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Archive for August, 2012

Weekend Beer Buzz 08/30/2012

Man, my kids started school last week and were gracious enough to bring The Funk home with them and share it with us.  Been sick for the past few days…  Time to kick this crap and get ready for the holiday weekend!  I’m goin’ Phisin’!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012.

Parry’s Pizza has some new goodies hitting the tap lines today.  They just added kegs of Firestone Walker’s Oaktoberfest (Marzen), Fort Collins Brewing’s BamBostic! Rauchbier and Crazy Moutain’s Mountain Livin’ (Pale Ale).

They’re also pouring Stone 16th Anniversary (Lemon Double IPA), Great Divide’s ’08 Old Ruffian (Barleywine), Elevation’s Apis IV (Belgian Quad) and another 40+ tasty microbrews.  Stop by and pay them visit at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

Friday, August 31st, 2012.

Kick things off over at Dry Dock with their Firkin Friday.  This week is a batch of Green Chili Double IPA.

Who’s in?  Sounds delish.  Tapping’s at 3 PM.  This week, in addition to their home fleet of tasty brews, they’re also pouring Phoenix Rye IPA and Coffee Milk Stout.

Get out there and get some before they’re gone!  And by the way, who’s ready for Hop Abomination cans?!?!  I know I am! Here’s a little teaser of what’s to come.

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

Down at the Rockyard, Jellyman has dug up a real treat this week.  On Friday, he’ll be pouring his award-winning Eisbock “Eiscavator” Eised Doppel Bock.  He describes it as having “caramel malts with faint sweet oak character” and “surprisingly smooth for 14% ABV”.  He also mentioned it was the first commercial beer he ever brewed with the Rockyard.  Pretty cool!

This bad boy gets tapped at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80104.  303-814-9273.

Saturday, September 1st, 2012.

The 3rd Annual Boulder Brew and Music Festival is happening on Saturday at The Boulder Theater. More than 20 breweries will be pouring 60+ beers over the course of two tasting sessions.

Lots of great breweries will be in attendance including Firestone Walker, Great Divide, Avery and Odell.  3 bands will also be serving up live tunes for you.  Tickets run $40 per session and the sessions run from 1 – 5 PM and 6 – 10 PM.  More details and ticket info can be found HERE.  The Boulder Theater is located at: 2032 14th St, Boulder, CO 80302.

New Belgium’s zany Tour de Fat bike parade is coming home to Fort Collins on Saturday.

The madness starts at 10 AM and lasts all day at Civic Center Park.  Grab you costume and two-wheeled ride and head over for some fun.  Click HERE for a full schedule and registration info.

Back here in Denver, the Wynkoop will be tapping their annual batch of Belgorado on Saturday.  This wet-hopped Belgian IPA, won a Silver Medal in the Experimental Beer category at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011.

This year, the Wynkoop will feature three different batches brewed with local hops from three different hop farms.  The batch set to be released on Saturday will feature hops from Voss Farms up in Arvada.  This is a very limited, seasonal release, so don’t miss out.  Get over to the Wynkoop at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

Just down the street from the Wynkoop, Freshcraft is turning two and they’ve got some awesome beers ready to be tapped for the celebration.

The party starts at 11 AM, when a firkin of Upslope’s Peach Cobbler (brewed with Palisade peaches) gets tapped.  More unique and rare beers will get tapped throughout the day including New Belgium’s La Folie (sour brown), Firestone Walker’s Parabola (Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout) and Oskar Blues Jim Beam Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY on nitro!  They’ll also have their full menu available and BBQ as well.  Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-758-9608.

If you can make it out for the Freshcraft Anniversary party, say hi to The Gubna, who’ll be broadcasting live on AM 760 with the Colorado Craft Beer Show from noon – 2 PM.

Co-host Turk will be all the way out in Durango for Ska’s 17th Anniversary Party.

Ska has put together a beer fest and invited 25 of their favorite breweries to come out, pour beers and celebrate with them.  $25 gets you a commemorative glass, beer samples and live music. Turk, I’m jealous!  This sounds sick.  Have fun and congrats to Ska on 17 years!

Stay tuned for more details on Ska’s upcoming series of canned stout releases, which is set to debut next month.  Ska Brewing is located at: 225 Girard St, Durango, CO 81303.  970-247-5792.

Many breweries around town are operating on limited hours due to the holiday weekend, so be sure to call ahead and get your growlers filled early.  Nothing ruins a good cookout quicker than serving bad beer.  Just a thought.

Looking towards next weekend, don’t forget to grab your tickets for Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival.

Don’t miss this!  Come get bitter with us up at Avery Brewing in Boulder.  Ticket details and more can be found HERE.

That’s it for this round.  Go have some fun and enjoy the holiday weekend!

Cheers!

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New Brewery Spotlight: Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew

Session beer.  What’s your definition of a session beer?  For me, it’s something with a low ABV (4 – 6% range), well-balanced, yet still flavorful and able to keep me interested over the course of several pints.  I want a nice session beer that will allow me to hang out with friends for a few hours of good conversation, a game of Risk or to discuss our preparations for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.  A good session beer will allow me to do this without the threat of getting sloppy or intoxicated.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably realize that I like the big-bad barrel aged monsters, like the Yeti, The Beast and the all-powerful Dark Lord as much as the next guy.  But, the reality is that when I go to Great Divide or Avery or wherever to drink these 8%, 9%, 10%+ ABV beers, I’m limited to one or two at most.  It’s almost as if some of the bigger breweries treat “session” like it’s a 4-letter word.  Not a bad thing, but there’s a time and place for all beer. (Except for maybe Keystone Light…  I gotta draw the line somewhere.)  Sometimes, I just want to sit and enjoy some quality, low ABV beers.  Fortunately for you and me, there’s a new brewery getting set to open in Denver, that’s looking to fill this oh-so-sad hole in our lives.

Enter Brandon Proff, Andrew Strasburg and Bryan Leavelle of Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew (OMF).

The team of three behind OMF are setting out to make delicious craft beers that are low in alcohol content, highly sessionable and pleasing to the beer geeks palate.  They’re creating a place that will draw in the after-work crowd with great beers, engaging conversation and a comfortable hangout that feels like your buddy’s garage (only with better beer).  Simple, yet modern and inviting, with a small beer garden on the side.

A small record player in the corner and I’m taken back to my high school days.  I feel like they should have a drum set and a couple of guitars in the corner for when those creative juices really get going.

Last week, we met with OMF Director of Operations, Brandon Proff, to discuss OMF’s concept, upcoming beers and future plans.

The idea behind OMF had been getting tossed around for over a year.  Brandon had been eyeing the location at 2810 Larimer Street for months and when it finally went up for sale, the OMF team jumped on it.  They put their business plan into action, moved into the location on May 1st and now are just a few short weeks away from their opening day.

Brandon and OMF are going to offer local beers, made with local ingredients.  Local hops and local specialty ingredients will be used whenever possible.  They’re taking a very hands-on approach in their brewery by malting their own grains, something no other brewery (as far as I know) in the area has tried to do.  This gives them total control over their product, allowing them to fine tune and experiment even more with their recipes.  They’ll be a true nano-brewery, using a 1-BBL system, hand-crafting each batch, one keg at time.

The beers themselves are simple and true to style, but will surely be appreciated by both craft beer geeks and those still stuck in the dark ages of macro swill.  OMF will be pouring 5-beers for their official opening: Saison, IPA, Pale Ale, Porter and the only beer with an actual name, the Cream Ale called Proletariat.  There’s an extra tap line reserved for seasonals and experiments and another line reserved for Root Beer for those responsible DD’s or little ones in the crowd.

Click on the picture for a description of each beer.

Have no fear barrel-aged freaks, there’s already talk about procuring wine barrels from their wine-making neighbors down the street at The Infinite Monkey Theorem.  Or if coffee’s your thing, they’re right next door to local artisan coffee roasters, Huckleberry Roasters.  In other words, there’s plenty of opportunity for brewmaster Bryan to play.

Brandon is planning on serving pies from The Humble Pie Store, which makes the best damn pie I’ve ever had in my life!  Such a nice change from the typical pretzels and popcorn offered by many other breweries in town.

OMF has also created a Beer Appreciation Society for a small number of devotees.  The $85 price tag will reward members with a LIFETIME of benefits including:

– 1 custom printed 32 oz growler

– 1 Beer Appreciation Society t-shirt

– 1 OMF notebook for tasting notes, journaling, ransom letters, etc.

– 1 laminated membership card

– 6 (FREE) growler fills (regular price $7, a $42 value)

– 12 (FREE) pints (regular price $4, a $48 value)

– 10% off your bar tab FOREVER

– Invites to all special tasting parties we do

– Secret Beer Society meetings where awesomeness will happen (guest brewer hangouts, collaboration beers, etc)

OMF isn’t even open yet and more than half of the memberships have already been claimed.  If you think you’d like to sign up, I’d recommend doing so sooner than later.  For more information, shoot an e-mail to OMF using this address: hello@omfmb.com

While it might seem like Denver is getting overrun with new breweries these days, each one is quickly finding their own niche in town.  Prost is doing the German thing, River North is leaning towards Belgian-styles, Crooked Stave continues to lay down the funk and Black Shirt (when they open later this year) will be taking the classic Red Ale and twisting it in a variety of interesting ways.  Our Mutual Friend will be a welcome addition to the quickly growing Five Points neighborhood in Northeast Denver with their classy, sessionable brews.

They’re targeting an opening date on September 15th and will be open Thu – Sun from 1 – 10 PM. Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-722-2810.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 08/24/2012

Weekend.  You’re here again!  Aaah, I love you Weekend.  You’re the BEST!

This past week has been a wild one.  At work, my company dedicated an airplane to our great state.

I was on-hand to take part in the festivities and see the aircraft up close.

My work had their yearly “Spirit Party”, which bounces to a different city every year. This year it was held in Denver and we took over Coors Field for the evening.  Gotta love working for a company that had a special beer brewed just for the event.

We also had a chance this week to visit Brandon Proff over at Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew.

This is a new brewery getting set to open in Denver in September.  Brandon met with us to talk about his project, his beers and show us around his place.  I’m putting together a post that will give you all the details on Our Mutual Friend, so stay tuned.

As if that wasn’t enough, we caught up with Bill Eye over at Prost Brewing for a Preview Party at Prost Brewing.

Amazing.  I’m in love with the brewery and the beer.  Such a great place.  There’s a ton of pics and details in an earlier blog.  Just click HERE.

This all went down during the week.  Can there really be more fun in store for the weekend? Absolutely!

I took a few extra days off this week because: 1. My beautiful wife is having a birthday this weekend! and 2. Uhm, hello, 4 days off is waaay better than 2!

So let’s do this!  You ready?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012.

My weekend’s already in full swing.  Kick it off right now and head over to Prost Brewing. And when I say right now, I mean RIGHT NOW!  We’ve been waiting for what seems like an eternity for Bill to open his doors at Prost and today is the big day!

Bill Eye, the genius behind some great German-style beers is finally ready to share his amazing brews with you.  I’ve had ’em, I love ’em, I want more!  Run, do not walk, do not pass GO, do not collect $200! Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.

Oh, and come back on Saturday for a live broadcast with Gary V on American Craft Beer Radio. Scroll down for more details.

Friday, August 24th, 2012.  

On Friday, check out Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday at 3 PM.  This round is a Blueberry Hefeweizen.

This pic is for you Gary.

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

Down at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s Deviation for this week is “Lab Bunny”.

This is a Rum Barrel-Aged version of Hopyard IPA.  Sounds tasty.  This varmint gets released on Friday at 4 PM.  The Rockyard is located at: 880 Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109.  303-814-9273.

Saturday, August 25th, 2012.

The boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be broadcasting live from Arvada Beer on Saturday. Arvada Beer recently tapped a Double IPA and Scottish Ale and should be getting ready to tap a Coffee Porter made with tasty beans from the local artisan bean roasters at Corvus Coffee. Sounds awesome!

They’ll also be talking to Right Coast Pizza about their Grand Opening and mini-Beer Fest this weekend.

If you can’t make it to Arvada Beer, be sure to tune into the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM760 from noon – 2 PM to get all the latest beer news around town.  But, if you can make it to watch the show live, you won’t be sorry!  Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002.  303-467-BEER.

Over on the FM side, Gary V will be broadcasting not once, but twice on Saturday! First up, he’ll be at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival in Boulder, CO from noon – 1:30 PM.

Then he’ll drop in at Prost Brewing from 3:30 – 5 PM.  Tune into 102.3 FM to catch up on all your beer news.  Stop by Saturday evening to watch the show live, check out the new brewery and raise a liter with Bill and Gary.  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.

Trinity Brewing, down in the Springs is turning 4!  Man, where does the time go?  They’ve got a day filled with live music and special beers to celebrate.

Sour Freaks won’t want to miss this as Trinity has dug up some special brews from the cellar including Old Growth (my favorite!!!), Brain of the Turtle, TPS Report and more. Trinity Brewing is located at: 1466 Garden of the Gods Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.  719-634-0029.

This year’s Annual Foam Fest is going down on Saturday from 6 – 10 PM at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

There’s not only a tasting session, but also an awards ceremony for both homebrewers and commercial craft brewers.  Hit it up and cheer on your favorite brewers and see who gets to claim bragging rights for the next 12 months.  Tickets run $30 and there are no advanced ticket sales. More details HERE.  The Colorado State Fair is located at: 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO 81004.  1-800-876-4567.

That’s it.  That’s all I got and that’s all your gettin’.  Hope that lasts you for a few days.  Besides, it’s my wife’s b’day weekend.  She doesn’t know it yet, but we’ve got big plans!

I’m out.  Go have some fun, be safe and I’ll talk to you in a few.  Oh, and if anybody has any pics they’d like to share from the Prost opening or other events around town, send them to me and I’ll share with the readers on here.  brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com

Cheers!


New Brewery Spotlight: Prost Brewing in Pictures

Prost Brewing.  What can I say that hasn’t already been said?  I’ve been talking about it here for months, along with all the other newspapers, beer websites and beer blogs around town.  The beer community in Colorado is pumped for Bill Eye and his team to open up Prost Brewing in Denver, CO.

And today is the day!  Prost will open their doors for the first time today at noon.  I know quite a few people have taken the day off from their jobs and will be lined up when Prost cracks the doors to their German beer hall for the first time.

So rather than go on and on with all the same information that’s already been shared in our newspapers and is plastered all over the internet, I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.  So come on in and take a look into Prost Brewing.

Bill took us up to the brewhouse, which was shipped over piece by piece from Brauerei Hümmer of Breitengüßbach, Germany and re-assembled here in Denver.

Looking down over the lager tanks and kegs.

Brewer Ashely Carter sipping a Pils next to the Grist Hopper.

Down the row of fermentation tanks.

Crooked Stave anyone?

Patti found the mother load in the cooler.

The original grain elevator from the old brewhouse.

Ready for a beer?

The Weißbier is freakin’ amazing!

The delicious and refreshing Prost Pils.

Hanging with the usual suspects at the “Stammtisch” or “Regulars” table.

This is really, really, really good beer.  So sessionable and flavorful.

Time to grab a growler and one more Pils before heading out.

Can I just crash here tonight?

So there you have it.  Less talk, more pics.  Hope you enjoyed a look inside.

You all have GOT to head over and check out Prost Brewing.  In a beer world where it seems that every brewery is scrambling to come up with the latest and greatest barrel-aged, funky, uber rare, high ABV beer, it’s sooo refreshing to see Prost and taste their perfection of these classic and timeless German-style beers.  I know it’s early, but this is the Best Weisbier ever!

Such a beautiful place.  I can’t thank Bill and Darlene enough for letting us get a sneak preview last night and showing us around their magnificent brewery.  I’m still blown away by what they’ve done over there.  Congrats guys!  We’re so happy for you.

Prost Brewing is open and waiting for you.  They’re located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211. 303-729-1175.

Cheers!


Art & Ale Brew Festival Recap

It’s brew fest season here in Colorado.  We’re in full swing right now as we inch closer and closer to the Big Daddy, the Great American Beer Festival.  Seems like my calendar has some sort of festival or tasting highlighted nearly every weekend.  There’s no chance I’ll hit ’em all.  My liver couldn’t keep up, but one can dream right?

For me, beer festivals fall into a few different categories.  There are a handful of festivals that I probably won’t ever attend again for a variety of reasons (cost, distance, poorly run, etc…).  Others, are on the “Maybe” list, which just means it’s a solid beer fest that would be nice to attend again, but life goes on if I can’t make it.  While a few make it to the exclusive, “Must-Do!” list, that I make every effort to attend every year.  Last night, my wife and I attended the Art and Ale Brew Festival at The Wildlife Experience in Parker, CO and it’s already been added to our “Must-Do!” list for next year.

We went with the Dry Dock crew and spent the evening pouring samples of their Amber, Pale, Hefeweizen and the ever popular Apricot Blonde.  We had a great spot outside, in the shade and right next to New Belgium Brewing.

The Dry Dock Crew ready to rock!

NB Beer Ranger Andrew, kept us stocked with samples of their Peach Porch Lounger, Red Hoptober and Super IPA, their delicious IPA brewed in collaboration with Alpine Brewing out in California.  We talked about their sour program for a bit and he mentioned that the next batch of La Folie might be ready as early as this fall.  Keep your fingers crossed!

In between pours, we took some time to wander the grounds outside and the halls of the museum inside.

In addition to the 30+ breweries, there were a variety of restaurants, wineries and distilleries in attendance as well.

David Parry, owner of Parry’s Pizza was super-busy all night long handing out slices of their delicious pies.  They banged through more than 150 pizzas during the event!

He had just gotten the keg list for his next tap takeover, which will be with Oskar Blues on Saturday, September 15th.  There are some mighty fine beers on the list, so mark your calendars now.  More details to come.

The gang from Strange Brewing was pouring Cherry Kriek, Colorado’s answer to Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin.  God, I love that beer.  Thanks again for the full pours guys!

Jim from Rockyard Brewing brought his Redhawk Scottish Ale and Double Eagle Wheat.  They also had their chef on duty, who cooked up an amazing batch of Jalapeño Cheddar Soup and Pretzels stuffed with jalapeño cheese.  Oh my goodness!  Delish!!!

Outside at Elevation Brewing, Xandy was flying through kegs of Mount Blanca Belgian Saison and Apis IV Quadrupel.

Twisted Pine brought three offerings from their monthly Artisan Ale Series.

I finally got a chance to try the Dank IPA from Dad & Dude’s, which was nice and hoppy, but still approachable and very drinkable.

There was even a band inside cranking out 80’s covers from bands like Tears for Fears and Duran Duran.  Alcohol + Music + Dance Floor = Best People Watching Ever!

After eating and tasting our way through the festival, we met up with some friends and hit the chocolate fountains for desert.  The good peeps from Sir Chocolate brought a variety of things like strawberries, marshmallows and rice crispy treats to dip in three different kinds of chocolate.  Nom, nom, nom!

As the sun dipped down behind the mountains, the fire pits lit up and people lounged in the grass around the museum.  What a night!

Beautiful weather, plenty of old friends and new ones too, music, amazing beer and food.  We’ll definitely be back again next year and so should you!

Anybody else make it out there last night?  What did you think?

Big thanks to the staff and volunteers at The Wildlife Experience for hosting a great event.  Shoutout to all of the different companies in attendance as well.  You guys rock!

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 08/16/2012

Get yer brew news!  Yep, the weekend is almost here and the forecast is perfect.  You ready?

Friday, August 17th, 2012.

Kick things off over at Dry Dock with Firkin Friday.  This week, they’ve taken Doug’s Hop Abomination VI and double dry-hopped that bad boy.

Because obviously a single dry-hopping just wasn’t enough.  Hop Abomination is a great, great beer and I can’t wait to see its’ debut in cans later this year.  In the meantime, stop by and try the latest batch.  Hop heads won’t want to miss this firkin.  The beast gets unleashed at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Sadly, I will miss this week’s firkin, but I’ll be happily pouring beers at the Art and Ale Brew Festival at The Wildlife Experience in Parker.

This is a new one for us, but the list includes Deschutes, Avery, Elevation, Trinity, Uinta and 30+ other breweries.  There’s also several wineries, distilleries and restaurants on the list.  I’m really excited to finally attend this one.  A beer fest in a museum is an awesome idea and I can’t wait. Tickets are $35 for members of The Wildlife Experience, $40 for non-members and $25 for DD’s. More details can be found HERE.

We’ll be pouring at the Dry Dock booth, so stop by and say hi!  The Wildlife Experience is located at: 10035 Peoria St, Parker, CO 80134.  720-488-3300.

Oh, and if you’re out that way, don’t forget about Parry’s Pizza.  They’ve got a location right across the street at: 12501 Lincoln Ave, Englewood, CO 80112.

Don’t forget that Friday will be your first chance to grab tickets for Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival. This is taking place at Avery Brewing in Boulder, CO on Saturday, September 8th from noon – 5 PM.

Saturday, August 18th, 2012.

On Saturday, head over to Stapleton for the third annual Stapleton Beer Festival.

This year, check out dozens of local breweries serving up their tasty offerings from 4 – 8 PM.  Look for Great Divide, Wit’s End, Copper Kettle, CAUTION and an additional 20+  breweries to be on-site. Two bands will perform and nearly a dozen food trucks will be there as well.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the event.  Call 303-388-0724 to purchase tickets in advance or get more information.

If you’re looking to get out-of-town, head up to Central City for the Great Central City Beer Festival. American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from the festival on 102.3 FM from noon – 1 PM on Saturday.  The Beer Festival runs from noon – 7 PM.

I got my history lesson on Central City’s rich brewing history last weekend from Dave Thomas of Dostal Alley Brewing.  Dave recently wrote a book on the history of brewing in Gilpin County and this past weekend, he was a featured guest on the Colorado Craft Beer Show.

The Great Central City Beer Festival will celebrate the rich, 150 year brewing history of Central City and will feature hayrides, live music and more than 40 beers to sample from breweries like Prost (oh yeah!!), Backcountry Brewing and Dostal Alley Brewing.  This is an all ages event and tickets are on sale for $20.  Click HERE to check out some pics from our trip to Dostal Alley Brewing earlier this summer.

And speaking of the Colorado Craft Beer Show, the guys will be hanging out at Hops & Pie this week as they broadcast from noon – 2 PM on AM760.  Head over to Hops & Pie at noon to check out the live show, as they give you all the latest and greatest brew news and take part in Denver’s Littlest Big Beer Fest.

This month’s lineup is from Elevation Brewing.  Elevation, from Poncha Springs, CO, will be bringing a bunch of tasty beers like their Apis IV Quad, Signal de Botrange Belgian Ale, several barrel-aged variations, a firkin and more!  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Don’t forget about Bull & Bush’s 41 Beer in 41 Days event that rolls on all month-long.

This weekend, they’ll be tapping their own Captain Funk, and on the guest list is J.W. Lee’s 25th Anniversary Harvest Ale and  d’Achouffe’s Biere Du Soleil.  A full list can be found HERE.  Bull & Bush Brewery is located at: 4700 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246.  303-759-0092.

Sunday, August 19th, 2012.

The 2nd Annual Colorado Distillers Festival hits the Rackhouse Pub from 1 – 5 PM on Sunday.

Check out some delicious spirits from Breckenridge Distilling, Deerhammer Distilling, Peach Street Distillers and more.  Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door and includes admission, a tasting glass and a tour of Stranahan’s Distillery.  More details can be found HERE.  The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.

Monday, August 20th, 2012.

Stretch your weekend clear into Monday as Euclid Hall will be hosting Tom Korder, brewer from Goose Island at 8 PM.  Yep, that would be Chicago’s Goose Island.  Goose Island recently announced they’ll be bringing their full line of beers into the Colorado market, beginning in September.  There’s talk that they may even begin brewing some of their famous recipes out this way too.  Time will tell. But, on Monday, visit Euclid Hall to try some of their Vintage Beers brought out to CO just for this event.

The chefs at Euclid Hall have created some unique dishes to be paired alongside the beers. Euclid Hall is located at: 1317 14th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-595-4255.

I’m glad to hear that Goose Island will be expanding their distribution to include our market.  For the past few years, we’ve seen bits and pieces of the Goose Island portfolio, but it’s been pretty hit or miss and some of my favorite styles never made it out this way.  It sounds like they’re planning to bring nearly the entire lineup to us.  I had the chance to visit Goose Island last year and if you’re not familiar with them, you’re in for a treat.  They have an awesome lineup of beers and an enormous barrel-aging program that includes everything from big, bold stouts to sour, belgian-style ales.  I can’t wait to track down some more Bourbon County Brand Stout, as my supply is dwindling. For more details on Goose Island’s expansion into Colorado, check out the recent article by Jonathan Shikes over at the Westword.

If you’re just looking to hang out at home and enjoy a new beer this weekend, keep an eye out for Stone’s 16th Anniversary beer, a new batch of Cantillon (which is probably already gone by now…), The Bruery’s tasty Tart of Darkness and some interesting new Brettanomyces beers from Anchorage Brewing.

Looking into the crystal ball, Prost Brewing will officially open on Thursday, August 23rd at noon. I’m hoping to get a sneak-peek at the finished place and try the lineup on Wednesday.  Absolutely can not wait for them to open!  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80202.

Grab your calendar and save the date of Saturday, September 29th.   That’s the big date for the upcoming Fall Beer Classic.  Turk and The Gubna from the Colorado Craft Beer Show are hosting their very own beer fest!  These boys know beer and how to have fun.  Sounds like the perfect combo for a beer fest!  Think of it as a warm-up for the Great American Beer Festival.

I’ll get you all the details in the coming weeks, but for now, be sure to “Like” them on their Facebook Page.

Hey, “Like” us too while you’re at it.  I’ve got more beer to give away, but you’ll need to follow the Facebook page if you want a chance to win.

That’s it y’all.  My fingers are done, my mind is blown, it’s time for a beer!

Have a great weekend!

Cheers!


Beer Trippin’ in New York. Part 2 – Craft Beer Exchange.

I like Growlers.  Here in Colorado, nearly every brewery offers them.  Anything from big ol’ gallon sized, to the standard 64 oz. growler and many breweries have even started offering little 32 oz. growlers.  These days, you can track down a huge variety of styles and material.  Glass, canteen, genie bottle, metal, medicine bottle, plastic, swing-top and on and on and on…

But, the beauty of the growler isn’t what it looks like or what it’s made from, but rather what’s inside. Growlers make it possible to bring fresh beer home with you that might not normally make it to a bottle or can in your local liquor stores.

Laws vary from state-to-state.  Here in Colorado, only breweries with a proper license can fill growlers.  In other states, bars and restaurants are allowed to sell growlers.  This is a great concept and one that I’d like to see adopted in Colorado.  Imagine, being able to walk into The Falling Rock Tap House and leaving with a growler full of your favorite beer.

New York is a state that allows a business other than a brewery, to get a license, that will allow them to sell and fill growlers for off-site consumption.  Some of these businesses include grocery stores, gas stations, bars and restaurants.  It’s brilliant.  On our recent trip, we came across a chain of stores across New York State called the Craft Beer Exchange (CBX).

The CBX has teamed up with Sunoco gas stations, to offer a solid selection of craft beer and a rotating selection of taps available for growler fills.  I had the opportunity to visit several of these locations and every one of them offered 6-packs, 12-packs, mix-packs, singles, bombers and 750’s of craft brews.  Everything from Pale Ales, Ambers and Browns, to Double IPA’s, Russian Imperial Stouts and Barrel-Aged Sours.  It was pretty impressive to see hundreds of different beers on the shelves at a gas station.

As for the growler fills, each location has anywhere from 6 to 14 different beers available to choose from. There are plenty of local breweries available, including Saranac, Ithaca Brewing and Lake Placid Brewing, but they also offer options from out-of-state breweries, such as Stone, Founders and Dogfish Head.

The CBX is also attempting to educate consumers by offering information on each beer that’s available for purchase.  The ABV, a description of the beer and other details are listed on cards, which are on display near the tap lines.  Customers are free to take one after their purchase, in order to gain a greater appreciation of the beer.

In addition to the information cards, I noticed some locations offering free pint glasses and discounted fills during their “Growler Hour” specials throughout the week.

This is a great idea and cheers to New York for making this possible.  How great would it be to fill your car and your growler in one-stop?  The Craft Beer Exchange has more than 40 locations across New York state and more than a dozen in South Carolina.  They run a website that lists all of their locations, plus up-to-date tap lists.  The website also keeps readers in tune with local beer fests and happenings in the area.

I can’t say whether or not Colorado will ever adopt a law that would allow for growler fills in locations other than a brewery, but it’s an interesting concept.  While there are certainly arguments for both sides, I think it makes for a great opportunity to promote craft beer, convert macro drinkers to craft beer and help spread the word about local micro breweries.  What are your thoughts?

My growler with Founder’s Centennial IPA.

Cheers!


Beer Trippin’ in New York. Part 1 – Brewery Ommegang

I’m from the East Coast.  Don’t hate me because of it.  We’re not ALL rude…  Really, we’re not.  My wife’s from out that way too and at least once a year, we sling our packs across the camels and head back east for a visit.  You know, to do the whole family thing.  It’s good.  We like it, they like it (I think).  It’s a win/win.

Anyway, it was that time of year again.  Oh, and before I forget, HUGE shout-out to my in-laws, who recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary!  That’s incredible!  Cheers guys!

Time for a journey back to our roots.  My wife’s turn this time, to see her family, go back home, get drenched in humidity, have some seafood, visit an east coast brewery or three and just get away for a little vacation.

We always manage to find a brewery along the way.  Cheers to beer-lovin’ women!  Time for a detour to Brewery Ommegang!  Ommegang, Ommegang, how I adore thee.  A little slice of Belgium right here in the U.S.

Ommegang holds a special place in my beer-pumping heart.  Three Philosophers was a “Belgian gateway” beer for me.  The cherry-quad turned me on to so many new, sweet, tasty Trappist and Trappist-style brews.  It also reminds me of one of my early trips up to NY, in the dead of winter, when my nose hairs instantaneously froze together anytime they were exposed to the bitter cold outside.  Good times.

Brewery Ommegang is located in Cooperstown, NY.  Cooperstown probably rings a bell, as its’ the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Another amazing place that I highly recommend you visit.  I could spend a week there, but I love baseball almost as much as I love beer!

Alright, here’s a 30 second recap.  Ommegang was founded in 1997, by Don Feinberg.  He liked loved Belgian beer and modeled his brewery after a traditional Belgian farmhouse.  A 136-acre Belgian farmhouse to be exact…  People like his beers.  Expansion.  People like his beers A LOT!  He can’t keep up.  Sold to Belgian brewery, Duvel Moortgat in 2003.  Duvel, yeah they rule!  You heard of it?  I hope so.  If not, look it up.  Please, you need to look it up if you don’t know Duvel. Ommegang beers get brewed in both Belgium and Cooperstown, NY to keep up with demand. Expansion, growth, people sucking down Ommegang’s offerings, which brings you to…  Today!

Amazing Belgian-style beers brewed right here in the U.S.  They’ve got an extensive line of creations, including an Abbey, Saison, Witte, Kriek and more.

We had been here before, but it was long before the major brewery growth and cafe addition.  It was back when they had local cheese infused with fresh hops and samples of Belgian chocolate on the tour.  But the ongoing growth has been a good thing.  They manage to conceal the bustling bottle line and production brewery behind the walls of a brick-built “Belgian farmhouse” in the rolling hills of New York.  It’s a beautiful thing.  This place sure is purr-dey.

The newly opened cafe was a welcomed sight as we were rolling in just as our stomachs were beginning to grumble.

I honestly don’t know when this section of the brewery opened, but I was informed I was the first person to use the men’s bathroom.  Strange, but, hmm, ok.  My son gave me a high-five and we headed back to our seats in the dining room.

We ordered the “FonDuvel”, which was a cheese fondue made from three different cheeses and of course Duvel beer.  We had sausage, bread and apples to dip in the fondue pot.  Oh delish!  Add on an order of frites and a few Belgian beers and this is my idea of the perfect meal.

I ordered the Hennepin Saison, followed by a BPA (Belgian Pale Ale) to wash it down, while my wife ordered the Liefmans Cuvee Brut, which is an Oud Bruin blended with cherries.  Our kids tore it up with a juice and root beer.

Click HERE to take a peek at the menu if you’re interested.  In addition to moules y frites, a variety of cheeses, waffles and more, there’s also a great selection of Ommegang and authentic Belgian beer, both on draft and in bottles.

No tour for this visit.  Any kids taking the tour have to be 5 or older and our monkeys don’t meet that criteria just yet.  No worries.  We were free to wander the grounds, smell the facility and watch the world go by.

Seriously, one of the prettiest breweries in the U.S.

They were in full swing, gearing up for their annual Belgium Comes To Cooperstown event.  This is a weekend long event that combines a beer dinner, tasting session, live music and camping to make for an amazing time.  I really need to plan a trip to attend this beer fest.

At any rate, Ommegang is a pretty special place.  Amazing Belgian -style beers, a gift shopped filled with goodies to decorate and drink in your man cave and a recently opened restaurant to keep your tummy stuffed during your visit.  I grabbed a few bottles for the road and we headed out.

If you’re ever in the area, this is a MUST!  They’re located at: 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown, NY 13326.  607-544-1800.  Also be sure to stop by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Cooperstown Brewing.

Ommegang can be found in more than 40 states, including Colorado.  Give them a try if you haven’t already.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 08/09/2012

After spending nearly two weeks visiting family and friends back on the east coast, I’m back home and ready to give you a full dose of your weekend beer news.  To tell you the truth, it’s a little quiet this week, but there’s still several great events to talk about.

Just talked to Jellyman down at the Rockyard.  So, last Friday’s scheduled Deviation, which was a French Oak Aged Belgian Triple, will in fact be tapped THIS Friday instead.

He’s calling it “Monk With A Woody” and describes it as “fruity and tart, with a strong oak presence”. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109.

Happy Birthday to the Denver Beer Co!  They’re celebrating their 1st Anniversary by closing the street and hosting a huge bash on Saturday, August 11th from 2 – 9 PM.

Look for a dozen beers to be on tap, including a limited run of Imperial Graham Cracker Porter.  Some of Denver’s top food trucks will be out as well, including The Uber Sausage and Basic Kneads Pizza.  Hang out and listen to some live, local music too.  Best of all, it’s FREE!  Just show up, hang out, celebrate, ride your bike or grab a cab.  Should be a great time.  Denver Beer Co. is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-433-2739.

Loveland Aleworks will have their Grand Opening this weekend.  They’ve been open for about a month and have been very well received.

They’ve got 8 beers ready for you, including an IPA, Saison and an Imperial Stout that will be tapped for the first time this weekend.  They plan to keep 10 beers on tap once they’re able to fill all the tap lines.  Dave, over at Fermentedly Challenged was able to get a look inside the brewery and tasting room before their opening.  Check out his post HERE.  Loveland Aleworks is located at: 118 W 4th St, Loveland, CO 80537.  970-619-8726.

Over in Aurora, Dry Dock Brewing will be hosting their 1st Annual PIE-A-PALOOZA on Sunday, August 12th!  This is something new on the calendar this year, but if it’s anything like their Chili Cook-Off, it’ll be a great time.  This is set up as a pie competition, with four categories: Berry, Creamy, Fruit and Savory / Nut.  Competitors will get to choose a Dry Dock beer to pair their pie with.  Judging will be held in the barrel room at 12:30 PM and winners will be announced at 2 PM.  E-mail: Pies@DryDockBrewing.com to get your pie entered.

If I were any sort of baker, I’d be all over this.  If you’ve got some cooking skills, then be sure to give it a shot.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

The Bull & Bush Brewery is turning 41 this summer!  That’s insane!  I LOVE IT!  Cheers guys!

To commemorate this glorious occasion, they’re hosting “41 Beers in 41 Days”.  They’ll be releasing a new beer every day for 41 days and the full schedule can be found HERE.  They make some amazing beers and I’m drooling at some of the beers scheduled to be tapped.  From their own Legend of the Liquid Brain to guest kegs like J.W. Lees Harvest Ale, you can’t go wrong!  Cruise in and raise a celebratory pint.  Bull & Bush Brewery is located at: 4700 Cherry Creek South, Denver, CO 80246.  303-759-0092.

Lastly, just a sneak peek into next week.  The Royal Hilltop in Aurora will be tapping a keg of Pliny the Elder.  This is one of the best, if not THE best IPA on the planet.  I love this beer and I’m pretty excited to see it getting tapped so close to mi casa.

The lupulins will be flowing on Tuesday, August 14th at 7 PM.  Sadly, I can’t make it, but you fellow hop freaks better save me some!  I’ll be stopping by on Wednesday and I hope there’s a snifter or three left for me.  The Royal Hilltop is located at: 18581 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013.

That’s it ladies and gents!  Enjoy your weekend!

Cheers!


New Beers and Beer News 08/06/12

Man, there’s another ton of great beers headed to our shelves.  Check these out!

Dry Dock is gearing up for the opening of their 2nd location and adding a canning line.  Here’s a sneak peek at their Amber and Hefeweizen cans.  I’m hoping for an early winter release on these.

Twisted Pine released another addition to their Artisan Ale series over the weekend.  On Saturday, they debuted their Wagon Wheel Stout.  This big and rich stout was aged for 12 months in Buffalo Trace barrels with fresh, organic cherries.

Remaining bottles will be hitting local shelves shortly.

Trinity Brewing has another yummy Saison headed to bottles.

Le Capataine Petite Bouddha Saison Regal is aged in Chardonnay barrels with cacao and fermented with Brett and Lactobacillus.  A 10.4% ABV Saison?  Sounds like funky goodness to me.

Elevation Brewing is also getting ready to release a Chardonnay barrel-aged beer this Summer. Look for Signal de Botrange, which is a 7.5% ABV, Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Ale.

This will be Elevation’s first barrel aged release in bottles and is part of their Double Black Diamond, upper-end series of beers.  They just signed a deal with Elite Distribution to bring 8 different beers to the Front Range throughout the year.  Keep an eye out for these beginning August 10th.

The Beast is back!

This year’s batch of Beast Grand Cru was recent released at Avery Brewing on August 1st.  This was the 10th release of this monstrous brew and it ages extremely well.  Grab one fresh, but grab a few to stash away for the next decade or for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.  Look for a 14%-18% ABV on this bad boy, so be nice or it’ll bite!

Dad & Dude’s Breweria has teamed up with Prost Brewing to bring you their Dank IPA in cans.

There was a huge release party at Dad & Dude’s Breweria on August 4th.  This 6.5% ABV IPA should be on any hop heads radar.  Look for 16oz. cans hitting the CO market shortly.

From our out-of-state friends, look for Stone Brewing to release their 16th Anniversary beer in the next few weeks.  This year is a 9.4% ABV, lemon-tinged Double IPA.

They’re also gearing up to release “Enjoy By 09.21.12 IPA”.  This is an 8.5% ABV IPA that is a hoppy, citrusy, bitter brew.  Just like the label says, drink it fresh and live for the now!

I always enjoy Stone and these look to be a pair of great summer releases.  Both will be making their debut at the Stone Anniversary Party in Escondido, CA on August 18th, 2012.  Plan on bombers hitting local shelves soon after.

Over in Deschutes country, keep an eye out for The Dissident sour brown ale.

This 11.4% ABV brown ale is brewed with cherries and aged in French oak wine barrels.  Don’t let the “brown ale” trick you…  This is Flanders Oud Bruin.  It’s sour, fruity and complex.  Grab one if you see it as they won’t last long!

A little further down the road is The Abyss.

This is typically a November / December release, so I might be getting a bit ahead of myself, but I can’t help it.  This is an absolute favorite of mine!  The Abyss is a blend of beers aged in Bourbon barrels, Oak barrels and Wine barrels.  This 11.0% ABV Imperial Stout has notes of licorice, chocolate,  molasses, caramel, coffee and more.  So complex and yummy, this also ages exceptionally well.  My earliest bottles will be turning 5 this year.  Might be about time for a nice, big vertical tasting.  An amazing beer, but save me some will ya?

In my last bit of news, I’m a little sad to announce that Head Brewer Tod Mott has left The Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH.  Tod has been leading New Hampshire’s amazing brewpub for more than 8 years and has really helped to put them on the map, particularly with Kate the Great, his decadent Russian Imperial Stout.  There’s an entire day devoted to the release of this beer.  At one point, Kate the Great was considered to be the best beer on the planet!

Patti and I have visited The Portsmouth Brewery several times over the years and they never disappoint.  Tod will be replaced by Tyler Jones, who has served as Tod’s assistant for the past four years.

As for Tod, last week he announced that he will be opening a new brewery somewhere in Southern Maine.  While no further details have been released, he plans to brew about 500 barrels a year and will be releasing Kate the Great at his new brewery.  He mentioned that the name will be change, since it’s owned by Portsmouth Brewery, but he owns the recipe and plans to release it under a new name in the future.  I wish him the best of luck.

Cheers!