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Weekend Beer Buzz 11/09/2012

It’s been an interesting week.  We got back an hour of sleep, although my kids still haven’t figured out how to sleep past 5:30 AM…  We survived another election.  I don’t get political on here. Truthfully, I don’t really talk politics at all on here or otherwise.  It’s not my thing.  But, I’m enjoying the fact that the phone calls during dinner, knocks at the door and back stabbing commercials have ceased for the time being.

I spent an afternoon over at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, sipping on a 6-year old Framboise and talking all things beer with owner Kevin DeLange.  Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for a full report on one of Colorado’s top breweries and be sure to stop by Dry Dock this weekend and help them celebrate their 7th Anniversary on Saturday.  Details below.

The weekend’s here.  Let’s rock it!

Friday, November 9th, 2012.

You wanted the hops?  You got the hops!  Kick off your weekend with a visit to Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora.  The Firkin Master’s summoning all of Colorado’s Hop Freaks for his Citra Dry-Hopped Osirus Bitter.

Tappings at 3 PM and 7 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Saturday, November 10th, 2012.

It’s all about Dry Dock this week.  I can’t help it.  They’ve got an Anniversary this weekend, they’re gearing up to open their Production Facility, they’ve got cans on the way and I’m sipping on their Barrel-Aged Shotgun Russian Imperial Stout as I type this.  If you missed our 2-part interview with Owner / Founder / Brewer Kevin DeLange, click HERE and HERE to get the full scoop on Dry Dock’s Past, Present & Future.  Dry Dock, here’s to 7 awesome years! Help them celebrate on Saturday at their Anniversary Party.

The party starts at noon and runs until…  I guess until they kick you out, which they’re not very good at.  So just plan on sticking around all day and getting a cab home.  Just glancing at this list of beers getting tapped, I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong.  2010 Wee Heavy, Sour Apricot and the incredibly tasty Ambassador Sour Ale.  That’s good times right there.  Check out Dry Dock’s 7th Anniversary Party and wish them luck with their new Production Facility and 40 BBL Brewhouse.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

The folks behind The Funk’n Wild Sour Beer Club are back at it again.  This time they’ve wrangled Avery’s Barrel Herder Andy Parker to join the group and talk about and taste all things sour.

Once again, they’ve secured some great beers to share including Crooked Stave’s L’Brett d’Or, Avery’s Dihos Dactylion, New Belgium’s La Folie, Russian River’s Consecration and Bear Republic’s Tartare and that’s just the beginning!  Although I haven’t been able to make it to a meeting yet, I’m loving this group of Sour Beer Enthusiasts.  Fingers crossed I can swing up to Longmont to check it out this time around.

The boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be in the house broadcasting live from this funky event from noon – 2 PM.  Check them out on AM 760.  Somebody buy Turk a La Folie. That boy can’t get enough of that beer.  He’s got good taste.

Stop by Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids from 1 PM – 4 PM and see what Funk’n Wild’s all about.  OB’s HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503.  303-485-9400.

Branden and the gang at Black Shirt Brewing are opening their doors once again this Saturday from 3 -8 PM.

Despite their limited hours, Black Shirt Brewing continues to receive positive reviews as they showcase the versatility and complexity of the Red Ale.  If you have the time, I’d recommend getting over there for a visit.  It’s at the top of my list.  Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-993-2799.

Lastly, Copper Kettle Brewing Co. will host “A Night of Casks” on Saturday beginning at noon and running until 10 PM.

The Hoppa Fresh Hop hits the hand pumps at noon, with the Imperial Pumpkin Porter going on at 5 PM.  There’s just something about a smooth, flavorful, real cask ale.  Check out this unique twist to CKBC’s brews.  CKBC is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Thursday, November 15th, 2012.

Looking into next week, the Chef N Brew Festival is coming up on Thursday night.

This will pair 12 local breweries with 12 local chefs for an interesting night of tastings and competition.  Come by and see what kind of creative dishes Denver’s top chefs have created to go with beers from Denver’s top breweries like Prost, Crooked Stave and Strange.  This is being held at The Oriental Theatre in Denver.  Tickets are $39 in advance, $49 at the door and can be purchased HERE.

There you have it good people.  Get out and try something new this weekend.  Or something old, that’s fine too.  No matter what it is, have fun and respect your beer.

Cheers!

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A Brewer, A Blogger, and A Beer at Dry Dock Brewing. Part 1 – The First 7 Years.

A brewer, a blogger and a bottle of 6-year old Dry Dock Framboise.  Where could this be headed? Well, when the brewer is Kevin DeLange, founder and owner of Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO, good things are bound to happen.  Join us as we talk brews, brewers and breweries and share some tasty brews along the way. (That’s a lot of brew talk and that’s how I like it!)  In Part 1, we’ll discuss Dry Dock’s Past and Present, going all the way back to their opening in 2005 and working up to the release of Bligh’s Barleywine later this year.  In Part 2, we’ll discuss the Future of Dry Dock Brewing into 2013 and beyond.  Grab a beer, err brew and join us!  

Humble Beginnings

Where, oh where does the time go?  It seems like the older I get, the quicker the time passes me by. I noticed it the other day as I was preparing for the upcoming Weekend Beer Buzz.  On my calendar, I had written down the Dry Dock Anniversary Party coming up on November 10th.  When I realized it was their 7th Anniversary, I scratched my head in disbelief.  7 years?!?!  Has it really been 7 years?

My wife and I discovered Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora within the first few months of their opening in 2005 and it didn’t take us long to become adopted as “regulars”.  I can still remember sitting in the original, tiny tasting room, behind The Brew Hut homebrew supply shop, sipping on their small batches of hand-crafted brews.  The Dry Dock of 2005 and 2006 was a family.  A pretty goofy one for sure, but a family nonetheless.  Everyone knew each other and we looked out for one another. Dry Dock came along and filled Aurora’s craft beer void and began producing great beers in the process.

While the small, 800 square foot tasting room, with its’ maximum capacity of 24 people (this may or may not have been exceeded on occasion…) might be extinct, Dry Dock and their beers have risen and gone on to rank among some of the finest in the land.  Walking into Dry Dock these days, one can’t help but notice the wall of awards in the Brewery located at the corner of Hampden and Chambers.

A ton of medals decorate the brewery, coming from a variety of sources, including the Colorado State Fair, Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

Let’s not forget they were crowned U.S. Small Brewery of the Year in 2009.  This all happened in less than 4 years!

Dry Dock Brewing 2.0

By 2009, Dry Dock had outgrown their humble home behind The Brew Hut and were forced to expand further down in the Aurora strip mall they called home.   They upgraded to a 7 BBL brewhouse and jumped into their current 9,000 square foot location, which gave beer drinkers plenty of space to spread out and enjoy themselves.

Dry Dock brought The Brew Hut with them, which has evolved into the area’s leading retailer for supplies, ingredients and know-how with regards to homebrewing, wine making, cheese making and more.  The new location has also played host to many popular events like the annual Docktoberfest and the Ho Ho Ho Slapdown.

Over the years, owners Kevin and Michelle DeLange have recruited a team of world-class brewers that bring a variety of different beer backgrounds and resumes into the brewhouse.  The Dry Dock brewers keep things interesting for even the most adventurous of beer geeks with an ever rotating selection of seasonals, one-offs, firkins and barrel-aged rarities that supplement their award-winning Flagship lineup of beers.

The team is led by Head Brewer Doug Hyndman, who has previously brewed at Ska and Green Flash.  Hyndman took the reigns at Dry Dock when former Head Brewer Bill Eye departed to open Prost Brewing in Denver earlier this year.  Hyndman has already begun to make a name for himself, by bringing the West Coast to Colorado, with his big, citrusy, hop-centric Double IPA’s.  The delicious flavor of his Hop Abomination (a favorite of mine!), will be squeezed into cans for the first time early next year.  (More on Dry Dock’s entrance into the canning business in Part 2).

For Dry Dock’s weekly Firkin Friday releases, Brewer / Firkin Master Walt Chleva has been given carte blanche to come up with new and interesting batches of beers for the Friday afternoon tappings.  He tries to pair his releases with the seasons and looks to “use local ingredients as much as possible”.

Many of the beers don’t make it past the first hour of getting tapped on Friday evenings.  Not much of a surprise considering he’s created beers like Peanut Butter Cup Porter, Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA and his personal favorite, Toasted Coconut Porter.  In the Toasted Coconut Porter, Chleva says he “uses a pound of hand toasted coconut for each firkin”, which he’s happy to point out, “makes my house smell great!”.

Although not every beer is a sure-fire winner, (Wasabi Rice Pale anyone?) and he’s still fine tuning his Maple Bacon Amber Ale recipe, but the majority of his Firkins leave Dry Dock customers thirsting for more.  In the past month alone, he’s released a Boysenberry Sour, Madagascar Vanilla Bean Porter and a Cherry Belgian Blonde.  He’s already looking towards next Summer, when he’s hoping to “make a Palisade Peach Ale and maybe a Fresh Hop Firkin”.

Do yourself a favor and get over to Dry Dock on a Friday to see what he’s brewed for the week.  Keep up to date with what Chleva has planned by checking our Weekend Beer Buzz.  Firkin Friday Tappings occur at 3 PM and 7 PM.  Don’t be late or you might get stuck listening to your friends tell you about the one that got away.

Going Big With Bligh’s

Dry Dock’s flagship lineup, which consists of USS Enterprise IPA, Apricot Blonde, HMS Victory Amber, Breakwater Pale Ale, Vanilla Porter, Double IPA and Hefeweizen, continue to draw in appreciative craft beer drinkers and regularly introducing new palates to Colorado’s craft beer movement.  Dry Dock also continues to deliver the goods with their big, experimental, boundary pushing, world-class releases.

Take for example, last year’s inaugural release of Bligh’s Barleywine, an English Barleywine, aged in Stranahan Whiskey Barrels.  Bligh’s was so well received by craft beer aficionados that it catapulted the beer onto the “Top 100 Beers on Planet Earth” as ranked by BeerAdvocate.com.

Later this year, Dry Dock will release a new batch of Bligh’s Barleywine in 22oz. bombers.  This highly anticipated, 10% ABV English Barleywine has spent the past year in Colorado Whiskey Barrels, absorbing notes of vanilla, oak and caramel along the way.  DeLange was kind enough to pull a nail from one of the many barrels housing Bligh’s and share a sample of this year’s batch.  You’re not going to want to miss this one!

With a target release date of 12/15/12, it’s the perfect beer to warm up with at the end of a cold, winter day.  In addition to 22oz. bombers, Bligh’s will also be pouring in the Tap Room for a limited time. Sorry, but NO Growler fills, in order to allow as many people as possible to try this extremely popular beer.

From There to Here, But Now Where?

In 7 years, Dry Dock has gone from a nano-brewery in the back of a homebrew supply shop to one of the top breweries in the nation.  But what’s next for Kevin and Michelle DeLange and their team of skilled brewers and dedicated employees?  Check back soon for Part 2 as we continue our chat with Kevin DeLange and talk about what lies ahead for the Aurora-based brewery.  This is BIG!  Trust me, you won’t want to miss this!

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 11/01/2012

Howdy!  Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!  We made the rounds with our little ones and popped a little nightcap when they went to bed.  Three Floyds Dark Lord ’07 anyone?

Had to have something with a spooky name on Halloween!  Man, this beer has aged sooo well. Delicious.

The weekend’s right around the corner.  Got plans?  Need someone to point you in the right direction?  Follow me!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crooked Stave has an awesome lineup of beers ready for you this weekend.

Cuvaison III – a blend made with Passion Fruit; L’Brett D’ Or – Golden Sour; Nightmare on Brett with espresso beans and more!  Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Denver, CO 80211.

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will be open Thursday – Sunday this weekend.

The guys have been working hard to catch up from their crazy busy weekend during GABF. They’ve brewed up a bunch of fresh batches to share with you.  Stop by and try their IPA, Pale Ale, Saison, Tart Saison, Proletariat Cream Ale and Huckleberry Coffee Stout.  They’ll be open on Thursday 4 – 10 PM, Friday 4 PM – 12 AM, Saturday 2 PM – 12 AM and Sunday 2 – 10 PM.  Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-722-2810.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dry Dock’s got a good one for this week’s Firkin Friday.  Can you say “Peanut Butter Cup Porter”?!?! Love this brew.  Get some!  Tappings at 3 PM and 7 PM on Friday.

They’re also pouring a Spicy Stout, which was brewed with cinnamon and cayenne and they’ve also got a bit of their Shotgun Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout left as well.  Both are delish!  Speaking of the Dock, they turn 7 next weekend!  Put next Saturday on your calendar now as the Anniversary Parties always include special tappings and good ol’ fashioned fun.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Speaking of firkins, Breckenridge Brewery will be hosting Firkin First Friday this week.

Look for a firkin of 471 IPA, dry-hopped with Warrior Hops on Friday at 5 PM.  This’ll be at their Denver location, which is at: 471 Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80204.  800-328-6723.

Jellyman’s got another good one lined up for this week’s Deviation at Rockyard Brewing.  This Friday, he’s releasing Freaktoberfest, which is a Hefeweizen fermented Oktoberfest.

This 6% ABV beer has aromas described as a “spicy fruit cornucopia” and tastes like “caramel malts with light citrus notes and spice”.  Tapping at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109.  303-814-9273.

The Rocky Mountain Brew Fest is in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center this weekend.

It’s connected with the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo and runs through Sunday.  There’s 4 sessions running over the weekend and it’s only $12 to get in the door, which includes 3-samples and 1 full beer.  Additional beers may be purchased separately.  Look for Backcountry Brewery, Big Choice Brewing, Elevation Brewing, Odell Brewing and more.  Ticket information and times can be found HERE.  The Colorado Convention Center is located at: 700 14th St, Denver, CO 80202.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Once again Saturday, is just ridiculous.

We should rethink our Saturday policy.  I say we drop a day mid-week and add a second Saturday every week.  There’s just never enough time on Saturday to see and do everything.  I think two Saturday’s in a week might let us get around to all of these great beer events.  Hey, it’s an election year.  You want my vote politicians?  Make it happen!  Until then, you might have some tough decisions to make this week.

First up is the All Colorado Beer Festival.  I did a writeup earlier this week on this beer festival down in Colorado Springs.  Check it out HERE.

Two Sessions, 30+ Breweries, 100+ Beers.  I’m really looking forward to having an opportunity to visit with some of Colorado’s newer breweries like Paradox and Elevation.  This should be a blast.

And if you’re on the fence about the VIP ticket option, let me just drop a few beers on you. Upslope Pumpkin, Trinity TPS Report, New Belgium La Folie and more than 20 other interesting beers will be pouring in the VIP area.  Don’t miss out!  Again, click HERE for all the details and I hope to see you there!

In Denver, the Wynkoop is hosting their annual Beers of the Year event on Saturday.

This is a really cool event that features a keg of every beer brewed at the Wynkoop during 2012. They’ll also be pouring casks and beers from other local CO breweries. A partial list of beers that will be pouring on Saturday, can be found HERE.  Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 or at the door for $32.  The event runs from 1 PM – 4 PM.  Wynkoop Brewing Co. is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

Up in Boulder, Upslope Brewing is celebrating their 4th Anniversary on Saturday.

They’ll be unveiling their 4th Anniversary Beer, which is a Saison brewed with Patagonia-sourced hops.  They’ll have more than 15 additional brews to sample, live music, food trucks and a live broadcast with the guys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show.

That’s right, the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be kicking off the party at noon with a live broadcast on AM 760.  The show goes until 2 PM, the party rolls on all day and there’s NO COVER!  Congrats to Upslope on 4 years of great beers!  Upslope Brewing is located at: 1501 Lee Hill Rd No. 20, Boulder, CO 80304.  303-449-2911.

If you make it up to Boulder for the Upslope party, swing over to Twisted Pine for the next release in their Artisan Ale Series.

This month’s release is called “Modern Day Pine-eer”.  This is an India Pumpkin Ale brewed wtih Pilgrim and Columbus Hops and 500 lbs. of pumpkin!  The party goes from noon – 9 PM and label artist Shannon Ripley will be at the brewery displaying her artwork and signing bottles.  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

As if that wasn’t enough, Learn To Homebrew Day is also on Saturday.

This is a great opportunity to try your hand at brewing your own craft beers.  There’s a full list of events HERE, or just head to your local homebrew shop and watch how it’s done.  If you’ve got your own rig, load it up, bring it to your local homebrew shop and share the fun of this growing and addictive hobby!

Thursday, November 7, 2012

Looking into next week, Prost will be pouring their beers for a German Beer Dinner at Ernie’s in Denver on Thursday.

The $40 dinner covers a 4-course meal each paired with a different Prost beer.  This is limited to 30 people, so call Ernie’s and reserve your spot today.  Ernie’s is located at: 2915 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80211.  303-955-5580.

There you have it peeps, another full week of beer here in Colorado!  Get out and enjoy the nice weather.  Hope to see you out and about.

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Cheers!