 79th St, Niwot, CO 80503.

That’s it folks.  Another solid week of events around town.  Hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy them.


Road Trippin’ On I-70. Palisade and Grand Junction, CO

A few months back I did a little bloggin’ about some of the breweries west of Denver, along I-70. Between Denver and Breckenridge, we visited multiple breweries, each with their own unique atmosphere, serving up a variety of beers.  I broke it up into several parts and if you missed it, you can find them here: Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.   In this blog entry, I’m going to cover another chunk of territory along I-70 by visiting the far outposts of Palisade and Grand Junction.

Palisade, CO is just under 4 hours west of Denver and takes you through a beautiful section of the state.  70 follows the Colorado River, weaving through canyons and between ancient mountains.  My son kept his eyes on the railroad tracks along the way, as it’s a busy route for trains.

Pulling into Palisade, you’re immediately greeted by orchards and vineyards.  There’s a nearly 20 mile loop that winds through the beautiful farms and wineries scattered across the valley.  We set off in our car and discovered some great wines, delicious fruits and even got to meet a baby alpaca at one of the local farms.

Back in the downtown area, we came across Palisade Brewing Company.

We arrived just in time for lunch and a few pints.  It didn’t take us long to meet Palisade’s Head Brewer, Danny Wilson, who was chatting with several customers at the bar.  I introduced myself and he was quick to offer a tour of his brew house.

Danny runs Palisade Brewing on a 20 BBL brew system, with 40 BBL’s of fermentation tanks.  He came over and sat with us while we sipped on Love Potion #2.  This beer was brewed to celebrate Palisade’s recent 2nd Anniversary.  Love Potion #2 is a Belgian Farmhouse ale that pours a cloudy, straw color.  Aroma is bread, light fruit, yeast and a touch of funk, while the taste is refreshing and fruity, with pepper, spice, earth and yeast.  A really well crafted beer.  Very enjoyable and sessionable.

We followed up Love Potion #2 with a pint of Hopta Session IPA.  Danny has been experimenting with different IPA recipes and this one is a hoppy, yet lighter ABV, sessionable variation.

Things seem to be going well for Palisade Brewing Company as they slowly convert the palates of the towns’ popular wine drinkers into equally appreciative craft beer drinkers.  There’s talk about eventually getting into the canning business and out onto store shelves.

I really get excited to hear news like this and wish Danny and Palisade the best.  He is very passionate about his craft and loves to talk to fellow beer geeks.  Check them out next time you’re out that way or give them a try at GABF this year.  You won’t regret it.  Palisade Brewing Company is located at: 200 Peach Ave, Palisade, CO 81526.  970-464-1462.

Right out the back door and 1/2 a block down from Palisade Brewing Company is Peach Street Distillers.  I know, I know, we’re all about beer on this blog, but the process is so similar, I’ve got to give credit to the distillers when I can.  Peach Street makes a variety of liquors including straight and fruit vodkas, brandies, gins and a straight bourbon.  I even saw a pear brandy that had a full size pear inside the bottle.  They put the bottles around little pears and let the pears grow inside the bottle!  Wild stuff.

Peach Street was named Distiller of the Year for 2012 and is making some really nice stuff.  Like I said, it’s just across the street from Palisade Brewing Company and should be on your list if you’re out that way.  Peach Street Distillers is located at: 144 S Kluge #2, Palisade, CO 81526.  970-464-1128.

Travel just another 10 minutes further west, down I-70 and you reach Grand Junction, CO.  Going to Grand Junction is like taking a step back in time.  Everyone we met was friendly and the pace seemed a little slower.  It just had that small town feel about it.

We arrived into town in time to catch the first farmer’s market of the summer.  This is a weekly event in downtown Grand Junction, where they close down Main Street to traffic and allow farmers, artisans and vendors to set up booths and sell their goods.  The first booth we approached was selling a variety of cherries, plums and apricots.

Man, oh man, there’s some tasty fruit out there.  Someone should really think about setting up a lambic or fruit based brewery out that way.  I’m a huge fan of CO peaches and those should be showing up in grocery stores very shortly.  We took our time exploring the market, listening to live, local music and even getting a horse-drawn carriage ride for the kids.

Eventually, we made our way to Rockslide Brewing Company for dinner and a few beers.

The Rockslide had more of a Rock Bottom, almost chain atmosphere to it, but the food and beers were still very good and the place was absolutely packed.  For beers, we went with the seasonal Wimpy Dark Chocolate Pale Ale.  It was essentially a Black IPA, which had roasted, chocolatey notes to it.  Their other seasonal was called Vintage, which was an American Pilsner.  A very clean, crisp beer, which paired well with the 95 degree heat outside.

Rockslide Brewing is located at: 401 Main St, Grand Junction, CO 81501.  970-245-2111.

We also made a quick stop at Kannah Creek for a growler fill.  This place was packed and has the brewery on display behind the bar.  I got my growler filled with the IPA for the journey home.

Kannah Creek is located at: 1960 North 12th St, Grand Junction, CO 81501.  970-263-0111.

Just down the street from Kannah Creek, is the Breckenridge Ale House , which is located at: 2531 North 12th St, Grand Junction 81501.  970-242-7253.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to stop in for a visit.  There’s only so many hours in the day.  But, it’s part of the Breckenridge Brewing family and I’m sure it’s worth a stop.

I also stumbled upon a great liquor store with a massive selection of bombers.  They had everything from hard to find Dogfish Head 750’s, interesting Belgians and even vintage beers.  Although, I may have picked up the last of the older World Wide Stouts they had back there.  I’m still confident you’ll find something interesting for your cellar.

After wrapping up my first visit to Palisade and Grand Junction, I can definitely say that I’ll be making a trip back again in the future.  Palisade hosts the Colorado Wine Festival every year in September, which looks like a ton of fun.  It’s a beautiful area of Colorado, with plenty to see and do for both kids and adults.

I’ll wrap this up with some random shots from the weekend.


The Beer Drinker’s Guide To Colorado

Several years ago, somewhere amidst the madness that is the Great American Beer Festival, I got my first glimpse of an awesome product called the Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado (BDG2C).  I snatched one up and over the years, it’s helped me plan out weekend road trips with my wife and track down breweries all over the state.  Over time, the explosion of breweries in the state has taken its toll on my little map.  It’s out of date and ready to be retired.

A few weeks ago, the 6th edition of the Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado was released and filled the holes in my outdated guide.

If you’re not familiar with the guide, it’s a 39 x 26 inch, color map of the state.  Pint glasses dot the map and denote the 168 breweries and brewpubs across Colorado.  They’ve done their homework and planned ahead by including many breweries that are going to be opening in the near future, like TRVE and Black Bottle Brewery.  If you’re not sure about a brewery, call ahead to make sure they’re open and will have beer flowing when you arrive.

The flip side has a ton of useful information, including breakdowns of different beer styles, a list of CO State Parks and 14ers, drive times between cities, homebrew shops around the state and most importantly, addresses, phone numbers, hours and other details about all those breweries you’ll be checking out.  The newly updated map has everything a beer lover in Colorado could ever want.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep you happy, the brains behind the map have also put together an awesome collection of coupons to help you save some money while you drink your way across this great state.  The coupon book has exploded since my last map purchase.  It’s set up like a check book that’s full of coupons you can redeem for free beer, taster trays, discounts, glassware and more!

There are 44 coupons in total, which are valued at more than $250 and don’t expire until January 1, 2014.  Grab one now and you’ve got 18 months to do some serious damage across the state!

Right about now, you’re probably wondering how to get your very own, super snazzy, handy Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado.  Head over to their official website and order one online.  They’ve got traditional, folded map versions along with rolled maps for $13.95 each.  There’s also a laminated, man-cave approved version for $42.95.

If you’re in a hurry and need to have one right now, click HERE for a list of breweries, homebrew shops and liquor stores that have the BDG2C for sale.  This is a great map and awesome coupon book that should be in the glove box of any good beer nerd’s ride.  Now get out and explore!


Weekend Beer Buzz 06/14/2012

We’ve got a big weekend coming up here people and there’s no time to lose.  Let’s do this!

Great Divide Brewing in Denver, CO, is turning 18 on Saturday, June 16th.  Yep, they’re legal and they’ll be celebrating with a full-on bash including beer, rare beer, food, more beer, music, multiple breeds of Yeti (hopefully!) and of course, tasty beer!  Some of the rare brews that will be pouring include a Berliner Weisse, Oak Smoked Dunkelweiss, Schwarzbier and an India Pale Lager.  The Great Divide parties are a ton of fun and the $25 admission is tough to beat.  I mean, they close the freakin’ street for this thing!  When’s the last time you had the pull to close down a street in Denver?  Unless you’re U2 or have a Yeti on your staff, I don’t see it happening.

Oh, and they’ve launched a new website and brewed a super-special beer for the occasion.  The beer is out and about in 22oz. bombers.  If you haven’t tried it, then shame on you.  Go stand in the corner until you fully realize the consequences of your actions.  Now, chin up and go grab a bottle at your favorite local shop.  It’s a 10% ABV, wood-aged Double IPA.  Tasty and sweet.

Anniversary Party tickets and other details can be found HERE.  Great Divide and their brilliant concoctions are located at: 2201 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-296-9460.

Dry Dock warms up your weekend on Friday, June 15th with their Firkin Friday tapping.  This week, your Firkin Master Walt Chleva, has brewed up a refreshing Blackberry Summer Ale.  This fruity beauty gets tapped at 3 PM.  Fruit beers on a warm, summer day.  Man, that sounds nice.

Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Just a short drive down the road, Copper Kettle Brewing is at it again.  They’re releasing another tasty brew on Saturday, June 16th.  This week, it’s their Imperial Red.  Yeah, this yummy, hoppy, beautiful, almost IPA will be back on the tap lines until the beer nerds drain the kegs dry.  Plan on sticking around to enjoy not 1, but 2! food trucks that will be rolling in at 5 PM.  Live local music for your enjoyment begins at 6 PM.

Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Don’t forget about our friends down south at Pikes Peak Brewing in Monument, CO.  They’re celebrating their 1st Anniversary this week, with several events.  First up on Sunday, June 17th is live Celtic rock in the beer garden from 5 – 8 PM.  On Wednesday, June 20th, there’s a Brewers Dinner with Chef Greg Soukup of Blue Sage.  Wrapping things up next weekend on Saturday, June 23rd is a Family Picnic, featuring activities for the kids and free brats from the brewery from 4 – 7 PM.

Pikes Peak Brewing is located at: 1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument, CO 80132.  719-208-4098.

Snow in June?  Maybe.  Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is going to be releasing another one of their rare and unique snowflakes on Saturday, June 16th.  Yes, I realize this is a beer blog, but Stranahan’s makes some pretty tasty whiskey.  Not to mention, their barrels have been used to age some pretty amazing beers over the past few years.  Oh Barrel Aged Yeti, Aaah Bligh’s Barleywine, Mmm Well Built ESB.  I could go on, but you get my point.  They’re an important part of the local craft scene.

I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon last week bottling at the distillery and got a picture of the magical barrel of snowflakes.  It was pretty hush-hush last week, but now that they’ve made an official announcement, I feel OK sharing a picture.

Just like past Snowflake releases, it’s a one barrel batch that was bottled today.

This time it was aged in a Cherry Wine Barrel for six months, and is being called Maroon Belles.  If you’re serious about picking one of these up, make sure to head there early on Saturday.  Bottles will sell for $100 / each, with a 3 bottle limit.  Don’t sit and wait on these as they probably won’t last past lunch time.  Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is located at: 200 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  303-296-7440.

There’s rumors of a new brewery opening up in Boulder, CO on Saturday, June 16th.  I’ve been following the progress of J Wells Brewery for the past few weeks.  Still awaiting confirmation that this is going to be their opening weekend, but haven’t heard back yet.  I’ll be sure to pass on anything I can find out on the Brewtally Insane Facebook page.

 If they are in fact planning to open and you want to check them out, they’re located at: 2516 W 49th St, Boulder, CO 80301.

Lastly, there’s a big ol’ anniversary beer hitting CO store shelves right now.  The Bruery, from California, recently released Fruet, their 4th Anniversary beer.  It’s a monstrous 15.5% ABV Old Ale that was aged in Bourbon Barrels.  Patrick Rue and The Bruery crue were kind enough to send a few cases to our market.  I wouldn’t expect it to sit on shelves for too long, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re looking for a bottle.  It began hitting shelves yesterday.

The 750 mL bottles will be retailing between $30 – $34.  The high alcohol content and style of beer, should lend itself well to long term cellaring.  I recently had a bottle of their 2nd Anniversary beer, Coton, which is a 14.5% ABV Old Ale and it’s holding up really well.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they could go for a decade or more.  At any rate, it’s a great series of beers and is worth the high price tag.

Well, there you have it peeps.  Another warm, sunny weekend is in our forecast.  Hope you have a good one!


Beer Review: Dry Dock Brewing, 3 Heavy Wee Heavy

If you live in the beautiful state of Colorado, you have no shortage of options when it comes to beer.  You grab your growler, head to your local brewery, but have no clue what to get.  Sometimes it can be downright overwhelming.  I’m taking the guess-work out of it for you and giving you a sweet, malty brew that’s out for a very limited time.

Today, I’m going to review the 3 Heavy Wee Heavy, which is an award-winning, winter seasonal from Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO.  It pops up during the cold months and is available on draft at the brewery and tap houses around town, while also making appearances in 22 oz. bombers at liquor stores in the Denver area.  But, if you’ve pay attention and are on top of your game, you’ve got a rare chance to grab some today.  Yeah, I realize it’s the middle of summer, but read along and find out how to score some right now!

The 3 Heavy Wee Heavy recently won a Gold Medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup in sunny San Diego, CA.  The World Beer Cup (WBC), is the BIG one.  The Great American Beer Festival is up there too, but the WBC is an international event held every other year in a different city.  The international aspect, makes it even tougher for breweries to bring home a medal.  The 3 Heavy Wee Heavy is a back-to-back winner, as it brought home a silver medal in 2010.

Poured from a 32oz. mini-growler into a Dry Dock tulip glass.  Deep, dark copper in color, with just the slightest touch of cloudiness.  The beer has a 1/2 finger, creamy, tan head that leaves very little lacing around the edge of the glass.  A moderate stream of carbonation rises from the bottom.

The aroma is caramel, sugar, maple syrup, with a touch of raisins and dark fruit.  Overall, very sweet.  Smells like candy.  Mmm, beer candy.  On to the taste!

The first small sip is malt, caramel and rock candy.  Nom, nom, nom!  A second larger sip reveals a dark fruit flavor.  Boozy fruit.  I’m thinking fruit soaked in rum.  Oh, delish.  In the background, I taste biscuit, a pinch of bitter hops and the slightest hint of alcohol.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.  The 8.8% ABV hides itself pretty well.  The hidden alcohol combined with the smoothness, makes for a very drinkable beer.  Full flavored and complex, but still, very drinkable.

Careful not to let the 8.8% ABV sneak up on you.  This is a beer you should pull out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you’re actually ready to drink it.  Allowing it to warm up a bit, will give you more flavors and aromas to explore.

The perfect beer for sipping next to a roaring fire in the middle of a snowstorm.  Wait!  Snap out of it man, it’s JUNE!  Flip on the Rockies game and throw a hearty steak on the grill.  This beer is sure to pair well.

I don’t want to be an advertisement for the 32 oz. growler, but I like the little guys.  I’ve gotten a few in trades from Cigar City out in Tampa, FL and it’s nice to see them make their way out west to us non-humidity lovin’, mountain folks here in Colorado.  TRVE Brewing founded their Cvlt around them and Dry Dock Brewing just started selling them last week.  The smaller size gives you a chance to actually finish a beer with a high alcohol content level, like the Wee Heavy, before it goes flat.

The 3 Heavy Wee Heavy is the masterpiece from brewer Lachlan McLean over at Dry Dock.  Get some now while it’s making a rare, summer, encore appearance.  This batch was brewed to celebrate the recent WBC Gold Medal and won’t last long.  Grab a 32 oz. growler fill for $12 or a 64 oz. growler fill for the low, low price of $20.  Miss out now and you’ll probably have to wait until winter to try it again.  Don’t let Mother Nature dictate your beer drinking schedule.  Get some!

Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.


Beer Review: Wit’s End, Super FL i.p.a.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours of my afternoon relaxing over at Wit’s End Brewing in Denver, CO.  In case you haven’t made it out to Wit’s End yet and need hours, contact information and other details, click HERE.

I really dig this place.  The people are friendly, the vibe is laid back and the beer is delish!  Plus, any brewery that has a poster of Mr. T gets bonus points in my book.  I pity the fool who hasn’t been to Wit’s End Brewing!

Patti and I sipped on pints of Super FL i.p.a., their Black IPA and Wilford, their Belgian Oatmeal IPA.  I made sure to bring our 40 oz. to get a refill and enjoy some Wit’s End at home.

Like good little hop heads, we went with the Super FL i.p.a.  Ready for a review?  Let’s do this!

I popped open my supa fine 40 oz. and poured the beer into a not-so-standard pint glass.  Not really sure what this style of glass is called, but it has a sort of hourglass shape to it.  They give them out at the Firkin Rendezvous down in Colorado Springs every year.

Super FL i.p.a. weighs in at 6.6% ABV and pours a deep, dark brown, almost black color.  There was a one-finger tall, sandy colored head on top with bubbly, traces of lacing left around the glass.

The aroma was roasted grains and pine, with just a touch of earthyness to it.  Very faint hops in the background, pretty light for an IPA.

Let’s get this party started and taste it already!  Up front, the flavor is caramel, malt with some roasty notes.  After the sweetness subsides, it’s a blast of hops.  When I say “blast of hops”, don’t think west coast, hop sandwich.  Super FL i.p.a. is hoppy, but in a smooth, classy kind of way.  The bitter, citrusy flavors are there, but they’re balanced and approachable.

The tingly bitterness lingers in the back of the mouth, until quietly fading away like a sunset fading over the back of the Colorado Rockies.  It’s a beautiful thing…

I’m a hop head and I love my IPA’s, DIPA’s, fresh American Barleywine’s, Pliny’s, xx Minute’s, Maharaja’s and so on.  But to me, Super FL i.p.a. has a uniqueness that sets it apart from many popular IPA’s.  What’s that?  Thanks for asking!  It’s drinkability.  Drink-a-who?  What I mean by drinkability, is that for the average beer drinker, they might be able to sit down and enjoy a big ol’ hoppy brew, but are  they really going to have 2 or 3 glasses of a big hop bomb?  Maybe, but probably not.  Super FL i.p.a. allows you to get your hop fix, without the feeling that your mouth just got violated by a vine of lupulin filled, nugget hops.

It’s got it’s hoppy side, but the 9 (yes, 9!) different malts used to make the beer, help to create a complex layer of sweetness to soften up the biting, bad-assedness (i may or may not have just made that word up) of the Cascade and Columbus hops.  After fermentation, this beer is dry-hopped and aged on cedar chips to add yet another layer of complexity.

This beer is Super Drinkable, Super Tasty and yes, it’s Super Fly.  I have no idea how long it took Scott to dial in this recipe, but he got it right and it drinks really well.  I dig it.  Can you?

Lastly, big congrats to Wit’s End on the recent additions to the family.  They just acquired two 3 BBL fermenters from the folks over at nearby Strange Brewing.  The new fermenters will allow them to nearly double their current production.  More importantly, that means more beer for you and me and that’s a good great thing.

The newest additions to the fermenting family.

The rest of the gang.

Please tell me that if you’ve not yet made it to Wit’s End, you’re at least planning to stop by soon.  Good people and great beer.  Please, don’t make me use another Mr. T quote.  Just check them out already!  Fool!

Wit’s End Brewing is located at: 2505 W 2nd Ave, Unit 13, Denver, CO  80219.  303-359-9119  Stop by and tell Scott and his crew “Hi!”.


New Brewery Spotlight: TRVE Brewing

TRVE Brewing is less than 24 hours from opening their doors to the public for the very first time.  Yesterday, owner and brewer Nick Nunns, took the time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk with us about his new brewery.  TRVE (pronounced “True”) is located on Broadway, in the trendy area of Denver known as the Baker District.  This part of town is lined with galleries and fun restaurants, but sadly, no brewery.  That is, until later this month, when Nick and his brewery will step in and fill that hole.

Heading into TRVE off Broadway, we entered into the long, narrow, almost industrial space.  Heavy metal music and black and grey walls set the tone as we made our way towards the bar where Nick was working.  Eight black taps lined the black wall behind the bar.  Nick greeted us and was more than happy to give us a tour of his place.

We headed towards the back of the building to gaze at all the shiny, new brew equipment.  With all of the new breweries springing up around town lately, he had a tough time tracking down any used equipment.  Instead, he went with all new gear.  The brew house looks sharp.  I dig the look and feel of the shiny, polished setup.

The bar itself is made of solid wood and is lined with roughly 20 black top and silver frame stools.  There’s another bar top against the back wall, where standing customers will have a place to put down their beer if there’s no room to sit.  Towards the front of the room, there’s a long, 30 foot table, with multiple benches on either side to sit.  It’s a beautiful piece that looks like it came out of the Viking days of old.

He had some beautiful concert posters spread out that will make a great addition to the walls.

Nick clearly knows his beer and his music.  When trying to decide on a theme for his brewery, he said metal just “felt right”.  It was a natural fit.  After meeting Nick and seeing his place, I love his idea.  If you’re not a fan of the music, don’t be scared off.  It’s not going to be loud and forced into your eardrums.  However, if you do like it, it’ll be there in the background to enjoy and talk about while sipping on TRVE’s tasty brews.

Both Nick and I are drummers and beer lovers.  I love his energy, passion for the craft and direction he’s taking his brewery.  Don’t come to TRVE looking for an amber or brown.  He feels that the styles are boring and already done by plenty of other breweries around town.  Instead, Nick plans to take chances, explore new ingredients and throw away style guidelines all together.

In my opinion, it’s about time we had a new brewery in town that is going to jump into the deep end without a “safe” (sometimes boring) lineup of beers.  He plans to open his doors on Wednesday, June 27th with Wanderlust, a Belgian American Pale Ale; Prehistoric Dog, a Salty Wheat; Black Cascade, a Black IPA; and Tunnel of Trees, a Piney IPA.  I love the beers he’s starting out with and applaud him on taking a few chances.  Denver certainly has enough appreciative pallets to support him and his brewery.

Despite taking chances, he doesn’t want to risk running out of beer, which has certainly been an issue with other newer breweries lately.  In order to keep his 3 barrel brew system pumping out beer, all while keeping his tap lines flowing at a manageable rate, he’s created the TRVE Cvlt.  Joining the Cvlt is the only way fans will be guaranteed to get a growler fill.

Right about now, you’re probably wondering what the hell is the Cvlt and how do you get in?  I’m glad you asked.  The Cvlt is a group Nick has created that will give members a signed and numbered 32 ounce growler, five free fills, $7 refills of any beer along with invitations to special events, beer releases and more.  Membership is limited to the first 266 people to sign up and runs $50 for the year.  A second membership can be purchased for only $25.

You’ll get your first chance to get in and sign up on Saturday, June 9th at noon.  That’s when Nick will open the doors to TRVE and give people a chance to try Wanderlust, his Belgian Pale Ale, get into the Cvlt and check out the new brewery.

If you can’t make it on Saturday, then you’ll have to wait until his official opening on Wednesday, June 27th at 4 PM.  But don’t wait too long if you want in on the Cvlt.  There’s only 266 Memberships to go around.  Scratch that, I joined, so make it 265!

I’m excited about TRVE and the direction Nick is headed.  When I asked about future beers, it doesn’t sound like anything is out of the question.  Barrel aging?  Maybe.  Sours?  It’s a possibility.  Interesting beers and unique ingredients?  Absolutely!

Cheers to Nick.  He left his safe, but admittedly boring, 9-5 engineering job to take a chance and turn his dream into a reality.  I love his idea and welcome him to the Colorado craft beer scene!  To steal a line from his website:  Beer. Metal. Denver, CO.  Enough said.

TRVE Brewing is located at: 227 Broadway#101, Denver, CO 80203.  303-351-1021.