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Weekend Beer Buzz 11/09/2012

It’s been an interesting week.  We got back an hour of sleep, although my kids still haven’t figured out how to sleep past 5:30 AM…  We survived another election.  I don’t get political on here. Truthfully, I don’t really talk politics at all on here or otherwise.  It’s not my thing.  But, I’m enjoying the fact that the phone calls during dinner, knocks at the door and back stabbing commercials have ceased for the time being.

I spent an afternoon over at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, sipping on a 6-year old Framboise and talking all things beer with owner Kevin DeLange.  Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for a full report on one of Colorado’s top breweries and be sure to stop by Dry Dock this weekend and help them celebrate their 7th Anniversary on Saturday.  Details below.

The weekend’s here.  Let’s rock it!

Friday, November 9th, 2012.

You wanted the hops?  You got the hops!  Kick off your weekend with a visit to Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora.  The Firkin Master’s summoning all of Colorado’s Hop Freaks for his Citra Dry-Hopped Osirus Bitter.

Tappings at 3 PM and 7 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Saturday, November 10th, 2012.

It’s all about Dry Dock this week.  I can’t help it.  They’ve got an Anniversary this weekend, they’re gearing up to open their Production Facility, they’ve got cans on the way and I’m sipping on their Barrel-Aged Shotgun Russian Imperial Stout as I type this.  If you missed our 2-part interview with Owner / Founder / Brewer Kevin DeLange, click HERE and HERE to get the full scoop on Dry Dock’s Past, Present & Future.  Dry Dock, here’s to 7 awesome years! Help them celebrate on Saturday at their Anniversary Party.

The party starts at noon and runs until…  I guess until they kick you out, which they’re not very good at.  So just plan on sticking around all day and getting a cab home.  Just glancing at this list of beers getting tapped, I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong.  2010 Wee Heavy, Sour Apricot and the incredibly tasty Ambassador Sour Ale.  That’s good times right there.  Check out Dry Dock’s 7th Anniversary Party and wish them luck with their new Production Facility and 40 BBL Brewhouse.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

The folks behind The Funk’n Wild Sour Beer Club are back at it again.  This time they’ve wrangled Avery’s Barrel Herder Andy Parker to join the group and talk about and taste all things sour.

Once again, they’ve secured some great beers to share including Crooked Stave’s L’Brett d’Or, Avery’s Dihos Dactylion, New Belgium’s La Folie, Russian River’s Consecration and Bear Republic’s Tartare and that’s just the beginning!  Although I haven’t been able to make it to a meeting yet, I’m loving this group of Sour Beer Enthusiasts.  Fingers crossed I can swing up to Longmont to check it out this time around.

The boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be in the house broadcasting live from this funky event from noon – 2 PM.  Check them out on AM 760.  Somebody buy Turk a La Folie. That boy can’t get enough of that beer.  He’s got good taste.

Stop by Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids from 1 PM – 4 PM and see what Funk’n Wild’s all about.  OB’s HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503.  303-485-9400.

Branden and the gang at Black Shirt Brewing are opening their doors once again this Saturday from 3 -8 PM.

Despite their limited hours, Black Shirt Brewing continues to receive positive reviews as they showcase the versatility and complexity of the Red Ale.  If you have the time, I’d recommend getting over there for a visit.  It’s at the top of my list.  Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-993-2799.

Lastly, Copper Kettle Brewing Co. will host “A Night of Casks” on Saturday beginning at noon and running until 10 PM.

The Hoppa Fresh Hop hits the hand pumps at noon, with the Imperial Pumpkin Porter going on at 5 PM.  There’s just something about a smooth, flavorful, real cask ale.  Check out this unique twist to CKBC’s brews.  CKBC is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Thursday, November 15th, 2012.

Looking into next week, the Chef N Brew Festival is coming up on Thursday night.

This will pair 12 local breweries with 12 local chefs for an interesting night of tastings and competition.  Come by and see what kind of creative dishes Denver’s top chefs have created to go with beers from Denver’s top breweries like Prost, Crooked Stave and Strange.  This is being held at The Oriental Theatre in Denver.  Tickets are $39 in advance, $49 at the door and can be purchased HERE.

There you have it good people.  Get out and try something new this weekend.  Or something old, that’s fine too.  No matter what it is, have fun and respect your beer.

Cheers!

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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 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!