Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. Wow! You haven’t even been open a week and I’m already wondering how I’ve survived so long without you.
In honor of Sour Beer Day, I’m bringing you a full report on the newly opened Crooked Stave Tap Room and Barrel Cellar. You ready?!?!
I made the trip over on Wednesday to partake in the highly anticipated Grand Opening of the Taproom and Barrel Cellar. More HERE. They opened the doors at 2 PM and within ten minutes, the room was already full. I’m not complaining and I’m glad they’re off to a great start, but they definitely had their hands full. I decided to take the fam back on Thursday because there were just too many tasty beers left to try and I wanted to see if things had quieted down a bit.
The beers are amazing. They’ve currently got 5 barrel-aged beers on tap that include a variety of unique ingredients, from Colorado Blue Spruce Tips to Vignole Grapes to Blueberries. There’s also a non-alcoholic, barrel-aged Kombucha drink, made with jasmine, green and sumac teas, mangosteen and blueberries that tastes like a cross between fruit juice and iced tea. It’s tasty and refreshing.
Things were definitely a bit more relaxed on Thursday and owner / brewer Chad Yakobson was kind enough to spend over an hour giving me what was probably the most thorough and interesting brewery tour I’ve ever had in my life. He shared the entire process and discussed his plans for the newly opened Barrel Cellar and Taproom, as well as The Source, which is set to open in 2013.
At the taproom, three additional foeders are getting delivered this week, 375mL bottles will soon be hitting the market, bright tanks and more barrels are on the way and a lab for culturing yeast is in the works. For now, brewing will continue at Prost and River North.
A tour of the Barrel Cellar included a bit of barrel history. Each barrel really has its own unique story, characteristics and personality. Some were from New Belgium, others from various wineries and distilleries. One famous barrel is even from Vinnie’s herd at Russian River. Beer geek’s take note and meet pH2. Beatification anyone?
Chad even pulled the nail out from a few barrels to check the progress on some of his beers. He’s got a Sour Quad in the works which is tasting awesome. I believe his exact words were “bourbon marshmallows”.
He’s also got several different Saisons, a Sour Porter, a Dark Sour and fingers crossed, another batch similar to Persica. Persica’s a Sour Peach beer that was only available to members of his Cellar Reserve club. I tried it at the Avery Sour Fest earlier this year and is by far, my favorite beer of 2012. Amazing beer!
As for the upcoming brewery over at The Source, a 20 BBL brew system will be installed and a coolship is in the works. Yep, a freakin’ coolship! It just keeps getting better and better! Just in case you don’t know what a coolship is, it’s a flat, shallow, open vessel, designed to allow the wort to cool, while permitting exposure to wild, airborne yeasts. All those wild critters in the air create sour, funky traits that are highly desirable in this style of brewing. Many lambic brewers in Belgium use coolships, but only a handful have them in the U.S. Glorious!
Here’s a view of the coolship at Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium. Note the windows to allow the wild yeasts to enter and infect the beer.
Chad’s a master at his craft and Denver is lucky to have him. If you haven’t been to his place yet, you owe it to yourself to pay him a visit. I can’t say enough good things about his beers and his hospitality is second to none. My mind is blown from everything I learned this week. Thanks Chad and once again, Welcome to the neighborhood!
Wow, another week has flown by! It’s about time for your Weekend Beer Buzz. Unfortunately, I’ve had a one-track mind and all I can seem to think about is Avery’s upcoming 3rd Annual Sour Fest on Saturday, June 2nd. sour fest, Sour Fest, SOUR FEST, SOOOUUURRRR FEEEESSSSTTTT!!!!! Yeah, I can’t wait. The back of my tongue is already feeling all tingly and my stomach is anticipating that jacked-up feeling from all those wild yeasts attacking my innards. I can’t wait!
In its’ short existence, Avery’s Sour Fest has quickly turned into one of my favorite annual events. Nothing but funky, filthy, mouth-puckering sours, being poured at one of my all time favorite breweries. I’m in! If you don’t already have tickets, you’re probably out of luck. I hate to be a downer, but it’s not going to be easy to find a ticket this late in the game. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find a deal on craigslist, but these puppies sold out in a ridiculously short and nerve-racking 90 seconds. Best of luck in your hunt.
If you were one of the few lucky beer nerds that were able to score a ticket, I’ll see you there. The fun starts at noon and runs until 5 PM. Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303. 303-440-4324.
Come down early and listen to Gary V. as he broadcasts live from Avery Brewing on American Craft Beer Radio on 102.3 FM. His show starts this week at 11 AM. Yep, an hour earlier than normal, because he wants to get in and enjoy those sour specialties at noon just like everyone else. You should definitely tune in this week as it will be my radio debut. WooHoo!
Right after Gary fills your head full of foamy fun, flip over to Colorado Craft Beer Show on 760 AM. The Gubna and John Turk kick off at noon and cover all the local beer news in this lovely state. They’ve expanded to two hours and will be on from noon – 2 PM every Saturday. They’ll also be broadcasting live from Avery Brewing. Nothing like a little friendly competition. Play nice boys!
Believe it or not, there’s actually more than just the Sour Fest going on this weekend. What?!?! Don’t get all sad on me if you weren’t one of the 400ish people to get a ticket to the funk madness, there’s always something else to do. My suggestion….. Get over to the Oskar Blues Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza! This isn’t even a suggestion, it’s an order.
If you’re going to call yourself a beer nerd and are anywhere near the Denver metro area this weekend, you need to plan on attending either the Sour Fest or OB Tap Takeover. Pick one, pick both, but don’t pick your nose and don’t miss out on these delicious events. (Unless you’ve got a title like Firkin Master and your name is Walt. He’s off the hook since he’s in freakin’ Hawaii!!! Again!!!)
I’ve managed to hit Parry’s past Tap Takeovers and these are the real deal folks. I was in the back, super secret, retina-scan required keg vault over at Parry’s Pizza a few weeks ago and I saw the stash first hand. They’ve been piling up an impressive lineup for this event, including a bunch of barrel aged gems. I’ve been around the block (in a good way) and I hadn’t even heard of some of these beers before. In other words, they’re super limited and won’t be around again anytime soon. This is your chance people. Don’t miss it!
Still don’t believe me??? I’ve seen the tap list and while I won’t give away all the surprises, let me just say they’ll be pouring both Buffalo Trace Whisky Barrel Aged Ten Fidy and Cabernet Barrel Aged G’Knight. If that doesn’t excite you, then I give up.
Good gravy I love their food too. Go famished and parched… Leave happy. Your tummy will thank you for it.
But wait, there’s more! As always, kicking off your weekend is Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday. At 3 PM on Friday, June 1st they’ll be tapping a Toasted Coconut Porter. I’ve had this one before and really enjoyed it. My wife, who’s incredibly allergic to coconuts, couldn’t get enough. I had the EpiPen ready, but she powered through like a champ. Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013. 303-400-5606.
Copper Kettle is getting the most out of their new fermenters, as they’re rolling out a new beer every Saturday in June. For Saturday, June 2nd, they’re bringing back their Dortmunder Lager. I made it to the Summer Ale release last week and also got to enjoy their Black IPA and Belgian Golden Strong, while Patti worked on the uber tasty and award-winning, Mexican Chocolate Stout. They’ll have different food trucks out front for each release. The beer goes on tap at noon and the food rolls in at 5 PM.
Copper Kettle is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. If you haven’t yet paid them a visit, you’re long overdue. They’re located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
Not really an event, but the current Lips of Faith lineup in the New Belgium Brewery Tap Room is simply mouth-watering.
From sour treats like La Folie and Tart Lychee to sweet beasts like Cocoa Mole and Abbey Grand Cru, not to mention the new collaboration with Lost Abbey and the Valentine Ale brewed with rose hips and pomegranates. Why does Fort Collins have to be so far. Why man, WHY??? But, if you’re lucky enough to be up that way in the near future, stop by for a few samples or a growler fill. New Belgium Brewing is located at: 500 Linden Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524. Just follow the bikes.
There you have it. Sour Fest at Avery or Oskar Blues Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza. If I find out you didn’t go to one of these two amazingly, awesomely, wonderfully, beerily Colorado events, I’m pulling your Beer Nerd Club Card. I might even tell your friends too. Don’t test me… Don’t you know I’m loco???
I think I’ll wrap this up with a few random shots from the two previous Sour Fests. Hope you enjoy. Cheers!