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Weekend Beer Buzz 01/31/2013

Another great week here in Colorado.  Last weekend, we had the opportunity to check out the Denver Winter Brew Fest.  We put together a recap and shared a ton of pictures from our visit to this fun festival.

We also launched the first in a series of collaborative beer reviews that we’re working on with Dave Butler over at Fermentedly Challenged.  Together, we put together an in-depth look at Lugene Milk Chocolate Stout.  So far, the feedback has been very positive.  I know we both enjoyed working on the review, so be on the lookout for more “coblogorative” style reviews in the future.

And now, here we are again, getting ready for a weekend full of great craft beer.  2013 looks to be the year of the new brewery.  I’d say we’re on pace for an average of 1 new brewery to open every week in Colorado this year.  I’m not complaining, but it’s going to be a very busy year in the world of craft beer.  This coming weekend, we’ll see three new breweries open in just four days.  If we keep this up, we’ll have to host two GABF’s.  One for Colorado and one for the rest of the U.S.

Right NOW!

Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids is tapping a few special kegs from Goose Island on Thursday night.

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Matilda, Sofie, Pere Jacques and Mild Winter will all be available.  Wait, I think I’m forgetting one… Hmmm, what could it be?  Oh yeah, Bourbon County Brand Stout!  Now we’re talking.  Get over to Liquids & Solids for this special tapping, which runs from 4 – 6 PM.  Oskar Blues HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80501.  303-485-9400.

Our Mutual Friend’s Imperial Belgian IPA will probably kick soon.

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Head over today and don’t miss out!  Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-722-2810.

Crooked Stave has some tasty treats on tap as well.

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Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.

Over at Yak & Yeti, Head Brewer Adam Draeger tapped his Orange-Chocolate Porter last night.  Only 1 keg was available and it’s long gone.  But fear not, he’s got plenty of other great brews to share. Earlier this week, he tapped the newest release in his Haunted Series. This time it’s “Yak’s R.I.S.”, a big ol’ 10% ABV, 100+ IBU Russian Imperial Stout. Here’s the rest of the lineup for this week.

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Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002.  303-431-9000.

This is the final weekend to reserve your seat for Falling Rock’s Annual Barleywine Dinner on Tuesday, February 5th.

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The multi-course menu is still being planned and there are vegetarian options available, if you notify them ahead of time.  In the past, there have been up to a dozen barleywines paired at this dinner. Tickets are $55.  Call or stop by Falling Rock to reserve your seat for this great event.  Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Friday, February 1st, 2013

We’ve got a new brewery opening on Friday!  De Steeg is set to open their doors on Friday at 4 PM.  Owner Craig Rothgery is ready to pour his first beers from the newest brewery to open in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver.

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This weekend, he’ll be pouring a 5.1% ABV English Mild on Nitro, a 5.5% ABV Pomegranate Acai Wheat and an 11% ABV Imperial Pumpkin.  Come out and explore the area as the opening has been coordinated with the Tennyson Street First Friday Artwalk, which spotlights local artisans and restaurants.  De Steeg Brewing is located at: 4342 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-484-9698.

In Aurora, Dry Dock Brewing’s got a Mosaic Dry-hopped IPA ready to roll for Firkin Friday.

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

Jellyman’s tapping “The French Press” for his Deviation this week down at Rockyard Brewing in Castle Rock.

This is a 6% ABV Coffee Stout brewed with the second runnings of Wilson, their very tasty Russian Imperial Stout (which is getting bottled today).  Tapping at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Breckenridge Brewery is back again this month with their Firkin First Fridays.

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This month’s release is their Avalanche Amber Ale with Kaffir lime leaves and dry-hopped with Summit Hops.  Get out and enjoy the nice weather and this great sounding brew.  Tapping at 4 PM.  Breckenridge Brewery is located at: 471 Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80204.  303-573-0431.

Can’t get enough freakin’ firkins?  Then head over to Hops & Pie for their Firkin 1st Friday release. This time it’s with Crooked Stave and their Surette Saison.

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Look for plenty of funk and spices in this 6.5% ABV Saison that was aged in a Downslope whiskey barrel.  Tapping at 6 PM.  Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.  303-477-7000.

Friday is also the kickoff for the “Run the Gauntlet” challenge over at Star Bar.  30 Avery beers in 28 days.  Can you handle it?  Probably not, but you should try anyways, because if you can, you’ll be rewarded with transportation from Star Bar to Avery Brewing for a private tour.  Have you seen the beer list?  Here’s a peek at some of the ridiculously tasty offerings they’re planning to tap:

– The Maharaja Imperial IPA
– The Czar Imperial Stout
– The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest
– Hog Heaven Barleywine
– The Reverend Belgian-Style Quad
– Salvation Belgian Golden
– New World Porter
– Lebenweizen
– Lilikoi Kepolo
– 3Point5 Pale Ale
– Bolder Weisse
– Tweak
…and more!

Star Bar is located at: 2137 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-328-2420.

Over at Falling Rock, it’s the start of “Dain Bramage Month”, with a month-long celebration of Barleywines!

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Owner Chris Black acquired 6 new barleywines last week and plans to tap several vintage kegs Tuesday night for those lucky guests attending the Barleywine Dinner (see above).  These will be available for everyone else beginning on Wednesday.  No word on what will be tapped just yet. They’re still deciding what to pull out of the cellar.  Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-293-8338.

Don’t forget February is the beginning of Stout Month over at the Mountain Sun brewpubs.  Stout Month is always a great time to stop by and enjoy some rich, roast brews.

Look for special beers to be released every Tuesday and Friday, beginning on 2/5 at all three locations.  In addition to their own beers like Addicition Coffee Imperial Stout, Girl Scout Stout and Chocolate Dip, they’ve got plenty of great guest beers lined up as well.  Keep your eyes open for Odell’s Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout, Renegade’s Black Gold Peanut Butter Stout, Wildwood’s S’mores Stout and dozens more.  Mountain Sun is located at: 1535 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302.  Souther Sun is located at: 627 S Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305.  Vine Street Pub is located at: 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206.

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

We mentioned Verboten a few weeks ago when they had a soft opening at their location up in Loveland.  But get ready, because their Grand Opening is coming up on Saturday afternoon.

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They’ll be debuting their new brewery with live music, food trucks, beer cupcakes, giveaways and of course BEER!  Verboten will be pouring Orange Blossom Honey Wheat, Lemongrass Wit, IPA, Caramel Porter, Espresso Stout, Kentucky Common Dark Cream Ale and Sour Rum Barrel-Aged Porter.  The party starts at 1 PM.  Be sure to check out this preview of Verboten from our friend Dave Butler over at Fermentedly Challenged.  Verboten Brewing is located at: 1550 Taurus Ct, Loveland, CO 80537.  970-988-6333.

Dry Dock Brewing launched their cans to local retailers last week and that’s cause for celebration. Stop by the brewery for the official “Take it in the Can” launch party on Saturday from 11 AM – 5 PM. Snag a can of Apricot Blonde, Hop Abomination, Hefeweizen or Amber for only $3.

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

Don’t forget to check out the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM760 from noon – 2 PM.

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Don’t quote me, but I believe the boys are back in the studio this week.  They always put on a great show, so be sure to tune in and see what’s on tap for this week.

Over on the FM side, Gary V and Dustin (from Avery Brewing) will be in the studio for American Craft Beer Radio.

This show is live on 102.3 FM ESPN Radio from 1 -2 PM.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Go watch the Super Bowl already.  Or at least watch the commercials and heckle whatever joke of an artist the NFL has chosen for the half-time show.  Do your thing and drink a craft beer or two.  Go Ravens.

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Fate Brewing in Boulder, will open their doors on Monday.  They might not have their brewhouse up and running just yet, but that hasn’t stopped Head Brewer Jeff Griffith from getting out and brewing some beer.  He’s already collaborated with multiple brewers in Boulder, including Wild Woods, Twisted Pine and Southern Sun.

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Fate plans to have their collaborations pouring on Monday, along with twenty other Colorado craft beers.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried the Imperial IPA, Cocoa Punk’n Porter and Eisbock and I love what I’ve had so far.  Bring an appetite, as a full food menu will also be available.  Fate Brewing is located at: 1600 38th St, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80301.

Beer Hunters, Gatherers, Trappers and Traders

Pliny the Younger Season starts this weekend at Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA.

Here in Colorado, we’re still patiently waiting to see what beer bars will be allocated a keg of this beautiful beer.  Try to remain calm and know that we’ll get you the details as soon as we can.  In the meantime, enjoy this fun little documentary we came across last week.

Sour fans might want to consider securing a bottle or two of Cascade’s 2011 Vlad the Imp Aler, when they go on sale through the Cascade website this Saturday.

A little pricey at $30 / bottle, but this is a phenomenal beer.  Mrs. Insane and I visited the brewery a while back for their Anniversary Party and this is one of my favorites from Cascade.  The beer is a blend of Quads, Triples and Blonds and has been aged in select bourbon and wine barrels.  Get some before they’re gone.

Firestone Walker will release their latest batch of §ucaba this week.

Beer hunters should keep an eye out for this barrel-aged American Barleywine to hit the CO market in the next few weeks.  Drink fresh or age for later.  (Or both.)

Lastly, for all the beer traders out there, Foothills Brewing out in North Carolina, will be releasing the 2013 batch of Sexual Chocolate on Saturday at the brewery in North Carolina.

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1800 bottles of this delicious Russian Imperial Stout will be up for grabs during Saturday’s release. It’s well worth the trouble if you’re lucky enough to track down a bottle.

Almost forgot about your German lesson for this week.

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Thanks Bill!  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.  303-729-1175.

Man, I’m spent.  Hope that tides you over for a few days.  Have fun, drink well and enjoy the big game.

Cheers!

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Collaborative New Brew Review: Odell’s Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout

Late last year, I had the idea of reviewing beers with fellow bloggers.  The whole idea sprouted from two realizations.  The first being that the majority of the craft beer scene works together as a community, looking out for each other (#savestrange), sharing ideas and ingredients and even brewing beers collaboratively.  I thought this would translate well to beer bloggers on a variety of levels.

The other realization centers around the old proverb that “two heads are better than one”.  Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that sharing and talking about beers with friends, has greatly opened up my sensory experience with beer.  For example, I might have picked up on a certain aroma or flavor, while someone else with the same beer, may have picked up on something entirely different.  Sometimes a beer can be so layered with complexities, that we might not pick up on a certain characteristic until someone brings it to our attention or we’ve had the opportunity to try a beer on numerous occasions.

And so, after a few e-mails, text messages and brainstorming during a late-night bottle share, I was able to team up with Dave Butler (who writes the fantastic Colorado-based beer blog, Fermentedly Challenged), for a series of beer reviews.  For our first “coblogorative” review, we went with Odell Brewing’s newest seasonal, Lugene.  This new release from our friends up in Fort Collins, is a Chocolate Milk Stout, dedicated to Lugene Sas and his family of cows.

The 8.5% ABV beer will be available from January through March.  I paid $8.99 for a 4-pack.

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Appearance

Let me start by saying I love the artwork here.  It sounds odd to call a cow cute, but the label has artwork depicting one of these peaceful creatures chowing down on a brick of chocolate.  What’s not to like?

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Brewtally Insane (BI): I used a moderately slow pour.  The beer pours a deep, dark brown, nearly black color with a 1-finger, mocha head that was gone in the blink of an eye.

Fermentedly Challenged (FC): Dave used a “semi-aggresive pour and got a big 3+ finger head with lots of bubbles and sticky lacing.  Color is dark as night – with just a hint of mahogany edges around the glass.”

Overall: It’s not quite oil dark, but dark enough to hide most of the carbonation inside or permit any light from penetrating.  We both picked up on the mahogany tint toward the edge of the beer, near the wall of the glass.  Looks creamy, thick and inviting.  I can’t wait to taste it.  Score: 4/5

Aroma

BI: Lugene had “big, sweet milk chocolate” notes and came off like a “fine piece of rich Godiva”.  I also detected the “slightest presence of hops, but it’s hidden” along with a “touch of vanilla”.  I initially thought I was smelling peanut butter cups, but we later determined it to most likely be the chocolate smell from the type of chocolate used in candy bars.  Admittedly, my favorite chocolate treat is a peanut butter cup, so maybe the chocolate just triggers my brain to automatically think it’s getting a peanut butter cup.  Weird.  Smells fantastic.

FC: On the other side of the keyboard, Dave picked up “milk sugars in this beer”.  “Lugene has the classic milk stout signature aroma, only this one has a distinct chocolate aroma with the malt roastiness pushed behind it.”  He also got a “hint of bitterness in the nose, but not much”.  Dave agreed on the sweetness factor and picked up some “toffee perhaps, like a Heath bar”.  He went on to say “I pick up a hint of alcohol, but not as rough as some Imperial Stouts”.

Overall: No surprise to find plenty of chocolate and candy bar sweetness in Lugene.  We both noticed the slightest presence of bitterness and while I got vanilla, Dave picked up toffee and a touch of alcohol.  Score: 4.5/5

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Taste

BI: Lugene is sweet, creamy and chocolate-y.  I felt it drank like a “rich, melted candy bar” and with a well hidden ABV, it was “very creamy and dangerously smooth”.  There’s a “touch of bitter hops on the tongue”.  This is a great dessert beer, and thankfully it’s not overpowering.  This is what I would expect from a Milk Chocolate Stout, but it’s “not too big that they (flavors) turn you off and they’re not too small that you’re hunting with your nose crammed in the glass trying to find some sign of chocolate”.  It’s sweet, rich, thick, bold, flavorful and quite yummy.

FC: “First thing I got was a semi-sweet chocolate taste.  Reminded me of baking chocolate with some additional sweet in there.  The beer was more sweet than bitter.  Smooth going down.  The roast is subdued also.  The chocolate really comes through on this.  Definitely a dessert beer.  Can’t really pick up on the higher ABV initially.  It’s well hidden, probably one to sneak up on you.”  Dave wrapped up by saying “the chocolate took center stage”.

Overall: We’re both fans of Lugene and appreciate what Odell did with this recent release.  A very nice, sweet dessert beer.  Score: 4/5

Mouthfeel

BI: Lugene leans toward the thick side, which I found to be “perfect for a beer like this”.  Personally, “I think too many stouts fall short by being watery and thin”.  Odell’s Chocolate Milk Stout is “not necessarily oily”, but rather “creamy and dangerously smooth”.

FC: Dave referred to Lugene as a “tongue coater”.  He goes on to say that it “leaves a nice coating over the tongue that lingers.”

Overall: Excellent, thick mouthfeel that only gets better as it warms.  No complaints here.  Score: 4.5/5

Final Score

Odell Brewing continues to impress me by releasing new and well crafted beers into their already stellar lineup of beers.  Lugene is a rich and decadent chocolate milk stout that has won us over with its’ heavenly aromas and balanced flavors.  This seems to be flying off the shelves, so get out and grab a 4-pack before they’re gone.  Highly recommended.  Score: 4.25/5

Barrel-Aging, Food Pairings, Cellaring & Final Thoughts

We kicked around some thoughts about how barrel-aging might change this beer.  Personally, I’m a little fearful of the barrel characteristics overpowering the chocolate, but we both agreed that a little time in a rum or bourbon barrel would be a fun experiment.  (Odell, you reading all this?)

About halfway through the bottle, we started getting the munchies and began talking about possible food pairings.  Dave mentioned “vanilla bean chocolate milk stout”, while I thought of fresh strawberries or a fruity cheesecake.  At the end of the night, I think we were both interested in making a beer float or milkshake with Lugene.  Nom, nom, nom.

We also tried to imagine how a year in the cellar would change this beer.  It seems like the alcohol warmth would fade away, along with the slight bitterness on the tongue.  My only fear would be losing too much of the sweetness from the chocolate.  Lugene tastes great fresh.  Only time will tell how cellaring will treat this beer, but I’d suggest enjoying it fresh and if you’ve got the willpower, maybe tucking one away in the cellar for comparison next year.

As for this format of conducting a beer review, I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed working on it.  I’d like to extend a big Thank You to Dave Butler over at Fermentedly Challenged for taking part in this review.  What I envisioned as the two of us chatting online about beer for an hour or so, turned into 3+ hours of two beer blogging buddies, geeking out and discovering a great beer together and discussing a wide variety of topics about the world of craft beer.  Don’t be surprised if you see more of these “coblogorative”, “Fermentedly Insane” or “Brewtally Challenged” reviews from us in the future.

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Thanks to Odell Brewing for creating this great beer, Thanks to Dave Butler for putting the time and effort into this and Thank You all for reading.  Click HERE to see Dave’s review of Lugene at Fermentedly Challenged and don’t forget to follow him on Facebook.

Cheers!


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!


New Beers and Beer News 12/10/2012

Beer News!  Beer News!  Get Yer Beer News Here!  We’ve got a million-and-one things to talk about in the beer world and there’s no time to lose.  In fact, this monster update is sooo big, I’m cutting this sucker in half.  So here’s part 1.  Ready, Set, Go!

New Beers

First up, we’ve got lots of new brews and brew labels to talk about.

Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora just released Bligh’s Barleywine.  Daddy snagged one Sunday morning during the release at the Brewery.  I briefly spoke with one of their in-house distributors and he said bottles will begin hitting local stores on Monday.

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Such a great beer.  We popped a ’11 at the release and it’s drinking nicely as well.  Although, I think I prefer it fresh.  Just my opinion.  Either way, get some.  It’s tasty.  This is going for $20 / 22oz. this year.

Renegade Brewing in Denver is hooking up with the Mobile Canning Unit again to bring you the very bestest, freshest and tastiest of canned goodness.  Their Ryetous IPA hit cans earlier this year and has done so well, they’ve decided to introduce Elevation Triple IPA and 5:00 Afternoon Ale in cans as well.

The 11% ABV, 100 IBU, Elevation Triple IPA is a hopheads delight, while 5:00 Afternoon Ale is a 5% ABV blond, session-ale.  Look for these to hit local stores in the very near future.

AC Golden is gearing up to release Ctayt, their Russian Imperial Stout that took a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival this year.  This bad boy spent over a year in Stranahan’s Whiskey Barrels before it was put into bottles.

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Look for 750 mL’s to hit a few select stores around the Denver area later this month.  This won’t last long, so get out and grab one when it hits.

Out of Poncha Springs, Elevation Beer Company has not 1, not 2, but 3! great beers lined up to release in the upcoming winter months.  Downpour, an Imperial Red Ale should be out any day now.

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Hop Heads will want to grab one of these for the hops, grapefruit and pine notes that dominate this one.

Elevation also has an Imperial Stout lined up to release later this month, called Oil Man, an 11% ABV brew that was aged in Bourbon Barrels from Breckenridge Distilling.  Elevation Co-Founder Xandy Bustamante said they’ll be “blending Oil Man next week so it should be out in time for Christmas”.

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This one has hints of coffee, chocolate and bourbon throughout and will be just what you’ll want after a day on the slopes.  Or after snowball fights and making snowmen, for the baby daddy’s out there.

Looking into next year, Elevation plans to release Señorita, a Horchata Imperial Porter.  I’ve only been able to try a handful of beers from Elevation, but the Apis IV Quad quickly became one of my favorite beers of 2012 and these guys know how to make great beer.  I feel confident telling you these should be on your radar.  All of these beers will be released in bottles throughout the Denver area.

Up in Fort Collins, Odell Brewing also has something crafty up their sleeves.  They’ll be releasing Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout on January 6th at the brewery and featuring it at the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival in Vail on January 12th.

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This will be released in their 10 state distribution range in 4-packs.

Also, keep an eye out in the coming months for Amuste, a Wine Barrel Aged Imperial Porter.

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Amuste is brewed with Colorado Tempranillo grapes and will debut in 750mL bottles next year.  This has my interests…  Hmm, grapes and wine barrels for a porter.  Yeah, I’ll be looking to track one down.

While we’re talking about our friends up in the Fort, New Belgium should be releasing my favorite beer from their Lips of Faith series before too much longer.  Their 2013 La Folie should hit stores during the first part of next year.

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Keep your eyes out.  Sour heads stock up!  Mr. and Mrs. Insane really love this one.

Speaking of sours, Crooked Stave is working on bottling several of their beers this week.  Some are exclusive to Cellar Reserve members, while others will be available for sale in the tap room.  L’Brett d’Or was bottled this morning!

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L’Brett d’Or is a 100% Brettanomyces fermented, dry-hopped, golden sour that was aged for 18 months in french oak barrels with Lacto and Pedio.  I love, love, love this beer.  375mL bottles will retail for $11.

Great Divide Brewing also has two new seasonals ready to roll in 2013.  Look for HeyDay, a Belgian-style White Ale and Orabelle, a Belgian-style Tripel.

Both should hit in 6-packs during the first quarter of 2013.  They’ll be replacing Samurai and Wild Raspberry Ale.

That’s it for now.  Lots and lots and lots of great stuff.  Some for now, some for later.  Stay tuned for Part 2, later this week.  Happy hunting friends!

Cheers!


New Beers and Beer News 10/29/2012

As we head into the winter months, breweries from all over are busy releasing a ton of great beers to keep you warm through those colder months.  Trying to keep up with all the new releases these days is no easy task.  So, as winter begins to settle into Colorado, here’s a rundown of some of the new beers that I’m excited about.

The Bruery, Black Tuesday

Let me start by saying that this year’s Black Tuesday is on Tuesday, October 30th.  As in TOMORROW!  So if you’re not a member of The Bruery’s Reserve Society, tomorrow is your one and only chance to secure a bottle.  The beer is a 19.2% ABV Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout that has notes of vanilla, oak, sherry, dark fruits and chocolate.  Black Tuesday is truly an amazing beer and definitely something everyone should try at least once.  It’s currently listed in the Top 50 Beers on the Planet at beeradvocate.com  Click HERE to get all the details on tomorrow’s release.

Boston Beer Company, Samuel Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary

To say this beer is big, is an understatement.  Released every other year, this guy typically clocks in at 25%-30% ABV.  This batch is a special release to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the beer. It’s made with a blend of beers that were aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels, Port casks and Rum barrels.  Sam Adams used a bit of their original Triple Bock in the blend, which is 19 years old!

This is a monster of a beer that drinks more like a Cognac or Sherry than a beer.  Be prepared to shell out $160-$180 for a single bottle of this complex, cellarable brew.  15,000 bottles were produced and our share is hitting local store shelves right now.

Stone Brewing, 12.12.12 Vertical Epic

The very last release in the Vertical Epic (VE) series.  In case you haven’t heard, Stone’s VE is a yearly release that began on 02.02.02, followed up a year, a month and a day later with 03.03.03, and so and so, all the way up to the final release on 12.12.12.  The idea was for beer connoisseurs to purchase a bottle (or three) each year and save them for a monstrously big tasting and opening all of the beers to sample side-by-side on 12.12.12.  Each beer has been a different recipe and brewed with cellaring in mind.  While beer geeks have stashed away many, many bottles of VE releases over the years, the earlier bottles can be very tough to track down.  The 02.02.02 has sold for hundreds of dollars per 220z. bottle on the secondary market.

This year’s 12.12.12 is described as a Belgian-style Abbey Ale, brewed with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, orange peel, clove and rose hips. I’ve managed to cellar away bottles going back to 03.03.03 and I’m really looking forward to opening them up for a special tasting in December.  Whether or not you’ve been collecting the VE series, this sounds like a tasty brew that will hit our market just before Christmas.

Trinity Brewing / Black Fox Brewing Collaboration, Le Petite Morte Trajet aka Little Death Ride

The name of this collaboration brew is a reference to the upcoming end of the Mayan calendar in December of this year.  Trinity owner Jason Yesterday and Black Fox owner John Schneider developed the recipe together using all Mayan cuisine.  Corn, wild cinnamon, beans, squashes, peppers, cacao nibs and more come together in this unique, red Saison.  The beer was brewed at Trinity on October 8th, bottled on October 24th and will be tapped at the brewery on December 21st, which is the last day of the Mayan calendar, also believed by some to be the end of the world.  No matter what your beliefs, plan on this being a good beer.  These guys without a doubt, know how to make a great Saison.  Look for a few kegs to hit better beer bars and 750mL bottles to be released in December.

Upslope Brewing, Christmas Ale

This is a Belgian-style ale, that was brewed with a special mix of spices created by Upslope brewer Alex Violette.  Look for coriander, brown sugar and juniper berries in this one.  I was really impressed by their Pumpkin Ale and look forward to this new holiday seasonal.  It was canned last week in 16oz. candy cane striped cans and will be released on November 1st.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co., XVI Anniversary

This barrel-aged blend is always a highlight of the winter months.  For this year’s Anniversary Ale, Firestone Walker has blended 8 different barrel-aged brews to create the 13% ABV, XVI blend.  42% of the beer is Stout consisting of Bourbon Velvet Merkin (Oatmeal Stout), Bourbon Parabola (Russian Imperial Stout) and Tequila PNC (Buckwheat Stout).  The remaining mixture comes from a variety of Barleywines, Strong Ales and IPA’s.  I’ve been trading for these beers for a number of years and have always been impressed by these releases.  Fortunately, Firestone Walker started distributing to Colorado last year and this should be hitting our shelves sometime in November.

New Belgium Brewing, Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout

This upcoming addition to the Lips of Faith series is a bit of a deviation from their usual Belgian-style and Sour Ales.  For winter, they’ll be releasing a 10% ABV Imperial Stout, brewed with locally roasted coffee beans and chocolate.  This hit the Fort Collins market this past weekend, so keep your eyes open for it.

Odell Brewing Co., Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout

Similar to the New Belgium brew above, Odell has similar plans for the winter with their upcoming Chocolate Milk Stout.  This one clocks in at 8.5% ABV and is brewed with lactose and milk chocolate. The label describes it as “rich and creamy” and is compared to “a cold glass of chocolate milk”. Sounds yummy.  Odell’s planning to release it in 4-packs in early-January 2013.

Ska Brewing, Vinifera Stout

This is part of Ska’s new series of canned stouts, with a new beer getting released every quarter. The 2nd release, Vinifera Stout, is an Oak-aged, Foreign-Style Stout, brewed with Malbec grapes. These beers are released on the Solstice or Equinox, depending on the time of year.  Look for Vinifera to get released on December 21st, which is the Southern Solstice, and also the last day of the Mayan calendar.  Fingers crossed we’re still around to try this beer.

Keep your eyes out for some great beers hitting your local liquor store over the next few weeks. Winter is truly my favorite time of year for seasonal beers, with so many big, thick and flavorful beers to be on the lookout for.  What are you excited for this winter?  Good luck beer hunters!

Cheers!