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Craft Beer Pairings For Your Thanksgiving Dinner. Part 1

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  As you head to the grocery store to pick out your prized bird, overload your shopping cart with sweet potatoes and attempt to learn the real difference between stuffing and dressing, DON’T FORGET THE BEER!  It’s just as even more important than the pumpkin pie!

There’s an ongoing debate about beer vs. wine with food pairings and I’m not going to rehash it on here.  But let’s be honest, beer is waaaay better suited to go with your turkey dinner than those old smashed grapes will ever be.  But with beer, comes a few tough questions: Where do we start?  What do we buy?  What will pair best with my desert?  What about leftovers?

Relax my friends.  The holiday’s are already stressful enough.  I’m going to make this as easy as possible for you with a list of quality beer recommendations from local Colorado breweries that you should be able to easily find at most respectable Denver-area liquor stores.  Grab a pen and paper (and a beer of course) and let’s break it down.

Appetizers

I admittedly haven’t been to many Thanksgiving meals outside of my family, but both my family and my wife’s side of the family have a tradition of serving shrimp cocktail for an appetizer.  We’re also a big fan of artisan cheeses and meats.  So for the first round, I’ve chosen one of New Belgium’s newest Lips of Faith offerings, Biere De Garde, which pairs nicely with both seafood and cheese.

Brewed in collaboration with Brewery Vivant, out of Grand Rapids, MI, this 9% ABV offering pours a clear, orange color with a 2-finger, creamy, white head.  Plenty of orange, lemon, apricot, yeast and peppercorn throughout the aroma.  The taste is very much on the farmhouse side of the spectrum with moderate tartness, spices and earthy notes throughout.  The dry finish and high carbonation will have you thinking champagne.  A nice start to the meal that will be sure to awaken your taste buds.  Readily available at all liquor stores in the Denver-area for $8 / 22oz. bottle.

Alternative suggestions: Boulevard Tank 7, Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza, Brewery Ommegang Hennepin

The Main Course

Warm up over, stomach stretched, palate cleansed, let’s move onto the main course.  Assuming you’ll be going with a traditional turkey dinner, I’ve got two (very) different approaches you can take.  The first is that you go with something on the lighter side that will subtly complement your meal.  The other is that you go big and bold and add a new layer altogether to the meal and we’ll discuss this approach a little later.

On the lighter side, I’m recommending Deceit from Funkwerks out of Fort Collins, CO.  This awesome little brewery up North, specializes in Saisons, and was named Small Brewing Company of the Year at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).  They took home 3-medals at GABF this year, one of which was a gold for this particular beer in the Belgian-Style Experimental Ale Category.

Deceit is a Belgian-style Tripel that pours a slightly cloudy, golden, straw color.  The 3-finger tall head has notes of clove, Belgian yeast and lemon.  Lots of tropical fruits, spices and just a touch of hops round out the flavors in this tasty brew.  A dangerously drinkable 9.4% ABV beer that goes down much too easily.  Deceit bottles were released for the first time on November 1st and they’re beginning to pop up at stores all over town.  I really enjoyed this one and know you will too.  A 750 mL bottle will run you about $12.

Alternative suggestions: Funkwerks Saison, La Chouffe, Tripel Karmeliet

I was only going to suggest one on the “lighter side”, but I can’t help myself, so I’m going to hit you with two.  The second is Tivoli Helles Lager.  This was a beer that basically went extinct when Denver’s Tivoli Brewery closed their doors back in 1969.  Fortunately, earlier this year, the Tivoli family collaborated with Bill Eye, head brewer at Prost Brewing, to bring this one back from the grave.

The 5.1% ABV Helles Lager pours a clear, straw color with a 2-finger, white head.  Plenty of biscuit, fresh grains, plus some floral notes and a touch of bitterness.  Hey, if it came from the Prost brewhouse, you know it’s good.  This is a great beer to introduce family members to craft beer.  You know the ones that “Don’t drink dark beers” or claim they “Get gas from microbrews!”.  Insert Grandpappy voice here: “Damn kids and they’re new fangled beers!”.  Yeah, those are the ones that you just might be able to save and convert to craft beer by introducing them to a refreshing lager like this Helles.

The only drawback to the Tivoli Helles is that it’s not available in bottles, so you’ll need to get your butt over to Prost and grab a growler to take home with you.  Wait, that’s not a drawback at all.  In fact, that’s great news!  Now you’ve got an excuse to make a trip over to Prost for a Maß of one of their delicious creations while picking up a growler of great beer for your Thanksgiving feast.  Maybe you can convince your better half that you’re going “grocery shopping” for beer.  Just a thought and if you get busted, you never heard it from me…

Moving on, let’s talk about the other end of the flavor spectrum, and how we can add a big, bold beer to bring a completely new, unique and independent layer to the dinner table.  In the past few years, I’ve gone with beers like St. Bernardus Christmas Ale and The Bruery’s 2 Turtle Doves with the main course.  These are complex, spicy, Belgian-style beers that have worked well at the dinner table.  A very different approach, but for those that like to experiment with pairings, I think this is a fun option.  For this round, I’m going to recommend Dry Dock Brewing’s Wee Heavy.

This popular Scotch Ale has pulled in back-to-back medals at the prestigious World Beer Cup.  Look for big, sweet caramel flavors and plenty of malt to make up the base of the beer.  There’s also a bit of dark fruit, chocolate, spices and smoke in the flavor as well.  This 9.5% ABV beer is a slow-sipper, but I’m intrigued by this pairing and looking forward to trying it this year.  This is Dry Dock’s Winter Release and it’s on shelves all over town these days.  Plan on spending around $8 / 22oz. bottle on this one.

Alternative suggestions: Oskar Blues Old Chub, Great Divide Grand Cru, Odell Isolation

But Wait, There’s More!

We’re off to a good start, but the best is yet to come.  DESERT!!!  To quote the Kool-Aid Man, “Oh yeah!”.   Coming up in Part 2, we’ll discuss beers to pair with desert, the perfect nightcap brew and even what to drink with your leftovers while the rest of the world wrestles over  TV’s and iPad’s during the nonsense we like to call “Black Friday”.  Stay tuned.

Cheers!


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!


New Beers and Beer News 07/02/12

Head’s up beer lovers, lots of new beers coming down the pipeline!  Time to start saving your money and making out your shopping list.

Odell Brewing has three beers you’ll want to be on the lookout for in the near future.

First up is The Meddler, an 8.9% ABV Oud Bruin Ale.  This Flanders Brown Ale has been aging with wild yeasts for the past 18 months!  The label says “malty sweet chocolate and vanilla toy with a hauntingly sour finish”.  Count me in.

Odell is also getting ready to release another edition of their popular Woodcut Series.  For Woodcut 6, they’re featuring Mosaic hops, a new breed, which is supposed to have citrus and tropical fruit notes. The beer is then aged in oak barrels to add notes of vanilla and almonds.

It’s been over a year since Woodcut 5, an Oak-Aged Quad.  Keep a lookout for this 10% ABV brew and grab one before they’re gone for good.

Lastly, not a new beer, but a re-release of DeConstruction should be heading our way shortly.  This Golden Ale is blended with wild, barrel-aged beers from the Odell Pilot system, to create a tart, dry and slightly sweet beer.

This 10.5% ABV beer is very complex and is highly recommended for the sour freaks out there.

Over in Boulder, Twisted Pine Brewing is getting ready to release their 17th Anniversary Ale, called Red Rye-der.  Look for caramel and hoppy notes in this big Red Ale.

This beer is just starting to show up on draft and should be showing up in 22oz. bombers soon. Also, check out Twisted Pine’s Anniversary Party at the brewery on Saturday, July 14th.

It looks like Grimm Brothers is going to bottle this year’s release of Big Bad Wold Sticke Alt.  This is a traditional German style beer that translates into “secret”, since the brewery doesn’t reveal the recipe. Past batches from Grimm Brothers have been amber in color with bread, caramel and hop notes.

Grimm Brothers will also be bottling Sooty Brother Gratzer Ale later this year.  This nearly lost style of beer is brewed with wheat and pilsner malt that has been smoked over oak.  A smoky beer, but with a good amount of hop flavor and aroma.

Look for 220z. bomber releases at the brewery in the near future.

I’ll wrap up this round with two new Lips of Faith brews coming from New Belgium Brewing.  In August, keep an eye out for Peach Porch Lounger Ale, a collaboration brewed with musician G. Love.  This 9.4% ABV beer is brewed with peaches, lemon peel and molasses and fermented with Brett.  I’ve never cared much for G. Love’s music, but his beer sure does sound tasty.

Lastly, New Belgium is collaborating with Alpine Brewing from California to bring us Super India Pale Ale.  Alpine does some monsteroursly hoppy and tasty brews like Duet and Exponential Hoppiness. Unfortunately, they don’t see distribution very far from the brewery.  This might be one of the few chances you get to purchase and try an Alpine brew outside of CA.

Super IPA clocks in at 9% ABV and is a triple dry-hopped Imperial IPA with Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo and Centennial hops.  This was brewed less than two weeks ago, but will hopefully be seeing bottles and kegs soon to retain maximum hoppiness!

There you have it, plenty of great brews are heading our way.  I’ll keep you posted as release dates get firmed up on all these yummy beers.  In the meantime, start filling your piggy banks and making room in your cellar.

Cheers!


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!


New Beers and Beer News 05/01/2012

Just a quick blog with some new beers on the shelves now and others that should be dropping soon.
First up is New Belgium’s newest addition to their Lips of Faith series, Tart Lychee.  I mentioned this beer a few weeks ago and am really looking forward to trying it in bottles.  I had the draft version at Avery’s SourFest last year and it was phenomenal.  If you like sours, I’d seek this one out.  It’s around town and shouldn’t be too hard to track down.  
Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale is showing up around town as well.  They say bacon makes everything better and until recently, I would have agreed with that statement.  That was until I tried this beer.  I hate to knock it, knowing that quite a few people have been patiently waiting to try it, but it’s just not for me.
I came across some bottles out in Arizona this past spring and at the time, was excited to finally give it a try.  It poured the color of maple syrup and had a ton of smoke aroma and flavor.  It was just too much for me.  I couldn’t finish my glass.  I actually gave it a second shot at room temperature, with my breakfast the next morning and enjoyed it a tad more, but still wasn’t sold on it.
 
I’ve enjoyed Voodoo Bacon Maple doughnuts and I’ve enjoyed Rogue beers, but the two didn’t mix well for me.  Still, if sweet, smoked beers are your thing, give it a shot.  If nothing else, it comes in a cool bottle…
AC Golden has delayed their first run of sour beers.  The “Hidden Barrel Room” project over at Coors in Golden, CO, was hoping to release their Peche, Kriek and Apricot sours in early May, exclusively at Mile High Wine & Spirit’s in Lakewood, CO.  Unfortunately, some labeling issues have delayed them for a few more weeks.  Once everything gets cleared up, they should be ready to roll out.

Aged in wine barrels filled with locally grown fruit and fermented with wine yeast and brettanomyces.  These should be some tasty lambics.  Don’t be scared off by the Coors name, the AC Golden guys know what they’re doing.  I’ve had the opportunity to try two of these over the past year or so and they are awesome!  These should sell for $21.99 / 750mL bottle.  Again, the only place to get these will be at Mile High Wine & Spirit’s in Lakewood, CO.  They are located at: 435 S Vance St., Lakewood, CO  303-936-0272.

Oskar Blues is set to release the CAN-laboration beer they brewed with Sun King from Indianapolis, IN.  The beer’s being called Chaka and will be released in 16 oz. aluminum bottles.  Chaka is an 8% ABV Belgian Style Ale, brewed with ingredients from each breweries home state.

6-packs of Chaka will be sold at The Tasty Weasel Taproom for $15.99 / 6-pack.  No word on whether or not this will see distribution.  The Tasty Weasel is located at:  1800 Pike Rd., Unit B, Longmont, CO  80501.  303-776-1914

Pssst, Parabola is coming!  Stay tuned!

Cheers!


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

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

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

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

Sandlot Farmhouse Red Ale

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

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

Dry Dock Apricot Blonde in the bottling line.

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

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

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

Image Detail

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

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

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

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


New Beers and Beer News 03/12/2012

So I’m not even sure where to begin this week.  So much news to share!  I guess I’ll just dive right in and start with the news that’s close to home.

First up, Odell Brewing, in Fort Collins, is getting set to launch their Shenanigans on March 24th.  This 8.1% oak aged, Brett brew will be hitting shelves in 750mL corked and caged bottles.  If you live in the Odell distribution area, make sure you seek this one out.  Their last few big, seasonal beers, such as Friek and Saboteur have been fantastic.  I’ve got a feeling this won’t disappoint either.

Odell Brewing is at it again.

Odell’s neighbor up in Fort Collins, New Belgium, also has a new beer up their sleeves.  This one is a collaboration with Elysian Brewing out in Seattle, WA.  The two have combined for a Pink Peppercorn IPA.  This 7.5% ABV beer will be bottled and sold in 22oz. bombers.  No release date has been set yet. 

New Belgium’s also planning their next Lips of Faith release.  This line of experimental beers has had some great releases in the past year, but this one could top them all.  The 7.5% Tart Lychee, is an intensely sour beer that bases itself around the unusual, tropcial lychee fruit.  I’m a huge, huge fan of sour beers and I got to try this one last year at the Avery Sour Festival.  Sweet, sour and complex, it was one of my favorites of the day.  I’m really excited to see they’re going to bottle this beer.  You better hope I don’t get to the beer store before you when this comes out.  I’ll be the guy stocking up when it hits the shelf.   

New Belgium announced today that they will be entering the Michigan market in August.  They’ve been in the news quite a bit lately with rumors surrounding a possible east coast expansion.  Although there’s no official word yet, the rumor is that the brewery is looking at property in Asheville, NC.  Might not be a bad time to start planning that trip to North Carolina after all.

Down in Colorado Springs, Jason Yester and the Trinity crew are plugging away getting their new 12 barrel brewhouse installed.  They worked into the wee hours last night and are back at it again today.  They’ll be closed until Wednesday, March 14th to get everything up and running.

Shiny new fermenters at Trinity, waiting to be fed tasty beer!

Over in Denver, Bill Eye is also hard at work, getting his masterpiece assembled at Prost Brewing.  I can’t wait until we can talk about the beers he’ll be pouring when Prost opens.  Hopefully it’ll be sooner than later.

Bill Eye becoming one with his kettle at Prost.

In Aurora, be sure to mark your calendars for the Copper Kettle One Year Anniversary Party coming up in April.  They’ve got 4 big days planned with music, food and some exciting beers.  Check out their website for more info.

Copper Kettle turns 1 in April!

To wrap up the local news, if you’re looking for something to do tonight and are in the Boulder area, slide over to Mountain Sun on Pearl Street.  If you order a beer, they’ll give you a free Stout Month t-shirt.  They’ve got some awesome beers on tap right now including two of my favorites, Hop Vivant Imperial IPA and Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout.  If you’re looking for something a little lighter to enjoy with the nice weather, check out their Blackberry Wheat or FYIPA.  With 15+ beers on tap, there’s something for everyone, even your light beer drinking co-workers.  So grab a beer, get a shirt and watch the world go by.  Life is good!

Before we finish up, here’s a little something for all the beer traders:  Rob Tod and the gang at Allagash, up in Portland, ME, are getting ready for another one of their small batch, brewery only releases.  They just announced a release party for Saturday, March 31st to release Old HLT, a beer that was brewed with cherries and aged in stainless steel for more than 2 years.  This one clocks in at 8% and will be sold for $10 / 12.7 oz. bottle, with a 4 bottle limit.  I’ve traded for a few of their small batch beers and they never disappoint.

Brewtally Insane is hitting the road this month.  We’ll be checking out some breweries and beer bars near Phoenix, AZ, as well as the Los Angeles, CA and Anaheim, CA areas.  Got a recommendation or know of some places we should visit?  Drop us a line on our Facebook page and let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.  Until next time, Cheers!


New Beers and Beer News 03/03/2012

I recently learned about a few new and exciting beers that should be hitting store shelves in the next few months and had to share with you.  First up is a Bourbon Barrel-aged version of Bigfoot coming out from Sierra Nevada.  I’m excited for this one.  Bigfoot is a very tasty barleywine that ages incredibly well.  The bad news is that they only had enough barrels and space to make about 100 bbls.  In comparison, their barrel aged 30th Anniversary releases were right around 1000 bbls.  So this one might take a little hunting around and good luck to find.  No word on how much will be making it’s way to the area, but I’ll try to keep you posted.  They’re tenatively shooting for a May release.

Bigfoot hunting begins in May.

While we’re talking Bigfoot, check your local shelves for Sierra Nevada’s standard Bigfoot, which is out there right now.  As of last week, it’s at most of the better retail stores around town.  Get some now and put some away for later.

Another collaboration brew was recently announced between Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey and Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium.  These two hooked up back in 2004 and brewed a beer called Mo Betta Bretta.  It was a 100% Brettanomyces beer that was sold at the Solano Beach Pizza Port out in California and proved to be very popular.  They are working on a very similar beer that will once again be a 100% Brettanomyces beer, but will be produced on a larger scale and should see store shelves in May.

Mo Betta Bretta 2.0?

And if you need something to do today, head over to Twisted Pine Brewing over in Boulder, CO, for the release of their third installment in their Artisan Series.  This limited series of beers pairs a new beer with a local artist each month and will be released on the first Saturday of each month throughout the year.  For March, the release is called Sacred Spice, which is a Baltic Porter brewed with chai spices provided by the local company Sanctuary Chai.  The release party is set for today, March 3rd, from 12-9.  Twisted Pine is located at: 3201 Walnut Street, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

The weather is supposed to be perfect this week in Colorado.  Get out one day, maybe after work or on a day off and enjoy it.  Grab a local growler and sit outside on your deck and watch the world go by.  Or maybe head over to one of the many spots around town with some outdoor seating, bring your dog or kids and try the latest seasonals.  But don’t let your dog or kids try the latest seasonals!  I mean, seriously people, let’s not waste good beer on unappeciative pallets.  Anyway, I love this town.  The beer scene and weather are in perfect alignment right now.  Let me if you find anything new and interesting and I’ll share it with the readers on here.  Pictures are welcome too!  Enjoy yourself and have fun, but be responsible.  Cheers!

P.S. Don’t forget to tune into American Craft Beer Radio on 102.3 ESPN Radio today from 12-1.  I’ll be hanging in the studio with Gary V. and all his great guests.