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New Brewery Spotlight: Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew

Session beer.  What’s your definition of a session beer?  For me, it’s something with a low ABV (4 – 6% range), well-balanced, yet still flavorful and able to keep me interested over the course of several pints.  I want a nice session beer that will allow me to hang out with friends for a few hours of good conversation, a game of Risk or to discuss our preparations for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.  A good session beer will allow me to do this without the threat of getting sloppy or intoxicated.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably realize that I like the big-bad barrel aged monsters, like the Yeti, The Beast and the all-powerful Dark Lord as much as the next guy.  But, the reality is that when I go to Great Divide or Avery or wherever to drink these 8%, 9%, 10%+ ABV beers, I’m limited to one or two at most.  It’s almost as if some of the bigger breweries treat “session” like it’s a 4-letter word.  Not a bad thing, but there’s a time and place for all beer. (Except for maybe Keystone Light…  I gotta draw the line somewhere.)  Sometimes, I just want to sit and enjoy some quality, low ABV beers.  Fortunately for you and me, there’s a new brewery getting set to open in Denver, that’s looking to fill this oh-so-sad hole in our lives.

Enter Brandon Proff, Andrew Strasburg and Bryan Leavelle of Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew (OMF).

The team of three behind OMF are setting out to make delicious craft beers that are low in alcohol content, highly sessionable and pleasing to the beer geeks palate.  They’re creating a place that will draw in the after-work crowd with great beers, engaging conversation and a comfortable hangout that feels like your buddy’s garage (only with better beer).  Simple, yet modern and inviting, with a small beer garden on the side.

A small record player in the corner and I’m taken back to my high school days.  I feel like they should have a drum set and a couple of guitars in the corner for when those creative juices really get going.

Last week, we met with OMF Director of Operations, Brandon Proff, to discuss OMF’s concept, upcoming beers and future plans.

The idea behind OMF had been getting tossed around for over a year.  Brandon had been eyeing the location at 2810 Larimer Street for months and when it finally went up for sale, the OMF team jumped on it.  They put their business plan into action, moved into the location on May 1st and now are just a few short weeks away from their opening day.

Brandon and OMF are going to offer local beers, made with local ingredients.  Local hops and local specialty ingredients will be used whenever possible.  They’re taking a very hands-on approach in their brewery by malting their own grains, something no other brewery (as far as I know) in the area has tried to do.  This gives them total control over their product, allowing them to fine tune and experiment even more with their recipes.  They’ll be a true nano-brewery, using a 1-BBL system, hand-crafting each batch, one keg at time.

The beers themselves are simple and true to style, but will surely be appreciated by both craft beer geeks and those still stuck in the dark ages of macro swill.  OMF will be pouring 5-beers for their official opening: Saison, IPA, Pale Ale, Porter and the only beer with an actual name, the Cream Ale called Proletariat.  There’s an extra tap line reserved for seasonals and experiments and another line reserved for Root Beer for those responsible DD’s or little ones in the crowd.

Click on the picture for a description of each beer.

Have no fear barrel-aged freaks, there’s already talk about procuring wine barrels from their wine-making neighbors down the street at The Infinite Monkey Theorem.  Or if coffee’s your thing, they’re right next door to local artisan coffee roasters, Huckleberry Roasters.  In other words, there’s plenty of opportunity for brewmaster Bryan to play.

Brandon is planning on serving pies from The Humble Pie Store, which makes the best damn pie I’ve ever had in my life!  Such a nice change from the typical pretzels and popcorn offered by many other breweries in town.

OMF has also created a Beer Appreciation Society for a small number of devotees.  The $85 price tag will reward members with a LIFETIME of benefits including:

– 1 custom printed 32 oz growler

– 1 Beer Appreciation Society t-shirt

– 1 OMF notebook for tasting notes, journaling, ransom letters, etc.

– 1 laminated membership card

– 6 (FREE) growler fills (regular price $7, a $42 value)

– 12 (FREE) pints (regular price $4, a $48 value)

– 10% off your bar tab FOREVER

– Invites to all special tasting parties we do

– Secret Beer Society meetings where awesomeness will happen (guest brewer hangouts, collaboration beers, etc)

OMF isn’t even open yet and more than half of the memberships have already been claimed.  If you think you’d like to sign up, I’d recommend doing so sooner than later.  For more information, shoot an e-mail to OMF using this address: hello@omfmb.com

While it might seem like Denver is getting overrun with new breweries these days, each one is quickly finding their own niche in town.  Prost is doing the German thing, River North is leaning towards Belgian-styles, Crooked Stave continues to lay down the funk and Black Shirt (when they open later this year) will be taking the classic Red Ale and twisting it in a variety of interesting ways.  Our Mutual Friend will be a welcome addition to the quickly growing Five Points neighborhood in Northeast Denver with their classy, sessionable brews.

They’re targeting an opening date on September 15th and will be open Thu – Sun from 1 – 10 PM. Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-722-2810.

Cheers!

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Weekend Beer Buzz 07/19/12

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.

Cheers!