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Miracles Happen At The Denver Only Beer Festivus!

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

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

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

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

Prost is awesome, but you already knew that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cheers!

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Colorado Artisans Collaborate to Debut New Brews in Trendy Glassware

When it comes to appreciating craft beer, glassware is an important, but often overlooked component of the drinking experience.  I’ve always been fascinated by glassware and I’m constantly on the hunt for new and interesting pieces.  If we were to just go grab a beer out of the fridge and drink straight from the bottle, we’d be robbing ourselves of the appearance, aroma and other nuances that the brewer intended for us to enjoy.  Glassware allows us to experience all those little details and unique characteristics found in our craft beer.  After all, as much as 90% of what we taste comes from our sense of smell.

Recently, I came across Offero glassware, when it was featured in BeerAdvocate Magazine earlier this year.

The design blew me away.  It was a completely new take on a very traditional wine glass.

But the Offero wasn’t initially designed with the beer drinker in mind.  Gasp! The first Offero release was actually a coffee mug.

Earlier this year, it was named Best New Product by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.  As the line of coffee cups began taking off, Mitch Bangert, owner and designer of the Offero, had the idea to design a glass for Scotch, Beer and Wine.  Behold the Offero Omnis.

Was it possible that Bangert had reinvented the wheel with his line of Offero glassware?  I needed to find out for myself.  After contacting Bangert and getting the full scoop, I was ready to take it out for a test drive.  Brewtally Insane style.

As you put the glass to your face, your mouth goes on the lowest part of the rim, allowing the tall, curved back of the glass to wrap around your nose, which essentially traps the aromas for your enjoyment.  It’s a modern twist on a classic design and I’m happy to tell you that it really works.

I’ve been testing the glasses for the past few months (a tough job indeed) and I love them!  They’ve quickly become my “Go-To” beer glasses for everyday beer tasting.

If you’re a Denver local, you won’t have to go far to give the Omnis a test drive for yourself.  Just head over to Black Shirt Brewing Co. (BSB), one of Denver’s newest breweries, where they’re using the glassware exclusively in their tasting room.

BSB Co-Founder and Head Brewer Branden Miller says his brewery worked with Bangert and the Offero Omnis to test prototypes before they went into production.  Miller goes on to say BSB believes the Offero Omnis glass is “the best beer glass in the world!”, largely due to the fact that it not only “drives aroma, but directs it in a very precise manner”.

BSB Customers enjoy the Omnis too.  Miller says “Everyone is blown away by them”.  The Omnis have “changed and elevated the experience of drinking a beer at BSB”.  He’s witnessed craft beer drinkers at BSB “stop…and consider what it is that they are smelling and subsequently, the flavors that are coming through”.

I’d highly recommend this glass to any craft beer drinker.  For those of you that enjoy hosting tastings and writing reviews, I’d consider the Omnis to be a “must have” for your glassware collection.  With its’ unique shape, it’s not just a conversation starter, but also a functional and very thoughtfully constructed piece of glassware.

The Omnis come in both stemmed and non-stemmed versions.  A quick search on the internet revealed that a pair of glasses retails in the $21 – $28 range.  Do yourself a favor, save on shipping charges and pick up a set during your next visit to the BSB Tasting Room, where Miller sells them in pairs.

Black Shirt Brewing, one of Denver’s newest breweries to hit the ever-growing craft beer scene, is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.  Keep your eyes on our Weekend Beer Buzz for weekly updates on BSB tappings and hours of operation.

Offero is also based out of Colorado and can be reached here: OFFERO Vessels, 58 South Holman Way, Golden, Colorado 80401.

The collaboration of these two up and coming local companies is both exciting to see and a tribute to our amazing craft beer scene.  It’s just another reminder of how lucky we are to live in the great state of Colorado!  So raise a glass and pour yourself a beer to toast these guys.

Cheers!