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Posts tagged “eremita

Avery SourFest 2012 Recap

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending Avery’s 3rd Annual SourFest.  This is by far, my favorite event that they host throughout the year.  Strong Ale Fest is solid and I’m looking forward to the upcoming IPA Fest, but SourFest holds a special place in my heart.  I’m a sucker for sours and am constantly on the hunt for anything funky, wild and interesting.  SourFest puts together a collection of 50+ beers under one roof for beer lovers to taste and talk about.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the doors opened at noon and the line was already more than 75 people deep.  Turk and The Gubna were setting up for a live broadcast of their Colorado Craft Beer Show at noon.  Gary was supposed to be there to broadcast live with his American Craft Beer Radio show, but had to remain in the studio due to some technical difficulties.

Lined up out front

 We were able to track down a beer menu while we waited in line and started planning our course of attack.

Beer Menu Page 1

Beer Menu Page 2

My eyes lit up at the sight of Crooked Stave’s Blackberry Petite Sour.  This beer was made exclusively for their Cellar Reserve members and I have been trying to set up a trade for a bottle, without much luck.  I was excited to see it on the menu and couldn’t wait to try it.

When the doors opened at noon, we got our ID’s checked, swapped our tickets for glasses and headed inside.  We decided to slide through the Avery Tap Room and head to the Barrel Room to start our day.  The beers are organized in alphabetical order.  In the Tap Room, they were pouring AC Golden, Avery, Cambridge and COOP.  I like ’em all, but Avery always seems to have plenty of beer to go around, while some of the other breweries from out-of-state, might run out a bit quicker.

So, we headed around the corner and into the Barrel Room, where I snagged my taste of Crooked Stave’s Blackberry Petite Sour.  This funky, Brettanomyces fermented, oak aged brew, poured a light purple color.  It had a slight, funky cheese aroma, but tasted sweet, fruity and oh, so drinkable.  Delish.

Inside the Barrel Room

We quickly got word from some friends that the bottle tables around back were already creating quite the buzz.  We made our way out of the Barrel Room and into The Back Yard and discovered a line of people that must have been more than 100 deep.  People were going bonkers for Cascade’s bottled offerings and rightfully so.  Their stuff is amazing and I try to write about them whenever they have a new bottle getting ready to hit the market.  Unfortunately, none of their brews make it to Colorado and they didn’t come out for GABF last year either.  So this was one of those rare opportunities that CO beer lovers had to give them a try.

At SourFest, they were pouring Sang Royal (aged with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes), Sang Noir (aged with bing and sour cherries), The Vine (aged with white grapes) and Blueberry Sour, the latest addition to their stellar lineup.  If you ever find yourself out in Portland, OR, the Cascade Barrel House is a MUST!  I was out that way for their anniversary party last fall and they were pouring nearly two dozen sours at the time.  I could have easily spent all day sipping sours on their patio.

Cascade - Sang Royal

Cascade - The Vine

Cascade - Blueberry

Upland, from Indiana, also brought some delicious beers to share.  They’re another brewery that doesn’t distribute out here, but makes some amazing beers and always has a line during GABF.  Their sours really spotlight what their brew team is capable of.  They make 8 different fruit lambics that are released periodically throughout the year.  They use fruits like kiwi and persimmon to make some unique lambics.  The cork and caged 750mL bottles are sold via an online system and most of them don’t last more than an hour before they are sold out.  In fact, the demand has gotten so high and the servers have crashed numerous times, that they have decided to go with a lottery system for their next round of releases.

This year, Upland brought their Sour Reserve Blend (a blend of three lambics – think Gueuze) and Raspberry Lambic.  The Sour Reserve Blend was acidic and tart, with some earthy undertones.  We made our way through the bottle line multiple times until we had gone through and gotten our fill of Upland and Cascade.

On my last trip through the line, I went for Crooked Stave’s Persica.  Persica spent 9 months in barrels and was aged with Colorado peaches.  This cloudy, yellow beer was my personal choice for “Best of Show”.  Nice sweet and fruity nose, with an amazing sweet, peach taste.  It was so smooth and unlike anything I’ve had in a long time.  Not super funky or sour, but very tasty and drinkable.  As I drank it, my mind was racing to remember whether or not this bottle was going to be released into the CO market or not.  Sadly, it’s not.  Another selection for Cellar Reserve members only….

After trying Crooked Stave’s Persica and Blackberry Petite Sour, I’m pretty sure I’ll be signing up for the Cellar Reserve club next year.  Chad’s beers are ridiculously good and with his plans to move from Fort Collins to Denver in the near future, I can’t pass up the easier access to these small batch beers.  I’m sold!

Eventually, we made our way back through the Barrel Room, sampling along the way and finished our afternoon with the hordes of people in the Tap Room.  The Tap Room was hoppin’ with 4 unique and yummy AC Golden Beers, including two dark sours.  One made with Colorado sour cherries and another with Syrah grapes.

The Avery folks had tapped 10 beers for the event, including all three Eremita’s, past offerings from the Barrel Aged bottle series and a yummy little sour aged with Granny Smith apples, called Bad Apple.

A quick glance around the crowd at SourFest and you realize what a special event it really is.  Brewers, beer buyers, bar owners, reps, bloggers and beer lovers come from all over to enjoy this special day.  It’s a unique event loaded with some pretty special beers.  Hope you were able to get a ticket and enjoy this great event.  Feel free to comment with your favorites from the afternoon.

Cheers!

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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!