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Posts tagged “crazy mountain brewing

Weekend Beer Buzz 01/17/2013

What a week.  I’m still recovering from last weekend’s Big Beer Fest in Vail.  It was unbelievably great.  Insanely Great.  Insanely Great x 2!  Yet the world continues to turn and time keeps ticking away…  Right into this weekend!  What looked like it was going to be a slow weekend, has transformed into one filled with plenty to drink and do.

Right NOW!

Delicious sours abound over at Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project.

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

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Down in Castle Rock at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s releasing “Tibanna Tan” for this week’s Deviation.  Described as having a “carbonite copper” color and being a “creamy malt forward ale with balanced hop flavor”.  Tapping at 4 PM.

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Another subtle Star Wars reference from Kjell this week.  I dig.  Bonus points from the nerds out there who know Tibanna and picked up on the carbonite reference.

No clue what’s going on right now?  You can go about your business.  Move along.  Move along. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Over in Aurora, Dry Dock’s got another batch of their Kona Coffee Stout ready to roll out for Firkin Friday.

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Love, love, love this brew.  3 PM for this one.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Out at the Denver Beer Co., they’ve got a beer dinner planned for Friday.  They’ll be hosting in their brand spankin’ new Barrel Room.

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Five small batch brews, paired with four dinner courses for $60.  There’s still a handful of tickets left.  Call Denver Beer Co. to get your name on the list.  Denver Beer Co. is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-433-2739.

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

If you’re headed to the mountains this weekend, swing by Backcountry Brewery in Frisco for their Expansion Party.  The fun starts at 1 PM with $2 pints in the bar, tours of the new expansion and a chance to check out the new 12oz. bottles.

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We were up that way last weekend and the new fermenters look great.  We’re excited to see more bottles hitting the Denver-area soon.  Backcountry Brewery is located at: 730 Main Street, Frisco, CO 80443.  970-668-2337.

Just a short-haul down I-70 and you’ll find Crazy Mountain in Edwards.  They just happen to be turning 3 this weekend.

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They’ll be pouring $2 select pints and will have live bluegrass music in the tap room.  The party starts at 6 PM.  Crazy Mountain Brewing is located at: 439 Edwards Access Rd, B-102, Edwards, CO 81632.  970-926-3009.

It doesn’t seem a weekend goes by without a new brewery opening up around here.  Over in Golden, Cannonball Creek will crack their doors for a soft opening at 3 PM.

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This is led by two former brewers from Mountain Sun in Boulder, so look for plenty of big hop bombs and Belgian-influenced brews.  Can’t wait to give them a try.  Cannonball Creek Brewing is located at: 393 N Washington Ave, Golden, CO 80403.  720-427-8453.

Not enough for you?  Hall Brewing, a new brewery currently in the works in Parker, is having a tasting at Cornerstar Wine and Liquor in Aurora, from  2 PM – 6 PM on Saturday.  They’ll have their IPA, Stout and Red Ale to sample and bombers to-go.  This will be your first chance to try this new brewery, so don’t miss out.

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Cornerstar Wine and Liquor is located at: 15404 E Briarwood Circle, Aurora, CO 80016.  303-360-9463.

Our friends on the radio will be back in the studio this weekend.  The Colorado Craft Beer Show will be on AM 760 at noon and will feature Bootstrap Brewing from Niwot, CO.  In the meantime, check out last week’s podcast from Vail’s Big Beers, where the guys had a chance to talk with everyone from Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey to Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave to Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker and many more.  It was an awesome show.

Random Brew News

Lastly, I’ve got some real quick news clips to share before we wrap up this Weekend’s Beer Buzz.

Dry Dock fired up their new canning line earlier this week and pumped out a batch of Apricot Blonde.

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Look for cans from this batch to hit local store shelves before the end of the month and a release party next weekend (details to come!).

Crooked Stave and Anchorage Brewing collaborated this week on a 100% Brett beer.

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This was brewed at the Anchorage Brewery (yeah, all the way up in Alaska!) and will ferment in foeders until the beer says “Hey guys, I’m Ready!”.  No word on distribution plans yet.  Cross your fingers for some Colorado Love.

And to wrap up the week, how ’bout a round of applause for New Belgium Brewing on becoming 100% employee owned.  That’s such awesome news for this fun-loving Colorado brewery.  Cheers to that!

And if that wasn’t enough, New Belgium also announced “Lost in the Woods”, a party to kick off this year’s La Folie release.

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This will be a unique chance for sour beer lovers to gather in the Foeder Forest for an evening with New Belgium’s sour experts Peter Bouckaert, Eric Salazar and Lauren Salazar.  There will be live music, food pairings and plenty of beer.  Tickets are on sale HERE for $25 and includes a bomber of beer to take home.  New Belgium is located at: 500 Linden St., Fort Collins, CO 80524.

That’s it for this week peeps.  It’s a great week to be a craft beer freak.  Especially a freak living in Colorado.

Cheers!

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Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival 2012

Just got back from a full weekend up in the mountains.  Patti and I made the trip up to Breckenridge for their annual Spring Beer Festival.  It was our first time attending, but we had heard good things from friends who had attended in the past.  We headed up I-70 on Friday afternoon and took our time exploring some of the little mountain towns on the way.  We hit a few breweries along the way, including some old favorites as well as a few places that were completely new to us.  I’ll try to post some reviews later in the week.

We stayed in the quiet, resort town of Keystone, CO.  Keystone is just a short, 15-minute drive from Breckenridge, CO and turned out to be the perfect place to call home for a few days.  Hot tubs, no neighbors and no crowds.  It was just what we needed.  We’re not skiers, so we kind of prefer going up there in the off-season.  In our 5-story building, there were only 3 other cars in the garage.  Perfect!

We finished off our day with some bacon-wrapped filets and a bottle of Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout.  Beer was delicious.  Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, sweet – but not overly sweet, 17.4% ABV is well hidden.  Surprisingly smooth at this point in its’ young life, but should age very well.  If you missed the release at Avery last weekend, keep your eyes peeled for the remaining bottles to start showing up around town soon.  Grab some while you can.

 

The Breckenridge area has a public transportation system that could rival New York City.  I couldn’t believe how many busses they offer to get you around town.  During the off-season, the Keystone area even has a bus that you can call to arrange pick up and drop off for personalized service.  It’s convenient and free.  To Breckenridge however, we caught the Swan Mountain Flyer.  This bus runs once an hour from Keystone and makes the loop into downtown Breckenridge.

We caught the 11:30 bus to head to the festival, which opened at noon.  We arrived in Breckenridge at around 12:10 and started our walk to Main Street Station.  Along the way, we ran into Jason, the head brewer over at Lone Tree Brewing.  Sadly, he wasn’t pouring any beers at the festival, but was just out enjoying a rare and well deserved day off with his girlfriend.

The festival offers both a standard tasting ticket, as well as a VIP ticket.  The standard ticket sells for $25 and offers admission, unlimited tastings and music.  The VIP ticket sells for $65 and comes with a commemorative stein, private buffet and lounge area, along with unlimited tastings and music.  Patti had found a deal online for more than half off VIP tickets, so we snagged a pair.  We got up to the festival entrance, traded our tickets for a map and stein and headed inside.

Once we got through the gate, the first table we came upon was Oskar Blues.  I had to get the day started off on the right foot, so I reached for a pour of Deviant Dale’s.  A great accompaniment to the band covering Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” in the background.

Main Street Station is surrounded by several buildings that are condo’s on top, with restaurants and stores on the main level.  Between the buildings is a large, open space, that’s used for different events throughout the year.  It’s a great area for a mid-sized beer festival.

Working around the outside edge of tables, were many out-of-state breweries, including Sierra Nevada, Widmer, Red Hook and Alaskan.

Towards the back were some of the smaller, local places.  A few of which I had never even tried like Bonfire (remember the Tebrew beer from last year’s Tebow mania?), Crazy Mountain and Palisade.  This was my favorite area of the festival.  The tables were situated along the river, with a beautiful mountain view in the background.  Lots of new beers to try, a great view and a whole row of bathrooms nearby.  Hey, you gotta know where your bathrooms are at a beer fest.  Good combination folks.

Back towards the middle of the festival were the big boys.  Avery, Odell, Great Divide, Bristol and more.  Great Divide tapped a keg of Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti at 2PM, which went well with the cooler, afternoon temperatures and the light snow that started coming down.

The VIP ticket also gave us access to a private buffet that was catered by Kenosha Steakhouse.  They brought some tasty BBQ for the meat lovers, plus some lighter sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, salad and even desert.  The lounge area had comfy couches and chairs, so festival attendees could sit down and enjoy their food.  There was even a table full of beers donated by the breweries.  I snagged a Dale’s Pale Ale to go with my plate of pulled pork.  As someone who was kind of on the fence about spending the extra money for VIP tickets, I’d have to say it was worth it.  Even if we had paid full price, the unlimited trips to the buffet, the quiet area to sit and eat, the big table full of beers and the private bathroom, made it all worthwhile.

25 breweries in total made the trip.  It was well balanced between novice, gateway Wheat and Pale Ales, up to big Double IPA’s and Stouts for the true beer nerds in the crowd.  I tried alot of new beers and discovered some new breweries that don’t distribute out my way.  Towards the end of the festival, I snagged a nearly full stein of Great Divide’s Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and went to listen to the live bands on stage.

The clouds eventually started to roll in and the sun gave way to snow, but it only added to our experience.  You’ve got to expect snow in Breckenridge in Spring.  We made the walk back to the bus station and caught our ride home.

As much as I love the Great American Beer Festival, these little beer fests around the country are a great way to get out and truly appreciate the beer scene, without feeling too overwhelmed.  Nice and relaxing, not too big of a crowd, good music and plenty of good beer and food to go around.  I’d definitely give it a thumb’s up.

Breckenridge also hosts a Festival in Summer, which is coming up on Saturday, July 14th.  I would expect to see a much bigger crowd, but they run a good show.  It might be worth checking out.

Random pics from the festival:

Cheers!