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Drink and Support Local at the All Colorado Beer Festival

Just when you think this year’s Beer Festival season is coming to a close, I’m going to wow you with one that highlights the best of our delicious state of beery goodness.  Meet the All Colorado Beer Festival (ACBF)!

If you were anywhere near Denver earlier this month, you no doubt heard about or even experienced the madness of the Great American Beer Festival.  It was BIG, it was FUN, but it’s gone away until next year. It’s time to get back to our roots.  Time to refocus and revisit the amazing brewers and breweries right here in Colorado.  The ACBF, held annually at the Freedom Financial Expo Center, in Colorado Springs, is your perfect chance to sip some old favorites and seek out some new ones as well.

The ACBF, which is entering its’ 6th year, aims to raise money for Colorado Springs nonprofit organizations.  In five years, the festival has donated more than $85,000 to local charities!  So now you can drink local, while supporting local.  Get on it.  It’s win / win people!

I’ll admit, I’ve never been to the ACBF, but on Saturday, November 3rd, I’m hoping to change all that. The festival offers two tasting sessions, along with a VIP option.  Session 1 runs from 1 – 4:30 PM and Session 2 runs from 6:30 – 10 PM.  The VIP option allows you to get in 1-hour earlier and also grants you access to beers not available to the rest of the attendees.  Tickets are $30/per session ($25 with Military ID), $40 for VIP and $10 for DD.  Tickets, times and other details can be found HERE.  If you act quickly, you might be able to take advantage of the Groupon running right now.

As for the breweries, keep your eye out for your familiar favorites, such as Odell, New Belgium, Ska, Avery, Great Divide, etc…  But what’s really exciting for a big beer nerd like myself, is the abundance of new(er) breweries that will be making an appearance.  Paradox, out of Woodland Park, barrel ages everything! and has been getting quite a few good reviews from my fellow beer nerds.  Rocky Mountain Brewery, out of Co. Springs, recently took home two awards for their fruit beers from the very prestigious World Beer Cup.  I could go on and on, but half the fun is discovering new beers on your own.  More than 30 breweries will be bringing their beers to share at the ACBF this year.  Check out the complete list of breweries to map out your plan for the festival.

This year’s ACBF will also feature a formal judging event, live music, food and more.  The festival is shaping up to be a great day of beer, food and fun, all for a great cause.  Come on out on November 3rd and check it out for yourself.

Cheers!


Art & Ale Brew Festival Recap

It’s brew fest season here in Colorado.  We’re in full swing right now as we inch closer and closer to the Big Daddy, the Great American Beer Festival.  Seems like my calendar has some sort of festival or tasting highlighted nearly every weekend.  There’s no chance I’ll hit ’em all.  My liver couldn’t keep up, but one can dream right?

For me, beer festivals fall into a few different categories.  There are a handful of festivals that I probably won’t ever attend again for a variety of reasons (cost, distance, poorly run, etc…).  Others, are on the “Maybe” list, which just means it’s a solid beer fest that would be nice to attend again, but life goes on if I can’t make it.  While a few make it to the exclusive, “Must-Do!” list, that I make every effort to attend every year.  Last night, my wife and I attended the Art and Ale Brew Festival at The Wildlife Experience in Parker, CO and it’s already been added to our “Must-Do!” list for next year.

We went with the Dry Dock crew and spent the evening pouring samples of their Amber, Pale, Hefeweizen and the ever popular Apricot Blonde.  We had a great spot outside, in the shade and right next to New Belgium Brewing.

The Dry Dock Crew ready to rock!

NB Beer Ranger Andrew, kept us stocked with samples of their Peach Porch Lounger, Red Hoptober and Super IPA, their delicious IPA brewed in collaboration with Alpine Brewing out in California.  We talked about their sour program for a bit and he mentioned that the next batch of La Folie might be ready as early as this fall.  Keep your fingers crossed!

In between pours, we took some time to wander the grounds outside and the halls of the museum inside.

In addition to the 30+ breweries, there were a variety of restaurants, wineries and distilleries in attendance as well.

David Parry, owner of Parry’s Pizza was super-busy all night long handing out slices of their delicious pies.  They banged through more than 150 pizzas during the event!

He had just gotten the keg list for his next tap takeover, which will be with Oskar Blues on Saturday, September 15th.  There are some mighty fine beers on the list, so mark your calendars now.  More details to come.

The gang from Strange Brewing was pouring Cherry Kriek, Colorado’s answer to Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin.  God, I love that beer.  Thanks again for the full pours guys!

Jim from Rockyard Brewing brought his Redhawk Scottish Ale and Double Eagle Wheat.  They also had their chef on duty, who cooked up an amazing batch of Jalapeño Cheddar Soup and Pretzels stuffed with jalapeño cheese.  Oh my goodness!  Delish!!!

Outside at Elevation Brewing, Xandy was flying through kegs of Mount Blanca Belgian Saison and Apis IV Quadrupel.

Twisted Pine brought three offerings from their monthly Artisan Ale Series.

I finally got a chance to try the Dank IPA from Dad & Dude’s, which was nice and hoppy, but still approachable and very drinkable.

There was even a band inside cranking out 80’s covers from bands like Tears for Fears and Duran Duran.  Alcohol + Music + Dance Floor = Best People Watching Ever!

After eating and tasting our way through the festival, we met up with some friends and hit the chocolate fountains for desert.  The good peeps from Sir Chocolate brought a variety of things like strawberries, marshmallows and rice crispy treats to dip in three different kinds of chocolate.  Nom, nom, nom!

As the sun dipped down behind the mountains, the fire pits lit up and people lounged in the grass around the museum.  What a night!

Beautiful weather, plenty of old friends and new ones too, music, amazing beer and food.  We’ll definitely be back again next year and so should you!

Anybody else make it out there last night?  What did you think?

Big thanks to the staff and volunteers at The Wildlife Experience for hosting a great event.  Shoutout to all of the different companies in attendance as well.  You guys rock!

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 08/16/2012

Get yer brew news!  Yep, the weekend is almost here and the forecast is perfect.  You ready?

Friday, August 17th, 2012.

Kick things off over at Dry Dock with Firkin Friday.  This week, they’ve taken Doug’s Hop Abomination VI and double dry-hopped that bad boy.

Because obviously a single dry-hopping just wasn’t enough.  Hop Abomination is a great, great beer and I can’t wait to see its’ debut in cans later this year.  In the meantime, stop by and try the latest batch.  Hop heads won’t want to miss this firkin.  The beast gets unleashed at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Sadly, I will miss this week’s firkin, but I’ll be happily pouring beers at the Art and Ale Brew Festival at The Wildlife Experience in Parker.

This is a new one for us, but the list includes Deschutes, Avery, Elevation, Trinity, Uinta and 30+ other breweries.  There’s also several wineries, distilleries and restaurants on the list.  I’m really excited to finally attend this one.  A beer fest in a museum is an awesome idea and I can’t wait. Tickets are $35 for members of The Wildlife Experience, $40 for non-members and $25 for DD’s. More details can be found HERE.

We’ll be pouring at the Dry Dock booth, so stop by and say hi!  The Wildlife Experience is located at: 10035 Peoria St, Parker, CO 80134.  720-488-3300.

Oh, and if you’re out that way, don’t forget about Parry’s Pizza.  They’ve got a location right across the street at: 12501 Lincoln Ave, Englewood, CO 80112.

Don’t forget that Friday will be your first chance to grab tickets for Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival. This is taking place at Avery Brewing in Boulder, CO on Saturday, September 8th from noon – 5 PM.

Saturday, August 18th, 2012.

On Saturday, head over to Stapleton for the third annual Stapleton Beer Festival.

This year, check out dozens of local breweries serving up their tasty offerings from 4 – 8 PM.  Look for Great Divide, Wit’s End, Copper Kettle, CAUTION and an additional 20+  breweries to be on-site. Two bands will perform and nearly a dozen food trucks will be there as well.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the event.  Call 303-388-0724 to purchase tickets in advance or get more information.

If you’re looking to get out-of-town, head up to Central City for the Great Central City Beer Festival. American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from the festival on 102.3 FM from noon – 1 PM on Saturday.  The Beer Festival runs from noon – 7 PM.

I got my history lesson on Central City’s rich brewing history last weekend from Dave Thomas of Dostal Alley Brewing.  Dave recently wrote a book on the history of brewing in Gilpin County and this past weekend, he was a featured guest on the Colorado Craft Beer Show.

The Great Central City Beer Festival will celebrate the rich, 150 year brewing history of Central City and will feature hayrides, live music and more than 40 beers to sample from breweries like Prost (oh yeah!!), Backcountry Brewing and Dostal Alley Brewing.  This is an all ages event and tickets are on sale for $20.  Click HERE to check out some pics from our trip to Dostal Alley Brewing earlier this summer.

And speaking of the Colorado Craft Beer Show, the guys will be hanging out at Hops & Pie this week as they broadcast from noon – 2 PM on AM760.  Head over to Hops & Pie at noon to check out the live show, as they give you all the latest and greatest brew news and take part in Denver’s Littlest Big Beer Fest.

This month’s lineup is from Elevation Brewing.  Elevation, from Poncha Springs, CO, will be bringing a bunch of tasty beers like their Apis IV Quad, Signal de Botrange Belgian Ale, several barrel-aged variations, a firkin and more!  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Don’t forget about Bull & Bush’s 41 Beer in 41 Days event that rolls on all month-long.

This weekend, they’ll be tapping their own Captain Funk, and on the guest list is J.W. Lee’s 25th Anniversary Harvest Ale and  d’Achouffe’s Biere Du Soleil.  A full list can be found HERE.  Bull & Bush Brewery is located at: 4700 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246.  303-759-0092.

Sunday, August 19th, 2012.

The 2nd Annual Colorado Distillers Festival hits the Rackhouse Pub from 1 – 5 PM on Sunday.

Check out some delicious spirits from Breckenridge Distilling, Deerhammer Distilling, Peach Street Distillers and more.  Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door and includes admission, a tasting glass and a tour of Stranahan’s Distillery.  More details can be found HERE.  The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.

Monday, August 20th, 2012.

Stretch your weekend clear into Monday as Euclid Hall will be hosting Tom Korder, brewer from Goose Island at 8 PM.  Yep, that would be Chicago’s Goose Island.  Goose Island recently announced they’ll be bringing their full line of beers into the Colorado market, beginning in September.  There’s talk that they may even begin brewing some of their famous recipes out this way too.  Time will tell. But, on Monday, visit Euclid Hall to try some of their Vintage Beers brought out to CO just for this event.

The chefs at Euclid Hall have created some unique dishes to be paired alongside the beers. Euclid Hall is located at: 1317 14th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-595-4255.

I’m glad to hear that Goose Island will be expanding their distribution to include our market.  For the past few years, we’ve seen bits and pieces of the Goose Island portfolio, but it’s been pretty hit or miss and some of my favorite styles never made it out this way.  It sounds like they’re planning to bring nearly the entire lineup to us.  I had the chance to visit Goose Island last year and if you’re not familiar with them, you’re in for a treat.  They have an awesome lineup of beers and an enormous barrel-aging program that includes everything from big, bold stouts to sour, belgian-style ales.  I can’t wait to track down some more Bourbon County Brand Stout, as my supply is dwindling. For more details on Goose Island’s expansion into Colorado, check out the recent article by Jonathan Shikes over at the Westword.

If you’re just looking to hang out at home and enjoy a new beer this weekend, keep an eye out for Stone’s 16th Anniversary beer, a new batch of Cantillon (which is probably already gone by now…), The Bruery’s tasty Tart of Darkness and some interesting new Brettanomyces beers from Anchorage Brewing.

Looking into the crystal ball, Prost Brewing will officially open on Thursday, August 23rd at noon. I’m hoping to get a sneak-peek at the finished place and try the lineup on Wednesday.  Absolutely can not wait for them to open!  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80202.

Grab your calendar and save the date of Saturday, September 29th.   That’s the big date for the upcoming Fall Beer Classic.  Turk and The Gubna from the Colorado Craft Beer Show are hosting their very own beer fest!  These boys know beer and how to have fun.  Sounds like the perfect combo for a beer fest!  Think of it as a warm-up for the Great American Beer Festival.

I’ll get you all the details in the coming weeks, but for now, be sure to “Like” them on their Facebook Page.

Hey, “Like” us too while you’re at it.  I’ve got more beer to give away, but you’ll need to follow the Facebook page if you want a chance to win.

That’s it y’all.  My fingers are done, my mind is blown, it’s time for a beer!

Have a great weekend!

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!


Beer Trippin’ in California. The Bruery Provisions, Orange, CA

After having a nice trip to catch some baseball and beers out in Arizona, it was time to move further west to California.  My parents took the kids and caught a flight home to Denver, while my wife and I hit the first flight out to Ontario.  No, not Canada eh.  There’s another Ontario, which  is east of Los Angeles, CA and only about 30 minutes from The Bruery in Orange, CA.

I was pretty happy with my $9 / day rental car through Enterprise, until I noticed that gas prices are pushing up to nearly $5 / gallon out there.  That’s crazy talk.  Luckily we didn’t have too far to go.  There was a steady, cold rain coming down as we started our journey south from the airport.

Our first stop was at In-N-Out for some early lunch.  We rolled in just as they were opening their doors at 10:30AM.  If you’re coming from an area without In-N-Out, into an area with In-N-Out, you must stop there first for a bite to eat.  I don’t want excuses people, just make it happen.  It’s inexpensive, delicious and send me one while you’re at it.  E-mail me and I’ll get you shipping information.  Thanks and well done.

Now with that out of the way, we could begin some southern California beer-trippin’.  Our first stop was at The Bruery Provisions.  Back in 2010, The Bruery Provisions opened as a specialty market filled with some of the finest beer, wine, cheese and other grocery items around.  They have several coolers filled with some very nice Belgians and a wide variety of American microbrews.  They’ve also got a huge selection of Bruery beers, including a line of beers that is made exclusively for the store.  The cheese section was pretty impressive with dozens of different types available for purchase.  The Provisions is also the pick up point for members of The Bruery Reserve Society, which we’ll talk about later.

In the back of The Provisions is a tasting area with an extensive beer menu, as well as meat and cheese plates.  Patti picked up three different wedges of cheese and I ordered a flight of beers for us to try.

Specialty flight and delicious cheese!

From left to right: Filmishmish (oak aged sour apricot), Humulus Lager (hoppy imperial pilsner), Sour in the Rye (oak aged sour ale), White Oak (bourbon barrel aged wheatwine) and Chocosaurus Rye (collaboration with Bootlegger’s; lager brewed with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans).  The cheeses were brie, cambozola and goat.  It was quite the start to our day.

The Provisions also offers free wifi, so we got our laptop and tuned in to American Craft Beer Radio to hear Gary V’s broadcast and catch up on what was happening back home in Colorado.  The staff was busy filling orders for Reserve Society members picking up their orders.  I’m a member of the club, but because I had a large order, I’ve got a friend who’s going to pick it up and ship it out to me.  It’s easier than trying to fumble with it at the airport or trying to pack it up for FedEx.  We had limited time and my hookup said he’d take care of it for me.

There were quite a few guest tap offerings to go along with the extensive list of Bruery beers.  They had Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, Allagash’s Odyssey, Ballast Point’s Sea Monster Imperial Stout and Great Divide’s Espresso Yeti to name a few.  There wasn’t a bad beer on the menu and the staff seemed knowledgable and able to help with pairings and suggestions.

They periodically host tastings and offer classes where they pair up flights of beer and cheese or wine and cheese.  Tune into their facebook page to keep up with the tap list and new beers arriving in the store.  They are also working on getting approval for their patio.  Once that happens, you’ll be able to enjoy a beer outside!

We could have easily spent an afternoon in this place.  Friendly staff, great beers and cheese.  Orange is a nice little town with antique stores and family restaurants.  We’ll be back for sure and this is a must-stop if you’re ever out that way.  Not to mention, Reserve Society members get 15% off purchases.  We need a place like this in Colorado!  Their address is: 143 N. Glassell Ave, Orange, CA 92866.

We had such a beer filled trip to California, that I’m going to split this into three parts.  Check back soon and we’ll take you inside The Bruery’s Reserve Society Initiation party and then finish up with a stop at The Bruery’s prodcution facility and tasting room.  Until then, Cheers!


Avery Strong Ale Festival 2012 Recap

I had been looking forward to the Avery Strong Ale Festival for weeks.  Unfortunately, these things always seem to come and go so quickly.  I’m a little sad that another one is in the books, but wanted to share some highlights with you.

My wife and I checked into our hotel at around 2PM on Friday and walked to a nearby restaurant for a big dinner.  We wanted something that would stick with us late into the night and the big ol’ NY style pizza we ordered really hit the spot.  After dinner, we tracked down a few bottles of water and called for a cab to pick us up.

The festival opened at 5PM and we arrived about 20 minutes after the hour.  There was no line, so we strolled right in, but were still early enough that it wasn’t packed with people just yet.  We got our glasses, tasting tickets and a beer list.  Avery was nice enough to post the list on their Facebook page on Friday morning, so atendees could get an early glimpse at what would be pouring.

They set the festival up in alphabetical order by brewery name, so it’s relatively easy to navigate.  The Avery tasting room housed the first 20 taps, from A-B.  The barrel room had an additional 35 taps, from B-G.  The remaining 69 taps, from G-V, were in the warehouse.  We figured the least amount of people would be in the back warehouse area and decided to hear there first.  Kind of like when you’re a kid going to Disney World.  You want to hit Space Mountain first to avoid the long lines later in the day.  Same principle.

Ready to roll with the first 20 beers in the Avery Tap Room.

In the warehouse, I grabbed my first beer, Russian River’s, Pliny the Younger.  I couldn’t resist the hoppy goodness and wanted to get a pour before the keg kicked.  I figured it wouldn’t last long.  It was the perfect start to the night, until I went to reach for my camera…  Yeah, so, uhm, no camera…  I had left it back in the hotel.  A blogger without a camera is like a stormtrooper without his blaster.  Pointless.  Oh well, I’m new to this.  Lesson learned.  Still, I wasn’t going to let this get me down.  I used my quick thinking, ninja skills and hijacked my wife’s iPhone to use the camera feature.

Anyway, moving on, I headed down a few taps to get a pour of The Bruery’s, Melange No. 3.  I’ve got a bottle of this in the cellar at home, but I’ve been been waiting to try this one for a while.  It didn’t let me down.  Melange # 3 is a blend of three different beers.  White Oak Sap, a wheatwine, their Anniversary Old Ale and Black Tuesday, their famous Imperial Stout.  Big, sweet nose, chocolate, bourbon and dark fruit flavors.  It’s a pretty special beer.  Mmm, delish!

Moving on down the line, I found what would prove to be my favorite beer of the night, Surly’s Five.  Brewed in honor their recent 5th anniversary, this is a 100% Brettanomyces fermented dark ale, aged in red wine barrels.  Sour cherries, oak, along with some tartness and bretty funk.  A beautiful brew.  I love my sours and this one was top notch.  Now for the bad news, Surly doesn’t distribute outside of Minnesota…  Sigh.  If you’re a beer trader, you’ve got to seek this one out.

Surly Five. My favorite beer of the night!

We came across plenty of other highlights along the way from all over the U.S.  Some of my other favorites were Alpine – Bad Boy DIPA, Cigar City – Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout, Avery – Bourbon Barrel aged Meph Addict and Pizza Port – Nose Rider DIPA to name a few.  The lineup seems to get a little better every year.

We saw lots of familiar faces and good people from around the beer world.  Plenty of local brewery representation, bloggers and even some out of state breweries.  Avery, Great Divide, Lone Tree (Jason, please bring beers next year!), Strange, Dry Dock, Bull & Bush, Oskar Blues, Redstone Meadery and many more.  We also met the gang from COOP Aleworks out in Oklahoma City, OK.  These guys were really cool and have some interesting projects going on that they were eager to tell us about.  Well worth checking out if you’re ever out that way.

Gary V. and The Gubna. Nothing like a little friendly competition.

“What’s yours?”

They don’t call themselves Strange Brewing for nothing.

No bathroom lines, the ability to go in and out of the fest to get some fresh air, good food, even better beer and some high school kids laying down some nice jazz tunes.  Another job well done by the good folks at Avery!

As the night began winding down, we called for a cab and headed back to our hotel.  It was time to head back and grab some zzzz’s.

American Craft Beer Radio host Gary V. had asked us to help him with his show on Saturday.  He was broadcasting from the Avery lot on Saturday morning and wanted us to pull some winners from his facebook page for a few brewery prizes he had to give away.  The good people at “The Kitchen” offered their upstairs bar for us to set up shop and connect with Gary.  His show is on 102.3FM from noon-1PM on Saturday’s.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that The Kitchen people really know their beer.  If you’re ever up in the Boulder area, check them out.  They’re right on the Pearl Street Mall and have a huge beer list.  They were pouring not just tasty locals like Avery IPA, but also harder to find beers like Russian River Supplication and Firestone Walker XV.  They also host beer dinners and have a Dry Dock beer dinner scheduled this week.  The food looked good too.  Being a sucker for cheese, they had a pretty impressive selection.  Like I said, check ’em out.  The radio show went off smoothly and it’s always fun to help when we can.

The Kitchen, Boulder, CO

After we wrapped up, we cruised the Pearl Street Mall for a bit and headed back to Avery to do a little beer trading.  I had set up a trade ahead of time and just needed to make the switch.  I left with a case of Avery bombers, so be on the lookout for some upcoming reviews.  The weather was perfect and people were really digging the outside patio area.

Again, awesome weekend, great people, amazing beer and perfect weather.  Avery, you guys rock!  Let’s do it again next year.  Cheers!