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Weekend Beer Buzz 03/14/2013

Colorado Craft Beer Week is nearly upon us.  You know what the Dr says.

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I like Beer.  You like Beer.  Drink often, drink well.  Who’s got what on tap, when and where?  I’m on it.

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Black Shirt Brewing’s been teasing some big news on their Facebook page this week.  They’re busy for sure and I can’t wait to share the news with you guys.  Hopefully next week.  In the meantime, here’s this week’s setlist.

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Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-993-2799.

Former Future Brewing Company is releasing tickets today for their first ever tasting event, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th.

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The link to score FREE tickets will go up on their Facebook Page at 2 PM.  There’s only 50 tickets available, split between two timed sessions.  Don’t delay.

Boulder’s Upslope Brewing will re-release their Belgian Style Pale Ale at the brewery on Thursday.

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You want fresh?  You got it.  From 5 – 7 PM, you’ll be able to walk right up to the canning line and grab a freshly filled can before the lid is sealed on top.  How cool is that?!?!  6-packs will also be available to-go.  Beer hunters watch for this one to hit your local retailers over the next few weeks. Upslope Brewing is located at: 1501 Lee Hill Rd #20, Boulder, CO 80304.

World of Beer opened in Denver yesterday.

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500+ beers from around the world, plus 50 taps.  It’s good to have options.  And a cab.  We stopped by and were blown away by the selection.  Top notch beers and a very knowledgable staff.  Good times for sure.  They don’t offer food, but you can bring your own or order from nearby restaurants. We’re working on a feature story which will hopefully be up soon.  Until then, stop by and see what they’re all about.  World of Beer is located at: 660 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80246.

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Aurora’s Dry Dock Brewing will tap a firkin of Flyin’ High Rye on Friday.  This is a dry-hopped Rye Ale.

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

Rockyard Brewing’s very own Jellyman is getting in the spirit of the upcoming Funk’n Wild event (details below), by releasing “…Deviate From The Norm”.  This is a 5% ABV “light ale fermented with Brettanomyces yeast”.

Nerds, you catch that Rush reference?  Old School Rush.  Eat it up.  “Everybody needs a mood lifter.” Tapping at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Up at Yak & Yeti in Arvada, they tapped a Chocolate Frosting Stout, which was brewed with vanilla, almond and lactose.  This is the newest release in the “Haunted Series”.  Here’s the rest of the lineup.

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Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002.  303-431-9000.

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

There’s fun(k) to be had at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids on Saturday.  Funk’n Wild is back for another round of frightfully funky, sickeningly sour and wickedly wild ales.

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This time around, AC Golden’s Troy Casey will be the guest of honor.  Troy just got back from Belgium and will surely have some great stories and experiences to share.  He’s a brilliant brewer and has been hatching secret brews in the bowels of MillerCoors for the past few years.  We recognized his Apricot in our Best of 2012 article.  Stop by and stir the ongoing “Crafty vs. Craft” debate, while enjoying some funk’n wild brews in the process.  The fun begins at 1 PM.  Oskar Blues HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503.

The boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be posted up at Hops & Pie for this month’s Littlest Big Beer Festival.  This time, the LBBF is featuring all Barrel-Aged beers.  Quick story, Hops & Pie got ahold of 5 first run, Makers Mark barrels, then hand-picked 5 different local breweries to each receive one barrel.  This all went down last September.  Each brewery then filled their barrel with a secret brew and stashed it away.  Flash forward to this weekend and now these new brews are ready for you.  The Odell Mountain Standard & Lugene Blend just sounds stupid good.  All 5 beers will be tapped at noon.

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While you’re there, enjoy the Colorado Craft Beer Show from noon – 2 PM on AM760.  If you can’t make it, be sure to tune in and see what you’re missing while getting your weekly dose of craft beer news.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Tickets!  Get your tickets!

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Dark Lord Day is coming, you fervent little freaks.  Sunday’s the day to get tickets to the release party, which is scheduled for April 27th at Three Floyds Brewing in Munster, IN.  Better skip those St. Patrick’s Day frat parties or you’ll be left behind with nothing to show for it other than a bad hangover and a reminder of why green beer is still lame.  Click HERE and cross your fingers on Sunday or the Dark Lord will eat your soul!  He’s hungry, so don’t test him.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Most Monday’s suck.  It’s a fact.  So says Garfield and Angry Cat.  Then again, Angry Cat doesn’t like anything, so screw that little ball of hate.

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Well buckle up, because this Monday’s going to be good.  In fact, it’ll be great.  “Why”, you ask? Thanks for asking.  Because Colorado Craft Beer Week begins on Monday and Falling Rock Tap House is the place to be for the big kickoff.

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I repeat, Falling Rock Tap House is THE place to be on Monday.  So quit your whining and head over to view the glorious sight of 80 different Colorado breweries pouring under one roof.  Yeah people, this is BIG!  (That’s what she said!)  $45 gets you in.  The fun starts at 7 PM (not 6 PM, like you may have heard elsewhere) and runs until 11 PM.  You can buy tickets right here.  You need to go.  It’s your civic duty.  Make it happen.  Tell the King I sent you.

But don’t tell the King I’m showing you this list.  It’s Über secret and we’re the only blog on the street brave enough to have hijacked his keg list.  Check out the list of breweries and a few of the beers that’ll be on hand.

Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout
Backcountry Brewery
Big Choice Brewing
Black Bottle
Bonfire Brewing
Bootstrap
Boulder Brewing Champagne Mojo
Bristol English Old Ale
Bull and Bush
Carver Oatmeal Pale Ale
Caution Brewing
City Star Brewing
Colorado Cider Company
Crabtree
Copper Kettle
Crazy Mountain
Crooked Stave Assorted Goodness including L’Brett D’or
Denver Beer Company
Dry Dock
Echo
Elevation Oil Man
Equinox
Ft. Collins
Funkwerks Deceit
Great Divide
Grimm Brothers
Hall Brewing Company
Hogs Head on CASK!
Left Hand Brewing on CASK!
Lone Tree Brewing
New Belgium
Odell Brewing Wooden Sidecar Oakaged Myrcenary
Oskar Blues
Pagosa Brewing
Prost
Redstone Meadery
Renegade
River North
Ska
Strange Cherry Kriek
Telluride Brewing
Tivoli
Tommyknocker
Upslope Foreign Export Stout
West Flanders
Wynkoop Ellegance, the Women’s Collaborative Brew

Say what?!?!  You’re telling me there’s still a keg of Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout still out there?  That amazing beer alone is worth the price of admission.  Again, get your tickets HERE and ring in CO Craft Beer Week like one bad little monkey.

The admission price will get you your fill of any of the beers being poured.  No limit or tickets, but please be responsible and don’t ruin it for everyone else.  Cookies from The Cookie Brewer will be on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.

Into the Future…

As for the rest of the week, I’m not going to list every single event going on during CO Craft Beer Week.  If I did, I wouldn’t have time to get out and enjoy the fun myself.  But, keep your browser pointed HERE for a list of what to drink and do next week.  There are plenty of chances to get out and toast our amazing breweries and craft beer scene.  Check with your local breweries to see what they’ve got planned.  We’ll have more events listed on our Facebook Page and in the next Weekend Beer Buzz.  Stay tuned.

And last, but not least, Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch will be releasing a small amount of delicious bombers from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing on Thursday, March 28th at 6 PM.

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I don’t need to tell you how big this is.  Parry’s is the only place in the state where you’ll be able to find Cigar City (aside from some random beer nerds cellar) and these beauties surely won’t last long. We’ll see if we can finagle some more details before the event gets here.  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.

That’s it for now.  70 degrees this weekend.  Go, see, do, drink, repeat.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 12/13/2012

Howdy Beer Freaks!  How was 12.12.12?  I spent the night in a haunted hotel drinking spooky beers. Anybody have any tasting stories or notes to share about the Stone Vertical Epic series?  Falling Rock Tap House held a 03.03.03 through 12.12.12 tasting.  I’m holding my tasting later this month or early next month.  I’m really curious to see how these have held up.  Drop us a note on our Facebook page to share your experience.

Quick update this weekend.

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora has a Cocoa-Weizen planned for this week’s Firkin Friday release.

First batch hits at 3 PM, followed by another batch at 7 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Down in Castle Rock, Jellyman’s releasing a Deviation called “Parli-Funki-Fication”.

Copper in color, spicy and fruity in the nose, with a malt forward, tangy farmyard funkiness.  They’ll be givin’ up the funk at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Denver Off The Wagon and Imbibe have joined forces to bring us the Denver Only Beer Festivus on Saturday.

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19 Denver Breweries, local vendors, food trucks and live music.  This should be a blast. Unfortunately, it sold out quickly.  It was announced during GABF in mid-October and tickets were gone by early November.  We’ll be there and hope to see you there too.  The Festivus is being held at the recently renovated McNichol’s Building in Civic Center Park at 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO. The fun runs from 2 PM – 6 PM, with an after party featuring Great Divide at 6:30 PM.  More details on the Festivus and After Party can be found HERE.

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Copper Kettle Brewing Company in Denver is hosting “Pints and Painting” on Sunday from 2 PM – 5 PM.

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My wife “dragged” me to some sort of “Canvas and Cocktails” deal a few weeks ago and I gotta admit, it was a a lot of fun.  The beer sucked, I actually drank wine.  Gasp!  Copper Kettle on the other hand, has awesome beer.  So I can only imagine how much fun this is going to be.

Let your creative side shine as you’re walked through step-by-step instructions on how to create your own masterpiece of the chosen painting for the night.  I’m telling you guys, the ladies love it and it’s actually a lot of fun.  Not to mention, it’s at a brewery!  What more could you ask for?

Reservations are $35, which includes all materials, instruction and your first beer.  Click HERE for more details.  Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

That’s it for this round.  Have fun this weekend.

Oh, and if you’re out beer huntin’ this weekend, Westvleteren probably came and went by the time you read this.  Buy yourself some St. Bernardus Abt 12 and close your eyes.  You’ll never know the difference.

But, AC Golden’s Ctayt, barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout is hitting shelves right now.  This GABF medal-winner is limited to 1344 bottles.

Check the latest round of New Beers and Beer News for more new brews to watch for.

Good luck beer hunters.  And Be Nice to each other!  No chinese finger traps, feces throwin’ monkeys, tazers or anything like that.  It’s only beer people!  Great beer, but it’s still only beer.

Cheers!


New Beers and Beer News 12/10/2012

Beer News!  Beer News!  Get Yer Beer News Here!  We’ve got a million-and-one things to talk about in the beer world and there’s no time to lose.  In fact, this monster update is sooo big, I’m cutting this sucker in half.  So here’s part 1.  Ready, Set, Go!

New Beers

First up, we’ve got lots of new brews and brew labels to talk about.

Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora just released Bligh’s Barleywine.  Daddy snagged one Sunday morning during the release at the Brewery.  I briefly spoke with one of their in-house distributors and he said bottles will begin hitting local stores on Monday.

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Such a great beer.  We popped a ’11 at the release and it’s drinking nicely as well.  Although, I think I prefer it fresh.  Just my opinion.  Either way, get some.  It’s tasty.  This is going for $20 / 22oz. this year.

Renegade Brewing in Denver is hooking up with the Mobile Canning Unit again to bring you the very bestest, freshest and tastiest of canned goodness.  Their Ryetous IPA hit cans earlier this year and has done so well, they’ve decided to introduce Elevation Triple IPA and 5:00 Afternoon Ale in cans as well.

The 11% ABV, 100 IBU, Elevation Triple IPA is a hopheads delight, while 5:00 Afternoon Ale is a 5% ABV blond, session-ale.  Look for these to hit local stores in the very near future.

AC Golden is gearing up to release Ctayt, their Russian Imperial Stout that took a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival this year.  This bad boy spent over a year in Stranahan’s Whiskey Barrels before it was put into bottles.

ctayt

Look for 750 mL’s to hit a few select stores around the Denver area later this month.  This won’t last long, so get out and grab one when it hits.

Out of Poncha Springs, Elevation Beer Company has not 1, not 2, but 3! great beers lined up to release in the upcoming winter months.  Downpour, an Imperial Red Ale should be out any day now.

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Hop Heads will want to grab one of these for the hops, grapefruit and pine notes that dominate this one.

Elevation also has an Imperial Stout lined up to release later this month, called Oil Man, an 11% ABV brew that was aged in Bourbon Barrels from Breckenridge Distilling.  Elevation Co-Founder Xandy Bustamante said they’ll be “blending Oil Man next week so it should be out in time for Christmas”.

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This one has hints of coffee, chocolate and bourbon throughout and will be just what you’ll want after a day on the slopes.  Or after snowball fights and making snowmen, for the baby daddy’s out there.

Looking into next year, Elevation plans to release Señorita, a Horchata Imperial Porter.  I’ve only been able to try a handful of beers from Elevation, but the Apis IV Quad quickly became one of my favorite beers of 2012 and these guys know how to make great beer.  I feel confident telling you these should be on your radar.  All of these beers will be released in bottles throughout the Denver area.

Up in Fort Collins, Odell Brewing also has something crafty up their sleeves.  They’ll be releasing Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout on January 6th at the brewery and featuring it at the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival in Vail on January 12th.

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This will be released in their 10 state distribution range in 4-packs.

Also, keep an eye out in the coming months for Amuste, a Wine Barrel Aged Imperial Porter.

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Amuste is brewed with Colorado Tempranillo grapes and will debut in 750mL bottles next year.  This has my interests…  Hmm, grapes and wine barrels for a porter.  Yeah, I’ll be looking to track one down.

While we’re talking about our friends up in the Fort, New Belgium should be releasing my favorite beer from their Lips of Faith series before too much longer.  Their 2013 La Folie should hit stores during the first part of next year.

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Keep your eyes out.  Sour heads stock up!  Mr. and Mrs. Insane really love this one.

Speaking of sours, Crooked Stave is working on bottling several of their beers this week.  Some are exclusive to Cellar Reserve members, while others will be available for sale in the tap room.  L’Brett d’Or was bottled this morning!

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L’Brett d’Or is a 100% Brettanomyces fermented, dry-hopped, golden sour that was aged for 18 months in french oak barrels with Lacto and Pedio.  I love, love, love this beer.  375mL bottles will retail for $11.

Great Divide Brewing also has two new seasonals ready to roll in 2013.  Look for HeyDay, a Belgian-style White Ale and Orabelle, a Belgian-style Tripel.

Both should hit in 6-packs during the first quarter of 2013.  They’ll be replacing Samurai and Wild Raspberry Ale.

That’s it for now.  Lots and lots and lots of great stuff.  Some for now, some for later.  Stay tuned for Part 2, later this week.  Happy hunting friends!

Cheers!


A Brewer, A Blogger and A Beer at Dry Dock Brewing. Part 2 – The Future.

A brewer, a blogger and a bottle of 6-year old Dry Dock Framboise.  Where could this be headed? Well, when the brewer is Kevin DeLange, founder and owner of Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO, good things are bound to happen.  Join us as we talk brews, brewers and breweries and share some tasty brews along the way. (That’s a lot of brew talk and that’s how I like it!)  In Part 1, we discussed Dry Dock’s Past and Present, going all the way back to their opening in 2005 and working up to the release of Bligh’s Barleywine later this year.  In Part 2, we’ll discuss the Future of Dry Dock Brewing into 2013 and beyond.  Grab a beer, err brew and join us!

Going Big, Staying Local.

Looking back over the past 7 years, a move, multiple expansions and two brew systems later, Dry Dock Brewing has reached capacity at their current location at the intersection of Hampden and Chambers in Aurora, CO.  Head Brewer Doug Hyndman and his team of brewers are currently working around the clock just to keep the tap lines flowing in the Tasting Room.  Owners Kevin and Michelle DeLange knew something had to be done if they were going to meet the ever-growing demand for their beer.

Rather than pick up the brewery and move, they made the decision to add a Production Facility to supplement their current 7 BBL operation in the Tasting Room.  Kevin DeLange said they wanted to keep the brewery local, so this past Summer, they purchased a 30,000 square foot location near I-70 and Tower Road to call home for the new Production Facility.

The additional location will be equipped with a larger brew system and a more efficient bottling line to expand their current lineup of 22oz. bombers.  The 40 BBL (1 BBL = 31 gallons) brewhouse, scheduled for delivery during the week of Thanksgiving, will greatly reduce the pressure currently being put on their 7 BBL system in the Tasting Room.

Doug checking out his new toy before it gets shipped to the brewery.

To put things into perspective, Dry Dock brewed roughly 200 BBL’s during their first year of business in 2005.  In 2012, they’re projected to brew 3,200 BBL’s, which will push their current system to the limits and still not meet consumer demand.  With the addition of their 40 BBL brew system, they plan to produce nearly 15,000 BBL’s in 2013.  The brand new brewhouse will allow Dry Dock to brew a 40 BBL batch (1,240 gallons) every 4 hours, while giving them the potential to pump out more than 100,000 BBL’s of beer a year!  They’re hoping to begin brewing on the new system by the end of 2012.

In addition to the new brewhouse, the Production Facility will also feature a canning line that will initially introduce 4 offerings into the Colorado market beginning in early 2013.  Consumers should keep an eye out for 6-packs, plus a mixed 12-pack of Hefeweizen, Hop Abomination, Apricot Blonde and Amber in January 2013.  The “Booty Box” will offer 3 cans of each of the 4 different beers.  The cans will be dated so beer lovers will know they’re getting the freshest beer money can buy.

Roll Out The Barrels!

For the funky, sour beer fans, a 63 BBL Oak Foeder has been acquired from a California Winery, with the specific goal of producing sour and wild beers.  And YES, they have plans to eventually bottle their sours!  WooHoo!  DeLange crunched some numbers and projects that a full batch in the foeder will produce “somewhere around 900 cases of 750 mL bottles”.  Keep in mind, it’s still a long ways away, largely due to the lengthy process and unpredictability of working with wild yeasts, but it IS coming!

While the 40 BBL Production Facility will focus on canning, bottling and kegging their Flagship Beers (Hefeweizen, Double IPA, Vanilla Porter, etc…), the 7 BBL system at the south-Aurora Tasting Room will be utilized for experiments for Tasting Room visitors.  Head Brewer Doug Hyndman and his team of brewers will have the chance to come up with new recipes, including small batch one-offs, lagers, stouts and sours and allow them the opportunity to get creative and try new things.  The 7 BBL system will offer the team a chance to experiment and deviate a bit from Dry Dock’s Flagship lineup.

Some of the beers brewed on the 7 BBL system will be used to expand the Dry Dock Barrel-Aging Program.  The current program consists of more than 50 barrels from a variety of wineries and distilleries.  Some of Dry Dock’s most popular beers such as Bligh’s Barleywine, Shotgun Russian Imperial Stout and The Ambassador Sour, spent time aging and absorbing the characteristics found in the different barrels. The Barrel-Aged brews can spend months and sometimes even years inside the barrels until they are ready to be kegged, bottled or blended together for the final product.

DeLange will have the luxury of moving extra brewing ingredients and tasting room supplies out of the Tasting Room and up to the Production Facility.  By doing so, he’ll free up quite a bit more room in the Tasting Room, which will ultimately allow Dry Dock to grow the barrel room and create even more unique beers in the process.

Collaborations with other breweries is an option DeLange may decide to explore in the near future. He said there’s been “some talk with Troy (Casey) over at AC Golden”.  Despite being owned by MillerCoors, Casey and his Hidden Barrel Project at AC Golden are steadily gaining recognition and respect from craft beer enthusiasts for their complex, barrel-aged sour ales and stouts.  Casey’s first round of bottled sours, was released earlier this year and sold out within minutes.  Just last month at the Great American Beer Festival, AC Golden hauled in a medal for their Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout.  While Dry Dock’s focus is clearly on getting their new location up and running, the possibilities certainly seem endless for DeLange and his Dry Dock Team.

A Beer Garden and New Tasting Room in 2014.

Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself “Yeah, but when can I stop by the Production Facility for a beer???”  The north-Aurora Production Facility rests on a 6-acre plot that will be transformed into a Beer Garden sometime in 2014.  The current plans for the project include a dog park, horseshoe pits and even a pond.  The proposed tasting room, also slated to open in 2014, will overlook the brewhouse and production floor, giving beer drinkers a chance to sit back and watch the magic happen while sipping on their favorite pint.  Once the Beer Garden and Tap Room are completed, Delange plans to work with the Colorado Brewers Guild to host and bring a beer festival to Aurora.

When I asked DeLange about his fondest Dry Dock memory, he shared a story about his first trip to the World Beer Cup (WBC) in 2006.  At the time, Dry Dock had only been open for a few months and he decided to enter just two beers for judging in the International Competition.  He assumed that his start-up brewery didn’t stand much of a chance at winning an award at the prestigious competition. So, rather than attend the Brewers Dinner and Awards Ceremony, he decided to sample beers in the lobby and watch the ceremony from a TV outside.  When he heard his H.M.S. Victory ESB announced as a Gold Medal Winner, his initial reaction was “Who stole our name?”.

Within his first year of opening Dry Dock, DeLange had landed a medal at what is essentially the “Super Bowl” of brewery competition and beer judging.  He’d accomplished a feat that some brewers spend a lifetime trying to achieve.  This was just the beginning of what has since become a long list of medals awarded to the brewery and their beers.

In under a decade DeLange has taken Dry Dock from a tiny nano-brewery located behind a homebrew shop and transformed it into one of the nation’s top breweries.  There are great things happening every day at Dry Dock and looking into the future, they show no signs of slowing down. Stop by the Tasting Room this weekend for their Anniversary Party and help them celebrate 7 Years of Great Beers!

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!


Weekend Beer Buzz 07/05/12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One step closer to seeing these guys in action!

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

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

Cheers!


Avery SourFest 2012 Recap

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending Avery’s 3rd Annual SourFest.  This is by far, my favorite event that they host throughout the year.  Strong Ale Fest is solid and I’m looking forward to the upcoming IPA Fest, but SourFest holds a special place in my heart.  I’m a sucker for sours and am constantly on the hunt for anything funky, wild and interesting.  SourFest puts together a collection of 50+ beers under one roof for beer lovers to taste and talk about.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the doors opened at noon and the line was already more than 75 people deep.  Turk and The Gubna were setting up for a live broadcast of their Colorado Craft Beer Show at noon.  Gary was supposed to be there to broadcast live with his American Craft Beer Radio show, but had to remain in the studio due to some technical difficulties.

Lined up out front

 We were able to track down a beer menu while we waited in line and started planning our course of attack.

Beer Menu Page 1

Beer Menu Page 2

My eyes lit up at the sight of Crooked Stave’s Blackberry Petite Sour.  This beer was made exclusively for their Cellar Reserve members and I have been trying to set up a trade for a bottle, without much luck.  I was excited to see it on the menu and couldn’t wait to try it.

When the doors opened at noon, we got our ID’s checked, swapped our tickets for glasses and headed inside.  We decided to slide through the Avery Tap Room and head to the Barrel Room to start our day.  The beers are organized in alphabetical order.  In the Tap Room, they were pouring AC Golden, Avery, Cambridge and COOP.  I like ’em all, but Avery always seems to have plenty of beer to go around, while some of the other breweries from out-of-state, might run out a bit quicker.

So, we headed around the corner and into the Barrel Room, where I snagged my taste of Crooked Stave’s Blackberry Petite Sour.  This funky, Brettanomyces fermented, oak aged brew, poured a light purple color.  It had a slight, funky cheese aroma, but tasted sweet, fruity and oh, so drinkable.  Delish.

Inside the Barrel Room

We quickly got word from some friends that the bottle tables around back were already creating quite the buzz.  We made our way out of the Barrel Room and into The Back Yard and discovered a line of people that must have been more than 100 deep.  People were going bonkers for Cascade’s bottled offerings and rightfully so.  Their stuff is amazing and I try to write about them whenever they have a new bottle getting ready to hit the market.  Unfortunately, none of their brews make it to Colorado and they didn’t come out for GABF last year either.  So this was one of those rare opportunities that CO beer lovers had to give them a try.

At SourFest, they were pouring Sang Royal (aged with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes), Sang Noir (aged with bing and sour cherries), The Vine (aged with white grapes) and Blueberry Sour, the latest addition to their stellar lineup.  If you ever find yourself out in Portland, OR, the Cascade Barrel House is a MUST!  I was out that way for their anniversary party last fall and they were pouring nearly two dozen sours at the time.  I could have easily spent all day sipping sours on their patio.

Cascade - Sang Royal

Cascade - The Vine

Cascade - Blueberry

Upland, from Indiana, also brought some delicious beers to share.  They’re another brewery that doesn’t distribute out here, but makes some amazing beers and always has a line during GABF.  Their sours really spotlight what their brew team is capable of.  They make 8 different fruit lambics that are released periodically throughout the year.  They use fruits like kiwi and persimmon to make some unique lambics.  The cork and caged 750mL bottles are sold via an online system and most of them don’t last more than an hour before they are sold out.  In fact, the demand has gotten so high and the servers have crashed numerous times, that they have decided to go with a lottery system for their next round of releases.

This year, Upland brought their Sour Reserve Blend (a blend of three lambics – think Gueuze) and Raspberry Lambic.  The Sour Reserve Blend was acidic and tart, with some earthy undertones.  We made our way through the bottle line multiple times until we had gone through and gotten our fill of Upland and Cascade.

On my last trip through the line, I went for Crooked Stave’s Persica.  Persica spent 9 months in barrels and was aged with Colorado peaches.  This cloudy, yellow beer was my personal choice for “Best of Show”.  Nice sweet and fruity nose, with an amazing sweet, peach taste.  It was so smooth and unlike anything I’ve had in a long time.  Not super funky or sour, but very tasty and drinkable.  As I drank it, my mind was racing to remember whether or not this bottle was going to be released into the CO market or not.  Sadly, it’s not.  Another selection for Cellar Reserve members only….

After trying Crooked Stave’s Persica and Blackberry Petite Sour, I’m pretty sure I’ll be signing up for the Cellar Reserve club next year.  Chad’s beers are ridiculously good and with his plans to move from Fort Collins to Denver in the near future, I can’t pass up the easier access to these small batch beers.  I’m sold!

Eventually, we made our way back through the Barrel Room, sampling along the way and finished our afternoon with the hordes of people in the Tap Room.  The Tap Room was hoppin’ with 4 unique and yummy AC Golden Beers, including two dark sours.  One made with Colorado sour cherries and another with Syrah grapes.

The Avery folks had tapped 10 beers for the event, including all three Eremita’s, past offerings from the Barrel Aged bottle series and a yummy little sour aged with Granny Smith apples, called Bad Apple.

A quick glance around the crowd at SourFest and you realize what a special event it really is.  Brewers, beer buyers, bar owners, reps, bloggers and beer lovers come from all over to enjoy this special day.  It’s a unique event loaded with some pretty special beers.  Hope you were able to get a ticket and enjoy this great event.  Feel free to comment with your favorites from the afternoon.

Cheers!