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Archive for October, 2012

New Beers and Beer News 10/29/2012

As we head into the winter months, breweries from all over are busy releasing a ton of great beers to keep you warm through those colder months.  Trying to keep up with all the new releases these days is no easy task.  So, as winter begins to settle into Colorado, here’s a rundown of some of the new beers that I’m excited about.

The Bruery, Black Tuesday

Let me start by saying that this year’s Black Tuesday is on Tuesday, October 30th.  As in TOMORROW!  So if you’re not a member of The Bruery’s Reserve Society, tomorrow is your one and only chance to secure a bottle.  The beer is a 19.2% ABV Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout that has notes of vanilla, oak, sherry, dark fruits and chocolate.  Black Tuesday is truly an amazing beer and definitely something everyone should try at least once.  It’s currently listed in the Top 50 Beers on the Planet at beeradvocate.com  Click HERE to get all the details on tomorrow’s release.

Boston Beer Company, Samuel Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary

To say this beer is big, is an understatement.  Released every other year, this guy typically clocks in at 25%-30% ABV.  This batch is a special release to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the beer. It’s made with a blend of beers that were aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels, Port casks and Rum barrels.  Sam Adams used a bit of their original Triple Bock in the blend, which is 19 years old!

This is a monster of a beer that drinks more like a Cognac or Sherry than a beer.  Be prepared to shell out $160-$180 for a single bottle of this complex, cellarable brew.  15,000 bottles were produced and our share is hitting local store shelves right now.

Stone Brewing, 12.12.12 Vertical Epic

The very last release in the Vertical Epic (VE) series.  In case you haven’t heard, Stone’s VE is a yearly release that began on 02.02.02, followed up a year, a month and a day later with 03.03.03, and so and so, all the way up to the final release on 12.12.12.  The idea was for beer connoisseurs to purchase a bottle (or three) each year and save them for a monstrously big tasting and opening all of the beers to sample side-by-side on 12.12.12.  Each beer has been a different recipe and brewed with cellaring in mind.  While beer geeks have stashed away many, many bottles of VE releases over the years, the earlier bottles can be very tough to track down.  The 02.02.02 has sold for hundreds of dollars per 220z. bottle on the secondary market.

This year’s 12.12.12 is described as a Belgian-style Abbey Ale, brewed with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, orange peel, clove and rose hips. I’ve managed to cellar away bottles going back to 03.03.03 and I’m really looking forward to opening them up for a special tasting in December.  Whether or not you’ve been collecting the VE series, this sounds like a tasty brew that will hit our market just before Christmas.

Trinity Brewing / Black Fox Brewing Collaboration, Le Petite Morte Trajet aka Little Death Ride

The name of this collaboration brew is a reference to the upcoming end of the Mayan calendar in December of this year.  Trinity owner Jason Yesterday and Black Fox owner John Schneider developed the recipe together using all Mayan cuisine.  Corn, wild cinnamon, beans, squashes, peppers, cacao nibs and more come together in this unique, red Saison.  The beer was brewed at Trinity on October 8th, bottled on October 24th and will be tapped at the brewery on December 21st, which is the last day of the Mayan calendar, also believed by some to be the end of the world.  No matter what your beliefs, plan on this being a good beer.  These guys without a doubt, know how to make a great Saison.  Look for a few kegs to hit better beer bars and 750mL bottles to be released in December.

Upslope Brewing, Christmas Ale

This is a Belgian-style ale, that was brewed with a special mix of spices created by Upslope brewer Alex Violette.  Look for coriander, brown sugar and juniper berries in this one.  I was really impressed by their Pumpkin Ale and look forward to this new holiday seasonal.  It was canned last week in 16oz. candy cane striped cans and will be released on November 1st.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co., XVI Anniversary

This barrel-aged blend is always a highlight of the winter months.  For this year’s Anniversary Ale, Firestone Walker has blended 8 different barrel-aged brews to create the 13% ABV, XVI blend.  42% of the beer is Stout consisting of Bourbon Velvet Merkin (Oatmeal Stout), Bourbon Parabola (Russian Imperial Stout) and Tequila PNC (Buckwheat Stout).  The remaining mixture comes from a variety of Barleywines, Strong Ales and IPA’s.  I’ve been trading for these beers for a number of years and have always been impressed by these releases.  Fortunately, Firestone Walker started distributing to Colorado last year and this should be hitting our shelves sometime in November.

New Belgium Brewing, Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout

This upcoming addition to the Lips of Faith series is a bit of a deviation from their usual Belgian-style and Sour Ales.  For winter, they’ll be releasing a 10% ABV Imperial Stout, brewed with locally roasted coffee beans and chocolate.  This hit the Fort Collins market this past weekend, so keep your eyes open for it.

Odell Brewing Co., Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout

Similar to the New Belgium brew above, Odell has similar plans for the winter with their upcoming Chocolate Milk Stout.  This one clocks in at 8.5% ABV and is brewed with lactose and milk chocolate. The label describes it as “rich and creamy” and is compared to “a cold glass of chocolate milk”. Sounds yummy.  Odell’s planning to release it in 4-packs in early-January 2013.

Ska Brewing, Vinifera Stout

This is part of Ska’s new series of canned stouts, with a new beer getting released every quarter. The 2nd release, Vinifera Stout, is an Oak-aged, Foreign-Style Stout, brewed with Malbec grapes. These beers are released on the Solstice or Equinox, depending on the time of year.  Look for Vinifera to get released on December 21st, which is the Southern Solstice, and also the last day of the Mayan calendar.  Fingers crossed we’re still around to try this beer.

Keep your eyes out for some great beers hitting your local liquor store over the next few weeks. Winter is truly my favorite time of year for seasonal beers, with so many big, thick and flavorful beers to be on the lookout for.  What are you excited for this winter?  Good luck beer hunters!

Cheers!


Drink and Support Local at the All Colorado Beer Festival

Just when you think this year’s Beer Festival season is coming to a close, I’m going to wow you with one that highlights the best of our delicious state of beery goodness.  Meet the All Colorado Beer Festival (ACBF)!

If you were anywhere near Denver earlier this month, you no doubt heard about or even experienced the madness of the Great American Beer Festival.  It was BIG, it was FUN, but it’s gone away until next year. It’s time to get back to our roots.  Time to refocus and revisit the amazing brewers and breweries right here in Colorado.  The ACBF, held annually at the Freedom Financial Expo Center, in Colorado Springs, is your perfect chance to sip some old favorites and seek out some new ones as well.

The ACBF, which is entering its’ 6th year, aims to raise money for Colorado Springs nonprofit organizations.  In five years, the festival has donated more than $85,000 to local charities!  So now you can drink local, while supporting local.  Get on it.  It’s win / win people!

I’ll admit, I’ve never been to the ACBF, but on Saturday, November 3rd, I’m hoping to change all that. The festival offers two tasting sessions, along with a VIP option.  Session 1 runs from 1 – 4:30 PM and Session 2 runs from 6:30 – 10 PM.  The VIP option allows you to get in 1-hour earlier and also grants you access to beers not available to the rest of the attendees.  Tickets are $30/per session ($25 with Military ID), $40 for VIP and $10 for DD.  Tickets, times and other details can be found HERE.  If you act quickly, you might be able to take advantage of the Groupon running right now.

As for the breweries, keep your eye out for your familiar favorites, such as Odell, New Belgium, Ska, Avery, Great Divide, etc…  But what’s really exciting for a big beer nerd like myself, is the abundance of new(er) breweries that will be making an appearance.  Paradox, out of Woodland Park, barrel ages everything! and has been getting quite a few good reviews from my fellow beer nerds.  Rocky Mountain Brewery, out of Co. Springs, recently took home two awards for their fruit beers from the very prestigious World Beer Cup.  I could go on and on, but half the fun is discovering new beers on your own.  More than 30 breweries will be bringing their beers to share at the ACBF this year.  Check out the complete list of breweries to map out your plan for the festival.

This year’s ACBF will also feature a formal judging event, live music, food and more.  The festival is shaping up to be a great day of beer, food and fun, all for a great cause.  Come on out on November 3rd and check it out for yourself.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 10/25/2012

It looks like Mother Nature has dished out a bit of snow and cold weather to us.  Don’t fret, there’s still plenty of good beer to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside again. It’s time for the weekend people.  You ready?

Fire it up right now, by making a trip over to Crooked Stave.  Just look at this lineup.

Not only are there amazing brews on draft, but they’ve got both Oculus and the GABF-medal winning Sentience in bottles to go.  Don’t forget to sign up for Crooked Stave’s Cellar Reserve while you’re at it.  You won’t regret it.  Crooked Stave is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.

Over at the Yak & Yeti is their Oaked IPA.  This is their Himalayan IPA aged in a Leopold Bros. Rye Whiskey Barrel.  Brewer Adam Draeger teased this recently on our behind the scenes tour of the brewery and I’d love to taste how this turned out.

They’re also pouring Blueberry Tart, which is a slightly tart, blueberry brown ale and a Milk Stout, which will only be pouring for the colder months.  Stay tuned for a series of Porters that will head into territories never before visited by previous Porters.  More details in the coming weeks.  Check out Yak & Yeti at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002 and 8665 N Sheridan Blvd, Westminster, CO 80003.

Friday, October, 26th, 2012.

So the Jellyman down at Rockyard is up to his usually playfulness again this week.  This time, he’s releasing “Wonder Twin Powers…Activate!”  Best beer name I’ve heard in a long time.  He’s taken an IPA and filled it with antioxidant goodness from the very special and tasty Açaí berry.  Well, lots of Açaí berries actually.

Guaranteed to be way better than a flu shot, stop by at 4 PM to get your fix.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109.  303-814-9273.  And for you kids still wondering who the hell the Wonder Twins are, get learned.

This may or may not be from the original cartoon series.  You be the judge.

Before this post goes any further South, let’s just move on.

Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids is turning 3!  Stop by on Friday for this family friendly event, complete with balloon making and face painting for the little ones.

Good beer?  Are you kidding me?  These guys kill it in the beer category and will have a ton of great brews flowing.  The food menu is tough to beat too.  Man, I wish I could make this.  It’ll be an awesome time.  Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids is located at: 1555 S Hover St, Longmont, CO 80501.  303-485-9400.

Parry’s Pizza is hosting Beer & Fear on Friday.

Scary Costumes meets Scary Beer.  Get all ghouled up and stop by for some spooky brews from Jolly Pumpkin, Lost Abbey and Shmaltz.  Costume contest from 7 PM – 8 PM.  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.

Dry Dock is ready for another round of Firkin Friday.  This week’s release is their Double IPA, dry-hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo hops.  Hop-heads arise!  Tappings at 3 PM and 7 PM.

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

Saturday, October 27th, 2012.

Saturday is a solid day of beer happenings, so let’s refocus and get serious.

The Rackhouse Pub is turning 3 this weekend!  To celebrate their 3rd Anniversary, they’ll be hosting a Dry Dock Tap Takeover.

Yeah, they’ve got your Hop Abomination, GABF Gold-medal winning Apricot, Vanilla Porter and so on, but they’ll also be pouring Dry Dock’s World Beer Cup medal winning Wee Heavy, Coffee Milk Stout, Bligh’s Barleywine (yes, Bligh’s Barleywine), The Ambassador Sour (my fav!) and even a firkin of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Porter.  More than 20 beers will be making an appearance for this amazing event.

Do NOT miss this!  I mean it.  Aside from maybe your buddy’s beer cellar, when’s the last time you saw a bottle of Bligh’s Barleywine?  Head over to the Rackhouse and help them celebrate 3 years. There’s even a costume contest and live music later in the evening.  The Rackhouse is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.

Arvada Beer is also celebrating an Anniversary this weekend.

For their 1-year anniversary, they’ve been tapping great beers all week-long.  Here’s the complete list of what they’ve got planned:

  • 10/21 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Wit
  • 10/22 – Both White House Ales
  • 10/23 – Nitro Russian Imperial Stout
  • 10/24 – Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Aged Belgian IPA
  • 10/25 – Russian Imperial Stout
  • 10/26 – Batch 100 Wheat Wine
  • 10/27 – Syrah Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

There’s some amazing beers on the list for sure!  Stop by on Saturday for a Halloween costume contest, a chance to win free beer for a year! and to check out a live broadcast with the boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show.

Turk and the Gubna will be broadcasting live from noon – 2 PM on AM 760.  Tune in or stop by to get all the latest Colorado craft beer news.  Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002.  303-467-2337.

Parry’s Pizza is inviting you out to drink beer for a good great cause on Saturday.

They’re hosting a silent auction to help raise money for little Zoe, who is battling cancer.  Stop by for a beer, a bite to eat and bid on some great merchandise for an amazing cause.  Parry’s Pizza has three locations at: 9567 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  12501 E. Lincoln, Englewood, CO 80112.  5650 Allen Way, Castle Rock, CO 80108.

Black Shirt Brewing’s gearing up for another party on Saturday.  While they still don’t have any permanent hours established just yet, they’ll be pouring a variety of Red Ales from 3 – 8 PM.

Stop by for a sneak-peek and try some beers from Denver’s newest brewery.  Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.

This last one is for all the über beer geeks and beer traders out there.  Darkness Day at Surly Brewing in Brooklyn Center, MN is going down on Saturday!  Darkness is an amazing, amazing, amazing Imperial Stout that is delicious fresh, but also ages incredibly well.  I also think it’s kind of cool that Surly chooses a different monster / zombie / scary creature to adorn their bottle every year.

Darkness Day only happens once a year, so show up early to secure up to 6-bottles of this limited, yummy brew.  Cash only.  I’ve got a vertical running back to ’08 and if anybody happens to have an extra bottle and can grab me this year’s workshirt, you’ll be rewarded with, well, more beer. Duh! E-mail me (brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com) if you’ve got a bottle that you just need to get rid of and we’ll figure out the details.

Again, Darkness is a pretty special brew that you should go out of your way to find.  Seriously great beer.  It’s good too.  Grab your bottles, stick around for the beer (obviously!), food trucks and metal music.  It’s going to be a blast!  Surly Brewing is located at: 4811 Dusharme Dr, Brooklyn Center, MN 55429.

That’s about it y’all.  Plenty to do both near and far, far and near, amazing things are brewing everywhere.  (Sorry, my kids are all about Dr. Seuss these days.)  Get on it and have some fun this weekend.

Cheers!


On The Hunt For Some Interesting New Beers? Signup For The Bruery’s Reserve Society.

I’m all about spending your money this week!  I dropped some details earlier this week about the Crooked Stave Cellar Reserve club and the signup info which began this past Monday.  Now it’s time to talk about The Bruery’s Reserve Society.  The Bruery, out of Placentia, CA has a beer club geared towards total beer geeks, nerds, connoisseurs, lovers, collectors, whatever…, that is a great way to acquire exclusive and hard-to-find Bruery beers.

The Reserve Society is entering its’ 4th year and shows no signs of slowing down as they continue to grow and cater to their loyal following.  I joined the club last year and have been very impressed by their wide variety of beers, collaborations, parties and other benefits that are exclusive to Reserve Society members. This year’s $295 fee will guarantee you:

— 1 bottle of Melange #3 (Initial Package, January 2013 pickup)
— 1 bottle of White Chocolate (Initial Package, January 2013 pickup)
— 1 bottle of Otiose (Initial Package, January 2013 pickup)
— 1 bottle of Chocolate Rain (Available in March 2013)
— 2 bottles of Black Tuesday (Available in late October 2013)
— 2 bottles Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings (Available in December 2013)
— 1 bottle of Mystery Beer #1 (Mystery Release Date)
— 1 bottle of Mystery Beer #2 (Mystery Release Date)
— 1 piece of high quality merchandise

As a Reserve Society member, you’ll also receive 15% off purchases on the Bruery website, Provisions Store and Tasting Room, a membership card, climate controlled storage of your beers until 3.31.2014 and access to a ton of releases throughout the year.  Here’s a tentative list:

— Sour in the Rye
— Chocolate Rain*
— White Oak
— Sans Pagaie
— Bois
— Bois Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels*
— Bois Aged in Brandy Barrels*
— Bois Aged in new American Oak Barrels #4 Toast*
— Kumquat Sour In The Rye*
— Barrel Aged English Barleywine with Portola Coffee* (Name pending)
— Blueberry Sour* (Name pending)
— Mystery Beer #1
— Mystery Beer #2
— Tart of Darkness
— White Chocolate
— Barrel Aged Apricot Strong Ale* (Name pending)
— Bourbon Barrel Aged Smoking Wood
— Cherry Oude Tart*
— Oude Tart
— Black Tuesday
— Grey Monday*
— Melange #1
— Bourbon Barrel Aged Autumn Maple
— Melange #3
— Rueuze
— Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings*
— Smoking Wood – Rye Barrel Aged
— Approximately 8 very exciting Provisions Series releases

* = Exclusive (Reserve & Hoarders Society Only, not included in Preservation Society membership or to general release)
Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain, Oude Tart and on and on and on.  Did you see the lines at GABF this year for 1 oz. pours of Black Tuesday?  If not, here’s a shot from the Thursday release.  You can skip all this madness and get secure your bottles through the Reserve Society.
Reserve Society members were given 2 bottles of Black Tuesday with their membership this year and were allowed to purchase up to 5 additional bottles.  The guaranteed bottles of the amazing 18.2% ABV, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout is worth the price alone.  Don’t forget about Chocolate Rain, Black Tuesday’s big brother, which is a 19% ABV, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout brewed with vanilla bean and cacao nibs.  Yeah, that’s included too.

Don’t even get me started on sours.  Name a fruit and they probably make a sour beer with it.  It’s ridiculous.  I love it.
The only catch with the club is that you either have to live in CA or have a “trustee” that lives in CA. My trustee is a beer trading friend that happens to live near The Bruery, is also a Reserve Society member and doesn’t mind picking up my beers and shipping them to me.  In exchange for his troubles, I send him some local Colorado brews every now and then and obviously pay for shipping costs through my FedEx account.  It’s actually quite easy and keeps me up to date with all the latest releases.

If shipping’s not your thing, you can always use the club as an excuse to make a road trip or fly out for a fun weekend.  They’ll even hold onto your beers for you until March 2014.  Mrs. Brewtally Insane and I flew out earlier this year to attend their “Initiation Party” and try a ton of one-offs and past Reserve Society releases.  There were plenty of mind-blowing beers to sample and I met some great beer peeps from all across the U.S.  Here’s a scan of the menu from the party.
It’s a quick flight and makes for a great 2-3 day trip.

Sorry to drain your wallets this week, but hey, it’s that time of year.  Sign up and get rewarded or miss out and get out-of-the-way.  Beer freaks looking to join for the first time can enroll on Thursday, October 25th at 11AM.  More details are HERE and your direct link to sign up can be found HERE.

Owner Patrick Rue is good people and I can’t say enough good things about his amazing beers. Definitely worth your time and money.
Cheers!

New Brewery Spotlight: Wild Woods Brewery, Boulder, CO

There’s something special about a beer that’s capable of taking you on a sensory journey.  A special beer that can conjure up good memories or allow you to sit back and reminisce about a memorable event in your life.  For me, Magic Hat #9 reminds me of my Wedding day.  It flowed like water at our Wedding reception and was enjoyed by both the beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers in the crowd. Cantillon Gueuze is another beer that’s capable of whisking me away to a great memory. One sip and I picture myself sitting in the old, cobweb filled brewery in Belgium, where I met the Van Roy family, owners of the 100+ year old brewery.

It takes a pretty special beer to be able to achieve such a connection, but Wild Woods, the newest brewery to open in Boulder, CO, is on its’ way to evoking a good memory or two out of you. They’ve taken an approach that brings the great outdoors to craft beer.

The husband and wife team of Jake and Erin Evans came up with the idea to open Wild Woods Brewery during one of their many camping trips.  They’ve spent the past few years fine-tuning and perfecting their recipes on a homebrew setup and are finally ready to share them with you.

The Wisconsin raised couple have been brewing up their ideas and dialing in their recipes on a 2BBL electric brew system at their newly opened brewery.  They’re pouring 6 year round beers and in just a few short weeks since they’re official opening, they’ve already released several unique and tasty seasonals.  Their year round beers consist of:

-Wildflower Pale Ale, 5.6% ABV, 38 IBU.  Pale ale brewed with organic jasmine flowers.  Hoppy, floral and fruity.

-Berry Patch Wheat, 5.5% ABV, 25 IBU.  Wheat beer blended with raspberry and strawberry puree during secondary fermentation.  Cloudy amber beer, with huge, sweet fruit notes throughout.

-Campfire Red, 5.4% ABV, 22 IBU.  Red ale brewed with smoked malt to create a nutty, smoky flavor.

-Treeline IPA, 6.4% ABV, 65 IBU.  American IPA dry-hopped with juniper berries.  Citrus and pine throughout this hop forward, tasty, bitter IPA.

-Ponderosa Porter, 5.1% ABV, 40 IBU.  Porter aged with toasted oak and organic vanilla beans.

-Smores Stout, 4.7% ABV, 28 IBU.  Sweet stout aged with raw cacao nibs.  Roasted grains, bitter chocolate and an underlying sweetness combine to round out this yummy brew.

During my visit, they were also pouring Tropical Paradise Imperial IPA, that had a nose of mango and fresh melon.

Wild Woods Brewery has a laid back vibe and a friendly staff.  In addition to a long, wooden bar and multiple tables in the tasting room, there’s also a small outdoor patio that’s perfect for sipping on a beer and watching the world go by.

Wild Woods is located just around the corner from Avery Brewing and near the location of the upcoming Upslope tap room.  Sounds like the perfect side-trip on a Boulder brew tour by bike or with a designated driver.  Stop by and grab a pint and a growler to go.  Wild Wood Brewery is located at: 5460 Conestoga Ct, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-484-1465.

Cheers!


Crooked Stave Cellar Reserve Signups Open on Monday

Listen up all my little Sour, Wild and Funky Beer Fans!  This Monday, at 10 AM MST, Crooked Stave will be offering new memberships into next year’s Cellar Reserve program.  I made the horrible mistake of not joining the club last year, and since then, I’ve been blown away by brewer / owner Chad Yakobson’s amazing beers.

Due to the low volume being produced, the only way to get many of his beers is by becoming a Cellar Reserve Member.  So for $300, you’ll be guaranteed a variety of 750mL bottles of Crooked Stave’s best offerings.  Here’s the tentative lineup for 2013:

(1 bottle) *Blackberry L’Brett d’Or (First Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Persica – Golden Sour w/Peaches (First Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Raspberry Dark Origins (Second Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Surette Reserva Cognac Barrel (Second Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Surette Reserva Bourbon Barrel (Second Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Nightmare on Brett (Grand Cru barrel) (Third Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Cherry Origins (Third Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *TBD Dark Sour blend (Fourth Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *TBD Cellar Reserve Blend (Fourth Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *TBD Cellar Reserve Blend (Fourth Quarter of 2013)

*Denotes beer is a Cellar Reserve exclusive.

In addition to the beers listed above, there will be several additional beers available for sale, along with a membership card, exclusive stemmed glassware, Members-only gear, 15% discount at the tap room and the opportunity to attend Members-only events.

I’ll definitely be jumping on board this year.  For the out-of-towners, you can have a “trustee” pick up your beers and send them to you.  I might be willing to sponsor a beer freak or two, so e-mail me at brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com, if you need help from a Colorado beer mule such as myself.

If you’re interested in joining the club, click HERE for all the details.  There’s even a FAQ page which attempts to answer any questions you might have about holding beer at the Barrel Room, setting up a trustee and more.

It’s no accident that Crooked Stave just landed a medal at this year’s GABF in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer Category.  They’re making some great beers and have many more planned for you.  I may have missed the boat last year, but lesson learned and I’ll be logging on my computer Monday to get my spot for 2013.  Hope you can join me for the ride.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 10/18/2012

Looks like everyone’s still recovering from last weekend’s GABF.  It’s been kind of quiet this week.  I guess I picked a good week to go out-of-town.  At any rate, I’ve still got some fun things to share with my favorite band of beer nuts.

Friday, October 19th, 2012.

We’ve got a new brewery opening this weekend!  High Hops Brewery in Windsor, is having their Grand Opening on Friday and Saturday.

They had a soft opening a few weeks ago, but if you haven’t yet stopped by, put it on your calendar. Live music, $1 off pints, food trucks and door prizes will highlight the weekend.  From a Wheat Ale to a Double IPA, there’s something for everyone.  Be sure to stop by and welcome Colorado’s newest brewery.  The fun starts at noon and runs until 9 PM on both days.  High Hops Brewery is located at: 6461 Hwy 392, Windsor, CO 80550.  970-674-2841.

Dry Dock Brewing is releasing Madagascar Vanilla Bean Pumpkin Ale for this week’s Firkin Friday.

Tapping’s will be held at 3 PM and 7 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Jellyman’s Deviation at Rockyard Brewing is called “Here’s Smoke In Your Eye”.

A hand pecan wood smoked german malt and rye ale.  Stop by at 4 PM for the tapping and order the special appetizer made specifically to pair with the beer.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109.  303-814-9273.

Saturday, October 20th, 2012.

The boys on the Colorado Craft Beer Show have a great show lined up for you on Saturday.

Upslope Brewing’s Alex Violette and Chad Peiper will be on the show and hopefully bringing some of their delicious pumpkin beer to share.  Justin Tilotta from Twisted Pine Brewing and Dave Cole from Utah’s Epic Brewing will also be on air.  Tune in and get the latest update on Epic’s plan to open a brewery in Denver next year.  The Colorado Craft Beer Show is on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM.

Copper Kettle Brewing Company is bringing back their Black IPA, which will get tapped on Saturday at noon.

This English Style Black IPA is really tasty and will hopefully stick around for a few months.  I think I need to make a little run over there and get some growlers filled.  Tapping at noon, with Little India food truck arriving at 5 PM.  CKBC is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Sunday, October 21st, 2012.

Arvada Beer is gearing up for their 1st Anniversary, coming up on October 27th, by releasing a new beer every day next week.

Here’s the full lineup:

  • 10/21 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Wit
  • 10/22 – Both White House Ales
  • 10/23 – Nitro Russian Imperial Stout
  • 10/24 – Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Aged Belgian IPA
  • 10/25 – Russian Imperial Stout
  • 10/26 – Batch 100 Wheat Wine
  • 10/27 – Syrah Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

I don’t know about you, but to me, these sound DELISH!!!  Three different Russian Imperial Stout’s! Wow, get your butt over to Arvada beer and check these out.  This all leads up to their Anniversary Part next Saturday, which will include an all ages Halloween costume contest and a live broadcast with the Colorado Craft Beer Show.  Can’t wait!  Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002.  303-467-2337.

Prost is getting into the Spirit of Halloween by hosting a pumpkin carving contest on Sunday.

$5 gets you a pumpkin and a chance to show off your pumpkin carving creativity.  Pumpkins will be on display and customers will get a chance to vote for their favorites.  The top three winners will be announced on Halloween and will receive either $25, $50 or $75 worth of credit at Prost.  The contest runs from noon – 8 PM on Sunday.  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.  303-729-1175.

Not a ton of events this week, but after last weekend, it’s probably safe to assume that our livers need some rest.  In the meantime, here’s a little tease for next month.

The All Colorado Beer Festival is right around the corner.  Look for a full post with all of the details in the near future.  Until then, mark it on the calendar for Saturday, November 3rd and I hope to see you there.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Cheers!


Pints in Pictures: Great American Beer Festival 2012

Another Great American Beer Festival has come and gone.  It was a weekend spent with old friends, meeting new ones and sampling beers from all over this great country.  Oskar Blues launched Dale’s Pale Ale in 19 oz. cans, I got to try a beer brewed with Rocky Mountain Oysters (tasty!) and local Colorado brewers took home 35 medals, including Small Brewing Company of the Year, which was awarded to Funkwerks out of Fort Collins.  Congrats to all the winners!

The awards ceremony was moved downstairs to the Wells Fargo Theatre, which allowed for more room in the main hall of the Convention Center.  In past years, it was nice to give attendees a chance to watch the presentation, but the extra space was a very welcome addition to the festival this year. I didn’t experience the cramped spaces or bottlenecks that I remember being a problem during past GABF’s.  The inevitable lines at popular breweries like Dogfish Head and Russian River were fast-moving and not an issue.  Things just seem to run very smoothly this time around.  I’ll drink to that. Oh wait, I already did.

It’s been such an amazing weekend.  Once again, Congratulations to all of the medal winners. Check out the full list of GABF Winners and see if your local brewery took home some hardware this weekend.

And without further ado, here’s a photo recap of GABF 2012.

It’s been an amazing weekend.  Hope everyone had a blast!

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz: GABF Edition 10/10/12

Where to go?  What to do?  I find myself asking the same questions every year during GABF.  You’ve basically got a year’s worth of great beer events crammed into one week.  So I’m going to give you my picks for some of the best events around town this week.  These are the ones that aren’t already sold out like the GABF and Rare Beer Tasting IV.

Pick a day, any day, and head over to Crooked Stave.  Just look at this menu and list of special tappings for this week.

Deliciouness abounds over there.  Stop by Crooked Stave: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012.

Take a side trip from all the buzz downtown and hit up Parry’s Pizza for their Great Divide Tap Takeover.

Apparently there’s been a Yeti sighting on the south side of town.  Be on the lookout for Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, the new Baby Yeti and more.  In addition to the family of furry beasts, they’ll be bringing out other big guns like Hercules and Hibernation.  The tapping starts at 11AM and runs all day.  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.

Firestone Walker has an amazing beer dinner lined up called The Lion, The Bear & The Brewmaster.

This will feature 4 of Firestone’s previous Anniversary beers and will also be the debut for this year’s Anniversary beer XVI.  Each beer is paired with a different course prepared by Chef Hosea Rosenberg.

Firestone Walker owners Adam Firestone and David Walker, along with brewmaster Matt Brynildson will be in attendance to discuss the beers and pairings between each course.  This is a rare chance for you to try all of these complex and impressive beers that will never be brewed again. Tickets are $75 / each and can be purchased HERE.  This event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at Denver’s Mile High Station: 2027 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204.

Thursday, October 11th, 2012.

Freshcraft’s tapping some beers from the very popular Cigar City Brewery out of Tampa, FL on Thursday at 3 PM.

Get your GABF warmed up with Cinnamon Apple IPA, Guava Grove Saison, Ligero Black Lager, Hotter Than Helles and the delicious Marshal Zhukov’s Russian Imperial Stout.  Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.

The first night of GABF wraps up with some great after parties.  The World Brewers Forum, sponsored by The Keg Ran Out Club (KROC), a local homebrew club, is entering its’ 18th year.

This year, they’ll have 3 guest speakers.  Mitch Steele, the brewmaster for Stone Brewing, along with Mark Irvin and John Bryant from the No-Li Brewhouse.  There will be more than 20 homebrews to sample, plus a carving station with roast beef and ham.  This is really a great chance to sit back, relax and catch your great after a busy opening night at GABF.  There will also be drawings for prizes and a silent auction featuring glassware, t-shirts, beer, gift cards and more.  I’ve never left empty-handed.

The event starts at 8PM and runs until Midnight.  Best of all, it’s FREE!, but please RSVP to: WBF@kroc.org  The WBF is being held at: Marriott City Center Hotel, 1701 California St, Denver, CO.

Oskar Blues is gearing up for a big party at the Blake Street Tavern called “It’s All About The Package”.

They’ve been pretty tight-lipped about this so far, but it sounds like this will commemorate the release of a new canned beer.  There will be music, giveaways and even transportation from the Convention Center between 9 – 11PM.  Be sure to print off a ticket HERE or have it ready to show on your phone at the door.  The Blake Street Tavern is located at: 2301 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205.

Thursday is barrel day over at Star Bar.

They’ll have New Belgium’s La Folie, Tart Lychee, Clutch and Kick.  Odell’s is bringing Shenanigans, Saboteur, The Meddler and Deconstruction.  Other breweries and beers will be announced as the event gets closer.  This fires up at noon.

Stop by later that night for some special one-offs from New Belgium’s Wood Cellar.  Look for Dunkel Apple, Funky Friends and more.  Live music starts at 9:30 PM.  Star Bar is located at: 2137 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.

Just a few blocks down on Blake Street, the Falling Rock Tap House is sure to be rockin’ all week-long.  On Thursday, stop by for the tapping of several beers from Sun King Brewery out of Indianapolis, IN.

Look for Osiris (Pale Ale), Cream Dream V (American IPA), Velvet Fog (Belgian Quad) and more to get tapped at 11PM.  Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.

Friday, October 12th, 2012.

Friday afternoon means the Annual Kill-A-Keg contest at Falling Rock at noon.  Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Ale will be racing through the tap lines as owner Chris Black tries to beat last year’s record of draining a keg in just over 9 minutes.  Stop by and help make this happen!

Hang out for lunch and wait for the Cigar City release at 3PM.  They were able to obtain Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown, Humidor IPA, Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout and more. These are some really nice beers that won’t last long, so get over and get yours.  Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.

Got hops?  Then get over to Rock Bottom for this year’s Alpha King Challenge!

This is an annual search for the best hop bomb out there.  Beers under 60 IBU’s need not apply. Stop by and check out the competition which runs from 1 to 4PM.  Rock Bottom Denver is located at: 1001 16th St #100, Denver, CO 80265.

The Rackhouse Pub is running a series of classes this year of Liquid Education that’s all about Beer.

One of the sessions that I’m pretty excited about features Andy Parker from Avery, Chad Yakobson from Crooked Stave and Troy Casey of AC Golden leading a class called Sours 101.  These 3 bad asses of funky brews will be discussing all that is barrel-aging, souring, blending and more.  They will also guide you through a tasting of sour beers from their breweries.  Any one of these brewers would be worth the price alone, but the Rackhouse has put all three together for what is sure to be a fun, informative and tasty event.  Tickets are available HERE.  The Rackhouse is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is opening their doors for a soft opening this Friday and Saturday from 1-10PM.

They’ll be pouring their 5 beers for $5 / pint and $1 / taster.  We met with owner Brandon Proff earlier this summer to get the low down on his new brewery and beers.  Check out the post HERE.  If you’re planning to attend the soft opening this weekend, and you should be, they ask that you please RSVP at this link: http://www.gabfweekend.omfmb.com/  Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.

For some late night, post-GABF action, head over to Freshcraft for their Oak Aged Extravaganza at 10PM.

They’ll be pouring Firestone Walker ’12 Parabola and Anniversary XIV, Odell ’11 Bourbon Barrel Stout, The Meddler and more!  Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.

Saturday, October 13th, 2012.

You’ve got a long day ahead of you on Saturday, so make sure you start out with a good breakfast. Head to The Cheeky Monk for Breakfast With The Bruery.

The popular Belgian Beer Bar has teamed up with Bruery owner Patrick Rue to bring you a variety of special beers paired with a delicious breakfast menu.  No advanced tickets required.  Breakfast starts at 8AM.  The Cheeky Monk is located at: 534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203.

There’s not one, but TWO new breweries opening this weekend.  Black Shirt Brewing is gearing up for their Grand Opening on Saturday.

The new Denver brewery, which will focus on a variety of Red Ales will open their doors on Saturday from 3 – 10PM.  We’ve been waiting a loooooooong time for this, so get over there and show them your support.

Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.

Saturday night, once the afternoon GABF session wraps up, I usually grab dinner, catch my breath, regroup and get ready for Dr. Bill’s Annual GABF Beer Tasting at Falling Rock.  Dr. Bill is the Beverage Coordinator for Stone Brewing and has one of the largest and most extensive beer cellars in the world.  He knows his stuff and can put on one hell of a party.

He takes over the Falling Rock basement each year after GABF to share some amazing beers with all the beer nerds in town.  Last year he brought some great stuff including Cantillon’s Lou Pepe Gueuze, The Bruery’s Black Tuesday, Three Floyd’s Dark Lord and so much more!  He’s back again this year and armed with 100 beers!  Come at 8PM when the corks start getting popped and the caps start flying.  Bring $40, a full stomach and a DD.  RSVP to: bill.sysak@stonebrew.com  Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.

So there’s my picks for a good weekend of wholesome beer fun.  I hope to see you all around town over the next few days.  This is my favorite weekend of the year and personally, I can’t wait to get out there and enjoy all that is GABF.  Have fun, be safe, try something new and please don’t drive.

Cheers!


Ten Breweries You Can’t Afford to Miss at GABF

Here we are, just a few short days away from the Great American Beer Festival and I’m as giddy as a little schoolgirl.  But whether you’re a seasoned veteran or this is your first time attending, the GABF can be a little overwhelming.  580 breweries pouring 2000+ beers will do that to you.  You’ve got to have some sort of plan of attack.

For me, I print out the GABF Map and mark the breweries that I’d kick myself if I were to miss.  The floor is divided up by regions of the U.S.  I can generally breeze through the Colorado breweries since I’ve either had or can easily get most of the beers pouring in that area.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t stop by and say hi to your favorite brewers.  It’s also worth nothing that some are planning on bringing some pretty special beers.  Avery Brewing will be pouring both Oud Floris and Odio Equum from their hard-to-find Barrel-Aged Series, while Crooked Stave is rumored to be bringing the super delicious and rare Persica.  I’d certainly recommend spending some time in the Mountain Region at the GABF, but for me, I’ll probably limit my time there and focus on breweries I don’t normally have easy access to.

So where do we begin?  Russian River, Lost Abbey / Port, Cigar City, Dogfish Head all seem like obvious choices, but there are some really interesting, smaller breweries that don’t distribute out this direction at all.  Jonathan Shikes wrote a great article in the Westword last week with his picks, many of which would have made my list as well.  Three Floyds, Bell’s and Cambridge are all top-notch breweries.  Check out the entire article HERE.  I’d like to add a couple more of my favorites for you to check out this weekend.

1. The Bruery, Placentia, CA.  Patrick Rue is brewing up an empire and a loyal following through his Reserve Society and awesome lineup of beers.  Whether it’s mouth-puckering sours or thick, inky stouts, you can’t go wrong.  While they do distribute a handful of beer to Colorado, quite a few never leave California.  Recommendations: Oude Tart, Black Tuesday.

2. Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN.  Upland makes quite a few quality beers, but their Lambics are not to be missed.  The bottles, which are sold online a few times a year, always sell out within minutes.  Recommendations: Any of their fruit Lambics, which range from Strawberry to Kiwi to Persimmon to Peach.

3. Surly Brewing, Brooklyn Center, MN.  Beer for a glass, from a can.  For the hop heads, they make two great ones, called Furious (IPA) and Abrasive (Double IPA).  They’ve also got a Coffee Brown called Coffee Bender that goes great with a brownie or doughnut.  Keep an eye out for any of their big, seasonals like Darkness (Russian Imperial Stout) or this year’s anniversary ale, SYX (Strong Ale). Recommendations: Anything.

4. Allagash Brewing, Portland, ME.  The little brewery from Maine makes some might fine Belgian-style beers.  As a sour fan, I’ll be looking for anything from their Coolship series.  If you lean towards the sweeter side, look for their Dubbel, Grand Cru or Quad.  Recommendations: From sweet to sour, you can’t go wrong.

5. Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC.  As the South catches up to the craft beer movement, Foothills has taken the lead with their big stouts and barrel-aged experimentation.  They produce solid beers across the board.  Recommendations: Seeing Double IPA, Sexual Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout.

6. Iron Hill Brewery, PA, NJ and DE.  This east coast brewpub, which has 10 locations in 3 states, always brings a huge beer selection to the GABF Floor.  From sweet to sour, light to dark, hoppy to malty, they’ve got something for everyone.  There’s a reason why they’ve won a GABF medal, every year, for the past 15 years.  Stop by they’re multiple tables and get ready to be impressed. Recommendations: With an ever-rotating beer menu, there’s no telling what they’ll be pouring this year.  But, they always have detailed descriptions of every beer and plenty of brewers around to answer your questions.

7. Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids, MI.  Where to begin?  I don’t remember ever seeing Founders at a previous GABF, so when I saw them on this year’s list, I got pretty excited.  These guys are famous for their KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), which is brewed with vanilla and coffee and aged in bourbon barrels.  In addition to their seasonal and specialty brews, they make an exceptional lineup of year-round beers.  Recommendations: Centennial IPA, Devil Dancer (Triple IPA), Cerise (Cherry Beer), Backwoods Bastard (Scotch Ale) or any of their Stouts (KBS, CBS, Breakfast Stout or Imperial Stout).

8. Shorts Brewing, Bellaire, MI.  I think I did enough preaching for Short’s earlier this week with my post about their limited release of 6-packs to Denver for the GABF.  Still, I want to make sure you’ve got them on your list.  They love to experiment and take chances, which makes for some very fun and unique brews.  Recommendation: Peaches & Creme and any of the other experimental brews they decide to bring with them.

9. Weyerbacher, Easton, PA.  Another east coast gem serving up a wide variety of beers, ranging from Belgian-Style Ales to American IPA’s.  Although their distribution range has steadily grown over the past few years, they still haven’t made it to our market.  Recommendations: Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Riserva Sour, Heresy Imperial Stout and Double Simcoe IPA.

10. Société Brewing, San Diego, CA.  Founded in 2012 by Travis Smith and Doug Constantiner, who met while working together at The Bruery.  They decided to join forces and open their own brewery this past June.  Since then, they’ve been releasing west-coast IPA’s, Belgian-Style Ales and a Russian Imperial Stout.  They’ve also got a spacious barrel room, with a variety of sour beers aging away. Recommendations: This brewery’s only been open for a few months and I haven’t had a chance to try them yet, but I’ve heard good things and would highly recommend stopping by their booth for a sample or two.

I hope this list helps introduce you to at least a couple new breweries this year at GABF.  Get out there, have fun and discover some new beers.  Feel free to e-mail me at brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com with any other suggestions you might have.  Hope to see you this weekend!

Cheers!