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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!

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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!


Brewtally Insane Best of 2012: Beers, Breweries and Beer Bars

2012.  What a year!  Certainly a HUGE year for beer!  With more than two dozen breweries opening in Colorado this year, there were plenty of new and interesting brews that were introduced into our market.  It’s not easy for a beer geek to keep up with everything…

We did our best to try them all and my liver hates me for it.  But have no fear, all this “research” has good purpose.  There was no way we could have tried everything out there, but here’s some of our personal favorites from 2012.  While I didn’t take availability into account, we did have a few rules that each beer had to meet: 1. available in either bottles or cans.  2. a new release in 2012.  3. made right here in Colorado.

Without further ado, here’s our list of favorite beers, breweries and beer bars from the past year.

10. Odell Brewing – The Meddler

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Big woody notes combine with tart cherries and plums to round out this complex Flanders Oud Bruin.  Such a tasty style that seems to be making a bit of a comeback.  Odell has been rolling out great sours since the emergence of Friek last year and this is a great addition to their already impressive lineup.

9. Oskar Blues Brewery – Deviant Dale’s IPA

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Not only did Oskar Blues give us an IPA this year, but they put it in those big ass 16 oz. cans!  Who do I need to thank for this great gift?  Plenty of grapefruit, caramel, pine and citrus hops galore.  Best addition to the OB family since TEN Fidy.

8. Prost Brewing – Hefeweizen

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We all knew Bill Eye was an amazing brewer, but I don’t think any of us knew German lagers could be sooo damn tasty.  I love the entire Prost lineup, but the Hefeweizen is pretty special.  Fruity, flavorful, refreshing and light enough to make it a sessionable beer.  In addition to being on tap at a variety of restaurants and bars, look for growlers of this tasty brew at liquor stores throughout the Denver area.  Delish!

7. New Belgium – Lips of Faith Tart Lychee

A three-year old wild ale was mixed with lychee fruit and cinnamon to create a unique combination for New Belgium’s summertime Lips of Faith release.  It turned out to be the perfect “lighter” sour brew for the warm summer months.  I liked it so much, I greedily snagged a keg for myself.  I hope they keep this tasty offering in regular rotation.

6. Trinity Brewing – Oh Face Saison Provisional

I credit my wife, Mrs. Insane, with finding this one.  While I was filling my cup with Trinity’s phenomenal sours during GABF, she was discovering Oh Face.  This is another beer in their “Office Space” series, which also includes TPS Report and the upcoming Red Swingline Stapler.  Oh Face is a sensory adventure with plenty of Bretty funk, fruit, cardamom, pepper, coriander, yeast and more.  Another complex masterpiece from our favorite brewery down in the Springs.

5. Funkwerks – Deceit

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The 2012 Small Brewery of the Year just seems to get better and better.  Deceit is a classic Belgian-style Tripel with flavors of tropical fruit, spices and hops.  Look for more interesting one-off’s and seasonals to come out of this Fort Collins brewery in 2013.

4. AC Golden Brewing – Hidden Barrel Apricot

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Low production numbers, a high price tag and no distribution for AC Golden’s first bottled release. Yet, it still managed to tie up phone lines with orders and sold out on the same day it hit store shelves.  And for good reason.  It’s full of sour apricot, barnyard funk and oak.  Hopefully we’ll continue to see more interesting bottles and expanded distribution from AC Golden in 2013.

3. Elevation Beer Co. – Apis IV

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Elevation’s first bottled release was a delicious, complex Belgian-style Quadrupel, that was much more authentic Belgian than American knockoff.  Although Elevation may or may not brew this beer again, they’re clearly on the right track and I’m looking forward to more greatness from them in the years to come.  Awesome beer.

2. Avery Brewing – Uncle Jacob’s Stout

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This 17% ABV Imperial Stout, debuted in April as the 2nd release in Avery’s Annual Barrel Series. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak and booze make up this sticky, sweet stout.  Look for another batch to be released sometime in 2013.  Be sure you don’t miss out!

1. 2012 Beer of the Year: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project – Persica055

I could have easily picked 5 beers from Crooked Stave to make this list.  They’re just that good. But for me, Persica was the standout and my pick for best Colorado Beer of 2012.  Unfortunately, the only way to try this one was by being a member of Crooked Stave’s 2012 Cellar Reserve, having a generous friend who’s in the Cellar Reserve or were lucky enough to snag a sample at Avery’s Sour Fest.  Ripe peaches and oak mix for this fruity, sour gem.  It’s a shame only a few hundred bottles were made, but the good news is that it’ll be making a return in 2013 to members of the Cellar Reserve.  It’s not too late to sign up, so don’t miss out.

Best Colorado Breweries of 2012

1.  Avery Brewing – Not only do they offer a solid lineup of year round beers, but their seasonals and occasional Barrel-Aged releases are second to none.  The Barrel-Aged series has become so popular, that the releases have turned into mini-festivals at the brewery, where Avery taps unique and hard-to-find beers just for the occasion.  Combine their great beers with their annual Anniversary Party, Sour Fest, IPA Fest and Strong Ale Fest and the new brewery which is expected to open in 2014, and it’s easy to see why Avery Brewing is our favorite brewery of 2012.

2.  Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project – Wild Wild Brett Indigo, L’Brett D’Or, Nightmare on Brett, Persica and they even managed to bring Cantillon’s Zwanze Day to Colorado.  Phenomenal job all around!

3.  Odell Brewing – They make some of our favorite CO beers including Friek, Myrcenary and Bourbon Barrel Stout.  I could sit in their tasting room all day, play a little cornhole or just watch the world go by on the patio.  Thank you Odell for another great year of events, tappings and bottled releases.

Best Denver Area Beer Bars of 2012

1.  Parry’s Pizza – Epic tap takeovers, pint nights, great food and a friendly and knowledgable staff made Parry’s our favorite place to sip a pint outside of a brewery in 2012.  Three locations around the Denver area, with more on the way!

2.  The Rackhouse Pub – Aside from great beer, great food and multiple beer events throughout the year, The Rackhouse shares the roof with Stranahan’s Whiskey.  Stop by for a tasting and tour of the distillery, stick around for a bite to eat and a locally brewed craft beer.

3.  Falling Rock Tap House – The classic Denver tap house.  They get the good stuff the for the geeks and always seem to have something special on draft.

Three Colorado Breweries to Watch in 2013

1.  Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project – More barrels, more bottles, a coolship and a brewery at The Source.  Look out!

2.  Dry Dock Brewing – A new production facility, new brewhouse, a 63-BBL foeder, canning line and expanded distribution.  I’m in!

3.  Black Shirt Brewing – I’ve admittedly only tried 3 of BSB’s brews, but if that’s any indication of what’s to come, Denver’s in for a treat in 2013.

With so many great beers, breweries and beer bars around town, this wasn’t an easy list to compile and sadly, many deserving beers didn’t make it.  What were your favorites from 2012?  Leave a comment on our Facebook Page and share with us.

As 2012 draws to a close, I cant wait to see what lies ahead for the Colorado Beer Scene in 2013. It’s an exciting time to be a craft beer lover.

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Weekend Beer Buzz: Thanksgiving Edition 11/22/2012

Happy Turkey Day Friends!  With the holiday and all, I had seriously considered skipping the Weekend Beer Buzz this week, but there’s just way too much beer fun to be had.  You asked for it, you got it.  Let’s roll.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The blackest of all Friday’s is here.  Skip the shopping and get your breakfast in a glass down at Rockyard in Castle Rock.

Jellyman’s brewed “MBM 5.0”.  Are you ready for this?  It’s a Whopper and Krave Chocolate Cereal Stout!  Say What?!?!  Dude, delicious!  As if that wasn’t enough, he’ll have it pouring ALL DAY starting at 8 AM.  Drop the shoppers in your family off at the outlets and head over to the Rockyard for your fill.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Over at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, they’ll be tapping a firkin of Galaxy Dry-Hopped Pale Ale at 3 PM and another at 7 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Yak & Yeti Brewpub will be tapping their Sherpa Porter on Friday.

This popular seasonal weighs in at 5.2% ABV and 34 IBU’s.  The beer goes on at 11 AM, with a party beginning at 4 PM.  This beer will serve as a launching pad for head brewer Adam Draeger to kick off his Porter Wednesday series, which begins in December. Here’s the lineup he has planned for the winter months:

  • Dec 5th – Toasted Coconut Porter
  • Dec 12th – Vanilla Porter
  • Dec 19th – Peppermint Porter
  • Dec 26th – Cherry Porter
  • Jan 2nd – Orange Chocolate Porter
  • Jan 9th – 100% Kona Coffee Porter
  • Jan 16th – Repeat of Favorite
  • Jan 23rd – Repeat of Favorite

Keep your browser pointed right here for the latest details in his series of winter releases.  Sounds yummy.  Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002.  303-431-9000.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Dry Dock brewers will be going head-to-head on Saturday for the annual Ho Ho Ho Slapdown.

This year, head brewer Doug Hyndman brewed a Raspberry Pomegranate Porter, Brett Williams is pouring a Sweet Potato Porter and John Schneider crafted a Gingerbread Amber.  Come on down, try all 3 and vote for your favorite.  I love this event as the brewer’s really work the crowd and campaign to get your vote.  The pours begin at noon and the voting ends at 3 PM, but beers will be pouring all day.

This has also been dubbed “Ugly Sweater Day” at the Dock, so get those tacky Xmas sweaters ready. I’ve already seen a few pics of what they employees will be wearing and they’re BAD!  This should be awesome!  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Big beer time over at Copper Kettle Brewing Company.  On Saturday, they’ll be tapping this year’s batch of Bourbon Breakfast Stout.

This is an oatmeal stout brewed with coffee and chocolate and aged in bourbon barrels.  Oh Daddy! This sounds awesome! Tapping at noon.  CKBC is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Black Shirt Brewing will be open again this Saturday.

Stop by and try their new Fall Harvest Saison, brewed with locally grown squash.  They only brewed 10 gallons, so don’t miss out.  Black Shirt will be open from 4 PM – 8 PM. They’re located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-993-2799.

Don’t forget about the boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show, who’ll be broadcasting live from the Arvada Beer Co on Saturday.

Tebo from Breckenridge Brewery will be co-hosting this week.  Tune in to AM 760 at noon to get the latest news on the Colorado Craft Beer Scene.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Looking into next week, Avery Brewing will be releasing this year’s batch of Mephistopheles on Wednesday.

Tickets for their 3-year vertical tasting in the tap room are sold out, but be on the lookout for bottles of this 15 – 17% ABV monster of a stout to hit store shelves very soon.  It’s an amazing beer that ages very well.  Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Blvd, Boulder, CO 80303.

Future Brew News

Looking ahead, Forkly, Eat Boston and Denver Off The Wagon have teamed up to bring us the Denver Bacon & Beer Festival.

Tickets are on sale now for the December 9th tasting.  Look for 25 local chefs to bring their bacon creations and 20 local breweries pouring their beers for this one.  Some of the breweries include Crooked Stave, Prost, Strange, Wits End and Trinity. Check the official website for more details and ticket information.  The Denver Bacon & Beer Festival will be at: Mile High Station, 2027 West Lower Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204.

That’s it peeps.  Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day!  Stop by our Facebook page and share what you’re drinking this weekend.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 11/15/2012

I declare Shenanigans!  In September, the good people at Strange Brewing Company here in Denver, were threatened with a potential lawsuit from Strange Brew Homebrew in Marlboro, MA over the use of the term “Strange Brew”.  You can get all the details in this great article from our friend Jonathan Shikes over at the Denver Westword.

I wasn’t going to chime in on this debate, but I can’t help it, so I’ll try to keep it short.  To me, this just comes off as sad and lame.  Seems like Strange Brew is trying to get a little publicity from the success of Denver’s Strange Brewing Co.  Show your support to the Strange gang by clicking “Like” on Keep Strange Brewing Strange on Facebook.  This page was started by fans of our local brewery and has been keeping people up to date with the latest in this drama filled battle.

This whole situation makes me sad.  I’m not necessarily surprised, just let down that Strange Brew Homebrew isn’t willing to work with Strange Brewing here in Denver to figure this out.  You’re talking about a term that’s been around for ages and is referenced in music, movies and more…  Hey, if Avery and Russian River can settle their differences and collaborate together to brew “Collaboration Not Litigation”, I’m pretty sure these two can come up with a better solution rather than wasting time and money on lawyers…  Stay tuned to watch this one unfold.

Time for something positive.  I found out on Monday that we were nominated for a Westword Web Award in the Best Booze Blog category!  I’m really excited to have made the list of 4-finalists.  Denver Off The Wagon, Fermentedly Challenged and Colorado Wino are also in the running.  Man, am I in good company or what?  All of these sites are run by good people and without a doubt, deserve to win.  I’m just happy to be mentioned.  We’ve come a long way since I started this journey 9-months ago and I can’t Thank You guys enough for your continued support. So Cheers to you!

Alright friends, we’ve got a big weekend to talk about.  Roll Tide!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012.

Beer Craving is gearing up for their first beer festival.  They’ve created Chef N Brew, which will pair 12 locally brewed beers with 12 dishes from local chefs in an event / challenge to come up with the perfect pairing.

Want a teaser of what to expect?  How about Prost Brewing’s Dunkel paired with pasta, handmade meatballs, cheese tortellini, cinnamon custard and savory pie crust from Panzano’s.  Or how about Elevation’s Apis IV Quad, paired with smoked lamb neck shepherd’s pie, with goat cheese whipped potatoes in a honey whole wheat crust.

In addition to the tasting, pairing and competition, there will be a silent auction and raffle. Head over to The Oriental Theatre for this fun and one-of-a-kind event.  Tickets are $49 at the door and the event runs from 6 – 9:30 PM.  More details can be found HERE.  The Oriental Theatre is located at: 4335 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80212.  LATE UPDATE – This is now SOLD OUT!

Over at Crooked Stave, Chad’s got another lineup of amazing sour brews pouring in the Barrel Room.

Man, I need to get over and try Cellar Blend #1.  Sounds awesome!  Crooked Stave is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.  720-508-3292.

As for us, we’ll be hitting the Westword Web Awards on Thursday.  This looks to be a pretty sweet event that recognizes writers, photographers, twitterererers, bloggers and just about anybody else covering the great city of Denver via the internets.  The complete list of finalists can be found HERE. Winners will be announced in more than 40 different categories.

Odell Brewing will be pouring #OhMyGourd, a small-batch pumpkin beer, which was brewed specifically for the event.  The tap handle logo was designed by Jeff Herndon, who had his winning creation chosen by Odell in a recent contest.  Awesome design in my opinion.

Despite being an invitation only event, there will be some extra tickets available via the Denver Westword’s Facebook page on Thursday morning.  Get on it if you’re interested and come cheers us on in the “Best Booze Blog” Category.  The Web Awards run from 7 PM – 11 PM at Denver’s RedLine, located at: 2350 Arapahoe Ave, Denver, CO 80205. Wish us luck!

Avery releases the 2012 batch of Czar today at 5 PM.  This big, bold Russian Imperial Stout is a tasty release from their “Dictator Series” and is one of those beers that drinks well both now and later. Don’t be afraid to grab a few for the cellar.

Stop by the Tasting Room and bring some non-perishable food items with you.  You’ll get a 10 oz. pour of Czar for every 3 items you donate.  You’ll also have a shot at winning a 5 gallon keg or 2-cases of Czar.  Good Beer for a Good Cause.  Win / Win.  The Avery Tasting Room is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is open with regular hours!

Hours will be: Thu 4 PM – 10 PM, Fri 4 PM – 12 AM, Sat 2 PM – 12 AM and Sun 2 PM – 10 PM.  Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-722-2810.  Stop by and welcome them to Denver!

Friday, November 16th, 2012.

Down in Castle Rock, the Jellyman’s got another of his Deviations ready to roll at Rockyard.  This week, look for “Verbal Warning”, a 6.0% ABV version of their Redhawk Scottish Ale lagered with semi-sweet chocolate.

Tapping at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109.  303-814-9273.

Over at Dry Dock, Firkin Master Walt, has brewed a Chestnut Brown Ale.

Tapping’s at 3 PM & 7 PM.  Don’t be late.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch is hosting another Pint Night.  They’ll have Odell in the house for this round.

Stop by and try the yummy Haven and Hale Peach Ale and get a pint glass to take home.  Ryan Odell will be in the house handing out Odell swag from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM.

So you’re in the Parry’s Pizza Ale Yeah club right?  I hope so.  It’s the only way to find out about special tappings and events at Parry’s before they happen!  Oh, and it’s FREE!  There’s a special tapping coming up next Wednesday that Sour-heads won’t want to miss, so get over there and sign up today!  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

Saturday, November 17th, 2012.

Turk and The Gubna are headin’ North on Saturday.  They’ll be broadcasting live from the Foeder Forest at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins.

Man, we had a tour of that area earlier this summer and I’m still having funky, sour dreams because of it.  Such a cool place.  New Belgium better lock up the La Folie.  Turk can’t resist that beer.  Tune in and listen live on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM or grab the podcast on their website. LOVE their show!

10 Years of Dale’s Cans?!?!  Nicely done Oskar Blues!  Crazy to think the can movement has grown from OB into more than 200 breweries canning beers in the U.S. today. Head over to the original OB, the OG of cans if you will, for their CANiversary.  On Saturday, stop by their Lyon’s location and raise a pint can to the OB gang.

There’s a concert by The White Buffalo, sorry, it’s sold out…  But, the rest of the party is FREE and runs from 6 PM – midnight.  There’s even a special CANlaboration beer debuting at the party.  OB teamed up with Ska to brew “oSKAr the G’Rauch”, an 8.5% ABV, smoked IPA that will debut in 19.2 oz cans this weekend.

Come on out for some great food, beer, silent disco and more!  Oskar Blues is located at: 303 Main St, Lyons, CO 80540.

Sunday, November 18th, 2012.

And on the 7th Day, He rested (and had beer for breakfast at Copper Kettle Brewing Company). Bourbon Breakfast Stout is back!

On Sunday, Copper Kettle is hosting a breakfast and beer pairing, which will give you the only chance to try last year’s batch of Bourbon Breakfast Stout, alongside this year’s batch.  The $25 ticket includes 3-courses and 4-beers. Stop by the brewery or send them an e-mail (info@copperkettledenver.com) to reserve your spot at either the 9:30 AM or 11 AM meals.  Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at:  1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC. Oh, and if you can’t attend Sunday’s breakfast, you’ll still have a chance to try this year’s batch. The tapping is scheduled for next weekend.  Keep your browser pointed right here for all the details.

The Littlest Big Beer Fest is back at Denver’s Hops & Pie.  Killer freakin’ lineup this time with the FiftyFifty crew out of Truckee, CA.

Some sick brews will be flowing.  Man (or WoMan) up and order a glass of the Eclipse, aged for 300 days in 12 Yr. Elijah Craig Bourbon Barrels.  Are you freakin’ kidding me?  Their stouts are not for the faint of heart, not easy to find and certainly not to be missed.  Want. To. Drink. The. Eclipse. I. Do.  said Master Yoda in odd, punctuated speak.  LBBF starts at 2 PM.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

That’s it for now friends.  Once again, Thank You for getting us nominated for a Denver Westword’s Web Awards tonight!  Have a great weekend.

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: Denver Beer Fest Edition 10/05/12

You ready?  You better be.  Denver Beer Fest marches into town this weekend and won’t let go of your liver until the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) rolls out next weekend.  Wow, is GABF really next weekend!?!?  My favorite holiday of the year is almost here!

This is big folks.  BIG!  I’m not going to pepper you with small talk.  I mean business this week and I’ve got the events to back it up.  For reals.  Here we go!

Right Now

Crooked Stave has sorted through all their licenses and legalities and is back pouring their mind-blowing brews in the Tap Room.  Here’s their most current list:

Crooked Stave, you complete me.  Stop by and get funky in their Tap Room.  1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock is at it again.  This time he’ll be tapping Denver Beer Co’s Pumpkin Beer, a brew he helped create.

Stop by Denver Beer Co. and help the Mayor kick off Denver Beer Fest.  Tapping is at 4:30 PM. Denver Beer Co. is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-433-2739.

Killer beers are on at the Dock.  This week’s Firkin Friday at Dry Dock Brewing is a Sour Freaks wet-dream.

Boysenberry Sour!  Wow.  Ok, breathe, there’s a long way to go in this post yet.  But damn, Boysenberry Sour!  Well played Dry Dock.  I had the base beer, The Admiral, this afternoon at the brewery.

The Admiral Barrel-Aged Tart Ale is a tasty little brute and will hopefully still be flowing tomorrow during Firkin Friday.  It’s a dry, crisp, green apple, lip-smackin’ sour that’s too good for its’ own good.  Whatever that means…  Sounds very Right Said Fred, no?

I talked to Dry Dock’s Firkin Master, Walt Chleva, about this weeks creation and he said it’s gonna be a good’un that should pour a beautiful purple color with plenty of fruit and funk for CO’s Sour Freaks.  People, don’t miss this!.  I’ll be there for some mouth puckering deliciousness on Friday at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Jellyman’s back to his crafty ways down at the Rockyard in Castle Rock.  This week’s Deviation is a French Oak-Aged Dopplebock with Raspberries.

Grab a snifter of this 10% ABV one-off, starting at 4PM on Friday afternoon.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Gary V. and American Craft Beer Radio will be on location this week, live from Oktoberfest at Libations Wine & Spirits.  $20 in advance, $25 at the door gets you live music, beer, wine, food, prizes and more.  ALL money goes to charity!

Dry Dock Brewing, Odell Brewing, Leopold Bros. and more will be on hand and American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting LIVE!  Even if you can’t make it, flip over to 102.3 FM ESPN Radio and listen to Gary V. and his guests talk about all that is Craft Beer.

I’m going to try, I promise I’ll try!, to make it over there in time for the show.  Gary’s invited me as a guest on the show again this week to share some of the events hitting Denver leading up to GABF. Fingers crossed that I can make it there in time to share all the deets on the air.  Radio is fun and radio with beer is simply brilliant. Libations Wine & Spirits is located at: 16530 E Arapahoe Rd, Unit 102, Foxfield, CO 80016. American Craft Beer Radio airs at noon on 102.3 FM ESPN Radio.

The boys on the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be hanging out at Strange Brewing in Denver for this week’s show.

They’ve got a variety of brewers sitting in with them from some of the area’s exciting, new breweries.  Look for Lone Tree, Wit’s End, Caution, Renegade and others to sit in with the guys and talk beer during the 2-hour broadcast.  Flip over to AM760 from noon – 2 PM or get off your couch and head over to listen live and join in the fun.  Have a delicious Cherry Kriek while you’re at it and keep your ears open for a chance to win a pair of tickets to GABF.  Strange Brewing is located at: 1330 Zuni St, Unit M, Denver, CO 80204.

Twisted Pine Brewing is releasing the newest brew in their Artisan Ale Series on Saturday.  This time it’s Lupuliopheliac, a 52 IBU, fresh hopped Pale Ale, made with wet Cascade hops from nearby Niwot, CO.

Stop by on Saturday to meet Darren Hall and Phil Bartell, the tattoo artists behind the label and get your 750mL bottles signed.  The party runs from noon – 9 PM.  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut Street, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Falling Rock Tap House is gearing up for this year’s Fresh Hop Celebration.

This event is entering its’ 6th year and features a variety of unique and fun beers that were all brewed with fresh, wet hops.  Look for a great list of breweries to pour including Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Crazy Mountain, Full Sail, Wynkoop, Great Divide, Ska and more.  Tickets are $25, which covers unlimited tasting and a commemorative glass.  The Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Hops & Pie is teaming up with Great Divide for the next Littlest Big Beer Fest.  Starting at 2PM, you’ll be able to try beers like 2008 Old Ruffian, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti and the brand new Fresh Hop Pale Ale.

Hops & Pie is located at 3920 Tennyson St., Denver CO, 80212.  303-477-7000.

Avery Brewing.  Odio Equum.  I can’t pronounce it, which can only mean one thing, another release in their Barrel Aged Series!  Number 13 to be exact.  Last week’s shenanigans’ on American Craft Beer Radio with Dustin Lemoine from Avery Brewing revealed that Odio Equum translates to something along the lines of “I hate horses”.  Glue jokes ensued and it was just downhill from there…

I’m not impressed by the ancient Latin language, but I’m very impressed by Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series of beers.  This one is brewed with raspberries and aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, with just about every funky, wild yeast you can think of.  It weighs in at 7.89% ABV and will sell for $8 / 12oz. bottle / 12 bottle limit at the brewery on Sunday at 4PM.  Bring cash just to be safe as their credit card sales seem to be hit-or-miss.

Sadly, this date doesn’t work with my calendar.  Anybody that’s going and willing to mule back a few beers for me will be paid for their troubles and rewarded with, what else.. BEER!  E-mail me at: brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com and let’s talk.  Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.

Monday, October 8th, 2012

At 5PM, the countdown clock at Falling Rock, will reach 000:00:00:000.  What does that mean? GABF is here!  Chris Black always brings out special kegs to share when the clock runs out and this year he’s got 10 special beers ready to share.

Chris likes to keep a lid on what he’ll be pouring, so who knows, but I’m sure it’ll be awesome and probably won’t last very long.  The Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Wynkoop, boy do they have balls for brewing their Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout.  What started out as an April Fool’s Joke has become disturbingly real.

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout will debut on Monday at 5PM at the brewery, and yes, BPB actually means “Balls Per Barrel”.  I know I should be turned off by this, but strangely, I’ve just gotta try it.  I hear it’ll be pouring at the Wynkoop booth during GABF, so I’ll be looking for a way to get my unsuspecting wife or my slightly buzzed friends to try it before I get my very own shake at it.  It’s just too easy to get an unsuspecting friend to drink this and I’m always up for a good laugh.

Hey, Cheers to Wynkoop for taking some “bigger” chances lately.  It’s a tough biz, but they’re keeping pace.  If you’re looking to try some beer with balls, from the nuts at Wynkoop, then head over for the tapping on Monday afternoon.  Wynkoop Brewing is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

Beer hunters, hoarders, collectors and connoisseurs should make a visit to Davidsons Liquors on Monday, when their resident beer geek’s bring out some gems from the cellar to sell.  They’ve been holding these cellar sales right around GABF for the past few years and I always seem to find something I can’t live without.

You never know what you’ll find at one of their sales, but look for some FiftyFifty Eclipse, Dogfish Head, vintage Avery and interesting Deschutes brews to highlight this year’s GABF cellar clean out sale.  The doors open at 8 AM.  Good luck!  Davidsons Liquors is located at: 5555 Boatworks Dr, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-224-0444.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Yeah, it’s Beer WEEK folks, which means were still kicking ass into Tuesday.  Renegade is releasing bombers of Elevated Wood on Tuesday.  They’ve taken their super-charged, triple IPA and banished that puppy to a bourbon barrel for 6-months.

That beast has been bottled and will be yours for the buying on Tuesday at 6PM.  Don’t miss out on this limited, hand-numbered release.  Renegade will be pouring other special beers in the tap room exclusively for the release party.  Renegade Brewing is located at: 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204. 720-401-4089.

And I might have saved the best for last with this one.  You be the judge.  Head over to Falling Rock Tap House to get your glass of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) on Tuesday at 5 PM.

BCBS is a barrel-aged, jet-black, thick, chewy, roasty, bad-ass of a stout, that always seems to find its’ way onto the list of the Top Beers in the World.  It’s sitting pretty at #50 right now.  I hear the even higher ranked, #12 to be exact, Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout will also be making an appearance, along with gems like Lolita (the spontaneously fermented, barrel-aged raspberry tart), Madame Rose (the barrel aged, brett beer made with Michigan cherries) and Juliet (the oh so tasty, barrel-aged blackberry sour).  Screw the lists and come down and judge for yourself.

To say this is BIG, would be an understatement.  Grab your calendar, circle it and circle it again. These will not last long and you won’t want to be the one stuck looking at a tap handle like this!

The Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

That’s it peeps.  You got a big week coming your way.  If you come across events you’d like to share, e-mail me at brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com.  I’m also going to share a few things exclusively on Facebook, so “Like” us over there and keep an eye on us through twitter @BrewtallyInsane.

Get ready, have fun and be safe!

Cheers!


Pints in Pictures: Docktoberfest, Craft Beer Radio, Wild Woods Brewery, Rumpkin Release and the New Dry Dock

Awesome weekend.  You can read about it later.  For now, just look.

On Saturday, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan tapped the first keg of Oktoberfest at Dry Dock Brewing with owners Kevin and Michelle Delange.

Next stop, off to ESPN Radio to talk beer on American Craft Beer Radio with host Gary V. and special guests, Chris Black, owner of Falling Rock Tap House, Dustin Lemoine from Avery Brewing and Duane Taylor of The Brew Hut.

Then it was off to Boulder’s newest brewery, Wild Woods.

And eventually over to Avery for the release of this year’s batch of Rumpkin.

Then a little cookout, football and sneak peek into the new Dry Dock facility on Sunday.

Busy, busy weekend.  Plenty of things to write about, I just wanted to share a few pics and hopefully ease your “Case of the Mondays”.

Cheers!


Pumpkin Beer Guide Pt. 2 – The Locals

Pumpkin Beers Round 2!  Last time, we discussed some awesome Pumpkin Ales and Lagers from around the U.S.  This time, we’re going to talk Pumpkin Beers that are brewed right here in Colorado!  Whether they come in bottles, cans or growlers, there’s a variety of great tasting gourds waiting for you.  Take a look.

Tommyknocker Brewery, Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale.   The Idaho Springs brewery first released their Small Batch Pumpkin Harvest Ale in 2011.  This 5% ABV beer retails for $7.99/ 6-pack. The beer poured a very dark, ruby red color with a 1-finger, off-white head.  The aroma was malt, dark fruit and molasses.  Where’s the pumpkin?  The taste was cherry, raisins, burnt wood and molasses.  I was a little confused by this one as I found very little pumpkin anywhere in the beer.  It seemed one-dimensional and was fairly disappointing.  Score: 2.5/5

Note: My review is based on Tommyknocker’s bottled version.  I had it on-tap at the brewery in Idaho Springs two weeks ago and found it to be a whole lot better.  It’s possible I got a bad bottle.

Dry Dock Brewing, Half Moon Pumpkin Ale.  The ’09 Small Brewery of the Year released this beauty last week and I was able to make it over for the release party.  This 5.2% ABV beauty pours a clear, dark orange color, with a 1-finger, off-white head.  Big pumpkin spice dominates the aroma, along with some notes of cinnamon and brown sugar.  The taste was pumpkin pie spices, brown sugar, molasses and a touch of vanilla.  This is a very spicy, flavorful brew.  Very enjoyable.  Hey homebrewers, The Brew Hut (homebrew shop) next door will set you up with the recipe so you can brew your own batch.  I brewed a batch about 6 years ago and it’s a great recipe.  Score: 3.75/5

Upslope Brewing, Pumpkin Ale.  The Boulder brewery took home a Gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011 with this special beer.  The 7.7% ABV brew pours a clear, copper color with a half-finger, off-white head.  Soft carbonation and faint lacing trim the glass.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and malt round out the aroma, while the flavor is pumpkin pie, graham cracker, brown sugar and a touch of hops.  A touch of alcohol and the slightest hop bite in the finish.  Very nice beer.

In addition to sporadic tappings at the brewery, 16oz. cans have been distributed to multiple stores along the Front Range.  You can purchase a 4-pack from the brewery for $15, which also includes a coupon for a free pumpkin from Munson Farms in Boulder.  Baby Bear Pumpkins from Munson Farms were used in the making of this wonderful beer.  Score: 4.5/5

Avery Brewing, Rumpkin.  Wow.  There are pumpkin beers and there are PUMPKIN BEERS!  This is a monster of a pumpkin beer, clocking in at 15.9% ABV!  That’s right, 15.9%!  Avery released this amazing concoction for the first time in bottles last year and most stores were sold out within hours. This brew was barrel-aged in rum barrels and sold for $10 / 12oz. bottle.  I’m reviewing the inaugural 2011 batch, since the 2012 batch is yet to be released.

This monster pours a hazy, dark amber color, with a 1-finger tan head.  Amazingly sweet notes of rum, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, raisins and booze.  Smells more along the lines of an Old Ale or aged-Barleywine than a Pumpkin Ale.  The taste, ooooohhhhhh, the taste…  Sooo sweet and smooth. Vanilla, rum, raisins, dark fruit, cinnamon, caramelized brown sugar and a slight hint of pumpkin. This is a truly amazing beer and completely different to anything else I’ve tasted while going on this little journey through the land of Pumpkin Beers.  It’s clear that some of the pumpkin flavors have faded since the ’11 release, but that’s part of the beauty of aging beers.  Over time, the layers slowly blend together, harsh flavors mellow out and time can turn sharp notes into smooth ones.  Score: 4.75/5

This is a very special beer and is more along the lines of Avery’s “The Beast” than a standard Pumpkin Ale.  I picture The Beast chowing down in a pumpkin patch.  If you’re looking to grab a bottle from this year’s batch, you had better make plans to visit the brewery on Saturday, September 29th.  Word on the street from Avery’s Barrel Herder, Andy Parker, is that he had trouble tracking down rum barrels and production is lower than last year.  I’ve also heard that there will be no distribution for the 2012 batch.  In other words, get your butt to the brewery on the 29th if you want a bottle.  12oz. bottles will run $10/each, with a 12-bottle limit.  It seems like there’s 826 beer related events going down on the 29th, but I’m going to give it the old “college try” to make it up to Boulder for this.  Hope to see you there!

“But wait, there’s more!”

Keep your eyes out for a variety of other Pumpkin brews that are in various stages of fermentation at your favorite local brewery.  Strange Brewing in Denver is working on a Pumpkin Porter.  Look for it to get tapped sometime around October 8th.

Slaying Pumpkins at Strange Brewing

TRVE Brewing, also in Denver, was cooking their gourds earlier this week.  Owner / Brewer Nick Nunns is naming TRVE’s Pumpkin Ale, “Carving Out The Eyes Of Gourd”.  He’s brewed the beer with 8 different varieties of roasted heirloom gourds and expects it to be in the 8% – 10% ABV range. Nick’s planning to spice it up later with vadouvan, which is a French-influenced curry blend.  I’m excited to try his creative take on the style.

Grilling Gourds at TRVE Brewing

Down in Colorado Springs, Bristol Brewing was picking perfect pumpkins earlier this week for their amazing Venetucci Ale.  This is a very nice beer that can only be purchased at the brewery (guaranteed to sell out!) and proceeds go to charity.

Also down South in the Springs, Trinity Brewing has brewed several batches of this year’s Emma’s Pumpkin Saison.  This is always an impressive beer that can be found on tap at the brewery and in 750mL bottles.

This list is by no means complete, but it’s certainly a great starting point for you to get your gourd on this season.  Grab a pint at your favorite brewery or get a growler to-go.  Many of these won’t last more than a few weeks, while some will be gone in a matter of hours, so get out and enjoy them while you can.  If you’d like to share your favorites, feel free to send me an e-mail or post a picture on the Facebook page.

Cheers!