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Beer Festivals

We’ve Moved!!! Go To Brewtallyinsane.com And See What You’re Missing.

If you’re reading this, then you’re on our “old” site.  We’ve found a new home and relaunched our site.  Please update your bookmarks and point your browsers over to our new site, http://brewtallyinsane.com   Come on, what are you waiting for?

Cheers!

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Colorado Craft Beer Week Invades Falling Rock Tap House

We spoke with our friends at the Falling Rock Tap House during Strong Ale Fest last weekend and it sounds like they’re going to be hosting some phenomenal events for Colorado Craft Beer Week. Here’s a few teases from what looks to be an action-packed week over there on Blake St.  Better start planning your vacation days now.

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Howdy!  Just wanted to start the list of events we will be hosting for Colorado Craft Beer Week March 18 -24 2013.  These events are just the beginning, so keep checking back for updates!

Monday, March 18th – Kickoff Event

We are still working on the lineup for this event but the tap wall will be taken over (for the first time ever) by Colorado Breweries.  This is a ticketed event as each of the kegs is a 5 gallon pin from our Colorado brewers, but Chris has this link for you to follow to get your tickets which go on sale SATURDAY MARCH 2 at 10am:

http://cobeerweekopeningceremony.eventbrite.com

As more details, including the lineup, get ironed out we will update the website and send out Tweets. Right now we know for sure that some old friends and new breweries are going to join us, several having their beers poured here for the very first time.

Thursday, March 21st – Dogfish Head

We’re digging into the stash of DFH beers and a few recent arrivals to put together this list.  Chris and his assistant are excited to get some beers out of the cellar on this one, it makes room for more!

  • Burton Baton
  • My Antonia
  • Urkontinent
  • Black & Blue
  • Red & White
  • Namaste
  • Hellhound

Friday, March 22nd – Night of the Sours!!

Instead of devoting a night to one of these fine breweries we thought we would put together an amazing night of intense sour beers. Some are overly sour, some simply delightful and a few a bit tangy.  Totally worth it for any Sour-head.

  • New Belgium Clutch
  • New Belgium La Folie
  • New Belgium Ooh La La
  • Russian River Consecration
  • Russian River Sanctification
  • Russian River Supplication

Much More To Be Determined…

Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.


Big Beers Abound At The 11th Annual Avery Strong Ale Fest

The 11th Annual Strong Ale Fest has come and gone.  Our hosts at Avery Brewing had to reconfigure a bit in order to accommodate this years event.  As they continue to push their facility to the limits and fill every nook and cranny in their building with beer, they’re just flat-out running out of space.  Until their new facility is ready next year, they’ll just have to keep thinking of creative ways to make it work.  Thankfully, this past weekend, they still managed to find enough room for a few hundred of their closest beer lovin’ friends to sip, sample and share 100+ high ABV brews.

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The tasting room was slammed as usual, pouring the first 20 beers on the menu.  Samples from Allagash, Asher, Avery, Boulevard and others were ready and waiting for attendees as they walked through the door.
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The menu seems to get a little longer each year.  105 beers were on tap this time around and with only 16 tasting tickets, some tough decisions had to be made.

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The Barrel Room was reduced from a wall of roughly 40 taps, down to only 10.  Personally, I thought this was a great improvement, as it allowed for several tables and chairs to be placed in the barrel room and gave attendees additional space to spread out and talk.

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Side note – The barrel room was lined with barrels full of Uncle Jacob’s stout.  This is a phenomenal Imperial Stout that will hopefully be released again later this year.

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The back of the barrel room opened up to a pair of massive tents, where the remaining 75 beers were flowing.  Except for the BA Ten FIDY, which sadly, none of the staff or volunteers could coax out of the keg.  So close, yet so far…

In addition, there was a tent out front, next to the patio area, which seemed to be a well-kept secret during Friday’s session.  Plenty of tables, chairs and even a heater were inside to keep the crowd happy and allow for a little more room to spread out.

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As expected, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger was a hot commodity and the usual suspects were proudly pouring this highly coveted brew.  Gang signs and all.

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Everybody has their own take on live music, but we enjoyed it.  This little trio rocked it with their covers of Zeppelin, Neil Young, Phish, etc…

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With so many great beers on the menu, it’s a little silly to try to pick a “Best of Show” beer, but here are a few that really stood out for us.  Pizza Port’s Barrel Aged Knight Rider, is an Imperial Stout that spent 9 months in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels.  A great beer that we recently had during our trip to Pizza Port last month.  Pizza Port also impressed with their Poorman’s IPA.  Poorman’s took Gold last year at the World Beer Cup.

Avery’s Tweak is a coffee infused version of their 16% Mephistopheles Imperial Stout.  Formerly known as Meph Addict, this beer NEEDS to be bottled.  You hear me Adam Avery?  Bottle this beast. Pretty please???

We also really enjoyed Wynkoop’s Barleywine, known as The Chancellor.  It’s just a well made beer that could easily stand its’ ground against some of the top examples in the style.
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Although we didn’t attend on Saturday, we did catch a few bits and pieces from the Colorado Craft Beer Show and American Craft Beer Radio, both of whom were broadcasting live from the festival.  If you missed out, be sure to look for the podcasts, which should go up in a few days.

Strong Ale always makes our list of “must-do” beer fests and this year was a great time as always.  Hats off to the Avery Crew for another fantastic event and for all of the breweries for sharing their wonderful beers.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz: Strong Ale Fest & Birthday Edition 02/28/2013

Cold, snowy week here my friends.  The “Redneck Ruler” has been working overtime, trying to keep up with the foot of snow we got this week.

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Our team of “experts” flew in for a few days to revamp the website.  Those slackers got a good start, but we’re not ready to relaunch just yet.  It’s coming…

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Some of the last kegs of this year’s Pliny the Younger release are getting tapped tonight.

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Freshcraft will begin handing out tickets at 5:30 PM, with the tapping scheduled for 6 PM.  6 oz. pours will sell for $7.  Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-758-9608.

Over at The Cheeky Monk, they’ll tap their last keg at 6:30 PM.  $10 / glass.  The Cheeky Monk is located at: 534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203.  303-861-0347.

The Inaugural SUDS for SIDS Brew Fest is at Mile High Station in downtown Denver, CO.

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The event will raise money for Angel Eyes, which helps families cope with the sudden, unexpected death of an infant or toddler.  As the father of two, this is a very scary topic and one that isn’t recognized enough.  Parent or not, it’s a great cause.  The $40 ticket will allow you the opportunity to try a variety of beers, sample food from local restaurants and meet dancers from the Broncos and Nuggets.  Beer geeks can look for brews from more than a dozen breweries including Elevation, River North, Strange and Oskar Blues.  Mile High Station is located at: 2027 W Lower Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204.

Last night, Renegade and Wit’s End tapped their collaboration beer, called Judge Whoppner.  It’s an Imperial Brown Ale brewed with malted milk.  The initial 10 gallon batch is on tap at Renegade right now.  A second batch is set to be brewed soon over at Wit’s End for their tasting room.  Shikes has all the details in his recent Westword article.  In the meantime, head over to Renegade and give it a try.  Renegade Brewing is located at: 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204.  720-401-4089.

Aurora’s Cedar Creek Pub is a bit of a hidden gem out in.  Today, they’ll tap a keg of The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye.  It’s brewed with around 40% rye malt, then transferred to oak barrels where the sour yeast and bacteria work their magic.  This is a tasty, complex, moderately funky, seasonal brew from California’s The Bruery.

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I still need to make a trip to visit Cedar Creek Pub, but their beer tappings have just gotten better and better over the past few months and the food menu looks great too.  Stop by and give them a try.  Cedar Creek Pub is located at: 2100 N Ursula St, Aurora, CO 80045.  303-537-4124.

Up in Arvada, Yak & Yeti’s Head Brewer Adam Draeger, tapped a Toasted Coconut Porter yesterday and the (Yakety Yak) Don’t Talk Bock is getting rave reviews.  Here’s this week’s lineup.

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Draeger also said he brewed a large batch of a Belgian Dubbel that will be ready sometime towards the end of March.  The beer will be called “Brahmin Dubbel Knowledge” and features 25 pounds of homemade Belgian Candi Sugar.  Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002.  303-431-9000.

Crooked Stave has your sour fix.  They just tapped Sentience aged in a Leopold Bros Small Batch Whiskey Barrel.  This won’t last, so get to the barrel room today.  It’ll also be pouring at Strong Ale Fest, so you’ve got a couple of chances to try this amazing beer.

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Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday release will be a Citrus Saison.

Tapping at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Down at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s got a 15% ABV Eis’d Bier de Garde, called King Baudoin.

This Deviation is described as a “malt forward and chewy ale” that will “warm you like a thick down coat”.  Perfect for the cold, snowy days we’ve experienced lately.  This behemoth will tap at 4 PM. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

As for us, we’ll be at the 11th Annual Strong Ale Festival at Avery Brewing in Boulder.  You know how much we love the Avery Fests and this one is no exception.  This is THE place to be this weekend if you crave those big ass, roided up, 8+% ABV, monster brews.  I’ll be scoping out Russian River’s Pliny the Younger, Avery’s Tweak (coffee infused Mephistopheles) and whatever the hell Surly brings this year.  Maybe a little of your new barrel-aged Brett beer, Pentagram?  Yeah, that works.  And bring back Darkness you foolio’s!

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Strong Ale Fest sold out quick, so if you don’t already have tickets, well, you’re probably out of luck.  However, if you do have tickets, look for us Friday night.  The event continues on Saturday and features a live broadcast with the guys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show and American Craft Beer Radio.  More details below.  And if you just want to re-live last year’s fest and gaze over the menu, click HERE.  Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.

UPDATE: The 2013 Strong Ale Fest beer list is up for your drooling pleasure.  Start planning your weekend right HERE.

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Strong Ale Fest at Avery continues on Saturday from noon to 5 PM.  The Colorado Craft Beer Show and American Craft Beer Radio will kick things off out front beginning at noon.  Check them out on AM 760 and 102.3 FM respectively.  Be responsible people.  Book a hotel, call a cab, eat a big meal, drink a whole mess of water, have fun.

If you don’t have tickets for Strong Ale Fest, then get your butt over to Copper Kettle Brewing Company, for the release of their Barrel Aged Old Ale.

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

Don’t forget your German lesson with Bill Eye from Prost Brewing.

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Prost needs your help.  They’re looking to name their 4 fermenters.  They’ve got three 70 barrel tanks and one 80 barrel.  Send your entry to kevin@prostbrewing.com.  The winner will win a growler a month for one year!  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.  303-729-1175.

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Hops & Pie will tap their Pliny the Younger keg on Sunday.

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They’ll hand out 50 tickets when the doors open at 2 PM.  A ticket guarantees you a 10 oz. pour, so don’t be late.  The keg gets tapped at 4 PM and all tickets must be redeemed by 8 or you risk losing your share.  Pliny the Elder will also be on tap.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Your last chance for Pliny the Younger is coming up on Monday down at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs.

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Tickets will be available at 6 PM and the tapping will happen at 7 PM.  Don’t be one of those whiners who didn’t get their Younger this year.  Get out and get some.  Trinity Brewing is located at: 1466 Garden of the Gods Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.  719-634-0029.

Other Exciting Brew News

Some of Colorado’s lady brewers brewed a collaboration beer at Wynkoop earlier this week.  They joined forces to brew a Belgian Pale Ale that’ll debut during Colorado Craft Beer Week in March. Click on this link for a short video that aired on Fox31 a few days ago.  There’s also details on a contest they’re having to name the brew.  Winner gets FREE BEER!

Boulder’s Fate Brewing has been staying busy.  Business is good at the new brewpub and the brewhouse is almost completely installed.  Sales & Marketing Director Hannah Lloyd says they should be “brewing test batches by this weekend…fingers crossed”.

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Until then, be sure to stop by and check out some of their tasty collaboration brews.  Fate Brewing is located at: 1600 38th St, Boulder, CO 80301.

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew gave us a little tease this week.

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A new 3 BBL brew system is on the way and it looks like bottles are in the future as well.  Congrats to Brandon and the rest of the gang on this very exciting news!  Stop by and check them out if you haven’t already.  They just expanded their hours again to better serve the local beer freaks.  Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-722-2810.

Beer Hunters, take note that Firestone Walker’s §ucaba, a barrel-aged Barleywine and Stone’s Old Guardian Barleywine are making the rounds right now.  Stone also released an Oak-Smoked version of Old Guardian as part of their “Odd Beers for Odd Years” line of beers.  I can’t speak for the new Oak-Smoked, but the others are great both fresh and aged.  Get ’em while you can.

Utah’s Epic Brewing is opening a brewery, barrel room and tasting room right here in Denver. They’re just getting started over there, but plenty of exciting things are coming.

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As always, we’ll keep you posted with updates.  An April opening is expected.

Happy Birthday to us!

Brewtally Insane (that’s us) turns 1 this week!  Just wanted to say Thank You to all of our readers, brewers and amazing people who have supported us since we fired up this little site last year.  We really, really, really appreciate it.  I started this just as a way to keep some friends in the loop with all the local beer happenings and it’s taken off from there.  So Thank You!  Look for us at SUDS for SIDS at Mile High Station tomorrow and Strong Ale Fest at Avery Brewing on Friday. Say “hi”, have fun, be safe.

You guys rock!  Craft beer rules!

Cheers!


The Inaugural San Diego Winter Brew Fest

The team behind the annual Winter and Summer Brew Fests in Denver, known as RightOn Productions, has decided to take their beer, food and fun fests on the road.  Last weekend, they brought the Inaugural Winter Brew Fest to Broadway Pier in lovely San Diego, CA.

Lucky for us, we got invited to come out and cover the event.  Trust me, we didn’t need much convincing.  We LOVE a good brew fest and we love San Diego.  Yep, count us in!

The event was held at the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier, which is a modern, environmentally friendly Cruise ship terminal.  Port Pavilion is easily accessible by car, bus and train and offers scenic views of the USS Midway and San Diego Bay.

The San Diego beer scene is on fire right now, with more than 63 breweries in operation and 32 more in various stages of planning.  The San Diego beer scene is almost as exciting as the current Denver beer scene.  The inaugural festival gave us the opportunity to try beers from some of the local up and coming breweries such as Iron Fist and Manzanita, but we were just as excited to revisit old favorites from our friends at Mission and Ballast Point.

The food trucks parked outside along the bay were no joke either.  They had prepared beer-centric menus just for the brew-minded crowd.  We couldn’t get enough from the guys at Underdogs, who were serving up some mean sausage creations.  I went with the “Mac Daddy”, which was a Stone Porter Sausage, topped with macaroni and cheese and bacon.  Oh delish.  The cheese sauce on top was made with a Saison from Iron First Brewing.

Inside the pier, the crowd sipped on beer, nibbled on Cabot cheese and grooved to the sounds of local bands.  All in all, a great time and another well run festival from the RightOn crew.  No word yet on whether they plan to expand the event to include a San Diego Summer Brew Fest.  We can only hope.

Until next time, check out some of the sights from the San Diego Winter Brew Fest.

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To see more highlights from our San Diego adventure, visit the Beer Trippin’ portion of our site.

Cheers!


Warming Up At The Denver Winter Brew Fest

Well, here we are again, in the middle of our annual “Beer Fest Drought”.  Gone are the days of Summer, when it seemed like we had multiple brew fests every weekend.  Luckily, wedged between January’s Big Beers up in Vail and February’s Firkin Rendezvous down in Colorado Springs, we’ve got the Denver Brew Fest to help get us through these tough times.  The Denver Brew Fest is a semi-annual event, (the Winter Brew Fest is in January and the Summer Brew Fest falls in July), that takes place at the historic Mile High Station.

Mile High Station, which dates back to 1897, was previously occupied by Midwest Steel & Ironworks and at one point, was utilized to help construct ships for the U.S. Navy during WWII. The building has since been renovated and now serves as a popular spot for receptions, corporate events and private parties.  Its’ 2-story layout and unique architectural features, make it the perfect backdrop for a beer festival.

The Winter Brew Fest offers a VIP option, which allows attendees admittance 1-hour early.  All festival goers have unlimited access to more than 100 beers from more than 40 different breweries. In addition to a wide variety of Colorado breweries, there are also quite a few from out-of-state, including Firestone Walker, Stone, Boulevard and Green Flash.  Aside from the great selection of craft beer, the Denver Brew Fest has live music, a beer and cheese pairing, food trucks, photo booths and more.

This was our first time attending this festival and it’s clear these guys know how to run a great event.  A few hours into the night, some bottlenecks and long lines began to form at the more popular tables, but there was plenty of beer to be had and it didn’t seem to get in the way of anyone’s good time.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and took the opportunity to revisit some of our favorite breweries, while discovering a few new ones along the way.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Mark your calendars for the Summer Brew Fest, which is set for July 26th, 2013.  Tickets and full details can be found on the official website.

Cheers!


Going Big In Vail With Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines

I Love me a good beer fest and here in Colorado, there’s no shortage of good beer fests.  We’ve got plenty to choose from throughout the year.  But, it’s the Great Ones that keep me up at night.  The Great Ones that get me excited like a kid on Christmas morning.  The Great Ones that I’d jump on a flight to attend if I ever moved out-of-state.  (Gasp!)  The annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines in Vail is a Great Beer Fest.

Big Beers (or BBB or #Bigbeers for you twitterers / hash tag types), is a world-class event that educates beer lovers, brings us closer together with tastings and bottle shares and when all’s said and done, leaves us thirsting for more.  How the hell have I not been back to this event for the past 6 years!?!?  No clue, but I guarantee it won’t happen again.

On The Road Again

Our adventure began on Friday morning with a trip up old I-70.  No trip through the mountains is complete without a stop at Backcountry Brewery in Frisco.

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Within a few minutes of arriving, our group had secured spots at the bar and I had a glass of Old Beer Wagon Barleywine sitting in front of me, courtesy of Backcountry’s Head Brewer Alan Simons. The perfect beer to warm up with from the sub-freezing temperatures and blowing snow outside. We enjoyed lunch and I got my fill of Alan’s amazing Barleywine and hearty Breakfast Stout.

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Just as we were preparing to press on to Vail, Alan re-appeared and offered us a tour and the chance to check out Backcountry’s recent expansion.

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In addition to the new family of fermenters, Backcountry has a new bottling line that should be rolling out 6-packs down the mountain shortly.  Alan was kind enough to share some special treats with us like his GABF award-winning Imperial Saison, Imperial Saison w/ Brett and Tart SaiZin, which was aged in Zinfandel barrels.  Another great visit to Backcountry.  Their great beers and hospitality can’t be beat.  Be sure to pay Backcountry a visit on your next trip up that way.

Warming Up With A Bottle Share

We pressed on and in no time, found ourselves pulling into Vail.  We hadn’t even checked into our condo yet, when I realized Gary V from American Craft Beer Radio was trying to catch up with us for a beer.  With not much else planned for the day and bone chilling, sub-zero temperatures outside, we decided to coordinate a bottle share for the night.

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Nice photo bomb Gary!

We had a solid group of craft beer enthusiasts including Dave from Fermentedly Challenged, John from Backcountry Pizza, Lauren from Napa of Beer, plus several homebrewers and our host Gary from American Craft Beer Radio.  It was a lot of fun just to sit around, taste and share a variety of beers from Cigar City to Jester King.  Surly Five is such a tasty, barrel-aged Brett beer.  Three Floyds Dark Lord seems to show up at every tasting we attend and I can’t get enough of the rich, inky stout. And Cantillon continues to be my favorite Belgian Brewery.

We talked and tasted into the wee hours.  Thanks to everyone involved for a great time!

The Main Event

On Saturday, with no kids to wake me up at 5 AM, I managed to sleep in until all of 7 AM.  A quick check on the phone revealed a lovely temperature of -15 F.

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Yeah, -15 F is pretty special.  No reason to fight it.  We just got the gang together, got the fire going, started a pot of coffee and whipped up pancakes, sausage and eggs.  Who forgot the bacon???

Before I knew it, we were off to the Commercial Tasting Session.

Starting things off right with some Rochefort and Orval.

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Hair of the Dog!  Love me some Adam!  DSC_1041

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Brian and Great Divide had plenty of big beers, plus a special keg of Peach Grand Cru and a variety of cheeses to pair with their beers.DSC_1052

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Breckenridge Brewery brought out their big beers to share, including their Barrel-Aged Holidale.  DSC_1049

Jim, Kjell and Melissa from Rockyard Brewing brought a bunch of small batch, big brews, along with their collaborative Buddha Nuvo to share.DSC_1055

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Look for Strange Brewing to bottle their award-winning, Dr. Strangelove Barleywine in the coming weeks.  This will only be available at the brewery in very limited quantities, so don’t miss out.  DSC_1057

Danny from CAUTION: Brewing showing off his newest growler design.  Emperor’s Royal Guard Red for those keeping score at home.  DSC_1032

Crooked Stave brought pretty much everything, including the kitchen sink!  DSC_1061

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Awesome as always.  Thanks guys!  DSC_0002

I finally had the opportunity to sample the variety of sours from Colorado’s Three Barrel Brewing. They are hoping to get bombers into the Denver market later this year.  I really enjoyed all of their beers and if you’re a sour fan, I’d definitely keep an eye on them.
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Dry Dock Head Brewer Doug Hyndman was happy to share some Bligh’s Barleywine.
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Sam Adams 10th Anniversary of Utopias was flowing during the fest.  At nearly $200 / bottle, it was probably my last chance to try this big, rich and tasty beer.  DSC_0015

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Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione was almost as excited as we were when Bell’s “lost shipment of beer” showed up to the tasting.  DSC_0034

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Xandy from Elevation was pouring Apis IV, plus their next two beers, Oil Man and Señorita.  You won’t want to miss these upcoming bottle releases.
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Goose Island had plenty to choose from, including Bourbon County Brand Stout and Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.DSC_0086

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Keep an eye out for Roadhouse Brewing from Jackson Hole, WY.  They won’t open until later this Spring, but already have a tasty IPA, Saison and Belgian Strong Ale.  DSC_0112

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Brewtally Best of Show

With so many amazing beers, covering a wide variety of styles, it was nearly impossible to narrow down a favorite.  But here are three that stuck with me.

Big Beer: Bell’s Brewery – Raspberry Wild One.  With the ridiculous amount of stellar beers pouring, I could easily list 10 as my “Favorite Big Beer”, but I’ve done my best and narrowed it down to this one.  The Wild One.  The tartness, mixed with the sweet fruit, was what made me enjoy this one so much.  It’s got complexity and depth with the oak presence, acidity and sour notes. Raspberry Wild One was just a great beer that really stuck out in my mind from the weekend.  Great job Bell’s!

Belgian: Brasserie d’Orval – Orval.  This is the Trappist that goes against the grain.  While the other Trappist monasteries brew some of the finest Dubbels and Quads around, Orval takes a different approach with their dry, slightly hoppy and funky Brettanomyces brewed beer.  I could drink Orval all day.  Drink it fresh for the hops, or age it for a little more Bretty funk.  Orval is a delicious beer and the only one the brewery puts into bottles.

Barleywine: Strange Brewing – Dr. Strangelove.  This is an American Barleywine with tons of sweet, caramel malt, balanced by a generous does of hops.  Head Brewer Tim Myers, said he hopes to bottle Dr. Strangelove later this month and sell bottles at the brewery shortly thereafter.  Job well done.  Beer hunters, snag some if you can.

With 200+ beers pouring this past weekend, it’s downright unfair to pick just 3, so here are a few others that definitely deserve a mention: Wynkoop – The Chancellor Barleywine, AC Golden – Peach Sour, Mission Brewing – Double IPA, Hair of the Dog – Adam, Three Barrel – Penitente Chimayo, Surly – Abrasive, Rockyard – Buddha Nuvo, Trappistes Rochefort – 10, Renegade – Black Gold (Peanut Butter Cup Stout), Oskar Blues / Ska – OSKAr the G’Rauch, Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Elevation – Oil Man Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Boston Beer Company – Utopias 10th Anniversary, Crooked Stave – L’Brett d’Or, Backcountry – Imperial Saison with Brett, Grimm Brothers – Wee Heavy Bourbon Barrel Brett and on and on and on.  As you can see, the list was phenomenal!

Here’s some links to last week’s radio shows, both of which were live from Vail:

Colorado Craft Beer Show

American Craft Beer Radio

Vail Big Beers gives beer lovers a rare chance to sample some of the finest beers on the planet AND talk to the brewers that create them.  Such a great weekend and a BIG Thank You to all involved.  We can’t wait to go back next year.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz: Vail Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Edition 01/10/2013

It’s been a good week here in Colorado.  I was able to attend a fun little bottle share last weekend with some local craft beer lovers.  It was a great group of people and the tasting featured everything from Cigar City Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu to Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise to Hill Farmstead Anna.  A few of us collaborated on a Czar vertical from ’05 to ’12.  I like to call it the Czar Voltron.

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It’s tough to beat a good bottle share and it was great to see the dedication and generosity of the local beer geek community.

Last Friday, Epic Brewing of Utah, announced their plans to open a brewery, barrel room and tasting room in Denver this Spring.  All the details can be found in the Press Release.

Also last week, I had the opportunity to review Elevation Beer Co’s Downpour Imperial Red Ale and try Odell’s Lugene Milk Chocolate Stout (review coming soon!).

But enough about last week, there’s a new weekend right around the corner and we are READY!  The 13th Annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival hits Vail over the next few days.  After a long hiatus, we’re excited to be heading back up the mountain for this amazing festival.  Anybody else headed up that way?  Wait.  Let’s back up, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Deep breath.  Alrighty, here we go!

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Colorado gets a new brewery today!  Over in Boulder, J Wells Brewery will pour their first beers at 1 PM.

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Stop by and check out the new place and try one of the three beers on tap: Jamie’s Pale Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout and Hop Haze IPA.  J Wells Brewery is located at: 2516 49th St., Boulder, CO 80301.

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Get your firkin fill over at Dry Dock Brewing with Firkin Friday.

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This week’s tapping is Turncoat Amber.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Down at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s releasing Darth Cherry for this week’s Deviation.

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Darth Cherry is a Dark Cherry Stout.  Stop by for the 4 PM tapping.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Verboten Brewing will open their doors for the first time on Friday.

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This new brewery up in Loveland will be open from 3 – 9 PM on Friday and 1 – 9 PM on Saturday.  For opening day, they’ll be pouring: Belgian Wit w/ Lemongrass, IPA and Caramel Porter on both nitro and CO2.  Verboten Brewing is located at: 1550 Taurus Ct, Loveland, CO 80537.  970-988-6333.

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Vail is THE place to be this weekend with the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines (BBB) festival going on Thursday, Friday & Saturday at the Cascade Lodge.  Although the festival kicks off on Thursday with the Brewmasters’ Dinner (with Avery and Dogfish Head), continues Friday with a homebrew competition, Cicerone exam and another Brewmaster’s Dinner (with Dry Dock Brewing), the real fun is the seminars and commercial tasting on Saturday.  Although no official list of beers has been released, there should be more than 200 beers pouring from some of the best breweries in the world.

The Commercial Tasting runs from 2:30 – 6 PM, with seminars beginning as early as 10 AM. Unfortunately, the tasting sold out earlier this week, but tickets to a few of the seminars are still available.  A complete schedule of events can be found HERE.

Both the Colorado Craft Beer Show and American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from BBB on Saturday.  Be sure to stop by and show your support for these great shows.  They’re doing a great job of spreading the word of craft beer.  If you’re not heading up to Vail, pour yourself a beer and tune in to see what you’re missing.  Colorado Craft Beer Show will air on AM760 after the CU game, around 2:30 PM and run until 5 PM.  American Craft Beer Radio will air on 102.3 FM at 2 PM.

Broncos fans should know that the BBB directors are trying to figure out a way to broadcast the game inside during the tasting.  No promises, but they’re working on it.

Into The Future

Looking towards next weekend, Denver Beer Co. is hosting an Inaugural Beer Dinner in their new Barrel Room on Friday, January 18th.  This will be your very first chance to see the newly completed barrel room and expansion.

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The $60 ticket includes dinner and a chance to try some of Denver Beer Co’s first barrel aged brews. Denver Beer Co. is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-433-2739.

Also coming up on Sunday, January 27th, is a benefit at The Rackhouse Pub to raise money for Strange Brewing’s legal defense fund.  The whole Strange vs. Strange has gotten a little out of control and the Colorado Craft Beer community is rallying behind our Strange Brewing to help them through this tough time.  So far, two dozen local breweries have generously donated beer for this event, which runs from 3 – 6 PM on 1/27.  Tickets are only available online for $25 and can be purchased HERE.  The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  720-570-7824.

That’s it for this weekend guys!  If you’re driving from the Denver-area up to Vail, be safe.  Snow is on the way.

See you soon!

Cheers!


Miracles Happen At The Denver Only Beer Festivus!

We had the opportunity to attend the Denver Only Beer Festivus last Saturday.  This is a new (and hopefully recurring) beer festival that was presented by Denver Off The Wagon and Imbibe Denver. The event was held at the recently renovated McNichols Building at Civic Center Park in Denver and featured ONLY Denver breweries (all 18 of them!).  Despite having sold out weeks ago, the inaugural Festivus had no lines, great beer, a DJ and dance area, plenty of room to move about and brewers working their booths and supporting their craft beers.  At one point, my wife whispered in my ear “This might be my new favorite beer festival”.  It was truly a Festivus Miracle!

TRVE Brewing just keeps getting better and better.  Owner / Brewer Nick Nunns was pouring Diotima, a Smoked Tea Saison and Stout O))), a thick and roasty American Stout.  Stop by the brewery and give these brews a try if you haven’t already.  Stout O))) was one of my favorite beers of the night.  It’s a hearty brew and perfect for those cold winter nights that lie ahead.

Crooked Stave brought the funk and crushed it as usual.  No shocker there.  Amazing brews.

There was a Yeti sighting at the Great Divide table.  They brought Oak-Aged Yeti, Titan IPA, Hibernation Ale and their upcoming Belgian Tripel called Orabelle.  Keep an eye out for Orabelle in 12oz. bottles sometime in January.

Prost is awesome, but you already knew that.

Strange Brewing always brings a great lineup and the Festivus was no exception.  Head Brewer Tim Myers brought his “Beers Made By Walking” release called Eldorado Juniper Bel-Jin Dark, along with the very tasty Pumpkin Porter and Le Bruit du Diable Farmhouse Ale.

I geek’d out for a good 20 minutes at the River North Brewery table.  They brought some big and impressive beers for all the geeks in the house.  They were pouring a barrel-aged version of Avarice (Belgian-style Imperial Stout), along with Quandary (Quadrupel) and Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle (Belgian-style Double IPA).  Awesome stuff.

The standout of the night for me was Black Shirt Brewing and their Imperial Red Rye IPA.  This a hop heads wet dream.  Man, I was blown away by this beer with its’ full and complex flavor profile.  I also tried their Saison and Red Ale, both of which were really tasty.  There was reportedly a keg of Red Hubbard Squash Saison, but it was so popular that they ran out before I got a pour.

Black Shirt Brewing Co-Owner Branden Miller has been really helpful with providing information and answering questions for the blog and it was nice to finally meet and taste his beers.  Guys, I’m excited about this one.  Black Shirt Brewing looks to be the real deal.  Miller said that going forward, they plan to open every Saturday, so check the Weekend Beer Buzz for updates on what they’ll be pouring in the Tap Room.

And that’s just a few of the many great breweries that were in attendance at the Festivus.  Don’t forget Our Mutual Friend, CAUTION, Denver Beer Co., Wynkoop, Wit’s End, Renegade and on and on! Denver is lucky to have so many great, young brewers that are crafting some awesome beers these days. It’s really impressive to see so many high quality beers coming out of places that are so new to the brewing community.  I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in 5 years.

So that’s just a quick recap on the Festivus scene and the many great beers that were flowing. Again, awesome, awesome time.  Thanks again to Denver Off The Wagon and Imbibe Denver for hosting a great event.  Now, on to the pictures.

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Cheers!


Stone’s Vertical Epic Series Culminates At Falling Rock On 12.12.12

12.12.12.  It just sounds Epic.  It’s big and bad and has a lot of 12’s.  Well, it’s HERE!  12.12.12. is tomorrow!  No, it’s not the end of the world, that’s next week.  12.12.12 marks the end of an era. The end of the Stone Vertical Epic Series.  You know, the one that started way back in 02.02.02 when Stone decided to put 300 or so cases out and kick off a decade long journey exploring a variety of beer styles along the way.

The idea was simple.  Stone would release one beer per year in the series, each release coming 1 day, 1 month and 1 year after the previous release.  Beer nerds would buy a bottle and cellar it until 12.12.12, when the whole collection was meant to be tasted together.  Very cool concept. It’s been something I’ve been looking forward to trying for years, picking up the many releases along the way.

Collecting the entire set turned out to be more than a little difficult.  I’ve actually tracked down all but the elusive 02.02.02 and I’m ok with that.  For one, 02.02.02 is a Witbier, which is typically not a style of beer that ages very well.  For another, it comes with a hefty price tag.  In the past few years, bottles have popped up on various online sites for $500+.  Think of all the amazing beer you can buy with $500 and then compare it to one bottle of a 10-year-old Witbier.  A little hard to pull the trigger don’t ya think?

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With the craft beer explosion that has occurred over the past few years, it’s a safe bet that a lot of craft beer enthusiasts don’t have the earlier releases.  If you find yourself in this boat, but still want to try the series, Falling Rock Tap House in Denver is here to help.

On Wednesday, 12.12.12, Falling Rock will have Stone Rep Chris Cantrell in the house and they’ll be tapping the entire lineup, except for 02.02.02.  I told you that was one elusive little bastard… Flights of 03.03.03 through 12.12.12 will be available beginning at 1:12 PM for $25.

Or for you high society types, Falling Rock will have a VIP option, with the same beers flowing, but paired with 5 appetizers, beginning at 6 PM.  In addition to the Epic Series, they’ll also have 3 barrel-aged variants available for VIP attendees.  Both events are ticketed ($25 for the flight, $60 with the appetizers) and expected to sell out.

Don’t miss out on this truly once in a lifetime event.  Stop by and get your tickets before they’re gone. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

And if you go, be sure to let me know what you think of the beers.  I’ve got a group tasting planned which unfortunately won’t happen until later this month or next.  That is unless, the end of the world really happens on 12.21.12…  Hmm, might have to reschedule that tasting.

Cheers!