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Posts tagged “dry dock

Weekend Beer Buzz 01/03/2013

It’s 2013 and we’ve only got 52 weekend’s to enjoy this year.  Don’t let one pass you by.  Plenty to do, plenty to see and most importantly, plenty to drink.  You ready?  Need a little motivation?  Click HERE for a reminder of what 2012 brought us.  NOW are you ready?  Thought so.

Friday, January 4th, 2012

Crooked Stave’s ready for the weekend.  Stop by the tasting room for some funky goodness.

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Grab something on tap or a bottle to-go (thee’s still a few bottles of L’Brett D’Or for sale).  Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.  720-508-3292.

My friend Firky D. Firkin, made his way down to Rockyard to brew with Jellyman and help bring you this week’s Deviation.

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This week is “A Firkin Brown Ale”, which is described as “A Firkin balanced malty brown, with assertive bitterness and clean finish”.  Tapping at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Over at Dry Dock in Aurora, they’ll be tapping a Centennial Dry-Hopped Pale Ale.  Tapping at 3 PM.

Last week, Dry Dock brewed for the first time at the new production facility.  Kevin, Doug and the rest of the gang made a monster batch of Apricot on their new 40 BBL brew system.  Look for cans coming very soon!  Click HERE to watch the live feed and see what they’re up to in the new digs.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Saturday, January 5th, 2012

Copper Kettle Brewing Company will release their Annual Mystery Beer on Saturday.

This is a tradition where Copper Kettle taps a “mystery beer” on the first Saturday of the new year. Last year’s mystery beer was a Belgian Quad.  Stop by and check out this year’s mystery beer beginning at noon.  Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Hops & Pie is hosting a “Vertically Epic Tasting of Stone Vertical Epic Ale” on Saturday afternoon.

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They’ll be tapping kegs from the Vertical Epic series back to 08.08.08, including a special keg of 10.10.10 that was aged in French Oak barrels.  The fun starts at noon.  Don’t miss out on this rare chance to try multiples VE beers at the same time.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St., Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Also on Saturday, don’t forget to check in with Turk & Gubna on the Colorado Craft Beer Show.

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They’ve got your weekly dose of Colorado craft beer news.  Tune into AM760 on Saturday at noon to listen live.

Sunday, January 6th, 2012

Odell Brewing will release Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout on Sunday.  What’s a new beer without a new beer release party?  Odell has you covered with live music, food trucks and plenty of Lugene on tap and in 4-packs.

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The beer starts pouring at 11 AM, with live music at 4 PM.  Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout is named after local Fort Collins dairy farmer Lugene Sas.  Click HERE to see a day in the life of Lugene and his family of lovely bovine sweeties.  Odell Brewing Co. is located at: 800 E Lincoln Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524.

Into The Future

January’s not exactly a big month for beer festivals, but this is Colorado and there’s ALWAYS something on the horizon.  It’s not too late to book a trip to Vail for Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines, which is coming up next weekend.

Ticket info, hotel deals and a full schedule of events can be found HERE.  We haven’t been since ’07 and are excited to be going back.

And later this month is the Winter Brew Fest in Denver at Mile High Station.

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This is on Friday, January 25th and you can click HERE for all the details.

Facebook Contest

Lastly, I noticed last night that the Facebook Page is approaching 300 Likes.  Thank You all for your continued support!  As a Thank You, I’m giving away something special to lucky #300.  Not sure what yet, but we’ll hook you up with something any craft beer lover will enjoy.  So check us out on Facebook and “Like” us if you haven’t already.  Thanks again guys!  We really appreciate you.

Happy New Year Friends!

Cheers!

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Weekend Beer Buzz: Sour Fest Edition 05/31/2012

Wow, another week has flown by!  It’s about time for your Weekend Beer Buzz.  Unfortunately, I’ve had a one-track mind and all I can seem to think about is Avery’s upcoming 3rd Annual Sour Fest on Saturday, June 2nd.  sour fest, Sour Fest, SOUR FEST, SOOOUUURRRR FEEEESSSSTTTT!!!!!   Yeah, I can’t wait.  The back of my tongue is already feeling all tingly and my stomach is anticipating that jacked-up feeling from all those wild yeasts attacking my innards.  I can’t wait!

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In its’ short existence, Avery’s Sour Fest has quickly turned into one of my favorite annual events.  Nothing but funky, filthy, mouth-puckering sours, being poured at one of my all time favorite breweries.  I’m in!  If you don’t already have tickets, you’re probably out of luck.  I hate to be a downer, but it’s not going to be easy to find a ticket this late in the game.  Maybe you’ll get lucky and find a deal on craigslist, but these puppies sold out in a ridiculously short and nerve-racking 90 seconds.  Best of luck in your hunt.

If you were one of the few lucky beer nerds that were able to score a ticket, I’ll see you there.  The fun starts at noon and runs until 5 PM.  Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.  303-440-4324.

Come down early and listen to Gary V. as he broadcasts live from Avery Brewing on American Craft Beer Radio on 102.3 FM.  His show starts this week at 11 AM.  Yep, an hour earlier than normal, because he wants to get in and enjoy those sour specialties at noon just like everyone else.  You should definitely tune in this week as it will be my radio debut.  WooHoo!

Right after Gary fills your head full of foamy fun, flip over to Colorado Craft Beer Show on 760 AM.  The Gubna and John Turk kick off at noon and cover all the local beer news in this lovely state.  They’ve expanded to two hours and will be on from noon – 2 PM every Saturday.  They’ll also be broadcasting live from Avery Brewing.  Nothing like a little friendly competition.  Play nice boys!

Believe it or not, there’s actually more than just the Sour Fest going on this weekend.  What?!?!  Don’t get all sad on me if you weren’t one of the 400ish people to get a ticket to the funk madness, there’s always something else to do.  My suggestion…..  Get over to the Oskar Blues Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza!  This isn’t even a suggestion, it’s an order.

If you’re going to call yourself a beer nerd and are anywhere near the Denver metro area this weekend, you need to plan on attending either the Sour Fest or OB Tap Takeover.  Pick one, pick both, but don’t pick your nose and don’t miss out on these delicious events.  (Unless you’ve got a title like Firkin Master and your name is Walt.  He’s off the hook since he’s in freakin’ Hawaii!!! Again!!!)

I’ve managed to hit Parry’s past Tap Takeovers and these are the real deal folks.  I was in the back, super secret, retina-scan required keg vault over at Parry’s Pizza a few weeks ago and I saw the stash first hand.  They’ve been piling up an impressive lineup for this event, including a bunch of barrel aged gems.  I’ve been around the block (in a good way) and I hadn’t even heard of some of these beers before.  In other words, they’re super limited and won’t be around again anytime soon.  This is your chance people.  Don’t miss it!

Still don’t believe me???  I’ve seen the tap list and while I won’t give away all the surprises, let me just say they’ll be pouring both Buffalo Trace Whisky Barrel Aged Ten Fidy and Cabernet Barrel Aged G’Knight.  If that doesn’t excite you, then I give up.

Good gravy I love their food too.  Go famished and parched…  Leave happy.  Your tummy will thank you for it.

But wait, there’s more!  As always, kicking off your weekend is Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday.  At 3 PM on Friday, June 1st they’ll be tapping a Toasted Coconut Porter.  I’ve had this one before and really enjoyed it.  My wife, who’s incredibly allergic to coconuts, couldn’t get enough.  I had the EpiPen ready, but she powered through like a champ.  Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013.  303-400-5606.

Copper Kettle is getting the most out of their new fermenters, as they’re rolling out a new beer every Saturday in June.  For Saturday, June 2nd, they’re bringing back their Dortmunder Lager.  I made it to the Summer Ale release last week and also got to enjoy their Black IPA and Belgian Golden Strong, while Patti worked on the uber tasty and award-winning, Mexican Chocolate Stout.  They’ll have different food trucks out front for each release.  The beer goes on tap at noon and the food rolls in at 5 PM.

Copper Kettle is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.  If you haven’t yet paid them a visit, you’re long overdue.  They’re located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Not really an event, but the current Lips of Faith lineup in the New Belgium Brewery Tap Room is simply mouth-watering.

From sour treats like La Folie and Tart Lychee to sweet beasts like Cocoa Mole and Abbey Grand Cru, not to mention the new collaboration with Lost Abbey and the Valentine Ale brewed with rose hips and pomegranates.  Why does Fort Collins have to be so far.  Why man, WHY???  But, if you’re lucky enough to be up that way in the near future, stop by for a few samples or a growler fill.  New Belgium Brewing is located at: 500 Linden Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524.  Just follow the bikes.

There you have it.  Sour Fest at Avery or Oskar Blues Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza.  If I find out you didn’t go to one of these two amazingly, awesomely, wonderfully, beerily Colorado events, I’m pulling your Beer Nerd Club Card.  I might even tell your friends too.  Don’t test me…  Don’t you know I’m loco???

I think I’ll wrap this up with a few random shots from the two previous Sour Fests.  Hope you enjoy.  Cheers!


Beer Trading Part Four: The Beer is Here!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve introduced you to beer trading and walked you through a simple trade.  Just in case you missed something, in Part One, we talked about how to set up a trade.  In Part Two, we picked a trader and agreed on beers to trade.  In Part Three, we packed and shipped our beers.  We’ve waited patiently for our package to be delivered and it’s finally here!

Yep, this is my favorite part, opening the big box of goodies.  When I open a box of beer, I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.  Even when I know what’s inside, it’s still exciting to dig in and unwrap all the beers.

Our New Glarus loot in all its’ glory!  Yeah, we pulled a ton of tasty brews from Wisconsin.  If you’ve never had the Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart, make sure you move them to the top of your list.  Big, fruity flavors that are appreciated even by non-beer lovers.  Drink it straight or get crafty and pour it over vanilla bean ice cream or mix it with some Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout.  Fun, tasty beers.

At this point, I’ll e-mail our trader to thank them and let them know that I got everything in one piece.   I’ll also ask if they got the package I sent.  If something breaks, it’s typically the responsibility of the shipper to replace the beer(s) or do something to make up for the loss.  Just another good reason to take the extra time to pack things up safely the first time.

After checking with our trader, Kody, he told me that our package arrived safely with no issues.  At this point, the trade is done.  Now all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy your beers.

I keep a list of people I’ve traded with and will generally trade with the same people over and over again.  For example, after trading with Kody, I know that in addition to New Glarus, he’s got pretty good access to beers from Goose Island and Three Floyds among others.  We’re already working on setting up our next trade.  It doesn’t take long to develop a network of contacts and beer traders around the country.  It’s that easy.

Hope this little trading guide answered some questions and encouraged you to take the plunge.  If anything’s unclear or you’ve got questions, by all means, let me know.  It’s a great hobby.  Hope you enjoy it!

Big shout out to all of the brewers that won awards over the weekend at the World Beer Cup in San Diego, CA!  The complete list of winners can be found HERE.  I’m really excited to see so many Colorado brewers bring home medals, including Oskar Blues, Dry Dock, Rockyard, Odell and many more.  Bull & Bush brought home a whopping 4 awards!  Congrats to all  the breweries!

The next World Beer Cup is scheduled for Denver in 2014!  Yeah, it’s two years away, but it’s coming.  It’s almost like Denver was picked to host the Olympics.  Brewers from all over the world will be in town for a long weekend of seminars, tastings, beer dinners and more.  They couldn’t have picked a better location.

Don’t look now, but Colorado Beer Week is right around the corner.  More details to come later this week.  Stay tuned and check the Facebook page for all the latest info.

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!


Weekend Wrap Up 04/30/12

The weather forecasters claimed we were going to be in for some wet weather over the past weekend, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.  It turned out to be the perfect weekend.  I hope you were able to get out and enjoy it.

We made the trip over to Prost Brewing in Denver, CO, to donate a few hours of our time and help with a little painting.  It was our first time in their facility.  Bill and Darlene Eye have picked a great location and the building is shaping up nicely.  They still have quite a bit of work left to do, but they’re making steady progress and hope to be brewing in June.  We can’t wait!  In the meantime, check out their fancy new website.

After washing off the paint, we headed over to Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO, to check out their Avon Walk for Breast Cancer silent auction and special tappings.  They were pouring a Second Base Brown, brewed exclusively for the event, a Pink Tripel, Strawberry Hefeweizen firkin and a few barrel aged beers.  My favorite was the Shotgun Stout, a big 10% ABV, barrel aged, Russian Imperial Stout.  An awesome sipper!

Dry Dock’s Shotgun Stout

They had tons of items up for auction.  We perused the tables and saw everything from gift cards for local merchants, concert tickets, beers from other Colorado breweries, hotel stays, golf packages and even a pair of tickets for the Great American Beer Festival! My wife won a bid for an hour long massage and I won a Stranahan’s Whiskey Barrel!  I’ve been looking for a Stranahan’s barrel for quite some time and I wasn’t going to let this one get away.  My plan is to use it as a beer tasting table down in the man cave.

The Stranahan’s barrel really made my weekend.  Dry Dock put on a great event and raised a lot of money for charity.

In other beer news, more than 6,000 people made the trip out to Three Floyds Brewing in Munster, IN to enjoy Dark Lord Day.  Every year after I see the pictures and hear the stories, I tell myself I’ll have to go next year, yet I still haven’t gone.  I really need to make Dark Lord Day a higher priority next year.  In the meantime, there are some nice pics up HERE.  Time to make some trades and get a few bottles.  Oh, and I’ve got a special prize if anybody can help me land some Dark Lord Espresso beans.  That sounds amazing!

Happy Birthday to David Parry over at Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch, CO.  He celebrated by brewing a beer with the folks at Odell Brewing up in Fort Collins, CO.  They whipped up a Pale Ale that will be available on tap at the upcoming Odell Tap Takeover at Parry’s Pizza on May 19th.  If you made it to Parry’s earlier this month for the Avery Tap Takeover, you know they put on a good show and bring out some nice, nice beers for these events.  More details to come.

Did anybody come up with tickets for Avery’s SourFest?  Tickets went on sale last Friday and sold out in under 2 minutes!!!  I got a pair, but it sounds like I was one of the few lucky ones.  Just wondering if anybody else was able to snag tickets.  I realize Avery is limited on the amount of beer available for this event, but I really wish they’d come up with a way to either host two sessions or move to a bigger venue.  It gets tougher every year.

Hope everybody had a nice weekend.  Stay tuned as I’ve got some new beers to share later this week along with some BIG events going on this weekend.  Cheers!


Beer Trading Part Three: Packing and Shipping

So I’ve had an ongoing project where I’ve been walking you guys through a beer trade.  In case you missed it, part 1 is HERE and part 2 is HERE

At this point, we’ve agreed on what beers we’re going to send and receive.  I’ve also responded to all of the people who sent me a message looking to trade.  It’s good to respond, even if it’s just to say “thanks, but no thanks”.  Kody (our trader out in IL) and I have agreed on a shipping date and we’re ready to pack up and send. 

There are several ways to wrap and pack and there’s plenty of different materials you can pick from.  I typically just go with the basic bubble wrap, but I’ve done so many trades at this point and recycle most of the material I receive, so as long as the packing material is still in good condition, I’ll just reuse it on a future trade. 

Wrap each bottle individually.  Don’t skimp here.  Make sure everything is covered with packing material and taped up so nothing slips out. 

Wrapping the bottles in bubble wrap.

After wrapping, it’s not a bad idea to slip each beer into a ziploc bag.  That way, if something breaks, your box won’t be dripping wet.  Most shipping companies won’t deliver a box that is leaking and it will only cause problems for you down the road.  If something does break, it’s typically the responsibility of the shipper to make good and replace the beer.  Take your time and do a good job on packing the beers.  There’s nothing worse than having a shipment out there in “beer purgatory” because something leaked out or busted during delivery. 

For your box, make sure it’s sturdy and can take a beating if necessary.  Don’t go with some flimsy shoe box or thin-walled cardboard box.  Moving boxes work, double-walled boxes are the best.  Use your best judgement here, but realize your box will be going on a long journey across the country, so pick a good one.  If you’re shipping a lot of beers, don’t be afraid to split it between two boxes. 

So you’ve wrapped your beers and picked your box, now line the box with bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts or whatever padded material you’ve got and start packing your beers.  I try to leave a little space in between each beer and fill it up with styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap.  Again, don’t skimp. 

Packing the box.

In the past, I’ve lined my boxes with a big garbage bag and tied it closed before closing up the box.  That way, if something happens to break, it won’t destroy the box and ruin the shipment.  I haven’t done this in a while, but would recommend it if you’re going to be shipping full growlers.  Make sure you completely fill the empty space in your box with packing material.  This will ensure your beers aren’t slipping and moving around inside during delivery.  Again, don’t skimp or cut corners when it comes to packing your beers. 

I try to visualize my box taking a 6-foot fall.  Would the beers survive?  If the answer is yes, then you should be safe to ship.  If you’re not sure, repack and don’t take the risk. 

One last layer of bubble wrap.

Ready to be sealed up.

Pack it up tight and tape it closed.  I use a lot of tape and hit each open edge a few times just to be safe.

An easier way to pack your beers, is to track down some styrofoam bottle shippers.  These are molded to hold big 750mL bottles, but with a little bubble wrap, you can fill the space to hold 22oz. bombers or 12oz. bottles.  Super easy to use and you can get them in 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 or 12 bottle sizes.  Over time, I’ve accumulated a bunch of these in the garage and I typically use them with people I trade with over and over again.  I’ll ship first and they’ll fill it up and send beers back to me.  It’s a time saver and if you have regular trading partners that you trade with multiple times, it can save you money too. 

Packing up a 6-bottle styrofoam shipping box.

Shipping made easy.

Both methods work, but it’s up to you the route you want to take. 

 

All packed up and ready to go!

 

As for shipping, don’t use U.S. Mail.  It’s illegal to ship alcohol using the USPS.  Don’t bother with them.  I use FedEx and most traders will use FedEx or UPS, but don’t advertise that you’re shipping beer.  Some shipping employees won’t care, others will tell you they won’t ship it. 

If someone hears a little sloshing around in your box, they might ask what’s inside.  Good answers are steak marinade, yeast samples or collectible bottles.  You can also mask the sounds by throwing a handful of rice in the bottom of the box.  I’ve also received boxes that had a tiny box of pennies inside.  Not necessary, but not a bad idea either.   

Make life easy on yourself and set up a free FedEx account.  It only takes a minute to do and allows you to print your own shipping labels on your home printer.  Get your box dimensions and approximate weight, enter your destination and print it out.  Then you just need to tape it to your box and schedule a pickup or drop it off at your local retailer.  Aside from saving yourself the hassle of filling out all your shipping papers at the store, you get a discount and they’ll even give you free shipping supplies.  So easy, a caveman can do it. 

You’ll get a tracking number which you’ll want give to your recipient.  That way they can track it along the way and know when to expect delivery. 

Track your shipments on the FedEx website.

It’s not a bad idea to throw in a couple of extra beers in your box.  I usually drop in a few tasty local beers that I think my recipient might enjoy.  If it’s someone I’ve traded with a few times, I might throw in something that I know they’ve been looking for or is tough to track down.  Living in Colorado, I usually go with Odell, Dry Dock or if I’m shipping east, maybe some Firestone Walker or Deschutes.  Just something that our target probably doesn’t have access to and would enjoy.  Sometimes I’ll also throw in a nice tulip glass or some brewery swag in as well.  Just a little something to say thanks for the trade.  It’s not required, but is something that most traders will do and helps spread a little good beer karma.

Now you’ve done all the work, just drop off your package and wait for yours to show up in return.  I dropped off yesterday and it’s supposed to arrive on Thursday.  See, now that wasn’t so hard, was it?  I’m looking forward to getting some fresh New Glarus.  Stay tuned and I’ll let you know what we got.  Feel free to hit me up with any questions you might have.  In the meantime, sit back and have a beer. 

Plenty of great events coming up this weekend.  I should have all the details up in another day or two, so check back soon for updates.  Also, click on the Facebook page for daily updates and happenings in the world of beer. 

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 4/20 Edition

The weekend’s almost here and there’s some pretty nice events going on around town.  First up is Copper Kettle’s Anniversary Party.  Copper Kettle has 4 days of events planned to celebrate their first birthday.  4 days, 4 beers, 4 bands, 4 food trucks!  The fun starts today with the release of their Golden Strong Ale, along with dumplings and live music.  Check out the picture below for details and happenings over the next few days.

I might stop by on Saturday morning for their Anniversary Barleywine release.  Gary V. from American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting from the brewery and covering the festivities.  His show is on 102.3 FM at noon.  Should be a lot of fun over there.  Copper Kettle is located at: 1338 Valentia St. #100, Denver, CO.  720-443-2522.

The Vine Street Pub, which we can now finally call a brewery (woohoo!), is also celebrating an anniversary this weekend.  Vine Street is turning 4 and is having a “Smokin’ Hot” BBQ and party.  The beer garden will be open with plenty of BBQ, music and a Saison brewed just for the occasion.  Proceeds will go to charity.  Don’t forget, they are cash only, so hit the ATM before you go.  The party starts tomorrow, April 20th, at 4:20 PM.  Coincidence???  I love those guys.  Vine Street is located at: 1700 Vine Street, Denver, CO.  303-388-2337.

Also, don’t forget about Firkin Friday at Dry Dock Brewing.  They’ll have a Strawberry-infused Heidi Klum Golden Ale.  A german blonde with strawberries.  Brilliant and should go nice with the warm weather.  Tapping is at 3 PM.  Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO.  303-400-5606.

On Saturday, April 21st, head down to Parry’s Pizza and check out the Avery Tap Takeover.  Just looking over the teaser menu below, this is going to be an impressive event.  ’11 Beast, Muscat de Amore, Uncle Jacob’s Stout and many more.  There’s something for everyone.  Bring your appetite as Parry’s makes some tasty pizza, pasta and wings.  The awesome beer and food might even make up for the fact that they’re Yankee fans.  I said MIGHT, no guarantees on that one.  The event kicks off at 11 AM and runs until close.  Parry’s is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO.  303-683-0600.

That should keep you guys busy for a few days.  Enjoy the nice weather and respect your beer.  Cheers!


Opening Day Recap, New Beers, New Brewery and Beer Fests!!!

Who was downtown for the Rockies Opening Day yesterday?  Maybe I should ask, who wasn’t downtown for Opening Day yesterday?  The weather was perfect again this year and baseball fans were out soaking it up.  It was a great day and good to see so many friends out and about.

Our group met up at Mellow Mushroom to try the 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA from Great Divide.  Before long, we moved over to Falling Rock Tap House.  Odell had their tap truck and a tent set up out front.  I got treated to a glass of Myrcenary Double IPA and a new hat from the good people out there.  They were rockin’, but the beer was flowing and everybody was enjoying themselves.

We eventually made our way inside Coors Field and I tried the Farmhouse Red at Sandlot Brewery.  It’s a Farmhouse meets Flanders Red ale, brewed with white pepper, coriander and hibiscus.  Pretty tame, but that’s to be expected for Coors Field I guess.  Still, really enjoyable on a warm day and a nice departure from the norm.  I’m not sure if this is a one-and-done deal or if they plan to keep it available all season, but give it a try on your next visit.

Sandlot Farmhouse Red Ale

After watching the Rockies get embarrassed by the Giants, we made our way over to Star Bar.  We had some friends playing in the Kentucky Street Parlor Pickers and they suggested we stop by.  Great music, mixed with a New Belgium promotion and good beer.  Not to be missed!  Denver really needs to make Opening Day a state holiday and let people take the day off from work.  It shouldn’t be missed.

So there’s plenty more new beers getting ready to roll out for Spring and Summer.  Dry Dock in Aurora, CO, is busy bottling their upcoming seasonal, Apricot Blonde.  Bottles will be going on sale at the brewery on April 16th and will be making their way to Colorado liquor stores soon after.

Dry Dock Apricot Blonde in the bottling line.

Over at Avery, in Boulder, CO, they’ve got a Belgian-Style Triple in the works called Nineteen.  This will be released in time for their upcoming 19th anniversary later this summer.   The 8.2% ABV Tripel will be widely distributed and should be hitting stores soon.  Stay tuned for more details on their big anniversary party in August.

Up in Fort Collins, CO, Odell plans to release this years batch of St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale on April 21, 2012.  A party is scheduled at the brewery with music, food, games and of course, plenty of beer.  St. Lupulin is a 6.5%, hoppy, refreshing summer-time ale, and will be sold throughout their ten state distribution area.

So where will you be this weekend?  I know it’s only Tuesday, but it’s never too early to start making plans.  Patti and I will be heading up to Breckenridge, CO for their 6th annual Spring Beer Festival.  The festival is on Saturday, April 14th, from noon-5PM and will feature 25 craft breweries.  Local favorites like Odell and Left Hand will be pouring, along with several breweries from out-of-state, including Stone and Deschutes.  Tickets and details can be found HERE.  Drop me a line if you’re going and maybe we can meet up for a beer.

Image Detail

There’s also a new brewery opening it’s doors to the public for the first time this weekend.  Echo Brewing, in Frederick, CO, will have their Grand Opening on Saturday, April 14th at 2PM.  This weekend they will be pouring a Kolsch, IPA, Brown and ESB.  Oskar Blues will have a food truck on-site from 3-6PM.  More information can be found on the Echo Brewing website and Facebook page.  If anybody is attending, I’d love to hear your feedback or see some pictures.

Dry Dock is releasing a Blackberry Porter this week for Firkin Friday.  This sounds really yummy.  Stop by and give it a try.  Firkin gets tapped at 3PM.

Oh, and don’t forget about the 4th Annual Saison and Farmhouse Ale Festival down at Trinity in Colorado Springs, CO.  I hear there are still a handful of tickets left.  Show your AHA membership card and get $5 off your ticket.  This event is scheduled for Saturday, April 14th from 11AM-4PM.  I’ve never been, but it’s definitely on my radar for next year.

Man, so much to do this weekend!  Hope you can get out and enjoy it.  Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz and Trade Update

Even on Easter weekend, the beautiful beer state of Colorado has several events planned to prevent you from getting thirsty.  The weekend’s right around the corner, where are you gonna be?

Boulder is topping the list with two big releases this weekend.  First, swing by Twisted Pine for their West Bound Braggot Release.  This is the fourth release in their Artisan Ale Project and is scheduled for Saturday, April 7th, from 4-8PM.  Think sweet honey mead, mixed with exotic Tasmanian pepper berries and fermented with Belgian saison yeast.  Think adventurous and delish!  Stop by the brewery to grab your bottles, meet the brewers and get your bottle signed by the artist who designed the label.

After Twisted Pine, grab a cab and swing by Avery for the Uncle Jacob’s Stout release party.  This will join Rumpkin as the second beer in their Annual Barrel Series.  Uncle Jacob’s Stout is a big ol’ 17.4% ABV stout that’s been aging for 6 months in fresh bourbon barrels.  Maker’s Mark I believe…

Fan boys and girls can grab  bottles for their cellar on Saturday, beginning at 5PM.  12oz. bottles are $10 / each, with a 12 bottle limit.  Even if you’re not looking to score any bottles, stop by for some banjo pickin’, and try the special beers pouring for the event.  Eremita III, Barrel Aged Tweak (aka Meph Addict) and Rumpkin will be flowing along with whatever else Avery pulls out of their stash to share.  You won’t want to miss it.

So you can’t make it Boulder this weekend?  No worries, out on the southwest side of town in Highlands Ranch, Parry’s Pizza is getting ready for an onslaught of Firestone Walker.  Parry’s is putting on a pint night on Saturday, April 7th from 5:30 to 7:30PM.  Word is that they’ll have 21-23 different taps flowing of Firestone Walker deliciousness.  Order a Firestone Walker beer, get a glass to bring home and add to the collection.  You’ll also be entered to win shirts and other prizes.

Sounds like they’ll be bringing out some tasty kegs from the cellar to share with Colorado.  I visited Parry’s for the first time last weekend and had a great time.  Awesome food and amazing tap list.  Stop kidding yourself.  This place is a legit attraction for beer nerds.  Check them out!

On the other side of town in Aurora, Dry Dock’s Firkin Master, Walt Chleva has brewed a Rose Hips Superstition Ale.  This rose hips infused version of their sour mash ale will go on tap on Friday at 3PM, so slip out of work a little early and get your weekend started in the right direction.

Anybody make it last week for the Bacon Maple Ale firkin?  I’m bummed that I missed that one and would love to hear how it turned out.

My last post was all about getting started in the wide world of beer trading.  I’ll be continuing this series soon, but wanted to give you a quick update on where we are with this project.  After my initial post on beeradvocate.com, I had 3 replies in 20 minutes and ended up getting 15 replies in 24 hours.  I’m currently working out the details with a trader who lives in Chicago, IL and is making a trip to Wisconsin to do some beer shopping this weekend.  I’ll be making a few more posts on this and will walk you through the entire process, but just wanted to give you a quick update.

Finally, a few cases of Cantillon have trickled in from Belgium and a few more should be showing up on shelves around town this weekend.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can find a bottle or two, but I don’t have my hopes up.  Gone are the days when Cantillon was readily available all over town.  But good luck beer hunters and if you come across an extra, I’d love to trade you for a bottle.  If you come up empty-handed, just remember, it’s only beer.  There’s always something new and tasty to try coming up on the horizon.

Have a great weekend and Hoppy Easter!  Cheers!


An Introduction to Beer Trading

Quite often in this blog, I write about new beers coming out around the country.  Last month, I wrote about Cascade’s Sour Blueberry and Russian River’s Beatification.  Coming up in April is Three Floyd’s Dark Lord and Ithaca’s LeBleu.   Unfortunately, you can’t just walk to your local liquor store and pick up a bottle.  Many of these beers will only be sold at the brewery or will see very limited distribution.  What’s a beer nerd to do?  Relax, grab a beer and let me introduce you to the world of Beer Trading. 

Beer trading is a great way to track down limited release beers like the ones mentioned above or maybe track down old favorites that don’t distribute to Colorado.  My first trade was nearly 5 years ago when I traded for bottles of New Glarus Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart.  Basically, I had tried these beers at the Great American Beer Festival and wanted some bottles for my fridge. 

If you’ve ever been to GABF, you’re probably familiar with New Glarus and their never-ending line of 50+ people all waiting patiently for a 2 oz. pour of beer.  They have a line at their table from the time the doors open on Thursday evening until the beer stops flowing late on Saturday night.  And for good reason, they make some amazing beers and their fruit beers in particular are highly respected and sought after.  Other than 3 days during GABF, New Glarus beers don’t make it to Colorado.  In fact, New Glarus doesn’t distribute outside their home state of Wisconsin.  No distribution to Colorado is bad news for us, but the good news is that New Glarus is really easy to find in Wisconsin. 

Brewers and press lining up for New Glarus, before the festival doors even opened up.

So, we either need to make a road trip up to visit those cheese heads (approx. 30 hours round trip from Denver) or we can swap a few e-mails with a Wisconsin local and set up a trade.  I’m going to be munchin’ on marshmallow peeps and hiding easter eggs for the kids this weekend, so I can’t make a road trip anytime soon, but I can probably spend a few minutes in front of the computer and arrange a beer trade. 

One of our readers, we’ll just call him “Tony”, (mainly because that’s his name) has volunteered to let me walk him through a beer trade and share with you his experiences along the way.  One of the first things I asked Tony was whether or not he had an account on beeradvocate.com.  If you’re not familiar with beeradvocate, it’s a website where you can share reviews and learn about beer, but they have an area with forums that allow beer geeks to interact with each other.  One of the forums is set up specifically for trading. 

Turns out, Tony already has a beeradvocate.com account.  If you don’t have one, they’re free and will give you access to the forums.  The trading forum is called “ISO:FT”.  “ISO”, means “In Search Of” and “FT”, means “For Trade”.  So our post will look something along the lines of ISO: New Glarus, FT: Colorado Locals.  Simple and to the point. 

Head’s up, if you’re going to post on beeradvocate.com, read the rules first.  The Bros. that run the site can be a little strict at times, but they mean well.  Just make sure you don’t offer anything other than beer for beer trades.  No trading your wife for beer, tickets for beer, pet goldfish for beer and definitely don’t offer to buy or sell any beer.  It’s a no-no and will only get your post deleted. 

There are other sites out there, but I think Beeradvocate has a pretty wide audience and I’ve been using it for nearly 6 years.  I’ve met a lot of great people through the site, have made some good friendships and have a regular network of people around the country that I trade with, so I’m a little partial to it.  Like I said, there are other sites that will allow you to meet other beer traders, but Beeradvocate is the one I prefer. 

So we want New Glarus, specifically Belgian Red, maybe Raspberry Tart and Tony mentioned he also wanted to track down some Spotted Cow, which is their Cream Ale.  These are fairly easy to find in Wisconsin and wouldn’t be hard for a local to pick up.  In return, we’re going to offer beers that are local to us here in Colorado. 

In simple trades like this, I will typically offer some of my favorite locals that don’t get distributed very far.  For me, I’m leaning towards Odell, Dry Dock, Funkwerks and Crooked Stave.  These are good breweries, making good beers that are fairly easy for me to find and will be enjoyed by the recipient.  It wouldn’t make sense to offer beers from breweries like Avery, New Belgium and Great Divide, mainly because they have a huge distribution footprint.  The vast majority of their lineup can be found across the U.S. and our recipient is going to want to trade for beers that he can go to a store and buy.  There are still small batch releases and brewery exclusives that we can trade, but that’s a little advanced at this point.  Let’s keep it simple for now.  We can also offer breweries that distribute to Colorado, but might not distribute to Wisconsin.  Maybe Russian River or Firestone Walker from California or Deschutes from Oregon. 

When trading locals for locals, your best bet is to try to keep it dollar-for-dollar.  In other words, if your recipient is spending $25 for your beer, expect to send $25 worth of beer to them. 

I think we’re about ready to make our ISO:FT post.  Click HERE to check it out.  Now we sit back and wait for a response.  I’ll keep you updated along the way.  Warning, trading can become an addicting habit.  In the meantime, enjoy the pic below.  Cheers!