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Craft Beer Pairings For Your Thanksgiving Dinner. Part 2

Alrighty guys, in Part 1 we discussed pairings for your Appetizers and Main Course for your Turkey Day Masterpiece, but now it’s time to dig deeper as we head towards the end of that long day of cooking, eating and football watching.  Time to talk about beers to pair with desert, what nightcap to reach for and even what to sip on with your leftovers on “Black Friday”.


Pumpkin Pie rocks.  I LOVE the stuff and it’s really the only food I’m responsible for preparing on Thanksgiving (aside from choosing the beers).  There are lots of options for this one, but I’m going with Great Divide’s Hibernation (perfect for Pecan Pie too!).

Oh man, do I love this winter release from the Denver-based brewery.  This is an 8.7% ABV Old Ale that pours a dark, ruby red color with a 1-finger head.  Big nose of malt, caramel, dark fruits, nuts and moderate hops.  Full flavored with notes of brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruits and caramelized raisins.  A beautiful brew that ages really well.  I opened a 7-year old bottle last year and couldn’t believe how well this one holds up over time.  $9 – $11 / 6-pack.

Mrs. Brewtally Insane is leaning towards Bristol’s Winter Warlock to pair with her desert this year.

Winter Warlock is Bristol’s 6.5% ABV Oatmeal Stout.  Look for an all-black pour, with a 2-finger mocha colored head.  Aroma is chocolate, roasted grains, coffee and oats.  The taste backs up the nose with roasted coffee, chocolate and dark fruits.   I’d consider this to be one of Bristol’s best offerings and it’s a great time to grab a 6-pack if you’re not familiar with it.  $8 – $10 / 6-pack.

I know plenty of people don’t care for Pumpkin Pie, so if you’re having something along the lines of cheesecake, brownies, etc., I’m going to recommend a big stout or a fruit based beer.  Strange Brewing’s Cherry Kriek comes to mind.  This immensely sweet Cherry ale, makes for a great desert beer and reminds me quite a bit of Belgian Red from New Glarus out of Wisconsin.  Although Strange doesn’t put this into bottles, you can grab a growler to-go from their Tasting Room in Denver.  This beer is great on its’ own, but if you want to have some fun, mix it with a little Oskar Blues Ten FIDY Imperial Stout. Cherry FIDY is a yummy little variation you can easily make on your own.

Odell’s Friek is another great offering you might want to consider.  This is a slightly sour beer made with raspberries and cherries and aged in oak barrels.  This year’s batch is making its’ way into our market right now.  Even if you’re not a sour fan, don’t be afraid of this one.  It’s much more sweet than sour and is actually a nice entry-level sour if you’re looking to break into the style.

Alternative suggestions: Great Divide Yeti (any variation), New Belgium Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout, Odell Isolation, Liefmans Fruitesse, Odell The Meddler


If all that eating hasn’t induced you into a food coma yet, finish off the night with something special.  (Assuming you’re not driving of course.)  A nightcap beer is your perfect opportunity to crack open something special from the cellar and settle down after a long day.

Again, you’ve got a lot of options here.  I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be opening this year, but I’m leaning towards Avery’s Rumpkin, which is an 18.1% ABV pumpkin beer that’s been aged in rum barrels.  This is an amazingly complex beer with notes of vanilla, molasses, pumpkin, cinnamon and more in the nose.  The taste is loaded with oak, vanilla, rum, cinnamon and allspice.  It’s hot and boozy and sure to warm you up on a chilly night.  This was $10 / 12 oz. bottle at the release party back in September.

Alternative suggestions: Dry Dock Bligh’s Barleywine, Firestone Walker Parabola, Avery The Beast, The Bruery Fruet, Crooked Stave Sentience

Black Friday Leftovers

The big day’s over and we’ve gotten some rest, but knowing how my family cooks, I’ve got at least 2-3 days worth of leftovers waiting for me.  I think I actually enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers more than the big meal itself.  There’s just something about two slices of bread stuffed with roasted turkey, mayo, lettuce and tomatoes.  Delish!

Come Friday, I’ll be reaching for the classic of canned craft brews, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale.  And since I won’t be going out to fight crowds and crazy xmas shoppers on Black Friday, I’ll be super-sizing with the new 19.2 oz cans!  This is no tall boy, this is a Man Can!  BOOM!

It’s a classic, flavorful Pale Ale, that’s not too hoppy and not too light.  It’s just a highly drinkable, great tasting, canned craft brew.  These retail for just over $3 / 19.2 oz can.

Alternative suggestions: Renegade Ryeteous Rye IPA, Odell IPA, Dad & Dude’s Dank IPA

Like I’ve already mentioned, nearly all of these beers, with the exception of some of the suggested Nightcap beers, should be relatively easy to track down at any of the Denver-area’s better beer stores.  Any of  the staff at Argonaut, Lukas, Libations, Total Beverage, Liquor Mart, Parker Payless, etc., should be able to find most of these beers for you or offer a similar suggestion.

I hope this little guide points you towards some great local beers to enjoy during the upcoming holiday.  If you’ve got comments, suggestions or want to share your favorite pairings or beer pictures, please head over to our Facebook Page and share with us.  Happy Thanksgiving guys!


Weekend Beer Buzz 08/30/2012

Man, my kids started school last week and were gracious enough to bring The Funk home with them and share it with us.  Been sick for the past few days…  Time to kick this crap and get ready for the holiday weekend!  I’m goin’ Phisin’!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012.

Parry’s Pizza has some new goodies hitting the tap lines today.  They just added kegs of Firestone Walker’s Oaktoberfest (Marzen), Fort Collins Brewing’s BamBostic! Rauchbier and Crazy Moutain’s Mountain Livin’ (Pale Ale).

They’re also pouring Stone 16th Anniversary (Lemon Double IPA), Great Divide’s ’08 Old Ruffian (Barleywine), Elevation’s Apis IV (Belgian Quad) and another 40+ tasty microbrews.  Stop by and pay them visit at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

Friday, August 31st, 2012.

Kick things off over at Dry Dock with their Firkin Friday.  This week is a batch of Green Chili Double IPA.

Who’s in?  Sounds delish.  Tapping’s at 3 PM.  This week, in addition to their home fleet of tasty brews, they’re also pouring Phoenix Rye IPA and Coffee Milk Stout.

Get out there and get some before they’re gone!  And by the way, who’s ready for Hop Abomination cans?!?!  I know I am! Here’s a little teaser of what’s to come.

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

Down at the Rockyard, Jellyman has dug up a real treat this week.  On Friday, he’ll be pouring his award-winning Eisbock “Eiscavator” Eised Doppel Bock.  He describes it as having “caramel malts with faint sweet oak character” and “surprisingly smooth for 14% ABV”.  He also mentioned it was the first commercial beer he ever brewed with the Rockyard.  Pretty cool!

This bad boy gets tapped at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80104.  303-814-9273.

Saturday, September 1st, 2012.

The 3rd Annual Boulder Brew and Music Festival is happening on Saturday at The Boulder Theater. More than 20 breweries will be pouring 60+ beers over the course of two tasting sessions.

Lots of great breweries will be in attendance including Firestone Walker, Great Divide, Avery and Odell.  3 bands will also be serving up live tunes for you.  Tickets run $40 per session and the sessions run from 1 – 5 PM and 6 – 10 PM.  More details and ticket info can be found HERE.  The Boulder Theater is located at: 2032 14th St, Boulder, CO 80302.

New Belgium’s zany Tour de Fat bike parade is coming home to Fort Collins on Saturday.

The madness starts at 10 AM and lasts all day at Civic Center Park.  Grab you costume and two-wheeled ride and head over for some fun.  Click HERE for a full schedule and registration info.

Back here in Denver, the Wynkoop will be tapping their annual batch of Belgorado on Saturday.  This wet-hopped Belgian IPA, won a Silver Medal in the Experimental Beer category at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011.

This year, the Wynkoop will feature three different batches brewed with local hops from three different hop farms.  The batch set to be released on Saturday will feature hops from Voss Farms up in Arvada.  This is a very limited, seasonal release, so don’t miss out.  Get over to the Wynkoop at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

Just down the street from the Wynkoop, Freshcraft is turning two and they’ve got some awesome beers ready to be tapped for the celebration.

The party starts at 11 AM, when a firkin of Upslope’s Peach Cobbler (brewed with Palisade peaches) gets tapped.  More unique and rare beers will get tapped throughout the day including New Belgium’s La Folie (sour brown), Firestone Walker’s Parabola (Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout) and Oskar Blues Jim Beam Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY on nitro!  They’ll also have their full menu available and BBQ as well.  Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-758-9608.

If you can make it out for the Freshcraft Anniversary party, say hi to The Gubna, who’ll be broadcasting live on AM 760 with the Colorado Craft Beer Show from noon – 2 PM.

Co-host Turk will be all the way out in Durango for Ska’s 17th Anniversary Party.

Ska has put together a beer fest and invited 25 of their favorite breweries to come out, pour beers and celebrate with them.  $25 gets you a commemorative glass, beer samples and live music. Turk, I’m jealous!  This sounds sick.  Have fun and congrats to Ska on 17 years!

Stay tuned for more details on Ska’s upcoming series of canned stout releases, which is set to debut next month.  Ska Brewing is located at: 225 Girard St, Durango, CO 81303.  970-247-5792.

Many breweries around town are operating on limited hours due to the holiday weekend, so be sure to call ahead and get your growlers filled early.  Nothing ruins a good cookout quicker than serving bad beer.  Just a thought.

Looking towards next weekend, don’t forget to grab your tickets for Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival.

Don’t miss this!  Come get bitter with us up at Avery Brewing in Boulder.  Ticket details and more can be found HERE.

That’s it for this round.  Go have some fun and enjoy the holiday weekend!


Weekend Beer Buzz: American & Colorado Craft Beer Week Edition 05/10/2012

If you live in Colorado and like good beer, this is going to be a busy week for you.  It’s not only Colorado Beer Week, but it’s also American Craft Beer Week.  Nearly every brewery in the state has a full calendar of events planned every day.  So I’m a little unsure at where to even begin with the beer buzz for this weekend.

I’ll give you some highlights to look for and some links to find more information, but there’s no way I’m going to be able to cover the 100+ events going on next week.  If there’s a particular brewery or event you’d like more information on, the official list for American Craft Beer Week can be found HERE.  The official list for Colorado Beer Week can be found HERE.

Falling Rock Tap House is getting a jump start on the festivities, by hosting a Russian River event on Friday, May 11th at 5:30 PM.  They’ll be tapping some of the popular beers in the “-tion” series, including Supplication, Temptation and Sanctification.  It’s getting harder and harder to track down Russian River around town, so don’t miss your chance to try these great beers.

Falling Rock has other events planned throughout the week, including a New Belgium “Lips of Faith” Extravaganza on Saturday, May 12th and some hard to find beers from Lost Abbey & Port Brewing on Sunday, May 13th.  A full list of events can be found on their website.  Just in case you’ve been living under a rock or are new in town, Falling Rock Taphouse is located at: 1919 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Colorado Beer Week officially kicks off over at the Highland Tap and Burger, with a mini-beer festival on Saturday, May 12th.  This event will feature more than 15 local breweries and 2 distilleries, pouring more than 35 beers.  John Turk and the Gubna will be broadcasting their weekly Colorado Craft Beer Radio Show live on 760AM at noon.  Tickets and details can be found HERE.  This will definitely be an awesome way to get the week-long party started.  Highland Tap and Burger is located at: 2219 W 32nd Ave., Denver, CO 80211.  720-287-4493.

Strange Brewing is kicking off Craft Beer Week with the Grand Opening of their Biergarten on Saturday, May 12th.  They’ve got other events planned throughout the week including a 4-course beer brunch, the tapping of a Cherry Saison Firkin and the release of their 2nd Anniversary Beer – Munich Dunkel.  Check out this list for more details.   Strange Brewing is located at: 1330 Zuni St., Unit M, Denver, CO 80204.  720-985-2337.

Over in Aurora, Dry Dock Brewing will be releasing a different firkin every night of the week.  They will be releasing Hopricot 2.0 on Friday, May 11th at 3 PM for their weekly Firkin Friday.  Starting on Monday, they will tap a new firkin every afternoon at 3 PM.  With beers like Cranberry Wit, Peanut Butter Cup Porter, Mango Pale Ale and Green Chile Double IPA scheduled to be released, there’s definitely something for everyone.  Check out the full schedule on Dry Dock’s Facebook page.  Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO  80014.  303-400-5606.

Up north, towards Loveland, Berthoud and Fort Collins, the breweries have gotten together and planned a game of Bingo.  You can pick up a card at any of the participating breweries and get it stamped for the different beers you sample.  Complete a line and turn it in for a free T-shirt!  Cool idea.

Odell has a full list of events, both in Colorado and around the country, that can be found HERE.

Looking towards the following weekend, be sure to put the inaugural Taste of Tipsy’s Beer Festival on your calendar.  This event, which is scheduled from 11 AM – 6 PM on Saturday, May 19th, will be held behind Tipsy’s Liquor World in Littleton, CO.  This is a family friendly event that will feature face painting and carnival games for the kids, great food, live music and more.  The event is free, but entrance to the beer festival will run you $25 for a 3-hour session.  The beer tasting will feature more than 60 breweries, with proceeds going towards the Dakota Ridge Athletic Foundation.  You can find more information and tickets HERE.  Tipsy’s is located at: 5869 S Alkire St, Littleton, CO 80127.  303-551-7000.

Lastly, Parry’s Pizza is at it again with another Tap Takeover on Saturday, May 19th.  This time they’ve joined forces with Odell’s from Fort Collins, CO.  Parry’s Pizza owner, David Parry, even brewed a special batch of beer with Odell for the occasion!  After hitting up the Avery Tap Takeover last month, I’m really excited for this one.  Odell always has special, tasty one-offs, brewed exclusively for their tasting room.  They seemed to have perfected just about every style of beer imaginable, yet they still continue to push boundaries and come up with new recipes on a regular basis.  I’m really curious to see what they bring down for this event.  Don’t miss it!  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

Oh, I almost forgot…  If you’re like me and are one of those “Beer Hunter” types, always trying to track down the latest and greatest, then head’s up, Firestone Walker’s Parabola is in Colorado!  Get off your couch and get some!  This barrel aged beauty is a tasty Russian Imperial Stout, with notes of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, coffee and oak.  This beer is a delicious, high ABV sipper, whose flavors will age well and continue to blend together and smooth out over time.  An amazing beer for sure.  Get it now or kick yourself later.

So that’s all I’ve got for now…  There are events going on all over the state and around the country next week, so get out and have some fun.  I’ll post some updates throughout the week on the Facebook page.  Have an event you’d like to share?  Post it on the Facebook wall or leave a comment on here and I’ll be sure to cover it.

Here’s to Craft Beer Week!  Cheers!