Beer News, Reviews and More!

Posts tagged “cantillon

Going Big In Vail With Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines

I Love me a good beer fest and here in Colorado, there’s no shortage of good beer fests.  We’ve got plenty to choose from throughout the year.  But, it’s the Great Ones that keep me up at night.  The Great Ones that get me excited like a kid on Christmas morning.  The Great Ones that I’d jump on a flight to attend if I ever moved out-of-state.  (Gasp!)  The annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines in Vail is a Great Beer Fest.

Big Beers (or BBB or #Bigbeers for you twitterers / hash tag types), is a world-class event that educates beer lovers, brings us closer together with tastings and bottle shares and when all’s said and done, leaves us thirsting for more.  How the hell have I not been back to this event for the past 6 years!?!?  No clue, but I guarantee it won’t happen again.

On The Road Again

Our adventure began on Friday morning with a trip up old I-70.  No trip through the mountains is complete without a stop at Backcountry Brewery in Frisco.

DSC_0968

Within a few minutes of arriving, our group had secured spots at the bar and I had a glass of Old Beer Wagon Barleywine sitting in front of me, courtesy of Backcountry’s Head Brewer Alan Simons. The perfect beer to warm up with from the sub-freezing temperatures and blowing snow outside. We enjoyed lunch and I got my fill of Alan’s amazing Barleywine and hearty Breakfast Stout.

DSC_0971

Just as we were preparing to press on to Vail, Alan re-appeared and offered us a tour and the chance to check out Backcountry’s recent expansion.

DSC_0981

DSC_0989

In addition to the new family of fermenters, Backcountry has a new bottling line that should be rolling out 6-packs down the mountain shortly.  Alan was kind enough to share some special treats with us like his GABF award-winning Imperial Saison, Imperial Saison w/ Brett and Tart SaiZin, which was aged in Zinfandel barrels.  Another great visit to Backcountry.  Their great beers and hospitality can’t be beat.  Be sure to pay Backcountry a visit on your next trip up that way.

Warming Up With A Bottle Share

We pressed on and in no time, found ourselves pulling into Vail.  We hadn’t even checked into our condo yet, when I realized Gary V from American Craft Beer Radio was trying to catch up with us for a beer.  With not much else planned for the day and bone chilling, sub-zero temperatures outside, we decided to coordinate a bottle share for the night.

DSC_1006

DSC_1009

DSC_1022

Nice photo bomb Gary!

We had a solid group of craft beer enthusiasts including Dave from Fermentedly Challenged, John from Backcountry Pizza, Lauren from Napa of Beer, plus several homebrewers and our host Gary from American Craft Beer Radio.  It was a lot of fun just to sit around, taste and share a variety of beers from Cigar City to Jester King.  Surly Five is such a tasty, barrel-aged Brett beer.  Three Floyds Dark Lord seems to show up at every tasting we attend and I can’t get enough of the rich, inky stout. And Cantillon continues to be my favorite Belgian Brewery.

We talked and tasted into the wee hours.  Thanks to everyone involved for a great time!

The Main Event

On Saturday, with no kids to wake me up at 5 AM, I managed to sleep in until all of 7 AM.  A quick check on the phone revealed a lovely temperature of -15 F.

photo-13

Yeah, -15 F is pretty special.  No reason to fight it.  We just got the gang together, got the fire going, started a pot of coffee and whipped up pancakes, sausage and eggs.  Who forgot the bacon???

Before I knew it, we were off to the Commercial Tasting Session.

Starting things off right with some Rochefort and Orval.

DSC_1028

DSC_1039

Hair of the Dog!  Love me some Adam!  DSC_1041

DSC_1035

Great to see Allagash back in Colorado!DSC_1034

DSC_1042

DSC_1046

Brian and Great Divide had plenty of big beers, plus a special keg of Peach Grand Cru and a variety of cheeses to pair with their beers.DSC_1052

DSC_1051

Breckenridge Brewery brought out their big beers to share, including their Barrel-Aged Holidale.  DSC_1049

Jim, Kjell and Melissa from Rockyard Brewing brought a bunch of small batch, big brews, along with their collaborative Buddha Nuvo to share.DSC_1055

DSC_1056

DSC_1058

Look for Strange Brewing to bottle their award-winning, Dr. Strangelove Barleywine in the coming weeks.  This will only be available at the brewery in very limited quantities, so don’t miss out.  DSC_1057

Danny from CAUTION: Brewing showing off his newest growler design.  Emperor’s Royal Guard Red for those keeping score at home.  DSC_1032

Crooked Stave brought pretty much everything, including the kitchen sink!  DSC_1061

DSC_1064

Awesome as always.  Thanks guys!  DSC_0002

I finally had the opportunity to sample the variety of sours from Colorado’s Three Barrel Brewing. They are hoping to get bombers into the Denver market later this year.  I really enjoyed all of their beers and if you’re a sour fan, I’d definitely keep an eye on them.
DSC_1068

DSC_1070

DSC_0005

DSC_0008

Dry Dock Head Brewer Doug Hyndman was happy to share some Bligh’s Barleywine.
DSC_0007

DSC_0009

DSC_0011

DSC_0014

Sam Adams 10th Anniversary of Utopias was flowing during the fest.  At nearly $200 / bottle, it was probably my last chance to try this big, rich and tasty beer.  DSC_0015

DSC_0043

DSC_0028

Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione was almost as excited as we were when Bell’s “lost shipment of beer” showed up to the tasting.  DSC_0034

DSC_0038

Xandy from Elevation was pouring Apis IV, plus their next two beers, Oil Man and Señorita.  You won’t want to miss these upcoming bottle releases.
DSC_0050

DSC_0070

DSC_0078

DSC_0083

DSC_0080

DSC_0084

Goose Island had plenty to choose from, including Bourbon County Brand Stout and Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.DSC_0086

DSC_0114

DSC_0099

DSC_0111

Keep an eye out for Roadhouse Brewing from Jackson Hole, WY.  They won’t open until later this Spring, but already have a tasty IPA, Saison and Belgian Strong Ale.  DSC_0112

DSC_0116

DSC_0122

Brewtally Best of Show

With so many amazing beers, covering a wide variety of styles, it was nearly impossible to narrow down a favorite.  But here are three that stuck with me.

Big Beer: Bell’s Brewery – Raspberry Wild One.  With the ridiculous amount of stellar beers pouring, I could easily list 10 as my “Favorite Big Beer”, but I’ve done my best and narrowed it down to this one.  The Wild One.  The tartness, mixed with the sweet fruit, was what made me enjoy this one so much.  It’s got complexity and depth with the oak presence, acidity and sour notes. Raspberry Wild One was just a great beer that really stuck out in my mind from the weekend.  Great job Bell’s!

Belgian: Brasserie d’Orval – Orval.  This is the Trappist that goes against the grain.  While the other Trappist monasteries brew some of the finest Dubbels and Quads around, Orval takes a different approach with their dry, slightly hoppy and funky Brettanomyces brewed beer.  I could drink Orval all day.  Drink it fresh for the hops, or age it for a little more Bretty funk.  Orval is a delicious beer and the only one the brewery puts into bottles.

Barleywine: Strange Brewing – Dr. Strangelove.  This is an American Barleywine with tons of sweet, caramel malt, balanced by a generous does of hops.  Head Brewer Tim Myers, said he hopes to bottle Dr. Strangelove later this month and sell bottles at the brewery shortly thereafter.  Job well done.  Beer hunters, snag some if you can.

With 200+ beers pouring this past weekend, it’s downright unfair to pick just 3, so here are a few others that definitely deserve a mention: Wynkoop – The Chancellor Barleywine, AC Golden – Peach Sour, Mission Brewing – Double IPA, Hair of the Dog – Adam, Three Barrel – Penitente Chimayo, Surly – Abrasive, Rockyard – Buddha Nuvo, Trappistes Rochefort – 10, Renegade – Black Gold (Peanut Butter Cup Stout), Oskar Blues / Ska – OSKAr the G’Rauch, Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Elevation – Oil Man Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Boston Beer Company – Utopias 10th Anniversary, Crooked Stave – L’Brett d’Or, Backcountry – Imperial Saison with Brett, Grimm Brothers – Wee Heavy Bourbon Barrel Brett and on and on and on.  As you can see, the list was phenomenal!

Here’s some links to last week’s radio shows, both of which were live from Vail:

Colorado Craft Beer Show

American Craft Beer Radio

Vail Big Beers gives beer lovers a rare chance to sample some of the finest beers on the planet AND talk to the brewers that create them.  Such a great weekend and a BIG Thank You to all involved.  We can’t wait to go back next year.

Cheers!

Advertisements

Colorado Beer Lovers Celebrate Zwanze Day At Crooked Stave

Wow, what a weekend of beer.  Even if you only had half as much fun as I did, you’re still in great shape.  My only complaint is that the weekend still isn’t long enough for my liking.  I’m still campaigning to cut the work week down and get a 3-day weekend every week, but that hasn’t happened yet…

On Saturday, we were lucky enough to attend Zwanze Day over at Crooked Stave.  After a weekend of good beer, I typically like to let the pictures do the talking, but I have some thank you notes and quick observations to share with you.

First of all, a HUGE Thank You to Chad Yakobson and his team over at Crooked Stave.  They had their hands full with the hundreds of sour beer freaks that started showing up on their doorstep as early as 3 AM on Saturday morning.  The Crooked Stave gang did an outstanding job of handling the large turnout and keeping everyone happy on a very busy day.  Thank you guys!  You rock!

Second, big shout out to the Colorado Craft Beer Community. The pre-Zwanze bottle share was nothing short of awesome and the generosity was unreal.  Huge thanks to everyone that brought beer and food to share.  I was camped out next to the table that was full of beer bottles, hoplava (hoppy baklava), doughnuts and 5 pounds of freshly grilled bacon.  If that’s not reason enough to get up at 4 AM, I don’t know what is.  You guys rock and I’m proud to be part of this enthusiastic, friendly and generous group of beer lovers.

Finally, Thank You to Jean Van Roy and Brasserie Cantillon for sending some of your amazing beer to Colorado and sharing it with us.  As if the highly anticipated Zwanze wasn’t enough, you spoiled us with Fou’ Foune on draft and bottles of Lou Pepe Framboise, St. Lamvinus, Classic Gueuze and Iris. Not to mention, my wife finally got that Cantillon shirt she’s been trying to track down for too many years to count.  Thank You Cantillon, I hope Colorado made you proud.  Cheers!

DSC_0217

IMG_1005

IMG_1004

DSC_0210

DSC_0216

IMG_1007

DSC_0220

DSC_0206

Chad handing out the magic tickets

Chad handing out the magic tickets

Hmm, Does two dates mean I have the option to buy two pours?

Hmm, Does two dates mean I have the option to buy two pours?

DSC_0244

DSC_0246

DSC_0248

DSC_0255

DSC_0230

DSC_0240

DSC_0258

DSC_0227

The international toast at 1PM MST

DSC_0235

DSC_0257

DSC_0261

Hope you enjoyed this round of pictures.  If you have comments, pictures or anything you’d like to share from your Zwanze Day experience, please send me an e-mail or leave a comment on our Facebook Page.  I’m sorry we missed Parade of Darks at Wynkoop and the Grand Opening of Black Bottle Brewery up in Fort Collins, but I’ll never forget Zwanze Day.

Good to the last drop!

Good to the last drop!

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 11/29/2012

We’ve got a big weekend folks and I’m dropping bombs!  Say what?  Hey, there’s not one, but two new breweries opening in Colorado this week!  This looks like it’ll be the biggest weekend we’ve had since the GABF circus rolled through town almost two months ago.  Strap on your beer goggles and get ready to go.  Oh and if you really want to enjoy this week’s post, grab your favorite beer and take a swig every time you see the word “BOOM!”.  Hurry up, you just missed one.

Ready?  Alright, let’s do this.

Earlier This Week

Firestone Walker XVI dropped not once, but twice.  BOOM!

The Bad News: It disappeared from store shelves almost as soon as it landed.  The Good News: It’s on tap at Parry’s Pizza right now (11/29/2012 11AM).  Head over and try this unique anniversary blend of 8 different barrel-aged beers!  BOOM!

Deschutes The Abyss hit Colorado.  BOOM!

This inky impy stout is proving to be a challenge to track down as well.  There’s not as much to go around as originally anticipated.  I’m not sure if we’ll be getting a second shipment or if the beer geek boom is stretching the supply thinner than previous years.  Whatever the case may be, if you want some, don’t wait around.  It’s hitting shelves this week and a few stores have already sold out.

Dry Dock bottled their 2012 batch of Bligh’s Barleywine on Tuesday.  BOOM!  This luscious Barleywine has spent the better part of 2012 aging in Stranahan Whiskey Barrels.

I had the opportunity to try a sample a few weeks ago during our interview with Dry Dock Co-Owner & Founder Kevin DeLange and it’s shaped up very nicely.  You’re going to love it.  And if you don’t, you’ll sell your bottles to me and like it.  Dry Dock’s releasing 10 cases at the brewery on Sunday, 12/9 ($20 each / 1-bottle limit), with more cases going to local liquor stores on 12/11.

Brewery Rickoli Ltd. opened in Wheat Ridge on Wednesday.  BOOM!

Brewmaster Rick Abitbol has been brewing along the Front Range for more than a decade.  Rickoli opened with Black Pliny Double IPA, Social Lubricant Scotch Ale, Aldo’s Red, Totally IPA and a Rye Stout.  Stay tuned for a single-hopped Pale Ale series exploring one hop variety at a time, plus a Hoppy Barleywine, a Bourbon Peach Strong Ale, a Dark Chocolate Milk Stout and more!  Brewery Rickoli Ltd is located at: 4335 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.  Mon – Thu: 3 PM – 11 PM & Fri – Sun: 2 PM – 12 AM.  303-344-8988.

Cantillon bottles have been dropping on local retailers too (thankfully no one was injured)!  BOOM!

My most favoritest of the Belgians.  I heart you Cantillon.  Sadly, I’m not too hopeful that I’ll find any. With everyone on the hunt, I figure winning this week’s $400+ Million Powerball jackpot might be easier than finding a little Cantillon on a store shelf around town.  But, hey, at least it’s returned to CO.  More Cantillon news below…

Friday, November 30, 2012

For this week’s Deviation down at Rockyard Brewing, the Jellyman will be pouring JPA – Jelly Pale Ale.

According to Jellyman, this is a 7% ABV that pours a “dark straw with lacy white head”, has aromas of “fruit berry jelly with hints of toffee” and has “a balanced maltiness and citrus hops, punctuated by jam”.  Get your Jelly On at 4 PM!  BOOM!  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Dry Dock Brewing is following up last week’s Ho Ho Ho Slapdown with a very festivus Firkin Friday. Here’s Firkin Friday Surgeon General Walt Chleva modeling an amazing beer and pairing it with this Christmas sweater that’s…  Well it’s…  hmm, oh yeah nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Thanks Mom.

This week’s firkin will feature a Roasted Marshmallow version of Bethla-Yam.  Bethla-Yam is a Sweet Potato Stout, winner of the 2012 Ho Ho Ho Slapdown and creation from Dry Dock Brewer Brett Williams.  The win has secured Brett bragging rights around the brewery for the next 12 months as he beat out fellow brewers Doug Hyndman and John Schneider for the title.

As for Bethla-Yam, it’s a sweet, moderately spiced stout.  BTW – Dry Dock is still pouring all of the Ho Ho Ho Slapdown entries, so if you’re interested in trying them or grabbing a growler to-go, head over now and get your fix.  As for Firkin Friday, tappings will be at 3 PM & 7 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wynkoop’s Annual Parade of Darks is lined up for Saturday.

34 breweries bringing 82 brews, all leaning towards the darker side of the force.  BOOM!  Here’s the complete list from Wynkoop’s very own Beer Evangelist, Mr. Marty Jones:

Arvada Beer Co – Jolly Holiday Ale, Foreign to Me Stout
Avery Brewing – The Czar, Old Jubilation, Out of Bounds Stout
AC Golden – Blueberry Sour, Plum Sour,
Bootstrap Brewing– Worthog Stout, Boomer Brown
Boulevard Brewing – Bully! Porter, Dark Truth Stout
Breckenridge Brewery – Oatmeal StoutVanilla PorterExtra ESB, Christmas Ale 
Bull & Bush – Big Ben Brown Ale, Stonehenge Stout, Punk Up The Yams, The Legend Of The Liquid Brain, Captain Funk, Captain Midnight
Caution Brewing – Toaster Bat Black Smoked Porter, Dunkel(er)weiss.
Copper Kettle – Mexican Chocolate Stout, Pumpkin Porter
Denver Beer Co– Graham Cracker Porter, Chill Out Chocolate Chili Stout
Elevation Brewing – Apis, Lil Mo Porter 
Drydock Brewing – Wee Heavy Strong Scotch Ale, Raspberry Porter
Firestone Walker – Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout, Walker’s Reserve Porter, DBA 
Fort Collins Brewery – Double Chocolate Stout
Great Divide – Yeti Imperial Stout, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Claymore Scotch Ale, Hibernation
Green Flash – Double Stout
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse – Master Thief German Porter, Fearless Youth Dunkel Lager, Wee Heavy Barrel-Aged Scottish Strong Ale
Jolly Pumpkin – Bam Noir
Left Hand – Fade to Black, Milk Stout Nitro
Lone Tree Brewing – Acres O Green Irish Red, Toots’s Full-Bodied Oatmeal Stout, Chili Beer Collaboration #2, Old # 99 Rauchbier
Lost Abbey – Lost & Found 
Maui Brewing – Coconut Porter 
Mountain Sun Brewery & Pub — Megatron Imperial Stout, Oatimus Prime Imperial Stout
Odell Brewing – Mountain Standard, Isolation Ale 
Ommegang – Three Philosophers 
Port Brewing – Old Viscosity 
Prost Brewing – Doppelbock, Dunkel
Pug Ryan’s– Brain-teaser Barlywine, Barell-Aged Leap Year Trifecta
Sierra Nevada –Narwhal Imperial Stout,Wine Barrel Aged Dubbel
Ska – Steel Toe Stout, Nefarious, On The Sly Again
Strange Brewing – Pumpkin Porter, Cherry Bomb Stout, Gingerbread Man, Vanilla Rum Porter
Twisted Pine – Espresso Stout, Honey Brown 
Upslope Brewing– Christmas Ale, Brown Ale
Wynkoop Brewing – Gingerbread Stout, 2012 Barleywine, Cowtown Milk Stout, B3K Black Lager, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, Colorojo

As you can tell, this is going to be full of awesome beers for your tasting pleasure.  Tickets are $35 in advance and available HERE or $42 at the door (if they’re not already sold out come Saturday).  The Wynkoop is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

Just up the road from the Wynkoop, Crooked Stave will be hosting Cantillon’s Zwanze Day on Saturday.  BOOM!

This is a world-wide event with a coordinated toast at 1 PM MST.   This is the first time a Colorado location has been picked to participate so don’t miss out.  To quote some snotty teenager somewhere in America, “it’s kind of a big deal”.  BOOM!  For more specifics, check out our article about Zwanze Day from earlier in the week by clicking HERE.  Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.

Black Bottle Brewing up in Fort Collins, CO will open their doors to beer freaks for the first time this Saturday.  BOOM!

This new brewery, run by Sean Nook, will be pouring their own beers, along with some great craft beer on their 40 guest taps.  They’ll also have a full bar and fermented grape juice for those non-beer drinking types you so unwisely choose to associate yourself with…  I’m freakin’ psyched about these guys.  They’ve gotten great reviews and took second place in the People’s Choice Awards at the 2012 Gnarly Barley Brew Festival.   In the near future, they’ll be working out a barrel-aging program, souring beers and brewin’ up some nice styles of craft beer that they’ll want to drink.  And by the looks of things, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to drink them too.

Their videos are tough to beat.  I mean, have you seen this yet?

Because Craft Beer Rocks!  BOOM!  I can’t wait to visit Black Bottle Brewing and give them a try. Black Bottle Brewing will be open 7 days a week from 11 AM – 2 AM and is located at: 1605 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525.  970-493-2337.

Over in Boulder, Asher Brewing turns 3 this weekend.

They’ve got a little shindig planned complete with beer, food, beer, music, beer, dogs, games, beer and beer.  Beer, it’s what’s for dinner.  Bet you thought I was going to say “BOOM!”.  I did clown. Now drink!  Two for flinching.  The party runs from noon – midnight.  Asher Brewing is located at: 4699 Nautilus Ct, Suite 104, Boulder CO, 80301.  303-530-1381.

But wait, there’s more.  While you’re up in the People’s Republic of Boulder, swing over to Twisted Pine and grab a bottle or 3 of the last installment in their Artisan Ale Series.  For December, they’re releasing Noel Tripel.

This beer is a 9% ABV Belgian-style Tripel.  750mL bottles will be sold in the tap room beginning at noon.  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Into next week, New Belgium has planned “The Creator’s Dinner”, where all the beers being poured will be introduced by their creator / brewer.  This is happening over at The Kitchen in Denver on Monday at 6:30.  Check out this lineup:

  • Kick- Presented by Kim Jordan (NBB Co-founder and CEO) and Dick Cantwell (head brewer and owner of Elysian Brewing Co)
  • La Folie- Presented by Peter Bouckaert (Brew Master at New Belgium)
  • Le Terroir- Presented by Lauren Salazar (Wood Beer Blender and Sensory Specialist at New Belgium)
  • Eric’s Ale- Presented by Eric Salazar (Wood Beer Brewer and Blender at New Belgium)
  • Chocolate Coffee Stout- Presented by Grady Hull (Assistant Brew Master at New Belgium)
  • Transatlantique Kriek- Presented by Peter Bouckaert (Brew Master at New Belgium)

BOOM!  There will be incredible food paired with each beer.  This is a really great opportunity to meet and talk with some of the creative minds behind New Belgium’s fantastic beers.  Reservations are $85 and can be made by calling 303-623-3127.  The Kitchen Denver is located at: 1530 16th St, Denver, CO 80202.

That’s it.  Did you make it all the way to the end?  I hope so.  I’m all BOOM’d! out.  Yes, that one counts too, so take your final sip and go grab a nap.  You’re going to need it before the weekend gets here.

Have fun out there.

Cheers!


Zwanze Day 2012 Comes To Colorado!

Zwanze Day is coming to Colorado.  Shhh!!!  There’s not much to go around, so don’t tell anyone, OK?  Don’t even read this post.  You already know too much!

Just relax and take a deep breath will ya?  Zwanze Day is almost here, but there’s no reason to freak out.  Read on to get the latest on this Saturday’s world-wide toast with Cantillon.

Cantillon, the legendary Lambic brewery in Brussels, Belgium, began making Zwanze in 2008 and decide to bottle it for an annual release at the brewery.  Zwanze is a spontaneously fermented Lambic and the bottles that were released at the brewery from 2008-2010 were highly sought after by craft beer lovers around the World.  All was well until 2010, when several bottles appeared on eBay for more than ten times the original price.

So in 2011, the brewery decided to keg the entire batch and send it to some of the finest breweries and beer bars around the world for everyone to enjoy.  This year marks the first time a Colorado location has been chosen to receive Zwanze.  Cantillon’s fourth generation brewer and blender, Jean Van Roy, chose the Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar in Denver to participate in this years’ Zwanze Day, which has turned into a world-wide tapping and toasting party.

On Saturday, December 1st at 1 PM MST, wild beer fans from all over the Rocky Mountain area will descend upon Chad Yakobson’s Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar for a chance to try this unique beer and raise a glass with beer lovers around the world.  Crooked Stave is one of only 35 beer destinations across the globe, 15 of which are in the U.S., to receive the coveted brew.

Chad and the Crooked Stave Team are preparing for a big crowd on Saturday.  They’ll be opening up the Barrel Cellar to accommodate the gathering of loyal beer hunters.   Chad says this will be a first-come, first-serve event and they’ll be using a ticketing system to keep things as fair and orderly as possible for attendees.  The doors will open at noon and ticket holders will be allowed to purchase 2 pours of beer (1 Zwanze and 1 yet unnamed Cantillon) plus a Zwanze day glass for what is expected to be a $20 (CASH ONLY) price tag.

There will only be 150 pours of Zwanze on Saturday and jokes have already started buzzing around about how early beer nerds will begin lining up for the festivities.  Those ARE jokes right guys?  I hope.  I mean, we just survived the Black Friday shenanigans and that was just over TV’s…  This is about BEER, which is obviously way more important than any TV could ever hope to be.  Do we at least have time to run home for a shower and a hot meal before heading back out to line up for Zwanze Day?  A low-key, in-line bottle share has been discussed as well, but it remains unclear if the powers that be (i.e. local laws and surrounding businesses) will allow a bottle share to take place or not.  If not, I’m pretty sure Crooked Stave will have some beauties on tap to share.

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.

Here’s a few more details about this year’s Zwanze Day straight from Cantillon’s Jean Van Roy:

When in early April we brewed a top-fermentation beer which was to become Zwanze 2012, we hoped that it would be ready 3 or 4 months later so that we could organise another Zwanze Day sometime in September.

However, since we are working in the very specific environment of traditional Lambic brewery where natural yeast flora reign supreme, even a top-fermented beer can take control of its own destiny. As such, on the occasion of a final tasting session at the end of June it became crystal-clear that the Zwanze 2012 would not be ready in time and that it would, we hope, become Zwanze 2013.

Seeing that we had received numerous requests to organise a Zwanze Day this year we decided to recreate the very first Zwanze produced in 2008. As a reminder, that year’s vintage had been brought about by soaking rhubarb in Lambic. The ultimate result of that experiment was a very delicate and complex product in which the beer’ acidic taste struck a very nice balance with the plant’s tartness and then lingered long on the palate.

For this new production batch we decided to work with organically-grown rhubarb, and you can really taste this in the beer, which is more structured and full-bodied than the 2008 vintage. We opted to recreate the rhubarb Lambic because very few consumers had been able to taste this beer 4 years ago, when only 300 litres had been produced. On top of this, unlike fruit crops, rhubarb production was not adversely affected by the very poor weather which hit Europe this spring. And finally, the last, perhaps most important reason of all for bringing back Zwanze 2008: my wife tells me it’s one of her favourites.

Of course, because of the delays encountered with the first Zwanze we will not be able to hold this year’s Zwanze Day in September. Instead, Zwanze Day 2012 will take place on Saturday, 1 December at the 30 or so locations around the world listed below.

I wish you all an excellent Zwanze Day!

    • America – USA :
      • Armsby Abbey – Worcester, Massachusetts
      • Avenue Pub – New Orleans, Louisiana
      • ChurchKey – Washington, D.C.
      • Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar – Denver, Colorado
      • Holy Grale – Louisville, Kentucky
      • Hop and Vine – Portland, Oregon
      • Lord Hobo – Cambridge, Massachusetts
      • Monk’s Café – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      • Novare Res Bier Café – Portland, Maine
      • REAL a gastropub – Honolulu, Hawai’i
      • Redlight Redlight – Orlando, Florida
      • Spuyten Duyvil – Brooklyn, New York
      • The Foundry – Kansas City, Missouri
      • The Trappist – Oakland, California
      • Toronado – San Diego, California
      • West Lakeview Liquors – Chicago, Illinois
    • America – Canada :
      • Canada – Montréal : Dieu du Ciel
    • Europe :
      • Belgium – Brussels : Moeder Lambic Fontainas
      • Belgium – Brussels : Moeder Lambic Saint-Gilles
      • Belgium – Arlon : Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon
      • France – Paris : La Fine Mousse
      • France – Lille : La Capsule
      • Great Britain – London : The Earl of Essex
      • Italy Rome : Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà
      • Italy Bergamo : The Dome
      • Italy Nicorvo : Sherwood Pub
      • Italy – Quinto Vicentino : The Drunken Duck
      • Italy – Quartu Sant’Elena : Ristopub Margherita
      • Norway – Grimstad : Nøgne Ø
      • Finland Helsinki : Pikkulitu
      • Denmark Copenhagen : Olbutikken
      • Netherlands – Amsterdam : De Bierkoning
      • Sweden Stockholm : Akkurat
      • Spain – Sant Joan de Mediona : Masia Agullons
    • Asia :
      • Japan – Tokyo: Embassy of Belgium

In all seriousness, everyone just remain calm and good luck this weekend beer hunters!  It’s only beer.  Right?  This post will self destruct in 3… 2… (Cheers!) 1…


Weekend Beer Buzz 08/16/2012

Get yer brew news!  Yep, the weekend is almost here and the forecast is perfect.  You ready?

Friday, August 17th, 2012.

Kick things off over at Dry Dock with Firkin Friday.  This week, they’ve taken Doug’s Hop Abomination VI and double dry-hopped that bad boy.

Because obviously a single dry-hopping just wasn’t enough.  Hop Abomination is a great, great beer and I can’t wait to see its’ debut in cans later this year.  In the meantime, stop by and try the latest batch.  Hop heads won’t want to miss this firkin.  The beast gets unleashed at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Sadly, I will miss this week’s firkin, but I’ll be happily pouring beers at the Art and Ale Brew Festival at The Wildlife Experience in Parker.

This is a new one for us, but the list includes Deschutes, Avery, Elevation, Trinity, Uinta and 30+ other breweries.  There’s also several wineries, distilleries and restaurants on the list.  I’m really excited to finally attend this one.  A beer fest in a museum is an awesome idea and I can’t wait. Tickets are $35 for members of The Wildlife Experience, $40 for non-members and $25 for DD’s. More details can be found HERE.

We’ll be pouring at the Dry Dock booth, so stop by and say hi!  The Wildlife Experience is located at: 10035 Peoria St, Parker, CO 80134.  720-488-3300.

Oh, and if you’re out that way, don’t forget about Parry’s Pizza.  They’ve got a location right across the street at: 12501 Lincoln Ave, Englewood, CO 80112.

Don’t forget that Friday will be your first chance to grab tickets for Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival. This is taking place at Avery Brewing in Boulder, CO on Saturday, September 8th from noon – 5 PM.

Saturday, August 18th, 2012.

On Saturday, head over to Stapleton for the third annual Stapleton Beer Festival.

This year, check out dozens of local breweries serving up their tasty offerings from 4 – 8 PM.  Look for Great Divide, Wit’s End, Copper Kettle, CAUTION and an additional 20+  breweries to be on-site. Two bands will perform and nearly a dozen food trucks will be there as well.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the event.  Call 303-388-0724 to purchase tickets in advance or get more information.

If you’re looking to get out-of-town, head up to Central City for the Great Central City Beer Festival. American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from the festival on 102.3 FM from noon – 1 PM on Saturday.  The Beer Festival runs from noon – 7 PM.

I got my history lesson on Central City’s rich brewing history last weekend from Dave Thomas of Dostal Alley Brewing.  Dave recently wrote a book on the history of brewing in Gilpin County and this past weekend, he was a featured guest on the Colorado Craft Beer Show.

The Great Central City Beer Festival will celebrate the rich, 150 year brewing history of Central City and will feature hayrides, live music and more than 40 beers to sample from breweries like Prost (oh yeah!!), Backcountry Brewing and Dostal Alley Brewing.  This is an all ages event and tickets are on sale for $20.  Click HERE to check out some pics from our trip to Dostal Alley Brewing earlier this summer.

And speaking of the Colorado Craft Beer Show, the guys will be hanging out at Hops & Pie this week as they broadcast from noon – 2 PM on AM760.  Head over to Hops & Pie at noon to check out the live show, as they give you all the latest and greatest brew news and take part in Denver’s Littlest Big Beer Fest.

This month’s lineup is from Elevation Brewing.  Elevation, from Poncha Springs, CO, will be bringing a bunch of tasty beers like their Apis IV Quad, Signal de Botrange Belgian Ale, several barrel-aged variations, a firkin and more!  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Don’t forget about Bull & Bush’s 41 Beer in 41 Days event that rolls on all month-long.

This weekend, they’ll be tapping their own Captain Funk, and on the guest list is J.W. Lee’s 25th Anniversary Harvest Ale and  d’Achouffe’s Biere Du Soleil.  A full list can be found HERE.  Bull & Bush Brewery is located at: 4700 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246.  303-759-0092.

Sunday, August 19th, 2012.

The 2nd Annual Colorado Distillers Festival hits the Rackhouse Pub from 1 – 5 PM on Sunday.

Check out some delicious spirits from Breckenridge Distilling, Deerhammer Distilling, Peach Street Distillers and more.  Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door and includes admission, a tasting glass and a tour of Stranahan’s Distillery.  More details can be found HERE.  The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.

Monday, August 20th, 2012.

Stretch your weekend clear into Monday as Euclid Hall will be hosting Tom Korder, brewer from Goose Island at 8 PM.  Yep, that would be Chicago’s Goose Island.  Goose Island recently announced they’ll be bringing their full line of beers into the Colorado market, beginning in September.  There’s talk that they may even begin brewing some of their famous recipes out this way too.  Time will tell. But, on Monday, visit Euclid Hall to try some of their Vintage Beers brought out to CO just for this event.

The chefs at Euclid Hall have created some unique dishes to be paired alongside the beers. Euclid Hall is located at: 1317 14th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-595-4255.

I’m glad to hear that Goose Island will be expanding their distribution to include our market.  For the past few years, we’ve seen bits and pieces of the Goose Island portfolio, but it’s been pretty hit or miss and some of my favorite styles never made it out this way.  It sounds like they’re planning to bring nearly the entire lineup to us.  I had the chance to visit Goose Island last year and if you’re not familiar with them, you’re in for a treat.  They have an awesome lineup of beers and an enormous barrel-aging program that includes everything from big, bold stouts to sour, belgian-style ales.  I can’t wait to track down some more Bourbon County Brand Stout, as my supply is dwindling. For more details on Goose Island’s expansion into Colorado, check out the recent article by Jonathan Shikes over at the Westword.

If you’re just looking to hang out at home and enjoy a new beer this weekend, keep an eye out for Stone’s 16th Anniversary beer, a new batch of Cantillon (which is probably already gone by now…), The Bruery’s tasty Tart of Darkness and some interesting new Brettanomyces beers from Anchorage Brewing.

Looking into the crystal ball, Prost Brewing will officially open on Thursday, August 23rd at noon. I’m hoping to get a sneak-peek at the finished place and try the lineup on Wednesday.  Absolutely can not wait for them to open!  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80202.

Grab your calendar and save the date of Saturday, September 29th.   That’s the big date for the upcoming Fall Beer Classic.  Turk and The Gubna from the Colorado Craft Beer Show are hosting their very own beer fest!  These boys know beer and how to have fun.  Sounds like the perfect combo for a beer fest!  Think of it as a warm-up for the Great American Beer Festival.

I’ll get you all the details in the coming weeks, but for now, be sure to “Like” them on their Facebook Page.

Hey, “Like” us too while you’re at it.  I’ve got more beer to give away, but you’ll need to follow the Facebook page if you want a chance to win.

That’s it y’all.  My fingers are done, my mind is blown, it’s time for a beer!

Have a great weekend!

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz and Trade Update

Even on Easter weekend, the beautiful beer state of Colorado has several events planned to prevent you from getting thirsty.  The weekend’s right around the corner, where are you gonna be?

Boulder is topping the list with two big releases this weekend.  First, swing by Twisted Pine for their West Bound Braggot Release.  This is the fourth release in their Artisan Ale Project and is scheduled for Saturday, April 7th, from 4-8PM.  Think sweet honey mead, mixed with exotic Tasmanian pepper berries and fermented with Belgian saison yeast.  Think adventurous and delish!  Stop by the brewery to grab your bottles, meet the brewers and get your bottle signed by the artist who designed the label.

After Twisted Pine, grab a cab and swing by Avery for the Uncle Jacob’s Stout release party.  This will join Rumpkin as the second beer in their Annual Barrel Series.  Uncle Jacob’s Stout is a big ol’ 17.4% ABV stout that’s been aging for 6 months in fresh bourbon barrels.  Maker’s Mark I believe…

Fan boys and girls can grab  bottles for their cellar on Saturday, beginning at 5PM.  12oz. bottles are $10 / each, with a 12 bottle limit.  Even if you’re not looking to score any bottles, stop by for some banjo pickin’, and try the special beers pouring for the event.  Eremita III, Barrel Aged Tweak (aka Meph Addict) and Rumpkin will be flowing along with whatever else Avery pulls out of their stash to share.  You won’t want to miss it.

So you can’t make it Boulder this weekend?  No worries, out on the southwest side of town in Highlands Ranch, Parry’s Pizza is getting ready for an onslaught of Firestone Walker.  Parry’s is putting on a pint night on Saturday, April 7th from 5:30 to 7:30PM.  Word is that they’ll have 21-23 different taps flowing of Firestone Walker deliciousness.  Order a Firestone Walker beer, get a glass to bring home and add to the collection.  You’ll also be entered to win shirts and other prizes.

Sounds like they’ll be bringing out some tasty kegs from the cellar to share with Colorado.  I visited Parry’s for the first time last weekend and had a great time.  Awesome food and amazing tap list.  Stop kidding yourself.  This place is a legit attraction for beer nerds.  Check them out!

On the other side of town in Aurora, Dry Dock’s Firkin Master, Walt Chleva has brewed a Rose Hips Superstition Ale.  This rose hips infused version of their sour mash ale will go on tap on Friday at 3PM, so slip out of work a little early and get your weekend started in the right direction.

Anybody make it last week for the Bacon Maple Ale firkin?  I’m bummed that I missed that one and would love to hear how it turned out.

My last post was all about getting started in the wide world of beer trading.  I’ll be continuing this series soon, but wanted to give you a quick update on where we are with this project.  After my initial post on beeradvocate.com, I had 3 replies in 20 minutes and ended up getting 15 replies in 24 hours.  I’m currently working out the details with a trader who lives in Chicago, IL and is making a trip to Wisconsin to do some beer shopping this weekend.  I’ll be making a few more posts on this and will walk you through the entire process, but just wanted to give you a quick update.

Finally, a few cases of Cantillon have trickled in from Belgium and a few more should be showing up on shelves around town this weekend.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can find a bottle or two, but I don’t have my hopes up.  Gone are the days when Cantillon was readily available all over town.  But good luck beer hunters and if you come across an extra, I’d love to trade you for a bottle.  If you come up empty-handed, just remember, it’s only beer.  There’s always something new and tasty to try coming up on the horizon.

Have a great weekend and Hoppy Easter!  Cheers!