Beer News, Reviews and More!

Archive for July, 2012

Great American Beer Festival Tickets On Sale This Week!

Get ready, get set, GO!  Tickets for the 2012 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), go on sale this week.  The event, which is entering its’ 31st year, is scheduled for October 11-13 in Denver, CO.  Tickets will go on sale to American Homebrew Association (AHA) Members on Tuesday, July 31st at 10 AM MST and Thursday, August 2nd at 10 AM MST, for the rest of the beer-loving world.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, sit around and wait to buy your tickets.  If you want to go, buy them now.  We’re in the middle of a major craft beer boom, and as a result, it’s getting harder and harder to get tickets to these great events.  Just a few months ago, Avery’s Sour Beer Festival sold out in less than 90 seconds.  Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival this past weekend, sold out in less than 60 seconds!

I’m not saying the GABF will sell out in minutes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold out in less than a week.  It wasn’t but a few years ago that tickets could be purchased at local breweries and restaurants around the Denver Metro area.  While all 4-days of the event were guaranteed to sell out, you could still find tickets available months after they went on sale.  For better or worse, those days are over.

These days, tickets for the GABF are sold exclusively through

GABF is THE event for craft beer lovers in the U.S.  400+ breweries will be pouring nearly 2000 beers for you this year.  GABF is also a great opportunity to rub elbows with your favorite brewers, try unique beers from brewers across the nation and see who will take home the crown in more than 80 categories of beer judging.  It’s a beer-lovers dream and pretty much my favorite holiday next to Christmas!

Tickets will run $65/each for Thu, Fri and Sat nights, while the AHA members-only session on Sat afternoon will run $55.  I’ve had a sneak-peek at the brewery layout and the awards stage had to be moved just to make room for all of the amazing breweries that will be in attendance this year.  The awards will now be presented in the adjoining Wells Fargo Theater.  While I will certainly miss watching the award presentations, more room on the convention center floor, means more beers getting poured!  Not a bad trade-off.

The good people organizing this years GABF have already published a list of attending breweries.  Check it out HERE.

This is just a friendly little reminder to grab your tickets so you don’t miss out.  I’m pumped and I hope to see you there!


Weekend Beer Buzz 07/26/2012

It’s that time again and I’ve got some great events to share with you.  This weekend will be delicious!  Guaranteed!  We’ve been having a little fun this week, with some “on-location” blogging.

This week we’re coming to you all the way from upstate New York!  Today we sat at beautiful Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY, as they prepped for their annual Belgium Comes To Cooperstown Beer Festival.

Yeah, it’s a brewtal life…

But, we still managed to get your weekly news together for you.  Start your weekend down in Castle Rock, CO at Rockyard Brewing. Friday’s at 4 PM is reserved for the Jellyman’s Deviations, which gives brewer Kjell aka Jellyman, a chance to get crazy and creative with some special one-off batches of beer.

This week he’s releasing “Smokey Treat”, a hand smoked Vienna malt ale.  Jellyman describes this as low hops, mid smokiness, with an acidic twang.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109.  303-814-9273.

There’s one event this weekend that you MUST attend.  Get your tail over to Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch, CO for the Dogfish Head Event on Saturday, July 28th.

This is the very definition of “BREWtally Insane”!  When’s the last time you saw 4 or 5 Dogfish beers on tap?  You’re still scratching your head aren’t you?!?  Well, Parry’s is bringing you 16!!!  Six-freakin’-teen taps of Dogfish gloriousness!  90 min? mmhmm.  120 min? check.  How about Noble Rot, Festina Peche, Burton Baton, Red and White, Aprihop? Yep, all those too!  Did I mention Midas Touch, Sah’tea, Saison du BUFF, Namaste, Ta Henket and more!

This is big peeps.  BIG!  David Parry has been saving, stock piling, collecting, begging for and hoarding all these kegs for the past few months and now he’s ready to share them this weekend.  The food is great, the beer is great, the staff is great.  Get to Parry’s and be great too.  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. 303-683-0600.

A few weeks ago, I joined up with American Craft Beer Radio with a little contest to give away a pair of tickets to Kyle’s Brew Fest over at Boulder Beer Co.  One of our readers will be hitting this up and enjoying the sunshine on Saturday.  Kyle Hollingsworth from the String Cheese Incident hosts this event, which is now entering its’ third year.

The $25 ticket includes a pint glass, access to 60+ beers from 30+ breweries, live music, food and more.

I also hear that American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from the event at noon.  Tune into the show on 102.3 FM and see what’s going on in the world of beer.

Boulder Beer Co. is located at: 2880 Wilderness Place, Boulder, CO 80301. 3003-444-8448.

Turk and The Gubna will be broadcasting live from Arvada Beer on Saturday, July 28th at noon.

Arvada Beer recently tapped a Belgian Golden Strong Ale called Mannekin Pis, yep, named after the little pee boy statue in Belgium.  The beer was brewed for their neighbors, Mannekin Frites, the frite masters who are celebrating their 1-year anniversary. Stop by for the live show, grab some delicious grub from Mannekin Frites and enjoy Arvada Beer.  Arvada is a great little town and a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-467-2337.

Over in Parker, CO, Elk Mountain Brewing is turning 2!  Stop by the brewery on Saturday, July 28th and help them celebrate with a free BBQ, live music, special tappings and give-aways throughout the day.  The party starts at noon and runs all day.

Elk Mountain Brewing is located at: 18921 E Plaza Dr, Parker, CO 80134. 303-805-2739.

Denver Beer Co. is teaming up with Maple Street Pie Company on Saturday, July 28th for a Pies and Pints Festival.  Tickets ($10 at the door) will get you three pie and beer tasters.  The pairings are: Key Lime Pie & Kaffir Lime Wheat; Apricot Peach Pie & Tart Apricot Ale; Mexican Chocolate Pie & Chili Stout.

The fun runs from 1 – 5 PM, with a pie eating contest at 3 PM. Denver Beer Co. is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-433-2739.

Hope you can find something to feed your inner beer monster this weekend (like Parry’s Dogfish Event).  Because we live in a town full of great beer happenings and there’s always something worth checking out (like Parry’s Dogfish Event).  With new beers hitting the market and tappings all the time, you’re sure to find something that’s right up your alley (like Parry’s Dogfish Event).  No, I don’t work for Parry’s… I’m just trying to steer you towards beer bliss.  Honestly, there’s a lot of great events this weekend (like Parry’s Dogfish Event) and you’ve got plenty of great ones to pick from (like Parry’s Dogfish Event).  Get out there (to Parry’s), have fun, get a designated driver or taxi and tip your servers.

In the meantime, I’m going to kick back and take in the view from here.  Aaaaah, time for another…


Pints in Pictures 07/22/12

Hope you guys had a fun and safe weekend!  On Friday, we hit the Hops for Habitat Beer Festival at the Plains Center in Aurora.  This was our first time attending, but certainly not our last.  There were about 15 different Colorado breweries in attendance pouring a variety of beers including IPA’s, sours, wheats and everything in between.

On Saturday, Patti helped out in the studio with American Craft Beer Radio.  We also made visits to River North Brewery and TRVE Brewing.  But enough from me, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The Dry Dock Crew getting ready!

Turk pouring a little Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout

Coolin’ off at Ska.

On American Craft Beer Radio, Gary V brought in a panel of beer judges to do some on-air judging and explain how a beer is graded and evaluated.  Here’s some studio shots.

We wrapped up our weekend with stops at River North Brewery and TRVE Brewing.  River North just launched their Locals’ Club (more details in the Weekend Beer Buzz).  They’re also staying busy with their weekly barrel-aged releases on Wednesday afternoons.

TRVE just can’t seem to keep up.  They’ve been working their tails off brewing more beer, but demand is sooo high, they can’t make enough.  It’s safe to say that business is good and they’ve been well received in the neighborhood.

That’s about it.  Hope you all were able to get out and enjoy your weekend!


Weekend Beer Buzz 07/19/12

It seems like every weekend, there are more and more events going on around town.  There’s a TON of events happening this weekend.  I’m not complaining, I just hope I can fit it all into one post.  It’s worth a shot.

Start your weekend by hitting up Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday release on July 20th.  Mix Master Walt has come up with Apple Pie Rye in July for this week’s release.  3 PM sucka!

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

Speaking of Dry Dock, Patti and I will be pouring beers for them over at the Hops for Habitat Beer Festival on Friday, July 20th at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, CO.  Come out and drink some beer while raising money for the environment!  This charity brewfest runs from 5 PM – 9 PM and will feature more than 15 Colorado breweries, food trucks, wagon rides, live music and more.

Some of the breweries pouring include Dry Dock, Copper Kettle, Odell, New Belgium and Ska.  Stop by the Dry Dock booth and say Hi!  Tickets for the event are $30 ($15 for DD’s) and can be purchased in advance HERE.  The Plains Conservation Center is located at: 21901 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013.  303-693-3379.

Celebrate Belgian Independence Day on Saturday, July 21st, over at the Wynkoop Brewing in Denver, CO.  They’ll be hosting the 2nd Annual United Tastes of Belgium with more than 50 breweries on-hand, pouring authentic Belgian and Belgian-style beers.

Some amazing breweries will be in attendance including Stone, Great Divide, Crooked Stave, Duvel and of course Wynkoop.  Check out the complete list of beers HERE.   Advance tickets are $30, which covers your glass, beer, cheese and chocolate samples.  Tickets can be purchased HERE.  Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $37.50.  Wynkoop Brewing is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

The radio waves will be blowin’ up again with Turk and The Gubna from the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM 760 at noon.

This week, they’ll be sitting down with the guys from TwinHops Brewing to talk about their campaign on Kickstarter and hear about their plans to open a brewery in Aurora next year.  (More on TwinHops further down in this post).  Also in the studio will be Whitney and John from City Star Brewing out of Berthoud, CO.  The Colorado Craft Beer Show will also be giving away tickets to Kyle’s Brew Fest and the Denver Summer Brewfest, so keep your phones handy.

Over on American Craft Beer Radio, Gary V will be sitting down with a panel of beer judges.  They’ll be breaking down the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines, explaining how a beer is judged and doing some on-air tastings of commercial beers.

Tune in to the show on 102.3 FM on Saturday, July 21st at noon.

Where my freaks at?  Sour Freaks that’s you!  (Don’t get offended, I include myself in that category). The 2nd meeting of the Funk ‘n Wild Club is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont, CO.

This unofficial club of local sour freaks doesn’t require a golden ticket or secret password to get inside.  Just show up and be ready to get your mouth-puckering, funky, freak on.  Breweries on-hand include Crooked Stave, Jolly Pumpkin, New Belgium, Russian River and more.  Beers can be purchased in full pours, half pours or tasting flights.  Special guest Chad Yakobson, the mastermind behind Crooked Stave Brewing is scheduled to be the guest speaker.

Dude, I’m pumped for this!  More info on Funk’n Wild can be found HERE.  The event runs from 3 PM – 6 PM at Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503.  303-485-9400.

Speaking of sours, The Rackhouse Pub keeps their Sour Month rolling with new sours getting tapped daily throughout the month of July.  This week, look for Great Divide Bretty Yeti, Crooked Stave Surette, Odell Shenanigans and AC Golden Apricot Sour hitting the tap lines.

The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  720-507-7824.

Looking for something not sour, but still packed with complexity and flavor?  Copper Kettle Brewing’s got ya covered.  They’re releasing an Imperial Oak Aged Stout on Saturday, July 21st.  This is one of those rare chances to try a nice, big, flavorful stout, right, smack in the middle of summer.  Skip the wheat and pils, grab your big boy drinking pants and hit up Copper Kettle for this one.

Stop by at noon for the tapping, stick around for the Harvest Food Truck at 5 PM and music from Pete Stein at 6 PM.  Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

River North Brewery is getting ready to begin accepting sign-ups for their Locals’ Club.  Sign-ups for the club begins on Sunday, July 22nd at 1 PM.  The $30 membership includes an exclusive, 16 oz. glass (pictured below), $4 pints all day, every day and a membership card.

Memberships will be sold to the first 50 people on a first come, first served basis.  River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-296-2617.

Hops & Pie is back with the next round of their Littlest Big Beer Fest on Sunday, July 22nd.  There’s a killer lineup of Firestone Walker beers hitting the tap lines at 2 PM.  Look for Double Jack (Double IPA), Double DBA (Barrel-Aged Barleywine), Parabola (Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout / my FAV of the bunch!) and more.

This special collection of Firestone Walker beers should not be missed.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Lastly, the guys behind TwinHops Brewing want to invite you over to help them brew a batch of beer on Sunday, July 21st.  Brad, Scott, Rick and Colin will be firing up the burners to educate, answer questions and share with fans all the details about their upcoming brewery.  More info on TwinHops Brewing can be found on yesterday’s blog.

Starting at noon and rolling throughout the day, stop by and taste their beer.  Bring your homebrew rig over and brew with them if you’d like!  This is being held at: 23891 E Alabama Dr, Aurora, CO 80018.

7/20 Update: The TwinHops brew day has been postponed.  Just got word that it won’t be happening on Sunday, July 21st, but will be rescheduled for a later date.  I’ll update you when they get a new date scheduled.

That’s it kids!  Hope to see you around town this weekend.  Have fun, stay cool and follow us on Facebook for more updates throughout the weekend.


New Brewery Spotlight: TwinHops Brewing

I get excited when I start thinking about all of the new breweries plugging away in various stages of opening in Colorado.  While some are in the final stages, others are just getting started.  This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the team behind TwinHops Brewing, which is shooting to open in the Aurora, CO area in early 2013.

The TwinHops Brewing team consists of identical twin brothers and Brewers Brad and Scott Burton, older brother Rick Burton and Creative Director, Colin Bridge.  The guys sat down with me to share a few pints and fill me in on their last 18 months of progress as well as their future plans to get TwinHops up and running.

Like many other successful brewery stories, Brad and Scott began as homebrewers back in 2006. From there, they discovered a passion for the craft that helped them create and fine tune their own recipes for tasty brews.  For TwinHops, they’ve created 5 beers that will represent their core lineup: Bad Medicine Oatmeal Stout, Golden Spike Pale Ale, Scantily Clad Blonde Ale, Salinger Rye IPA and a yet to be named IPA.  They’ve also mastered a Green Chili Smoked Porter that could eventually serve as a seasonal offering.

While the guys are currently focused on getting their brewhouse and tap room secured, they’re not shying away from the possibilities of expanding into barrel-aging, souring and just experimenting with beer recipes in general.  No style guidelines are safe!

I had the opportunity to try their Bad Medicine Oatmeal Stout and wanted to share some notes with you.  The beer pours a dark brown, almost black color.  Kind of initially looked like a glass of cola. A 1/2 finger, tan-colored head forms at the top of the glass and is fed by a slow, steady stream of moderate carbonation.

The aroma is roasted grains, malt, oats, a touch of coffee and biscuit.  Smells really nice.

Taste is roasted grains, sweet oats (malted milk balls???), chocolate, toast, faint caramel and chocolate.

The mouthfeel is smooth, while the finish is a bit dry, and slightly bitter.  A well-crafted beer and with a 5.5% ABV, it’s very approachable, flavorful and highly drinkable.  Recommended!

In order for TwinHops to become a reality, they’re trying to get some financial help through  The guys want to upgrade from an all-grain, homebrew setup to a 7 BBL system and a space to call home for TwinHops.  Obviously, that all takes money.

Through Kickstarter, supporters are able to contribute anything from $1 to more than $1000 and are awarded for each different level of donation.  If TwinHops isn’t able to reach their goal of $20,000 by July 30th, 2012, you won’t owe anything, but that means they won’t be getting any financial help either.  Get all the details and find out how to pledge by clicking HERE.

The guys have other plans if Kickstarter doesn’t work out for them.  They’ve created a Founder’s Club that will reward members with a lifetime of benefits, including a custom 18 oz. stein, which comes with $3 fills.  Other benefits include 20% off growler fills, invitations to special events and access to exclusive bombers.  The club will get backers in on the ground level and is limited to the first 100 people who sign up.  1/3 of the Founder’s Club memberships have already been snatched up.  Click HERE for more details and to enroll in the club.

At noon on Saturday, July 21, the TwinHops team will be making an appearance on the Colorado Craft Beer Show with Turk and The Gubna on AM 760.  They’ll have a chance to talk about TwinHops and share some beers with the guys, so be sure to tune in.

On Sunday, July 22, they’ll be hosting an open brew day.  For this unique event, the guys have invited beer lovers over to have a beer with them and taste their Blonde, IPA and Rye IPA.  They’re also inviting homebrewers to bring their rigs over and brew a batch of beer with them.  Think of it as a fun, educational afternoon that will give you a chance to hone your brew skills or just hang out and try some new brews.  The day kicks off at noon and will be held at: 23891 E Alabama Dr, Aurora, CO 80018.

Update: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the brew day on Sunday, July 22, has been cancelled.  I just got word from Scott that they’ll be rescheduling for a later date.  I’ll keep you updated when a new date is set.

TwinHops is off to a great start.  By offering your support, you’ll be helping them bring their vision to life.  In turn, they’ll be enhancing our community and amazing Colorado craft beer scene.  Check them out and I hope to see you at the Brew Day on Sunday!


The Beer Lover’s Guide To Cheese: Copper Kettle Brewing and The Truffle Cheese Shop

I was lucky enough to attend Copper Kettle Brewing’s Beer and Cheese pairing last Thursday at their brewery in Denver, CO.  This event, which is scheduled for the second Thursday of each month at 7 PM, pairs 4 beers from the Copper Kettle lineup with 4 cheeses selected from The Truffle Cheese Shop in Denver.

Upon arrival at the Copper Kettle, my nose was immediately greeted by a delicious aroma of BACON!!!  I glanced around looking for a food truck, but found the side street to be empty.  I eventually tracked down the amazing smells to a smoker that was prepping the yummy slaps of bacon for the upcoming Makin’ Bacon Brown Ale.  Not a bad way to start the night.

The Beer & Cheese pairing is held in the brewhouse, which has enough room for about 15 beer and cheese lovers, seated in smaller groups of 5-6.  Each person is given a plate with the 4 cheese selections along with a menu giving the name, pronunciation and information about each one.  I really had to restrain myself, as I was very tempted to just dive in and devour the plate.  Man, I’m a sucker for a good cheese.

CKBC’s Head Brewer and Owner Jeremy Gobien was on hand to present and talk about each beer being poured.

He was joined by Miguel Vera, a cheesemonger from The Truffle Shop.

I had honestly never heard the term “cheesemonger”, but it’s similar to a wine sommelier or beer cicerone, only they obviously specialize in cheese.  I think I might have missed my calling on that one…  Miguel explained each cheese to us, while Jeremy gave the history and style explanations of each beer and why it was chosen to be paired with each cheese.

Our four courses were:

1.  Montcabrer – a raw goat’s milk cheese from Spain, with a charcoal coated rind.  Paired with CKBC’s Heller Doppelbock – a sweet, malty German-style brew.

2.  Tomme du Berger – a French cheese, made from raw, mountain cow’s milk.  Paired with CKBC’s Altbier – another German-style ale that’s brown, light and refreshing.

3.  Chimay – made from cow’s milk by the Trappist monks in Belgium, washed with glorious Chimay beer.  The funky aroma can turn people off at first, but the tasty, creamy flavor is sure to pull you back in.  I absolutely love this cheese and it was the most popular at my table.  This one was paired with CKBC’s Imperial Red – a hoppy, amber ale.

4.  Young Sheep Milk Gouda – a sheep’s milk gouda from the Netherlands that is firm in texture, but smooth and nutty in flavor.  Paired with CKBC’s Double Black IPA – a malty, British-style IPA, which, even at 78 IBU’s, came off as more sweet than bitter.  A really tasty beer that paired well with the cheese and didn’t throttle my palate with bitter hops.

There was plenty of bread and grapes to go around as well.

Miguel had prepared sliced wedges of each cheese if anyone wanted to purchase some to-go.  I bought a wedge of Gouda to take home to my wife Patti, since she wasn’t able to attend.  I grabbed a fresh growler of Copper Kettle’s Imperial Red for the road as well.

Last week, Jonathan Shikes over at the Westword, broke the news about Copper Kettle’s plans to triple the size of their brewing space next month.  At the pairing, Co-owner Kristen Kozick, announced that they’re hoping to hold their August Beer & Cheese event in the new space, which is located directly next door to their current location.  In addition to an expanded area for events, the new space will also allow them to produce and store more beer, and eventually expand into barrel-aging.  For all the details, check out Big Shikes’ article HERE.

Big Thanks to Copper Kettle Brewing, The Truffle Cheese Shop and all of their employees for collaborating on a great event!  It was a fun, informative and tasty night and definitely something I’ll try to attend again in the future.

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

The Truffle Cheese Shop is located at: 2906 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80206.  303-322-7363.


Brewtally Insane / American Craft Beer Radio Giveaway: 2 Tickets to Kyle’s Brew Fest!

Alright, you guys ready for another giveaway?  So last weekend, my wife Patti, won a pair of tickets from American Craft Beer Radio to attend Kyle’s Beer Fest at Boulder Beer in Boulder, CO. Unfortunately, she forgot we’re embarking on another brew-venture on the same weekend and won’t be able to attend.  After talking with Gary V over at American Craft Beer Radio, we decided to have a little fun, come up with a contest and give the tickets away to a lucky reader of Brewtally Insane.  Hey, that means you!

Kyle’s Brew Fest is entering its’ third year and features Kyle Hollingsworth (from the String Cheese Incident) and his band, along with a ton of great beers.  The event is being held on Saturday, July 28th from 3 PM – 7 PM and tickets run $25 for beer samples, an exclusive tasting glass and a mountain of great music.

Kyle is a big fan of craft beer and has done several collaborative brews with local breweries, including Boulder Beer and Dry Dock Brewing.  In fact, his recent collaboration with Boulder Beer, called Hoopla – Pale Ale, is set to debut in cans in just two weeks.

The event will feature more than 30 breweries including Boulder Beer, Odell, Left Hand, Funkwerks, Great Divide, Oskar Blues and many more.  There’s also a silent auction that will benefit the Conscious Alliance.  Music meets Beer, all for a good cause.  This is sure to be a great time and I’m pretty bummed that we can’t make it.

But, our loss is your gain.  So if you’d like to attend, all you need to do is guess how many breweries I’ve been to.  Simple right?  Here’s a few quick rules:

1.  You must be able to attend this event on Saturday, July 28th at 3 PM.

2.  Place your guess on the Brewtally Insane Facebook Page in the comments section under the link to this post.

3.  Guesses will be judged “Price is Right” style.  In other words, closest guess without going over.

4.  Your guess should be based on the total number of breweries I’ve visited.  Not beer bars, beer festivals, etc…  Just places that actually brew beer on-site.

5.  One entry per person.

6.  Keep listening to American Craft Beer Radio on 102.3 on Saturday’s at noon.

That’s about it.  You’ve got until Sunday, July 15th at 5 PM MST to get your guess in.  Good luck!

Oh, and thanks to everyone that helped us break 100 Likes today on the Facebook Page!  Congrats to Cory Seaton for being our 100th Like and getting hooked up with a New Belgium Lips of Faith Brett Beer bomber and official NB Globe glass!


Weekend Beer Buzz 07/12/12

Another full weekend lies ahead.  You ready?

Friday the 13th got you freaked out?  Grab your ugliest Christmas sweater and head over to the Denver Beer Co. for Christmas in July!  At 1 PM, they’ll be tapping a special “Christmas-spiced” firkin.  Stick around for music, food and a special appearance by Mr. Claus himself.  The fun runs until 5 PM and is sure to chase those Friday the 13th blues away.

Don’t forget Firkin Friday over at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO.  This week’s release is a Black Cherry Saison.  Sounds delish.  I made it out last week for the Kona Coffee Milk Stout, which was really, really tasty.  It was like sipping a nice, iced coffee.  Another great creation by their Firkin Freak Walt.

Anyway, head over to the Dock at 3 PM on Friday, July 13th to give the Black Cherry Saison a try or two or three…  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch, CO is gearing up for another Tap Takeover on Saturday, July 14th. This time they’re joining forces with New Belgium Brewing to bring fans a slew of tasty brews, many of which haven’t been available in months.  Look for a variety of beers from the Lips Of Faith series, including Tart Lychee, Cocoa Mole, Biere de Mars, Fall Wild, La Folie, Brett Beer (collaboration w/ Lost Abbey.  Read further down on how to win a bottle.) and more!

This ain’t your local Old Chicago!  Parry’s Pizza combines great food with one of the best tap lists in the Denver area.   If you’re able to make it over to Parry’s in the near future, try to bring some items to donate, as they’re collecting a variety of goods for victims of the Waldo Canyon Fire.  More details and a list of items you can donate, can be found on the Parry’s Pizza Facebook Page.  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

If you’re able to visit Parry’s between noon and 2 PM on Saturday, you’ll be able to hang with Turk and The Gubna from the Colorado Craft Beer Show.  The guys will be broadcasting live from the event on AM 760.

Over on the FM side, American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from the Colorado Brewers Rendezvous down in Salida, CO on Saturday, July 14th.

Gary V will be hitting the airwaves on 104.3 FM at noon in Riverside Park in Salida, CO.  The Colorado Brewers Rendezvous will feature more than 60 Colorado breweries and runs from 1 PM – 5 PM. Tickets are $35 and covers beer samples, local music and root beer for the kids and DD’s.  I really wanted to attend this year, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Looks like it’ll be a blast though!  Have fun guys!

Twisted Pine Brewing, in Boulder, CO, is gearing up for their 17th Anniversary Party on Saturday, July 14th.

Plenty of great food, music and of course, tasty beers, will be there for you to enjoy from 2 PM – 7 PM. Tickets are only $25.  Congrats on 17 years!  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

And yet ANOTHER Beer Festival is lined up for this weekend up in Breckenridge, CO.  That’s 3 this weekend, for those of you keeping score at home.  Main Street Station will be hosting the Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival on Saturday, July 14th from 1 PM – 6 PM.

25 Breweries will be pouring this year, including several out-of-state breweries such as Alaskan, Stone and Boulevard.  Of course, a variety of great breweries from CO will be on hand as well. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  Click here for more info.

Here at Brewtally Insane, we hit the Spring Breceknridge Beer Festival and it was an absolute blast! There’s a review and a ton of pics HERE.  You’re probably not going to find any crazy, rare, sour, barrel-aged brews at this one, but you’ll definitely be treated to a solid lineup from quite a few of your favorite breweries.

Sour Month rolls on at the Rackhouse Pub.  Scheduled to be tapped this weekend is Avery – Immitis, Crooked Stave – Petite Sour and AC Golden – Dry Hopped Sour.  Looking towards next week, the tap lines will see New Belgium – Tart Lychee, Great Divide – Bretty Yeti and more!

The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  720-507-7824.

While we’re talking sours, on Saturday, July 14th, AC Golden will be releasing Kriek, the latest installment in their Hidden Barrel Collection.  This is being sold exclusively through Mile High Wine and Spirits in Lakewood, CO.

Sales will begin at the store and over the phone at 3 PM, with a 1-bottle limit.  If you can make it to the store, an AC Golden rep will be on-hand to answer questions and pour samples.  I fought my way through the phone lines for the Apricot and Peche release a few weeks ago.  These beers are delish and worth checking out.  Mile High Wine and Spirits is located at: 435 S Vance St, Lakewood, CO 80226.  303-936-0272.

Lastly, the Brewtally Insane Facebook Page is nearing 100 “likes”.  I’ve got a special New Belgium Lips of Faith & globe glass combo giveaway for that lucky 100th person.

So if you haven’t already done so, head over there and “Like” us today!  Win free beer, while staying up to date on the latest happenings in the beer world.  Win, Win!

Have a great weekend!


Beer Trippin’ in Wisconsin. Part 4 – Lakefront Brewery

If you missed any of the previous posts from our Wisconsin trip, click on the links and catch up: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

For our last stop, we made the short drive from Miller Valley over to downtown Milwaukee, for a visit to Lakefront Brewery.  Lakefront Brewery is located in a large warehouse on the Milwaukee River.

Lakefront was founded in 1987 by Russ Klisch.  In 1988, they produced 72 barrels and have managed to grow every year since.  Last year, they produced nearly 25,000 barrels of beer!

For $7, you can jump on one of Lakefront’s daily tours.  The tour comes with four – 6 oz. pours and a pint glass.  Tours that start prior to 4 PM also come with a coupon for a free Lakefront pint at a number of bars and restaurants around Milwaukee.

I’ve been on a ton of brewery tours, from a self guided tour at Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium, to basically watching a movie at Shipyard Brewing in Portland, Maine and everything in between.  Lakefront Brewery takes a very fun approach by keeping visitors engaged with jokes, contests, hootin’, hollerin’ and plenty of beer throughout the tour.  In fact, they start the tour in their Palm Garden, where you can grab your first, full glass of beer before heading out on the tour.

Too many breweries hold off to pour samples until after the tour.  Well done Lakefront on starting your tour the best way possible, by serving fresh beer!

Our tour guide was knowledgeable and good-humored.  She took us right onto the working floor and let us get up close with the brewhouse.

If you’ve never had any beers from Lakefront, I’d recommend giving them a shot.  They distribute to quite a few states (including CO) and make a nice line of sessionable beers, including an IPA, Red, Coffee Stout, Pumpkin Ale (seasonal) and many more.

They also recently created a line of beers called “My Turn”, that will allow each employee to brew a favorite style.  So far, they’ve created “Dan”, a Baltic Porter and during our visit, they were pouring “Stan”, a Scottish Ale.

A very cool idea and a great way to thank their team of hard-working employees.

Be sure to stop by and stay for the tour if you’re ever out that way.  Lakefront Brewery is located at: 1872 N Commerce St, Milwaukee, WI 53212.  414-372-8800.


Beer Trippin’ in Wisconsin. Part 3 – Miller Brewery

During Day 1 on our visit to Wisconsin, we hit New Glarus Brewing, Tyranena Brewing and Romans’ Pub.  Catch up on the previous entries by clicking HERE and HERE.  After grabbing some much-needed sleep at our hotel (we got upgraded to the Penthouse Suite!!!), we headed out for another full day on the town.

For our first stop, we headed over to Miller Valley to visit, yep, you guessed it, Miller Brewery.

I know, I know…  But who can argue with 150+ years of history and tradition.  I just wanted to see it for myself.

I’m not going to bore you with stats about how many tens of thousands of cans they can fill in a second.  Because honestly, who cares?  They make a lot of beer and they pump it out quickly. Enough said.

It’s an impressive place and fun to see how it’s grown from a little wooden house into an entire “valley” of buildings in Milwaukee.

My favorite part of the tour was a visit to Miller Caves.  The caves are 60 feet underground and were created in 1849 to keep beer cool. It might smell like old, funky cheese down there, but it’s a neat place to visit.

A visit to the caves is followed by a beer in the historic Miller Inn.

So yeah, the beer might taste like, well… nothing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the price of admission.  Because, well, it’s free and comes with several samples on the house.  It’s tough to beat and is an important piece of American Brewing history.

Miller Brewery is located at: 4251 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53208.  414-931-BEER.  Tours run nearly everyday, excluding holidays, every 30 minutes between 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM.  Tours generally last about an hour.


Beer Review: Renegade Brewing, Ryeteous IPA

First off, Happy Birthday to Renegade Brewing Company!

They recently celebrated their first anniversary by hosting a big party on July 7th.  During the event, they treated fans to several barrel-aged and vintage beers and also introduced the canned version of their flagship beer,  Ryeteous IPA.  Ryeteous IPA is a rye-based American IPA that kicks it up to 60 IBU’s and packs a 7% ABV.

I dig cans.  A lot!, but that’s an article for another day.  This is Renegades’ first venture into the world of cans and I’m pretty excited about it.  I was able to track down a 4-pack of 16 oz. cans for $11.

I pour my Ryeteous IPA from its’ 16 oz. can into a nonic pint glass.  The beer pours a clear, orange, almost amber color, with a two-finger, creamy white head.  There’s a steady, moderate flow of carbonation that streams towards the top of the glass.

I inhale to get my first impression.  Hop notes flood my nostrils and I’m transported to an enchanting state of tasty, lupulin zen.  There’s a bit of citrus, combined with a generous dose of pine and earthy hops.  It’s not a hop bomb by any means, but these hops aren’t afraid to jump up and make you take notice either.  In the back, there’s some sweet caramel mixed in, along with malt and bread.

Time to get it on and take a sip.  The bitter hops slide down my throat waaaaay too easily.  It’s hoppy, but again, not overly bitter.  It’s balanced quite well with the caramel notes and plenty of rye.  I like the rye aspect of this beer.  In fact, this makes me picture a bitter slice of bread.  I only wish my sandwiches could taste this good…  As I sip on it, I notice that its’ leaving behind some stringy spider webs and lacing along the inside of the glass.

The mouthfeel is creamy, albeit on the thinner side, but for a beer that’s packing 60 IBU’s and a 7% ABV, it’s surprisingly smooth.  There’s just a moderately bitter finish that lingers in the back of your throat.  It just teases you in between sips, making you want another taste of this yummy brew. Eventually, you have to give in and answer this sirens’ call.

I could drink a few of these on my back deck on a warm summer day.  Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ll be drinking a few of these on the back deck later today.  Ryeteous IPA is a winner for me and I’m excited to see another local brewery getting into the canning scene.  I admittedly don’t make it out to visit all the breweries around town as much as I’d like.  Some days, it feels like work, family, sleep, repeat and there’s only so many hours in the day.  But with cans and growlers, I can enjoy new beers from new(er) breweries in the comfort of my own home.

Thanks Renegade for getting your cans into my hands.  If you want to track some down, check out Libations, Mondo Vino, Mr. B’s, Highlands Wine & Liquor and other better beer stores in the area. Ask the beer buyers at your favorite stores for it and make them take notice.  If you can’t find it right away, try to be patient.  The first canning yielded right around 100 cases or 2400 cans.  Not nearly enough for all of Colorado’s faithful, beer loving citizens, but fear not, more is on the way.

Renegade Brewing Company is located in the Art District on Santa Fe: 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204.  720-401-4089.


Weekend Beer Buzz 07/05/12

Hey everybody!  Hope you had a fun and safe Independence Day.  I know many of you are probably taking advantage of the mid-week holiday and enjoying a nice, loooong weekend.  Many of my favorite breweries either closed early or were closed all together on the 4th, but are gearing up for a busy weekend.  You ready?

Kick it off over at Dry Dock Brewing for their weekly Firkin Friday.  This week’s release is a Kona Coffee Milk Stout.

Dry Dock’s Milk Stout is solid and I know Walt worked some magic with this coffee’d version.  I’m going to try to hit this one up and so should you.   Tapping is at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Breckenridge Brewery is turning 22 this weekend!  Wow!  There’s not too many craft breweries that have been pumping out beer for 22 years.  Congrats guys!  To celebrate, there’s a Pig Roast / Concert / Beer Drinkin’ Throwdown on Saturday, July 7th from 11 AM – 6 PM.

$22 covers all you can drink, grub on and listen to for the day.  Sure to be a great time.  You can grab tickets ahead of time at:

The Colorado Craft Beer Show will be broadcasting live from Breck’s Anniversary Party.

Turk will have Tebo sitting in for The Gubna again this week.  Plan on lots of updates from the Breckenridge crew, plus visits with Brian O’Connell from Renegade Brewing, Boone from Bristol Brewing and Virgil from Illegal Pete’s.  The show airs live on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM.  Breckenridge Brewery is located at: 471 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80204.  800-328-6723.

Over on the FM side, American Craft Beer Radio, will be broadcasting live from Backcountry Pizza and Tap House up in Boulder, CO.  Gary V will be hittin’ the waves on Saturday at noon.  Keep your ear on 102.3 FM for giveaways and beer news.  If you can make it over to Backcountry, they’ll treat you to happy hour pricing from 11-2.

Backcountry Pizza and Tap House is located at: 2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302.  303-449-4285.

Copper Kettle Brewing is releasing another round of deliciousness this weekend.  This Saturday, July 7th, the tap lines will be graced with this year’s batch of German Altbier.  A nice blend of malt and hops round out this highly drinkable, German-style brew.

They’ll be joined by Reetz Treats at 5 PM, who’ll be bringing an assortment of sweet, yummy morsels to pair with this and other Copper Kettle beers.  The tapping is at noon.  Copper Kettle is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Up in Boulder, Twisted Pine is ready to release the next installment in their Artisan Ale Series.  For July, they’re releasing Hoppy Girl, an 8% ABV, 70 IBU, IPA infused with hibiscus and jasmine.  750’s will go on sale at the brewery on Saturday, July 7th from noon – 9 PM.

Kate Medlin, who designed the label art, will be on hand to sign bottles.  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St. Ste A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

Sour Freaks, listen up!  It’s Sour Month over at the Rackhouse Pub.  This week will see Dry Dock’s Apricot Sour and Grand Teton’s Snarling Badger (Berliner Weisse) hitting the tap lines.  Looking towards next week, keep an eye out for AC Golden’s Rackhouse Blend and Dry Hopped Sour, Avery Immitis and Crooked Stave’s Petite Sour.

There’s a lot of special sour treats to watch for over at the Rackhouse Pub in July.  This event runs all month long and I’ll keep you updated with everything they’ll be putting on the tap lines.  Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  720-570-7824.

TRVE Brewing picked up a Buffalo Trace barrel earlier this week.

A hint of things to come?  They must have gotten smoked on their opening week, as they had to close for a few days to catch up and make more beer.  Don’t worry, they’ll be ready for you this weekend. TRVE Brewing is located at: 227 Broadway #101, Denver, CO 80203.  303-351-1021.

Lastly, Prost brewed their first batch of beer this week!  Bill brewed up his Weißbier on Tuesday.

One step closer to seeing these guys in action!

Still no firm opening date, but they’re getting closer.  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.

That’s all I got!  Hope you guys get out and try some great beer this weekend.  Click “Like” on our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all the latest updates, events and beer news in Colorado and around the globe.


Beer Trippin’ in Wisconsin. Part 2 – Tyranena Brewing and Romans’ Pub

In Part 1 of our Wisconsin beer trek, we hit up New Glarus Brewing.  Read all about it HERE.  From there, we headed to Lake Mills, WI, to visit Tyranena (pronounced tie-rah-nee-nah) Brewing.  I’ve gotten a few bottles to try over the years and had liked their beers quite a bit.  Everything I had read, made it sound like they do quite a bit of barrel aging and experimentation.  Two things I love.

As we walked up to the bar, I glanced over the beer menu and knew we were in for a treat.    I don’t usually go for a sampler tray, but there were just too many new and interesting beers to try.  The sampler was the only practical way to get them all in.

For $10, you can walk through the whole lineup: Three Beaches Honey Blonde, Headless Man Amber Alt, Stone Tepee Pale Ale, Bitter Woman IPA, Rocky’s Revenge Bourbon Aged Brown, Chief Blackhawk Porter, Cherry Barrel Aged Kinda Lambic, Scurvy IPA w/ Orange peel, Down ‘n’ Dirty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and Dirty Old Man Imperial Rye Porter aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels.  Some really, really, reeeaaaalllly nice beers.  I hate to pick one, but my fav’s were the Scurvy IPA and Down ‘n’ Dirty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

Our bartender, Benji, was a former brewer for Tyranena, but these days, he’s a stay at home Dad. He occasionally helps out at the brewery in his spare time.  Benji was very knowledgeable as we picked his brain and took his recommendations on places to visit during our trip.

We checked out the brew house, finished our sampler and took a stroll through the adjacent beer garden and hop garden around the corner.

Tyranena Brewing is located at: 1025 Owen St, Lake Mills, WI 53551.  920-648-8699.

After Tyranena’s it was time to make the trip back to Milwaukee, which would be home for the night. Before hitting the hotel, we had time for one last stop at Romans’ Pub.  If you’re looking for trendy and cute, head to Rock Bottom.  But, if you’re looking for good  great beer, a knowledgeable bartender and proper glassware, hit up Romans’.

It’s a pretty simple place, with a dozen or so seats at the bar, a few tables and a beer garden out back.  The walls are covered with posters and artwork from great breweries like Dogfish Head, Three Floyds and Goose Island.

ISO: Bourbon County Stout barrel / FT: Name your price.

We’ve all heard the saying “No Crap On Tap” and Romans’ lives up to it.  Just look at the draft list.

A solid beer menu, that’s always changing.  Fortunately for me, the menu is heavy on the hops right now.  It was Double IPA time for me.  First up, was Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf (on draft).  A big ol’ 9% DIPA, that packs 100+ IBU’s and is loaded with citrus and tropical fruit notes.  Amazing beer.

After that, it was time for….  Three Floyds (3F’s) Arctic Panzer Wolf.  AGAIN!  I don’t normally order the same beer twice when I’m at a beer bar, especially when I’m at an out-of-town beer bar, but the 3F’s Panzer Wolf was amazing.  I tried samples of the Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster DIPA and Black Husky Pale Ale, but for me, Panzer Wolf took the crown.

Patti went for the Goose Island Imperial IPA.

It didn’t take us long to get a conversation going with our bartender, who turned out to be owner, Mike Romans.  Once he figured out that we were true beer nerds, he opened up like a book.  We swapped stories about breweries, GABF and he helped us plan out the rest of our trip in Wisconsin.

If you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, I highly recommend a visit to Romans’ Pub.  Mike, who has been in the biz since 1978, is pretty much a 1-man show and he works his tail off to get his customers the best beer he can find.  Mike, if you’re reading this, thanks again and there’s a couple of bombers heading your way soon.

Romans’ Pub is located at: 3475 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207.  414-481-3396.

Next up on our Beercation in Wisconsin is… sleep…  and Miller!  I know, I know, but you might be surprised.  MillerCoors had a fun tour and lots of history.  Come on back for the next entry.  And if Miller’s left a foul taste in your mouth, have no fear, we ended our trip with a visit to a popular microbrewery in Milwaukee.  More details, pics and reviews to come.


New Beers and Beer News 07/02/12

Head’s up beer lovers, lots of new beers coming down the pipeline!  Time to start saving your money and making out your shopping list.

Odell Brewing has three beers you’ll want to be on the lookout for in the near future.

First up is The Meddler, an 8.9% ABV Oud Bruin Ale.  This Flanders Brown Ale has been aging with wild yeasts for the past 18 months!  The label says “malty sweet chocolate and vanilla toy with a hauntingly sour finish”.  Count me in.

Odell is also getting ready to release another edition of their popular Woodcut Series.  For Woodcut 6, they’re featuring Mosaic hops, a new breed, which is supposed to have citrus and tropical fruit notes. The beer is then aged in oak barrels to add notes of vanilla and almonds.

It’s been over a year since Woodcut 5, an Oak-Aged Quad.  Keep a lookout for this 10% ABV brew and grab one before they’re gone for good.

Lastly, not a new beer, but a re-release of DeConstruction should be heading our way shortly.  This Golden Ale is blended with wild, barrel-aged beers from the Odell Pilot system, to create a tart, dry and slightly sweet beer.

This 10.5% ABV beer is very complex and is highly recommended for the sour freaks out there.

Over in Boulder, Twisted Pine Brewing is getting ready to release their 17th Anniversary Ale, called Red Rye-der.  Look for caramel and hoppy notes in this big Red Ale.

This beer is just starting to show up on draft and should be showing up in 22oz. bombers soon. Also, check out Twisted Pine’s Anniversary Party at the brewery on Saturday, July 14th.

It looks like Grimm Brothers is going to bottle this year’s release of Big Bad Wold Sticke Alt.  This is a traditional German style beer that translates into “secret”, since the brewery doesn’t reveal the recipe. Past batches from Grimm Brothers have been amber in color with bread, caramel and hop notes.

Grimm Brothers will also be bottling Sooty Brother Gratzer Ale later this year.  This nearly lost style of beer is brewed with wheat and pilsner malt that has been smoked over oak.  A smoky beer, but with a good amount of hop flavor and aroma.

Look for 220z. bomber releases at the brewery in the near future.

I’ll wrap up this round with two new Lips of Faith brews coming from New Belgium Brewing.  In August, keep an eye out for Peach Porch Lounger Ale, a collaboration brewed with musician G. Love.  This 9.4% ABV beer is brewed with peaches, lemon peel and molasses and fermented with Brett.  I’ve never cared much for G. Love’s music, but his beer sure does sound tasty.

Lastly, New Belgium is collaborating with Alpine Brewing from California to bring us Super India Pale Ale.  Alpine does some monsteroursly hoppy and tasty brews like Duet and Exponential Hoppiness. Unfortunately, they don’t see distribution very far from the brewery.  This might be one of the few chances you get to purchase and try an Alpine brew outside of CA.

Super IPA clocks in at 9% ABV and is a triple dry-hopped Imperial IPA with Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo and Centennial hops.  This was brewed less than two weeks ago, but will hopefully be seeing bottles and kegs soon to retain maximum hoppiness!

There you have it, plenty of great brews are heading our way.  I’ll keep you posted as release dates get firmed up on all these yummy beers.  In the meantime, start filling your piggy banks and making room in your cellar.