Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at The Source, a high-end, European-style market set to open in Denver in June 2013. Kyle Zeppelin, the brains behind this massive undertaking, chose a 26,000 square foot, former ironworks building in River North to call home for this project. The red-brick building, which dates back to the 1880’s, is being renovated and given new life by Zeppelin, who is signing on some of the very best local artisans to bring their respective crafts to The Source.
A variety of businesses have signed on, including Mondo Food, which will offer gourmet cheeses and cured meats; Proper Pour, which in addition to selling fine wines, liquor and bartending supplies, will also feature a wine cellar, where local residents can rent storage units and store their wine collection on site; Babette’s, a bakery that will feature fresh breads, croissants and sandwiches; The Source will also feature a coffee roaster, distillery, two restaurants, chocolatier and more.
As a beer lover, I’m particularly excited that The Source will be the home for Crooked Stave’s new brewhouse. Crooked Stave Owner/Brewer Chad Yakobson, plans to install a 20-BBL brewhouse on site, along with a coolship, one of only a handful of open fermentation vessels found throughout the U.S. This will allow him endless possibilities for experimentation and the ability to make a wide variety of wild and sour beers.
The Source looks to be one-stop shopping for beer connoisseurs, wine aficionados and foodies alike. Although still a few months away from completion (the opening date is anticipated to be June 2013), it’s a very exciting time to be in Denver. We’ll keep you updated as the opening date gets closer, but in the meantime, here’s some pictures from last week’s Groundbreaking ceremony and a glimpse into The Source.
The Source will be located at: 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO.
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!
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.
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
- America – USA :
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…
Listen up all my little Sour, Wild and Funky Beer Fans! This Monday, at 10 AM MST, Crooked Stave will be offering new memberships into next year’s Cellar Reserve program. I made the horrible mistake of not joining the club last year, and since then, I’ve been blown away by brewer / owner Chad Yakobson’s amazing beers.
Due to the low volume being produced, the only way to get many of his beers is by becoming a Cellar Reserve Member. So for $300, you’ll be guaranteed a variety of 750mL bottles of Crooked Stave’s best offerings. Here’s the tentative lineup for 2013:
(1 bottle) *Blackberry L’Brett d’Or (First Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Persica – Golden Sour w/Peaches (First Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Raspberry Dark Origins (Second Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Surette Reserva Cognac Barrel (Second Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Surette Reserva Bourbon Barrel (Second Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Nightmare on Brett (Grand Cru barrel) (Third Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *Cherry Origins (Third Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *TBD Dark Sour blend (Fourth Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *TBD Cellar Reserve Blend (Fourth Quarter of 2013)
(1 bottle) *TBD Cellar Reserve Blend (Fourth Quarter of 2013)
*Denotes beer is a Cellar Reserve exclusive.
In addition to the beers listed above, there will be several additional beers available for sale, along with a membership card, exclusive stemmed glassware, Members-only gear, 15% discount at the tap room and the opportunity to attend Members-only events.
I’ll definitely be jumping on board this year. For the out-of-towners, you can have a “trustee” pick up your beers and send them to you. I might be willing to sponsor a beer freak or two, so e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you need help from a Colorado beer mule such as myself.
If you’re interested in joining the club, click HERE for all the details. There’s even a FAQ page which attempts to answer any questions you might have about holding beer at the Barrel Room, setting up a trustee and more.
It’s no accident that Crooked Stave just landed a medal at this year’s GABF in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer Category. They’re making some great beers and have many more planned for you. I may have missed the boat last year, but lesson learned and I’ll be logging on my computer Monday to get my spot for 2013. Hope you can join me for the ride.
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: email@example.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.
I love weeks like this. You know, the ones where you get to partake in so many beery events, that it just flies by. This past week, I made it over to Crooked Stave for the Grand Opening of their Taproom and Barrel Cellar, got the full tour and tasting with Head Brewer Adam Draeger over at Yak & Yeti (blog is forthcoming), attended Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival and because they’re just sooo dang good, went back to Crooked Stave for another visit and got the all access tour and tasting with Owner / Brewer Chad Yakobson. It’s been so much fun, I kind of want to do it all over again.
Unfortunately, the DeLorean’s in the shop, so let’s just start a new week!
Thursday, September 15th, 2012.
Prost Brewing is getting the weekend kicked off right, with the tapping of Bill Eye’s Helles Lager.
The beer has been named Tivoli and is a nod to the Tivoli Brewery, which operated in Denver from 1866-1969. Click HERE for a good read about Prost that ran in The Denver Post earlier this week. Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-729-1175.
Copper Kettle is getting a jump start on the weekend too, with their Beer & Cheese Pairing Series. This monthly event is a tag-team tasting, coordinated with the amazing cheese Fromager’s from Denver’s Truffle Cheese Shop.
I had the opportunity to attend a pairing back in July and it was pretty damn delish. Four Copper Kettle beers are matched with four artisan cheeses for participants to sample, learn, talk about and enjoy. The cheese gets cut at 7 and tickets are $20. Grab a ticket at the brewery or reserve your spot by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This will also be your first opportunity to get a sneak-peek into Copper Kettle’s expansion. Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
Friday, September 14th, 2012.
Dry Dock Brewing is waiting for you. Firkin Friday will bring a version of their Mild Ale that’s been dry-hopped with Kent Goldings hops.
The Mild barely clocks in at 3% ABV, so help yourself to another before it’s gone. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
The Rockyard’s got a Belgian IPA lined up for this week’s Deviation. Tapping’s at 4 PM. Don’t be late!
Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Saturday, September 15th, 2012.
Parry’s Pizza is at it again, this time with an Oskar Blues Tap Takeover!
16 delicious treats will be on tap just for you. Check out this amazing lineup: Nitro G’Knight, Nitro Old Chub, Nitro Dale’s Pale Ale, TEN Fidy, Gubna, Deviant Dale’s, Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils, Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils, Red Wine Barrel-Aged G’Knight, Barrel-Aged Gubna, Barrel-Aged TEN Fidy, Barrel-Aged Chub, Dave’s Pale Ale, Legends India Brown, Homeskillet (Black IPA) and Chaka.
Let’s be honest, that’s a ridiculous lineup of beers. Don’t miss this. You’ll only kick yourself when it’s over. When you’re done kicking yourself, I’ll kick you too. I had a few of these beers at the Avery IPA Fest last weekend and they’re awesome. As if the beer isn’t enough, the food at Parry’s is amazing too. The poster says “Barrel Aged Passion”. So wrong, but oh, so right! Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. 303-683-0600.
Don’t miss this people. I’m serious! Do it for the children!
So what if I told you, I’m not going to Parry’s Tap Takeover on Saturday?!?! Will you still love me tomorrow? Truth be told, I can’t. Mrs. Brewtally Insane and I are hittin’ the road with our peeps for some camping and a stop at the Colorado Mountain Winefest in Palisade. Yep, this is a beer blog, I’m quite aware…
I look at the Winefest as a chance to get a professional palate cleansing by some of the state’s best wine makers. I’m resetting my taste buds so I can better enhance my beer drinking experience. It’s to better mankind. Yeah, that makes it sounds better. Whatever…
Don’t worry, we’ll be hitting a few breweries along the way and have a trunkload of beer to enjoy and share with any beer nerds we meet. I’ve already talked to Danny, the Head Brewer at Palisade Brewing Company and he’s going to meet up for a few pints. See, I’m not turning into some sort of wine snob on you.
And look, if wine’s your thing, the CO Mountain Winefest is apparently a pretty big deal. 50 wineries, unlimited tastings, live music, food and more. It’s also a great excuse to leave things behind, hit the road and get away for a few days. Grab a ticket and get all the details HERE if you’re interested.
Palisade is loaded with wineries and orchards and sometimes the delicious fruit finds its’ way into a brew kettle. Copper Kettle is releasing two firkins of their Peach Saison on Saturday at noon that was made with Palisade peaches. These peaches are amazing! I can only imagine how good this beer is going to taste.
Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
The boys at the Colorado Craft Beer Show are hittin’ the road for a trek over to Telluride for the 19th Annual Blues & Brews Fest.
A huge variety of breweries will be pouring. From the smaller breweries like Bonfire, Horsefly and Revolution, up to the big boys like Stone, Deschutes and Sierra Nevada. Grab a beer and enjoy the tunes from Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, The B-52’s, Little Feat and dozens more. It’s like Bonnaroo without the hipsters and humidity. Yeah, I said it. To hell with that east coast humidity.
This looks solid. Click HERE for all the details, ticket info and more.
Can’t make it? Tune into the show on AM 760 at noon and see what you’re missing. I’m going to miss the broadcast since I’ll be with the winos in Palisade, but you can always catch the podcast over on coloradocraftbeershow.com Now you’ve got no excuse.
The Fight Fire With Beer Festival will be held on Saturday at Boulder’s 29th Street Mall.
This family friendly event runs from noon – 10 PM and features 10 breweries, food and live music. The beer flows from 3 – 7 PM at 1710 29th Street, Boulder, CO.
The Vine Street Pub is hosting their third annual Uptown Block Party at 1PM. 10 Breweries will compete in the Brewer’s Olympics for bragging rights around town. Watch the fun while sipping on more than 30 beers pouring in the beer garden.
Live music and tasty food will be available as well. Vine Street Pub & Brewery is located at: 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206. P.S. Bring cash if you’re going to attend as Vine Street doesn’t take plastic.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a new brewery opening their doors for the first time on Saturday from noon – 7 PM and again on Sunday from noon – 5 PM. High Hops Brewing in Windsor is ready to share a beer with you on this weekend, but keep in mind this is a soft opening. Look for their Grand Opening sometime in October.
They’ll be pouring 4 beers at their Hop Hut: The Golden One – Lemon Pilsner, The Honeyed One – Sweet American Red, The Noble One – Belgian Ale brewed with Noble Hops and The Dark One – Milk Stout. High Hops is a family run brewery, hop farm, homebrew shop and garden center. They’re brewing on a 10 BBL system and grow 35 different varieties of hops on their own hop farm! I’m looking forward to stopping by for a pint on my next trip up north. High Hops Brewery is located at: 6461 Highway 392, Windsor, CO 80550. 970-686-9771.
Oh, does anybody know anything about the twitter? My agent signed me up with an account and I’m supposed to be twittin’ about beer stuff I guess. Look for my bird and follow Brewtally Insane please. I’ll figure it out eventually.
That’s it for this round guys. Get out and take advantage of the nice weather before Old Man Winter rolls in.
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!
Crooked Stave is here! After months and months of waiting, dreaming and drooling about owner Chad Yakobson’s funky, sour brews, I’m happy to report that the beer is flowing at his new Taproom and Barrel Cellar in Denver.
Since opening in 2011, Crooked Stave has been operating out of Funkwerks in Fort Collins. This past June, Chad packed up his barrels and made the trek down to Denver to open his own facility.
Today’s Taproom and Barrel Cellar opening is part of a bigger plan to also open a brewery and taproom in a market called The Source, scheduled to open in Denver next Spring. In addition to the brewery, The Source will bring together a chocolatier, winemaker, coffee roaster and more, all under one roof. For now, Chad is brewing his beers at Prost Brewing and River North Brewery and transferring them over to barrels in his Barrel Cellar.
For today’s opening, they’re pouring:
Wild Wild Brett Blue (WWBB) – Dark hoppy ale brewed with Colorado blue spruce tips and fermented with Brettanomyces.
Wild Wild Brett Indigo (WWBI) – Brewed and barrel aged with blueberries and fermented with Brettanomyces.
Vignole – Belgian golden ale with Vignole grapes.
Petite Sour – A true farmhouse beer, brewed with lacto and Brett.
L’Brett d’Or – Aged in Leopold Bros Peach Whiskey barrels that were previously used to make New Belgium’s Love.
Unfortunately, I was short on time and only had the chance to enjoy one glass. Decisions, decisions… I went with The L’Brett d’Or, which was amazing! Medium tartness, fruity, crisp and complex.
During my visit, I talked beer with Jonathan Shikes aka Big Shikes, the Beer Man from the Denver Westword. He shared his WWBI with me, which was tart, earthy and lightly fruity. Also a winner.
The bar has roughly 10 seats for fans to get their funk on, plus several tables and a small patio out front. The Barrel Cellar is behind the bar in the warehouse area of the building.
There’s no growler fills, but several bottles are available to go (WWBI, Surette Reserva and Batch 1) along with glassware and shirts.
I feel like Crooked Stave completes the Denver Beer Scene. The Coasts have their Russian River, Cascade, Allagash, Bruery, Lost Abbey and so on. The middle of the U.S. has their Upland, Destihl and Jolly Pumpkin. And now we’ve got our Crooked Stave. So raise your glasses with me fellow Colorado Beer Geeks, as we toast to Chad and Crooked Stave. Congrats and Welcome to Denver! I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is open Wed – Sat from noon – 7 PM and is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.
It seems like every weekend, there are more and more events going on around town. There’s a TON of events happening this weekend. I’m not complaining, I just hope I can fit it all into one post. It’s worth a shot.
Start your weekend by hitting up Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday release on July 20th. Mix Master Walt has come up with Apple Pie Rye in July for this week’s release. 3 PM sucka!
Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Speaking of Dry Dock, Patti and I will be pouring beers for them over at the Hops for Habitat Beer Festival on Friday, July 20th at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, CO. Come out and drink some beer while raising money for the environment! This charity brewfest runs from 5 PM – 9 PM and will feature more than 15 Colorado breweries, food trucks, wagon rides, live music and more.
Some of the breweries pouring include Dry Dock, Copper Kettle, Odell, New Belgium and Ska. Stop by the Dry Dock booth and say Hi! Tickets for the event are $30 ($15 for DD’s) and can be purchased in advance HERE. The Plains Conservation Center is located at: 21901 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013. 303-693-3379.
Celebrate Belgian Independence Day on Saturday, July 21st, over at the Wynkoop Brewing in Denver, CO. They’ll be hosting the 2nd Annual United Tastes of Belgium with more than 50 breweries on-hand, pouring authentic Belgian and Belgian-style beers.
Some amazing breweries will be in attendance including Stone, Great Divide, Crooked Stave, Duvel and of course Wynkoop. Check out the complete list of beers HERE. Advance tickets are $30, which covers your glass, beer, cheese and chocolate samples. Tickets can be purchased HERE. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $37.50. Wynkoop Brewing is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-297-2700.
The radio waves will be blowin’ up again with Turk and The Gubna from the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM 760 at noon.
This week, they’ll be sitting down with the guys from TwinHops Brewing to talk about their campaign on Kickstarter and hear about their plans to open a brewery in Aurora next year. (More on TwinHops further down in this post). Also in the studio will be Whitney and John from City Star Brewing out of Berthoud, CO. The Colorado Craft Beer Show will also be giving away tickets to Kyle’s Brew Fest and the Denver Summer Brewfest, so keep your phones handy.
Over on American Craft Beer Radio, Gary V will be sitting down with a panel of beer judges. They’ll be breaking down the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines, explaining how a beer is judged and doing some on-air tastings of commercial beers.
Tune in to the show on 102.3 FM on Saturday, July 21st at noon.
Where my freaks at? Sour Freaks that’s you! (Don’t get offended, I include myself in that category). The 2nd meeting of the Funk ‘n Wild Club is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont, CO.
This unofficial club of local sour freaks doesn’t require a golden ticket or secret password to get inside. Just show up and be ready to get your mouth-puckering, funky, freak on. Breweries on-hand include Crooked Stave, Jolly Pumpkin, New Belgium, Russian River and more. Beers can be purchased in full pours, half pours or tasting flights. Special guest Chad Yakobson, the mastermind behind Crooked Stave Brewing is scheduled to be the guest speaker.
Dude, I’m pumped for this! More info on Funk’n Wild can be found HERE. The event runs from 3 PM – 6 PM at Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503. 303-485-9400.
Speaking of sours, The Rackhouse Pub keeps their Sour Month rolling with new sours getting tapped daily throughout the month of July. This week, look for Great Divide Bretty Yeti, Crooked Stave Surette, Odell Shenanigans and AC Golden Apricot Sour hitting the tap lines.
The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223. 720-507-7824.
Looking for something not sour, but still packed with complexity and flavor? Copper Kettle Brewing’s got ya covered. They’re releasing an Imperial Oak Aged Stout on Saturday, July 21st. This is one of those rare chances to try a nice, big, flavorful stout, right, smack in the middle of summer. Skip the wheat and pils, grab your big boy drinking pants and hit up Copper Kettle for this one.
Stop by at noon for the tapping, stick around for the Harvest Food Truck at 5 PM and music from Pete Stein at 6 PM. Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
River North Brewery is getting ready to begin accepting sign-ups for their Locals’ Club. Sign-ups for the club begins on Sunday, July 22nd at 1 PM. The $30 membership includes an exclusive, 16 oz. glass (pictured below), $4 pints all day, every day and a membership card.
Memberships will be sold to the first 50 people on a first come, first served basis. River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205. 303-296-2617.
Hops & Pie is back with the next round of their Littlest Big Beer Fest on Sunday, July 22nd. There’s a killer lineup of Firestone Walker beers hitting the tap lines at 2 PM. Look for Double Jack (Double IPA), Double DBA (Barrel-Aged Barleywine), Parabola (Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout / my FAV of the bunch!) and more.
This special collection of Firestone Walker beers should not be missed. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-477-7000.
Lastly, the guys behind TwinHops Brewing want to invite you over to help them brew a batch of beer on Sunday, July 21st. Brad, Scott, Rick and Colin will be firing up the burners to educate, answer questions and share with fans all the details about their upcoming brewery. More info on TwinHops Brewing can be found on yesterday’s blog.
Starting at noon and rolling throughout the day, stop by and taste their beer. Bring your homebrew rig over and brew with them if you’d like! This is being held at: 23891 E Alabama Dr, Aurora, CO 80018.
7/20 Update: The TwinHops brew day has been postponed. Just got word that it won’t be happening on Sunday, July 21st, but will be rescheduled for a later date. I’ll update you when they get a new date scheduled.
That’s it kids! Hope to see you around town this weekend. Have fun, stay cool and follow us on Facebook for more updates throughout the weekend.
The house is quiet. The kids are in bed, Patti’s makin’ the big bucks at work and I’m sitting out back on the deck. My cat watches me through the screen door in total jealousy. I’m not sure if he’s jealous of the fact that I’m outside or if he’s just eyeing up the IPA I’m sipping on, but either way, he’s not happy with me. At any rate, I’m loving this weather and I’m a little bummed that another weekend is drawing to a close. Did you get out and enjoy it? We sure did.
We hit the Copper Kettle 1-year Anniversary Party on both Friday and Saturday. It gave us a chance to try some of their special releases like the Belgian Golden Strong, Belgian Black Quad and American Barleywine, among others. If you missed it, you need to kick yourself… hard. It was a great, 4-day long celebration, with different beer releases each day, along with food trucks and live music on-site. I’m not sure if they staff got any sleep over the weekend or not, but they were having fun and kept things running smoothly.
Gary V was there broadcasting his American Craft Beer Radio program on Saturday morning. He had Jeremy Gobien and Kristin Kozik from Copper Kettle on the show, along with Bill Eye talking about the upcoming opening of Prost Brewing, Firkin Master Walt Chleva from Dry Dock and Tim Myers from Strange Brewing. Great show and thanks Gary for the shout out!
After the past weekend, I’m really digging Copper Kettle and their great beers. I’ll be stopping by more and more to try their different releases and get growlers to go. Congrats on a great first year guys!
We also hit up the Avery Tap Takeover out at Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch, CO. This was an awesome event, featuring 21 Avery beers on tap, plus a handful in bottles. They brought some heavy hitters for this event, including ’11 Beast Grand Cru, Tweak, Uncle Jacob’s Stout and a ton more. Very, very impressed with the lineup. The standout for me was the Boulder Weiss. A (not over the top) German sour, that was served with a touch of either cherry or peach. The peach was delish!
They also had Avery giveaways every hour throughout the day. We couldn’t resist the food. Dude, their food is seriously good. We got a pizza that was dripping with tasty meat. It couldn’t have been better. Really good food, great beer. If you haven’t been yet, move Parry’s to the top of your list. Stay tuned for more Tap Takeovers in the coming weeks.
Alright, so you get the idea, the weekend rocked. Hope you were able to get away from the yard work and enjoy it at some point.
Got plenty of new beers on the way to keep your beer hunting skills finely tuned. First up is Stone Ruination. Seems the gargoyle has been working out and has pumped up from 7.7% ABV to 10% ABV for his birthday. Come on now, who doesn’t like Stone? This classic Double IPA should be pretty easy to track down, so keep an eye out for it in upcoming weeks.
For the sour beer and funk lovers out there, Chad Yakobson up at Crooked Stave has bottled his Petite Sour. You might recognize the name from last year’s Pure Guava Petite Sour release, but this is a completely different beer. It’s being described as a “tart, farmhouse, table beer”. I know last year’s Pure Guava had a, well, uhm, interesting (?) aroma when it was released, that wasn’t necessarily well received by the funksters. Settle down people, Chad knows his beer. If you like wild yeast, sours and funky things, this should be on your radar. Oh, and pick up two if you can. One for now and one to try in a year or two, after the yeast has really gone to town and worked its’ magic.
While we’re laying down the funk, Jason Yester down at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs just got label approval for his upcoming Oh Face Saison. Another tribute to the movie Office Space, this was brewed with pumpkin, lavender and spices and fermented with Brettanomyces. He’s putting that new brew system to good use. They don’t call him Saison Man for nothing. Jason is a master at what he does and this will definitely warrant a trip to the brewery to pick up a bottle or three.
Right about now you might be thinking, damn man, can’t you just tell me about a good beer that I can go to the store and buy today! Sorry, I just get excited about all the new beers coming our way. But yes, you’re right. There are plenty of new, tasty beers that have found their way to your local shelves in the last week that you can easily track down and enjoy right now.
How about Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack. This is the latest release in their Reserve Series and is listed as a Black Rye IPA. Wookey Jack is double dry-hopped with Citra and Amarillo hops, which should give a big grapefruit or citrusy aroma. It’s unfiltered and I’m guessing the rye will make it pretty easy drinking. At only $5.99 / 22-oz bomber, it’s worth trying.
Quick teaser, FW fans, Parabola will be back in mid-May. I believe this will be the third batch. More details as I get ’em, but if you like imperial stouts, this is a winner. Stay tuned.
One more beer that’s out and about now is Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout. I know, I know, I’ve mentioned this beer about 6 times in the last two weeks, but it’s THAT good. Plus, I know you’re going to be really mad at yourself when all the other little Colorado beer nerds have bought them up and you missed out. Yep, it’s $10.00 / 12-oz bottle. I get it, it’s expensive, but it’s also 17% ABV. Split a bottle with someone and put on a long movie. You’re evening is set. It’s a nice, nice beer that is very drinkable right now and will continue to evolve and change over time. Avery plans to release this beer again next year, so start building your vertical now. Pick up some today. It’s still around at a few places, but won’t be there for long. If you don’t grab one, I don’t want to hear any whining later. Just sayin’.
That’s it for now. Again, hope you had a great weekend and hope I could add some beers to your shopping list. Oh, almost forgot, our beer trade is going along swimmingly. (Swimmingly??? I don’t know, just liked the sound of it) Our beers are getting shipped out tomorrow. Stay tuned and I’ll walk you through the whole packing process and get us one step closer to some tasty, sweet New Glarus morsels.
Happy Earth Day! Cheers!