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New Beers and Beer News 03/11/2013

New beers.  We’ve got a ton.  Here’s a rundown of what to expect and what to watch for over the next few months.

Wynkoop Brewing is releasing cans of their Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout today (yes, TODAY!) in unique, 2-packs.

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout - Wynkoop Brewing Company

100 cases will be available this time around and should reach several stores in their Denver-area distribution network.

Our Mutual Friend is bottling their first offering!  Stop by the Denver brewery on Friday, March 22nd at 2 PM to snag one of only 100 wax-dipped, hand-numbered 22 oz. bombers.  Limited to 2 / per person.

omf winter

Parker’s Hall Brewing is gearing up for their next wave of bottled releases.  Their Bock, Pilsner and Saison should be hitting shelves any day now.

hall bock

Denver’s River North Brewery, with the help of the Mobile Canning Unit, plans to can later this year. Keep an eye out for their White and Hoppy Red to hit the metal soon.

river north white

Great Divide’s working on their 19th Anniversary Ale, which is scheduled to be released in April.

GD 19

The annual release is a wood-aged IPA, brewed with birch syrup and aged on birch wood.  The Anniversary Party will be at the Denver brewery this June.

New Belgium and Trinity have teamed up to brew a Berliner Weisse.

NB : trinity

Not sure when this barrel aged beauty will debut, but with two funk masters behind it, I can’t wait.

Trinity’s also looking to release Elektrick Cukumbahh.

trinity elektrick

The world of Cucumber saisons and ales are growing on me and I’m looking forward to trying this one.  Elektrick Cukumbahh is made with English Cucumbers, Grains of Paradise and fermented with Saison and Brett yeasts.

New Belgium’s working on several new Lips of Faith releases.  The first is named after the Pluot, a wacky little fruit that’s a hybrid of the plum and apricot.

NB Pluot

I like both and what’s even better, is that it’s fermented with a strain of wild Belgian yeast.  Sounds delish!

Another New Belgium collaboration is underway with Utah’s Red Rock Brewery called Paardebloem. This odd little brew will feature peach juice, grains of paradise, dandelion greens and will be wood-aged with wild Belgian yeast.

NB paardebloem

If that’s not strange enough for you, New Belgium’s also got Rolle Bolle coming out this Summer, which is brewed with monk fruit and soursop.  I don’t know where they find these crazy ingredients, but I’m hoping they make for a good beer.

NB rolle

Odell has a pair of new brews set to release this spring.  One’s a low ABV session ale, while the other is an Imperial Peach IPA.

odell session

tree shaker

Kansas City’s Boulevard teamed up with The Roasterie to brew up a Coffee Ale, set to be released later this month.

boulevard coffeeLighter in color than most coffee ales, this one gets its coffee aroma from the coarsely ground Ethiopian roast seeped into the ale.

Dogfish Head will release 61 Minute IPA into their distribution network towards the end of March. This is their 60 Minute IPA brewed with Syrah grape must.

DFH 61

Stone’s bringing back their Enjoy By IPA.  This time it’s Enjoy By 04.20.13.

stone enjoy by

Apparently a much larger batch was made since we last received this beer in 2012.  This was a really great IPA, that rivals the best of ’em, so look out hop heads.

Speaking of Stone, last month they collaborated with Two Brothers and Aleman, out of IL, to create Dayman Coffee IPA.

dayman

Citrus hops meets deep-roasted coffee in this 8.7% ABV, 42 IBU one-off.  Look for bombers and kegs to start dropping on March 18th.

That’s the latest in new brews to watch for.  If you’ve got something you’re excited to try or would like us to review a brew for you, let us know on our Facebook Page.  Happy Hunting Friends!

Cheers!

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Ten Breweries You Can’t Afford to Miss at GABF

Here we are, just a few short days away from the Great American Beer Festival and I’m as giddy as a little schoolgirl.  But whether you’re a seasoned veteran or this is your first time attending, the GABF can be a little overwhelming.  580 breweries pouring 2000+ beers will do that to you.  You’ve got to have some sort of plan of attack.

For me, I print out the GABF Map and mark the breweries that I’d kick myself if I were to miss.  The floor is divided up by regions of the U.S.  I can generally breeze through the Colorado breweries since I’ve either had or can easily get most of the beers pouring in that area.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t stop by and say hi to your favorite brewers.  It’s also worth nothing that some are planning on bringing some pretty special beers.  Avery Brewing will be pouring both Oud Floris and Odio Equum from their hard-to-find Barrel-Aged Series, while Crooked Stave is rumored to be bringing the super delicious and rare Persica.  I’d certainly recommend spending some time in the Mountain Region at the GABF, but for me, I’ll probably limit my time there and focus on breweries I don’t normally have easy access to.

So where do we begin?  Russian River, Lost Abbey / Port, Cigar City, Dogfish Head all seem like obvious choices, but there are some really interesting, smaller breweries that don’t distribute out this direction at all.  Jonathan Shikes wrote a great article in the Westword last week with his picks, many of which would have made my list as well.  Three Floyds, Bell’s and Cambridge are all top-notch breweries.  Check out the entire article HERE.  I’d like to add a couple more of my favorites for you to check out this weekend.

1. The Bruery, Placentia, CA.  Patrick Rue is brewing up an empire and a loyal following through his Reserve Society and awesome lineup of beers.  Whether it’s mouth-puckering sours or thick, inky stouts, you can’t go wrong.  While they do distribute a handful of beer to Colorado, quite a few never leave California.  Recommendations: Oude Tart, Black Tuesday.

2. Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN.  Upland makes quite a few quality beers, but their Lambics are not to be missed.  The bottles, which are sold online a few times a year, always sell out within minutes.  Recommendations: Any of their fruit Lambics, which range from Strawberry to Kiwi to Persimmon to Peach.

3. Surly Brewing, Brooklyn Center, MN.  Beer for a glass, from a can.  For the hop heads, they make two great ones, called Furious (IPA) and Abrasive (Double IPA).  They’ve also got a Coffee Brown called Coffee Bender that goes great with a brownie or doughnut.  Keep an eye out for any of their big, seasonals like Darkness (Russian Imperial Stout) or this year’s anniversary ale, SYX (Strong Ale). Recommendations: Anything.

4. Allagash Brewing, Portland, ME.  The little brewery from Maine makes some might fine Belgian-style beers.  As a sour fan, I’ll be looking for anything from their Coolship series.  If you lean towards the sweeter side, look for their Dubbel, Grand Cru or Quad.  Recommendations: From sweet to sour, you can’t go wrong.

5. Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC.  As the South catches up to the craft beer movement, Foothills has taken the lead with their big stouts and barrel-aged experimentation.  They produce solid beers across the board.  Recommendations: Seeing Double IPA, Sexual Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout.

6. Iron Hill Brewery, PA, NJ and DE.  This east coast brewpub, which has 10 locations in 3 states, always brings a huge beer selection to the GABF Floor.  From sweet to sour, light to dark, hoppy to malty, they’ve got something for everyone.  There’s a reason why they’ve won a GABF medal, every year, for the past 15 years.  Stop by they’re multiple tables and get ready to be impressed. Recommendations: With an ever-rotating beer menu, there’s no telling what they’ll be pouring this year.  But, they always have detailed descriptions of every beer and plenty of brewers around to answer your questions.

7. Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids, MI.  Where to begin?  I don’t remember ever seeing Founders at a previous GABF, so when I saw them on this year’s list, I got pretty excited.  These guys are famous for their KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), which is brewed with vanilla and coffee and aged in bourbon barrels.  In addition to their seasonal and specialty brews, they make an exceptional lineup of year-round beers.  Recommendations: Centennial IPA, Devil Dancer (Triple IPA), Cerise (Cherry Beer), Backwoods Bastard (Scotch Ale) or any of their Stouts (KBS, CBS, Breakfast Stout or Imperial Stout).

8. Shorts Brewing, Bellaire, MI.  I think I did enough preaching for Short’s earlier this week with my post about their limited release of 6-packs to Denver for the GABF.  Still, I want to make sure you’ve got them on your list.  They love to experiment and take chances, which makes for some very fun and unique brews.  Recommendation: Peaches & Creme and any of the other experimental brews they decide to bring with them.

9. Weyerbacher, Easton, PA.  Another east coast gem serving up a wide variety of beers, ranging from Belgian-Style Ales to American IPA’s.  Although their distribution range has steadily grown over the past few years, they still haven’t made it to our market.  Recommendations: Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Riserva Sour, Heresy Imperial Stout and Double Simcoe IPA.

10. Société Brewing, San Diego, CA.  Founded in 2012 by Travis Smith and Doug Constantiner, who met while working together at The Bruery.  They decided to join forces and open their own brewery this past June.  Since then, they’ve been releasing west-coast IPA’s, Belgian-Style Ales and a Russian Imperial Stout.  They’ve also got a spacious barrel room, with a variety of sour beers aging away. Recommendations: This brewery’s only been open for a few months and I haven’t had a chance to try them yet, but I’ve heard good things and would highly recommend stopping by their booth for a sample or two.

I hope this list helps introduce you to at least a couple new breweries this year at GABF.  Get out there, have fun and discover some new beers.  Feel free to e-mail me at brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com with any other suggestions you might have.  Hope to see you this weekend!

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz: Denver Beer Fest Edition 10/05/12

You ready?  You better be.  Denver Beer Fest marches into town this weekend and won’t let go of your liver until the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) rolls out next weekend.  Wow, is GABF really next weekend!?!?  My favorite holiday of the year is almost here!

This is big folks.  BIG!  I’m not going to pepper you with small talk.  I mean business this week and I’ve got the events to back it up.  For reals.  Here we go!

Right Now

Crooked Stave has sorted through all their licenses and legalities and is back pouring their mind-blowing brews in the Tap Room.  Here’s their most current list:

Crooked Stave, you complete me.  Stop by and get funky in their Tap Room.  1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock is at it again.  This time he’ll be tapping Denver Beer Co’s Pumpkin Beer, a brew he helped create.

Stop by Denver Beer Co. and help the Mayor kick off Denver Beer Fest.  Tapping is at 4:30 PM. Denver Beer Co. is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-433-2739.

Killer beers are on at the Dock.  This week’s Firkin Friday at Dry Dock Brewing is a Sour Freaks wet-dream.

Boysenberry Sour!  Wow.  Ok, breathe, there’s a long way to go in this post yet.  But damn, Boysenberry Sour!  Well played Dry Dock.  I had the base beer, The Admiral, this afternoon at the brewery.

The Admiral Barrel-Aged Tart Ale is a tasty little brute and will hopefully still be flowing tomorrow during Firkin Friday.  It’s a dry, crisp, green apple, lip-smackin’ sour that’s too good for its’ own good.  Whatever that means…  Sounds very Right Said Fred, no?

I talked to Dry Dock’s Firkin Master, Walt Chleva, about this weeks creation and he said it’s gonna be a good’un that should pour a beautiful purple color with plenty of fruit and funk for CO’s Sour Freaks.  People, don’t miss this!.  I’ll be there for some mouth puckering deliciousness on Friday at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Jellyman’s back to his crafty ways down at the Rockyard in Castle Rock.  This week’s Deviation is a French Oak-Aged Dopplebock with Raspberries.

Grab a snifter of this 10% ABV one-off, starting at 4PM on Friday afternoon.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Gary V. and American Craft Beer Radio will be on location this week, live from Oktoberfest at Libations Wine & Spirits.  $20 in advance, $25 at the door gets you live music, beer, wine, food, prizes and more.  ALL money goes to charity!

Dry Dock Brewing, Odell Brewing, Leopold Bros. and more will be on hand and American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting LIVE!  Even if you can’t make it, flip over to 102.3 FM ESPN Radio and listen to Gary V. and his guests talk about all that is Craft Beer.

I’m going to try, I promise I’ll try!, to make it over there in time for the show.  Gary’s invited me as a guest on the show again this week to share some of the events hitting Denver leading up to GABF. Fingers crossed that I can make it there in time to share all the deets on the air.  Radio is fun and radio with beer is simply brilliant. Libations Wine & Spirits is located at: 16530 E Arapahoe Rd, Unit 102, Foxfield, CO 80016. American Craft Beer Radio airs at noon on 102.3 FM ESPN Radio.

The boys on the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be hanging out at Strange Brewing in Denver for this week’s show.

They’ve got a variety of brewers sitting in with them from some of the area’s exciting, new breweries.  Look for Lone Tree, Wit’s End, Caution, Renegade and others to sit in with the guys and talk beer during the 2-hour broadcast.  Flip over to AM760 from noon – 2 PM or get off your couch and head over to listen live and join in the fun.  Have a delicious Cherry Kriek while you’re at it and keep your ears open for a chance to win a pair of tickets to GABF.  Strange Brewing is located at: 1330 Zuni St, Unit M, Denver, CO 80204.

Twisted Pine Brewing is releasing the newest brew in their Artisan Ale Series on Saturday.  This time it’s Lupuliopheliac, a 52 IBU, fresh hopped Pale Ale, made with wet Cascade hops from nearby Niwot, CO.

Stop by on Saturday to meet Darren Hall and Phil Bartell, the tattoo artists behind the label and get your 750mL bottles signed.  The party runs from noon – 9 PM.  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut Street, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Falling Rock Tap House is gearing up for this year’s Fresh Hop Celebration.

This event is entering its’ 6th year and features a variety of unique and fun beers that were all brewed with fresh, wet hops.  Look for a great list of breweries to pour including Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Crazy Mountain, Full Sail, Wynkoop, Great Divide, Ska and more.  Tickets are $25, which covers unlimited tasting and a commemorative glass.  The Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Hops & Pie is teaming up with Great Divide for the next Littlest Big Beer Fest.  Starting at 2PM, you’ll be able to try beers like 2008 Old Ruffian, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti and the brand new Fresh Hop Pale Ale.

Hops & Pie is located at 3920 Tennyson St., Denver CO, 80212.  303-477-7000.

Avery Brewing.  Odio Equum.  I can’t pronounce it, which can only mean one thing, another release in their Barrel Aged Series!  Number 13 to be exact.  Last week’s shenanigans’ on American Craft Beer Radio with Dustin Lemoine from Avery Brewing revealed that Odio Equum translates to something along the lines of “I hate horses”.  Glue jokes ensued and it was just downhill from there…

I’m not impressed by the ancient Latin language, but I’m very impressed by Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series of beers.  This one is brewed with raspberries and aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, with just about every funky, wild yeast you can think of.  It weighs in at 7.89% ABV and will sell for $8 / 12oz. bottle / 12 bottle limit at the brewery on Sunday at 4PM.  Bring cash just to be safe as their credit card sales seem to be hit-or-miss.

Sadly, this date doesn’t work with my calendar.  Anybody that’s going and willing to mule back a few beers for me will be paid for their troubles and rewarded with, what else.. BEER!  E-mail me at: brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com and let’s talk.  Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.

Monday, October 8th, 2012

At 5PM, the countdown clock at Falling Rock, will reach 000:00:00:000.  What does that mean? GABF is here!  Chris Black always brings out special kegs to share when the clock runs out and this year he’s got 10 special beers ready to share.

Chris likes to keep a lid on what he’ll be pouring, so who knows, but I’m sure it’ll be awesome and probably won’t last very long.  The Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Wynkoop, boy do they have balls for brewing their Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout.  What started out as an April Fool’s Joke has become disturbingly real.

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout will debut on Monday at 5PM at the brewery, and yes, BPB actually means “Balls Per Barrel”.  I know I should be turned off by this, but strangely, I’ve just gotta try it.  I hear it’ll be pouring at the Wynkoop booth during GABF, so I’ll be looking for a way to get my unsuspecting wife or my slightly buzzed friends to try it before I get my very own shake at it.  It’s just too easy to get an unsuspecting friend to drink this and I’m always up for a good laugh.

Hey, Cheers to Wynkoop for taking some “bigger” chances lately.  It’s a tough biz, but they’re keeping pace.  If you’re looking to try some beer with balls, from the nuts at Wynkoop, then head over for the tapping on Monday afternoon.  Wynkoop Brewing is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

Beer hunters, hoarders, collectors and connoisseurs should make a visit to Davidsons Liquors on Monday, when their resident beer geek’s bring out some gems from the cellar to sell.  They’ve been holding these cellar sales right around GABF for the past few years and I always seem to find something I can’t live without.

You never know what you’ll find at one of their sales, but look for some FiftyFifty Eclipse, Dogfish Head, vintage Avery and interesting Deschutes brews to highlight this year’s GABF cellar clean out sale.  The doors open at 8 AM.  Good luck!  Davidsons Liquors is located at: 5555 Boatworks Dr, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-224-0444.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Yeah, it’s Beer WEEK folks, which means were still kicking ass into Tuesday.  Renegade is releasing bombers of Elevated Wood on Tuesday.  They’ve taken their super-charged, triple IPA and banished that puppy to a bourbon barrel for 6-months.

That beast has been bottled and will be yours for the buying on Tuesday at 6PM.  Don’t miss out on this limited, hand-numbered release.  Renegade will be pouring other special beers in the tap room exclusively for the release party.  Renegade Brewing is located at: 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204. 720-401-4089.

And I might have saved the best for last with this one.  You be the judge.  Head over to Falling Rock Tap House to get your glass of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) on Tuesday at 5 PM.

BCBS is a barrel-aged, jet-black, thick, chewy, roasty, bad-ass of a stout, that always seems to find its’ way onto the list of the Top Beers in the World.  It’s sitting pretty at #50 right now.  I hear the even higher ranked, #12 to be exact, Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout will also be making an appearance, along with gems like Lolita (the spontaneously fermented, barrel-aged raspberry tart), Madame Rose (the barrel aged, brett beer made with Michigan cherries) and Juliet (the oh so tasty, barrel-aged blackberry sour).  Screw the lists and come down and judge for yourself.

To say this is BIG, would be an understatement.  Grab your calendar, circle it and circle it again. These will not last long and you won’t want to be the one stuck looking at a tap handle like this!

The Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

That’s it peeps.  You got a big week coming your way.  If you come across events you’d like to share, e-mail me at brewtallyinsane@yahoo.com.  I’m also going to share a few things exclusively on Facebook, so “Like” us over there and keep an eye on us through twitter @BrewtallyInsane.

Get ready, have fun and be safe!

Cheers!


Pumpkin Beer Guide Pt. 1 – The Tourists

It’s a special time here in beer land.  We’re only a few weeks away from the Great American Beer Festival and getting ready to enter my personal favorite time of year for seasonals.  As the cooler months roll in, I know we’ve got some awesome beers right around the corner.  From big, thick Stouts to spicy Christmas ales to rich, hoppy Barleywines and everything else getting ready to hit our shelves.

Right now, we’re in the midst of Pumpkin season!  There’s quite a few hitting store shelves these days and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  So I sought out some new pumpkin beers along with some old favorites and put together a little guide to help you track down the perfect Pumpkin Ale.  You ready?

First up is a trio from Elysian Brewing out of Seattle, WA.  The Elysian Brewers pride themselves on their Pumpkin Beers.  They brew a variety of interesting traditional and non-traditional beers and even hold an Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, which is entering its’ 8th year.

For those of us here in Colorado, we got three of their releases this year.

Elysian Brewing, Night Owl Pumpkin Ale.  First up, is the 5.9% ABV Night Owl Pumpkin Ale.  This came in a 22oz. bomber that retails for $3.99 / bottle.  The beer poured a slightly cloudy, amber color with a 2-finger tall, tan head.  The aroma was light notes of pumpkin pie spice, cloves and nutmeg.  Taste was very similar, but light and sessionable.  Very balanced and easy drinking. Score: 3.5/5

Elysian Brewing, The Great Pumpkin.  This 8.1% ABV brew is billed as their Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This 22oz. bomber retails for $9.99 / bottle.  This one poured a clear orange color, with a 1-finger tall, white head.  The aroma was pumpkin, graham crackers, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Flavors match the aroma, but this big boy was quite a bit more intense than the Night Owl and tasted more vegetal than pumpkin pie.  Medium carbonation, medium body and a touch of hops finish this off. Really nice beer.  Score: 4/5

Elysian Brewing, Dark O’ The Moon.  This clocks in at 6.5% ABV and is a Pumpkin Stout.  A 22oz. bomber will run you about $5.99 / bottle.  The beer poured nearly pitch black with a thick, 1-finger, toffee colored head.  The aroma was cinnamon, pumpkin spice, anise and roasted grains. The flavor on this was cinnamon, pumpkin bread, caramel and light espresso.  Full mouthfeel and the finish is on the bitter side.  This was a very interesting beer as the flavors weren’t overly done or too sweet. The subtle pumpkin notes combined with the rich stout flavor, made this my favorite of the Elysian Pumpkin series.  Awesome beer!  Score: 4.5/5

Lakefront Brewery, Pumpkin Lager.  The cheeseheads from Wisconsin brew a variety of beers, many of which are lagers.  This one’s running right around $9.50 / 6-pack.  The Pumpkin Lager is a 6% ABV brew that pours a clear orange color, with a 1-finger head.  Big pumpkin spice notes dominate the aroma, along with cinnamon apples and caramel.  The taste was pumpkin pie spices and seemed a bit bread-y.  The body was thin, almost watery.  The spiced up lager didn’t do much for me.  Score: 2/5

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale.  The Delaware brewery has been pumpin’ out this hot seller for nearly two decades.  The beer, which is named after the famous Punkin Chunkin games from out east, is also the first beer Dogfish ever released.  Plan on dropping $11.50 / 4-pack.  The 7% ABV brew poured a clear amber color, with a thick, creamy, 1-finger head.  Plenty of carbonation and heavy lacing coat the glass.  Aroma is pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, nutmeg and caramel. The taste is full flavored and complex with pumpkin pie spices, toffee, brown sugar and a touch of salted caramel and hops.  This is an excellent brew and one that I used to buy by the case when I lived back east.  You might have to do a little hunting around for this one, but it’s still out there and well worth it.  Score: 4/5

Uinta Brewing, Punk’n.  This one, from Salt Lake City, UT, was a new one for me that retails for $8.50 / 6-pack.  Pours a slightly hazy amber color, with a 1-finger head.  A steady flow of carbonation with moderate lacing around the glass.  The aroma was predominately pumpkin pie spice with a bit of malt.  Taste matched the aroma, plus a touch of nutmeg.  Very drinkable and sessionable with a low 4% ABV.  I was pretty happy with this one as it was a well-crafted, easy-drinking beer with an affordable price tag.  Score: 3.5/5

It’s still early in the Pumpkin Beer hunting season.  Keep your eyes out in the next few weeks for The Bruery’s Autumn Maple (brewed with 17 lbs. of yams in each barrel!), Jolly Pumpkin’s La Parcela (Pumpkin Ale with a sour twist) and Uinta’s Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin (Oak Aged Pumpkin Ale). These should be showing up very soon and all offer their own unique take on the style.

For the beer traders out there, I’ve come across quite a few interesting Pumpkin Ales over the years that don’t make it out to our awesome state of CO.  If you’re willing to put in the extra effort, I’d highly recommend Southern Tier’s Pumking, Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Heavy Seas The Great’er Pumpkin Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Pumpkin.  You won’t be disappointed.

That about wraps up this round for our out-of-state Pumpkin Beer Guide.  Stay tuned as next time we’ll be talking about some of the tasty Pumpkin Ales brewed right here in Colorado.

Cheers!


Beer Trippin’ in New York. Part 2 – Craft Beer Exchange.

I like Growlers.  Here in Colorado, nearly every brewery offers them.  Anything from big ol’ gallon sized, to the standard 64 oz. growler and many breweries have even started offering little 32 oz. growlers.  These days, you can track down a huge variety of styles and material.  Glass, canteen, genie bottle, metal, medicine bottle, plastic, swing-top and on and on and on…

But, the beauty of the growler isn’t what it looks like or what it’s made from, but rather what’s inside. Growlers make it possible to bring fresh beer home with you that might not normally make it to a bottle or can in your local liquor stores.

Laws vary from state-to-state.  Here in Colorado, only breweries with a proper license can fill growlers.  In other states, bars and restaurants are allowed to sell growlers.  This is a great concept and one that I’d like to see adopted in Colorado.  Imagine, being able to walk into The Falling Rock Tap House and leaving with a growler full of your favorite beer.

New York is a state that allows a business other than a brewery, to get a license, that will allow them to sell and fill growlers for off-site consumption.  Some of these businesses include grocery stores, gas stations, bars and restaurants.  It’s brilliant.  On our recent trip, we came across a chain of stores across New York State called the Craft Beer Exchange (CBX).

The CBX has teamed up with Sunoco gas stations, to offer a solid selection of craft beer and a rotating selection of taps available for growler fills.  I had the opportunity to visit several of these locations and every one of them offered 6-packs, 12-packs, mix-packs, singles, bombers and 750’s of craft brews.  Everything from Pale Ales, Ambers and Browns, to Double IPA’s, Russian Imperial Stouts and Barrel-Aged Sours.  It was pretty impressive to see hundreds of different beers on the shelves at a gas station.

As for the growler fills, each location has anywhere from 6 to 14 different beers available to choose from. There are plenty of local breweries available, including Saranac, Ithaca Brewing and Lake Placid Brewing, but they also offer options from out-of-state breweries, such as Stone, Founders and Dogfish Head.

The CBX is also attempting to educate consumers by offering information on each beer that’s available for purchase.  The ABV, a description of the beer and other details are listed on cards, which are on display near the tap lines.  Customers are free to take one after their purchase, in order to gain a greater appreciation of the beer.

In addition to the information cards, I noticed some locations offering free pint glasses and discounted fills during their “Growler Hour” specials throughout the week.

This is a great idea and cheers to New York for making this possible.  How great would it be to fill your car and your growler in one-stop?  The Craft Beer Exchange has more than 40 locations across New York state and more than a dozen in South Carolina.  They run a website that lists all of their locations, plus up-to-date tap lists.  The website also keeps readers in tune with local beer fests and happenings in the area.

I can’t say whether or not Colorado will ever adopt a law that would allow for growler fills in locations other than a brewery, but it’s an interesting concept.  While there are certainly arguments for both sides, I think it makes for a great opportunity to promote craft beer, convert macro drinkers to craft beer and help spread the word about local micro breweries.  What are your thoughts?

My growler with Founder’s Centennial IPA.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 05/03/2012

There are a TON of beery events going down this weekend.  I don’t know if it’s the nice weather, Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby or just the fact that we live in the “Napa Valley of Beer”, but I like it.  Having options isn’t a bad thing, but it can sometimes make it tough to decide where to go and what to do.

The big news has to be the opening of not one, but TWO new breweries this weekend!  City Star Brewing and Big Choice Brewing will both be opening their doors to the public on Friday, May 4th.

City Star Brewing, located in Berthoud, CO, will be opening their doors for the first time on Friday, May 4th, at 2PM.   They will be pouring: Cowboy’s Double Golden, 6-Shooter IPA, Red Necktar (hoppy American red ale), Bandit Brown, Raspberry Bandit (brown ale fermented with puréed fresh raspberries) and Night Watchman Stout.  If you get the munchies, City Star invites you to bring food into the brewery or visit the food trucks on-site.

City Star Brewing is located at 321 Mountain Ave, Berthoud, CO 80513.  970-532-7827.

Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield, CO, will also be opening their doors for the first time this weekend.  They’ll have a ribbon cutting on Friday, May 4th at 3PM, followed by their first official happy hour, with $1 off pints.  Four beers will be pouring: Disconnected Red Ale, Poblano Stout, Type III IPA and a Saison.

 

The Oskar Blues Bonewagon will be on-site for the party on Friday, with burgers, wings and more for sale.  Saturday will feature a bouncy house for the kids and free BBQ starting at 11AM.  Sunday features a growler happy hour from 4-6PM with $2 off new growlers and $1 off fills.  Bring in your Rockies ticket stub after the game to get a free pint on Sunday afternoon.  Big Choice is located at: 7270 W 118th Place, Broomfield, CO 80020.  303-469-2616.

In other news, Equinox Brewing, in Fort Collins, CO, is celebrating their second anniversary this weekend with live music in the beer garden.  They’ll also be tapping an IPA brewed just for the occasion.  Congrats on two great years!  Equinox is located at: 133 Remington St., Fort Collins, CO 80524.  970-484-1368.

Over in Boulder at Twisted Pine Brewing, they’ll be releasing the latest addition to their Artisan Ale Series on Saturday May 5th.  This month is Big Easy Offbeat Brown, a brown ale brewed with wasabi, ginger, horseradish and honey.  Spicy enough for ya?

Stop by the brewery on Saturday to get your bottles and meet the artist behind the label.  Twisted Pine is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

But wait, there’s more!  Dry Dock Brewing, in Aurora, CO, just tapped a Coffee Milk Stout.  They’ll be doing their weekly Firkin Friday thing on May 4th, with a Brown Ale, dry hopped with Cascade hops.  The beer gets tapped at 3PM.

Go next door and visit The Brew Hut on Saturday, May 5th and take part in the American Homebrew Association’s annual Big Brew.

This is a great opportunity to make a batch of homebrew with friends, introduce new people to the hobby, share recipes and tips with other homebrewers and just have a bunch of fun.  More details and a list of participating stores can be found HERE.

If you make it to The Brew Hut, say “hi” to Gary V., who will be broadcasting live on American Craft Beer Radio, 102.3FM at noon.  Dry Dock Brewing and The Brew Hut are located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Copper Kettle will be releasing their latest creation, “La Palmoa Wit” on Saturday, May 5th at noon.  The ingredients used in this beer include fresh pomelos, grapefruit, key lime zest, agave nectar and coriander.  I’m not much of a wit guy, but this beer sounds amazing!  I’m loving all the citrus they used to brew it.  Can’t wait to give it a try.

Copper Kettle is now open on Tuesdays, so you can get your fix 7 days a week.  $1 from every pint sold on Tuesday’s will go towards charity.  This program is called “Pints for Purpose” and will feature a different charity each week.  Copper Kettle is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Have you been waiting patiently to try the line of AC Golden Beers?  Then head over to The Rackhouse Pub on Saturday, May 5th for the AC Golden Tap Takeover.  Don’t let the Coors building fool you, these cats know how to brew.  I’ve only had a couple of their beers, but I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve tried so far.  They’ve got 15 beers ready to be tapped this weekend including a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, a Belgian Saison, a Baltic Porter and 5 different sours!  The full lineup can be found HERE.

The Rackhouse Pub offers a full menu and is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  770-570-7824.

If you don’t see your favorite brewers around town this weekend, don’t be surprised.  Most of them are out in sunny San Diego, CA for the bi-annual World Beer Cup.  This is an international beer competition that has a judging system very similar to the Great American Beer Festival.  For 2012, more than 800 breweries from 56 countries have submitted nearly 4,000 beers into the competition.  Yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.

The Brewing Network will be broadcasting live from the awards ceremony on Saturday.  Click HERE to follow the action live.

Lastly, there’s a ton of great beers just waiting for you around town this weekend.  Stone Imperial Russian Stout (just had an ’06 bottle – ages really, really well), Sierra Nevada Hoptimum in 4-packs, Funkwerks White, New Belgium Tart Lychee, Avery Nineteen and Samael’s, Great Divide Barrel Aged Old Ruffian, some fresh Jolly Pumpkin and Dogfish Head and so much more!  There’s are so many great beers available right now.  If you need help tracking something down, give me a shout.

Man, that was a lot of news.  I love Colorado!  Hope you find something to keep you busy this weekend.

Time for a beer.  Cheers!


New Brewery, Seasonals and Other Beer Happenings

It feels like summer outside!  This nearly 80 degree weather is making me thirsty for an IPA on the deck, but first, let’s get the rundown of what’s happening in the beer world.

First, I wanted to share some news about Great Storm Brewing down in Colorado Springs.  Their grand opening is today!  Jeff and Lynn Jacobs held a soft opening last week, but they’re official grand opening is today.  Jeff has been homebrewing for 6 years and recently decided to make the jump and open his own place.  He’s operating on a 1 bbl system and plans to have 5 flagship beers with 2-3 rotating seasonals.

Great Storm sampler.

From left to right: Lightning Wit (Belgian Witbier), Brass Ale Honey Amber (British Amber / Braggot), Black Bear Zwartbier (Belgian Black Lager), Lilliput Pale Ale and Shine On (Oaked Belgian Golden Strong).  By the time you read this, there should also be an IPA called Seven Wolves available on both CO2 and Nitro, as well as a Rum Raisin Stout on Nitro.  The Rum Raisin Stout is brewed with oats and brown sugar and sounds delish.

There’s no food for sale at Great Storm, although pretzels are available and there’s a pizza place next door.  Stop by and enjoy the nice weather on their patio.  Great Storm is located at: 204 Mount View Lane #3, Colorado Springs, CO  80907.

Tap List at Great Storm.

Great Storm Fermentation Tanks.

Thanks to Steve, one of our readers, who visited Great Storm last night and was able to get these pics to share in the blog.  Thanks man!

All the way up in Fort Collins, CO, Odell has announced that their Double Pilsner will be back on store shelves soon.  I gotta admit, when I think pilsner, I think Bud, crap, Miller and more crap…, but the Odell Double Pils is a tasty beer.  Come on now, can the guys at Odell make a bad beer?  Perfect for those warm summer days, it’s full flavored and refreshing and at 8.1% ABV, it packs quite the punch.

Want to get your “drink on” a little early on Tuesday, March 27th?  Start your day off right and head over to Lone Tree Brewing for an early riser happy hour.  Fox 31’s Good Day Colorado will be broadcasting live from the brewery and they want to fill the tap room with beer drinkers.  You’ll be rewarded with $1 off pints from 6am-9am and who knows, maybe you’ll even be on TV!  I’m sure your boss won’t mind if you stop by on your way to work.  Maybe it’ll make your co-workers seem a little more tolerable.  You bring the doughnuts, Lone Tree will bring the Oatmeal Stout.  Lone Tree Brewing is located at: 8200 Park Meadows Drive, Suite 8222, Lone Tree, CO  80124.

Next weekend, Hops & Pie is hosting another one of their Littlest Big Beer Fest’s on Sunday, April 1st.  This time they are focusing on barrel aged beers.  Once again, they will be pouring a solid list of beers with treats like Firestone Walker XV, Dogfish Head Burton Baton, Verhaege Duchesse De Bourgogne and Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout to name a few.  This is NOT an April Fool’s joke and will certainly be THE place to be next Sunday afternoon.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyston St, Denver, CO  80212.  Check it out!

   

If anybody was out at Dry Dock last night, I hope you got to try the Hop Goblin with 7 C’s hops.  It was a super tasty brew.  The last few ounces were like a thick, hop slurry.  Mmmm, good stuff!  My son is a big fan of their root beer which is also pictured below.  Nice big crowd as usual.  I love Firkin Fridays!

Hop Goblin of the 7 C’s firkin and Dry Dock Root Beer.

That’s it for now.  Enjoy the weather and the tasty beers.  Cheers!


New Beers and Beer News 03/21/2012

Alrighty, time for a recap of what’s going on in the wide world of beer.  There’s quite a few new beers that will be hitting the market in the near future.  Here’s a rundown of what to keep an eye out for, both close to home and around the country.

First up is Denver’s own, Great Divide, who are close to releasing two new beers in 22oz. bombers.  One is a Dopplebock, which they’re calling Wolfgang.  It’s a big 8% ABV, malty, sweet lager.  Scheduled release date is set for July 1, 2012.

Great Divide is also gearing up for their 18th anniversary this summer and they’ve brewed a wood aged Double IPA to mark the occasion.  This is a really tasty seasonal release and a beer that any self-respecting hophead should seek out.

River North, the newest brewery to open in Denver, is working on getting their first bottles out into local stores.  They recently got two of their labels approved.  One is called Hypothesis, which is a 9.0% ABV Belgian Double IPA.

The other River North release is a 7.5% ABV Belgian saison called J. Marie.

The brewery is hoping to bottle somewhere between 50 and 100 cases in 22oz. bombers.  They’re looking at an April release.  Has anybody had the chance to try them yet?  River North is located in the former Flying Dog facility on Blake Street in Denver, CO.  Drop me a line if you have any other details to share.  I won’t be out that way until baseball season rolls around and would like to hear how they’re doing before then.

Speaking of baseball, the Sandlot Brewery at Coors Field in Denver, CO, has brewed a Farmhouse Red that will only be served at the stadium.  A tart and sour beer at the ballpark?  I’m all in.  I’ll definitely be seeking this out at the Rockies Opening Day in a few weeks.

Wrapping up the Denver news, the Vine Street pub is getting ready to brew their first batch of beer in the next few days.  They’re part of the Mountain Sun & Southern Sun family.  Vine Street has been open as a restaurant and brewpub for several years, but have had a lot of hurdles to overcome before they could actually brew on-site.  Hang in there people, the wait is nearly over.  They’re in the midst of sanitizing and cleaning and hope to be brewing very soon.

Out in Aurora, head brewer Doug Hyndman released Hop Goblin’s Revenge, which is a Double IPA brewed with CTZ, Warrior and Simcoe hops.  It measures more than 100 IBU’s!  Doug knows IPA’s like Bo knows baseball.  This beer is delish and not to be missed.  They’ve got a firkin going on this Friday at 3PM called Hop Goblin of the 7 C’s.  Check it out!  Speaking of 7 C’s, I’ve got a prize for the first person who can e-mail me with the names of the hops used in Dry Dock’s Double IPA, yeah, the IPA formally known as 7 C’s Double IPA.

Dry Dock’s Hop Goblin’s Revenge!

In other beer news around this glorious nation of beer, Victory Brewing, has announced they will be opening a second brewery in Chester County, PA.  They plan to reach maximum capacity this year at their Downington, PA facility.  Opening a second location will allow them to keep up with current demand, while continuing to expand and create new beers.  They hope to have the new brewery up and running by the summer of 2013.  Victory has been brewing since 1996 and currently distributes to 29 states, including Colorado.

Victory expanding to a second location.

Also out east, the always popular Dogfish Head, has released 3 beers in bottles this month.  The Deleware based company has released seasonal favorites ApriHop and Sah’tea and for the first time ever, they’re releasing 75 Minute IPA in bottles.  75 Minute has been available from time-to-time at the brewery for several years and has proven to be very popular.  It’s an IPA that is continually hopped for 75 minutes with Cascade hops and then bottle conditioned with maple syrup.  This is showing up to stores around town as I type this.  Keep your fingers crossed and eyes open and maybe you’ll find some!

I mentioned last week that Cascade would be announcing sales for their Blueberry Sour later this month.  The release is happening tomorrow!  Bottles will go on sale at the brewery up in Portland, OR at 4:30 PM.  If you like sours, you won’t want to miss out on this.  They also have a few remaining bottles of their Apricot for sale.  Grab some while you can.

And now what you’ve been waiting for!  Finally, some details on Westvleteren XII coming to the U.S.!  It was originally supposed to make it’s debut in the states next month, but that’s now been pushed back to June.  Hey, I didn’t say it was all good news.  The two importers bringing the gift packs out here are estimating that 15,000 packs will reach U.S. soil, with a retail price of $85 each.  Each pack will contain 6 bottles of Westvleteren 12, considered to be one of the best beers on the planet, along with two chalices.

At $85, it’s probably not the cheapest six pack you’ll ever purchase, but well worth it.  This is most likely a one time only deal as the monks who make the beer in Belgium are trying to fund a restoration project at their abbey in Belgium.  Typically, the only way to get the beer is at the abbey, so to have it shipped over to us is a pretty big event.  This is a great opportunity to get some without having to pay jacked up prices on ebay or a plane ticket to Belgium.  I’ll keep you updated with any more details I come across.

Patti guarding her Westvleteren loot.

Until next time, go check out one of those new breweries this week.  There must be more than 50 breweries that have opened in Colorado over the past 12 months, with plenty more scheduled to open this year.  Go check one out!  Send me a pic and I’ll try to use it in a future post.  Cheers!