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Kickin’ Off Colorado Beer Week

Here we go friends.  Buckle up and hang on, because Colorado Craft Beer Week starts NOW!  There’s such an insane amount of beer events lined up for this week, that I thought it’d be helpful to post an early update.

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This isn’t the mother load of lists, but rather a listing of some of the events we’re really excited about and wanted to share with all of you.  Thanks to the Colorado Brewers Guild, the master list can be found on the Colorado Craft Beer Week homepage.  I’m just afraid my fingers would fall off if I tried to list every single event.

Ongoing All Week

Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids in Longmont will devote all 44 of their taps to Colorado brews this week.  Each night, reps from your favorite local breweries will be on hand to answer questions, talk beer and giveaway some great swag.

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Monday– Prost, Tivoli and Upslope
Tuesday– Left Hand and New Belgium
Wednesday– Breckenridge, Boulder, Telluride and Denver Beer Co
Thursday– Avery, Bootstrap, Epic, Equinox and Twisted Pine
Friday– City Star, Renegade and Strange
Saturday– Oskar Blues, Estes Park, Echo, Gravity and Grimm Bros.

Oskar Blues HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503.

Right Coast Pizza in Wheat Ridge is featuring IPA’s all week, building up to the main event on Saturday with an IPA showdown between 12 different breweries.  Game on!  The tappings begin nightly at 6 PM.

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Monday– Oskar Blues *All 3 IPA’s from OB
Tuesday– Equinox Brewing *Zenith IPA and Remi’s Saison IPA
Wednesday– Elevation Beer Co. *Cask IPA Night
Thursday– Ska Brewing Modus IPA, Decadent DIPA, and Insubstantial IPA
Friday– Avery Brewing *Double Dry Hopped Maharaja, Winters Day IPA
Saturday– 12 different breweries racing to see who can sell the most IPA.  Come support your favorite brewery and help them win by drinking beer.

Right Coast Pizza is located at: 7100 W 38th St, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Falling Rock Tap House is THE place to be on Monday, when you’ll be able to view the glorious sight of 80 different Colorado breweries pouring under one roof.  Yeah people, this is BIG!  $45 gets you in.  The fun starts at 7 PM (not 6 PM, like you may have heard elsewhere) and runs until 11 PM. You can buy tickets right here.  You need to go.  It’s your civic duty.  Make it happen.  Tell the King I sent you.

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But don’t tell the King I’m showing you this list.  It’s Über secret and we’re the only blog on the street brave enough to have hijacked his keg list.  Check out the list of breweries and a few of the beers that’ll be on hand.

Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout
Backcountry Brewery
Big Choice Brewing
Black Bottle
Bonfire Brewing
Bootstrap
Boulder Brewing Champagne Mojo
Bristol English Old Ale
Bull and Bush
Carver Oatmeal Pale Ale
Caution Brewing
City Star Brewing
Colorado Cider Company
Crabtree
Copper Kettle
Crazy Mountain
Crooked Stave Assorted Goodness including L’Brett D’or
Denver Beer Company
Dry Dock
Echo
Elevation Oil Man
Equinox
Ft. Collins
Funkwerks Deceit
Great Divide
Grimm Brothers
Hall Brewing Company
Hogs Head on CASK!
Left Hand Brewing on CASK!
Lone Tree Brewing
New Belgium
Odell Brewing Wooden Sidecar Oakaged Myrcenary
Oskar Blues
Pagosa Brewing
Prost
Redstone Meadery
Renegade
River North
Ska
Strange Cherry Kriek
Telluride Brewing
Tivoli
Tommyknocker
Upslope Foreign Export Stout
West Flanders
Wynkoop Ellegance, the Women’s Collaborative Brew

Say what?!?!  You’re telling me there’s still a keg of Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout still out there?  That amazing beer alone is worth the price of admission.  Again, get your tickets HERE and ring in CO Craft Beer Week like one bad little monkey.

The admission price will get you your fill of any of the beers being poured.  No limit or tickets, but please be responsible and don’t ruin it for everyone else.  Cookies from The Cookie Brewer will be on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

In Denver, River North Brewery will tap 10 gallons of their Avarice Imperial Stout, which has spent the past 6 months aging in Maker’s Mark Bourbon barrels.

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This made its’ debut over the weekend at the Littlest Big Beer Fest at Hops & Pie.  Grab a glass on Wednesday afternoon before it’s gone for good.  River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St #1, Denver, CO 80205.

Boulder’s West Flanders Brewing will host the New Brew Crew Tasting on Wednesday, featuring 5 of the newest breweries up that way.

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$20 will get you 3 hours of tasting and a tulip glass.  Proceeds go to charity.  As for the beer, look for 10 beers pouring from West Flanders, Fate, Echo, Gravity and Bootstrap.  7 – 10 PM.  West Flanders Brewing is located at: 1125 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302.

Out in Durango, Ska will launch the third beer in their Seasonal Stout series.  This time it’s Vernal Minthe Stout, brewed with peppermint, spearmint, cocoa and vanilla beans.

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The Durango release party will feature $3 pints, tours of the brewhouse and a chance to meet the brewer from 5 – 7 PM.  Keep your eyes out for 12 oz. cans to hit the Denver area soon.  Ska Brewing is located at: 225 Girard St, Durango, CO 81303.

Get out and celebrate our great state of Beer!  Keep in mind, this just covers the first few days for the week.  If you’re unable to attend the events mentioned above, but still want to participate, check the Colorado Craft Beer Week homepage or just check with your local brewery to see what they’ve got planned.  Stop by our Facebook page where we’ll list more events throughout the week.  Coming up on Thursday, we’ll set you up for the weekend with the Weekend Beer Buzz.

Cheers!


River North Set To Launch New Brew During CO Beer Week

RNB_Barrel_Reserve_13Denver’s River North Brewery is launching a new, blended Barrel-aged beer during Colorado Craft Beer Week.  Read the press release below for more details.  A small amount of bottles will be distributed throughout the Denver area.

Press Release:

River North to Release Blended “Barrel Reserve 2013”

March 12, 2013

After gaining notoriety for their barrel-aged beers, producing seven unique concoctions in the first year of operation, the alchemists at River North decided to kick it up a notch for the brewery’s eighth barrel release.

Blending several whiskey-aged beers, River North’s brewers created a 100% barrel-aged combination known simply as Barrel Reserve 2013. The most complex River North Brewery release to date, this beer is for the true connoisseur. It can be enjoyed fresh or aged up to five years.

Barrel Reserve 2013 will release on Saturday, March 23rd at 1pm at the brewery taproom, when both draft pours and bombers-to-go will be available. Only 120 cases were produced of this one-time release. The brewery plans to release a new Barrel Reserve once each year, but no two blends will ever be the same.

The week after the release party, River North will distribute a limited supply of bottles to the Denver Metro area.

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Matt and Jessica Hess opened River North Brewery in downtown Denver on February 18th, 2012. Matt, who walked away from his engineering job in the aerospace industry, heads the brewing operation and focuses on Belgian-style beers and Belgo-American hybrids.

The brewery also hosts an ever-growing barrel program, aging brews in whiskey, wine or rum barrels of varying styles.

Aside from cranking out creative and unique beers, River North Brewery has cemented itself in Denver’s new beer district, RiNo, establishing close and personal relationships with local residents and businesses. In addition to promoting a “drink local” mentality, River North connects with customers through social media. The brewery hosted a Twitter contest where

followers could submit suggestions for fermenter names, with the winning suggestions going on the tanks. The two winners: “Think Tank” and “The Louis Pasteur Cultural Events Center.”

River North Brewery produced 295 barrels in 2012, a number expected to triple this year. 

River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St #1, Denver, CO 80205.


Weekend Beer Buzz: Valentine’s Day Edition 02/14/2013

We had a killer time last week on the left coast.  San Diego is a great, great beer town.  No, it’s not Denver, let’s not get carried away, but it’s solid and growing just as quickly as our local scene.  This was our second visit in 18 months and it’s crazy to see the growth.  We shared some sights and tastes from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens and Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey and we’ve got more to come including the Inaugural San Diego Winter Brew Fest, Green Flash, AleSmith and more. Stay tuned!

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And hey, it’s lent.

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Maybe give up something a little more reasonable like eating or shaving (which I happily haven’t done since November).  Do what you gotta do, but don’t give up craft beer.

In other news, the CO brewers won their fight against grocery and convenience stores selling full-strength beer.  Well done boys and girls.  I sincerely hope this is the last time you all have to fight that fight.  Unfortunately, it seems some overpaid assbanana brings it up again year after year.  Until then, Congrats on winning this battle.

And lastly, before we start our weekend run down, Cheers to Swagger, the Old English Sheepdog and CO-native that made us all proud at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.  The big guy placed second overall out of 2,500+ pups.  Nicely done!  Now maybe your owner will finally get that furry mop out of your eyes.

And now, it’s time to get serious.  Focus.  It’s time for your Weekend Beer Buzz.

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The Day of Love is very near and if you love beer, then have no fear, just plant your eyes on this page right here.   Many of the beery events and Valentine’s beer dinners sold out long ago, but here are a few that don’t require tickets and should have plenty of beer flowing for you and your special someone on Thursday night.

Dry Dock has a delicious pair of tappings lined up for Thursday.  Stop by and revisit Rudolph’s Revenge, which you might remember as Head Brewer Doug Hyndman’s Raspberry Pomegranate Porter from the 2012 Ho Ho Ho Slapdown.  Dry Dock also plans to release a firkin of Strawberry Hefeweizen, which I think at one point used to be called Heidi Klum?  Am I wrong here?  Either way, firkin at noon, Rudolph at 4 PM.  Don’t be surprised if a few more treats pop up as well.

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

Black Shirt Brewing is hosting a beer and desert pairing on Thursday.  End your special night with a Chai Red Porter and a specially prepared desert.

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This will run from 5 – 9 PM and is rumored to be your only chance to try this great brew.  The BSB tasting room will now be open on Wednesday’s, with expanded hours throughout the week.  Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-993-2799.

Scott and the Wit’s End Gang will have their 2nd Annual Valentine’s Day Beer and Chocolate Pairing from 4 PM – ? (until the chocolate’s gone!).

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Cruise over to the Wit’s End Website and see what they’ve got planned for this year’s event.  The Kitchen Sink Porter is paired with a chocolate-bacon bar.  Need I say more?  Sappy, cheese-filled music provided free of charge.  Wit’s End Brewing is located at: 2505 W 2nd Ave, Unit 13, Denver, CO 80223.  303-459-4379.

Up at Yak & Yeti in Arvada, Head Brewer Adam Draeger released (Yakety Yak) Don’t Talk Bock and Cherry Porter this week.  For Valentine’s Day, he’s bringing back Red Hot Wheat, which is brewed with Red Hots Candies.  Draeger describes the 4.9% ABV bright red brew as a “Dentyne gum flavored dessert wine to share with the sweetheart of your life”.

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

Speaking of Yeti’s, there’s been reports of a sighting over at Great Divide.  They’ll be tapping a Jim Beam Barrel-Aged Version of Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti at 2 PM.  Wow, that sounds amazing.

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Great Divide Brewing is located at: 2201 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-296-9460.

Up in Longmont at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids, they’ll have hand carved prime rib and some special Ommegang goodies on draft.

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Homemade Liquids and Solids is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80501.  303-485-9400.

Lone Tree Brewing will tap The Princess Vidrevitz Russian Imperial Stout and Chocolate Cherry Stout at noon today.  Sounds delish.

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Lone Tree Brewing is located at: 8222 Park Meadows Dr, Lone Tree, CO 80124.  303-792-5822.

Here’s the latest from Crooked Stave.

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

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Just in case you don’t have enough spice in your life on Valentine’s Day, Dry Dock’s tapping a Green Chili Double IPA on Firkin Friday.

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Tapping at 3 PM.  I don’t typically reach for chili brews, but this one’s good.  Damn good.  Trust me. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Down at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s busting out “The Preacher” for this week’s Deviation.  The Preacher is a Simcoe and Vanguard Pale Ale.

Tapping at 4 PM.  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Congrats to River North Brewery, who’ll be celebrating their 1-year Anniversary on Saturday.  Stop by and share a beer from their great lineup of Belgian-influenced ales.  You’ll also have the opportunity to try their newest and biggest beer yet, a 12.5% ABV Imperial Stout that was brewed to commemorate the special occasion.  120 cases produced, so perhaps this’ll see a bit of local distribution.  Keep your eyes peeled fellow beer hunters and gatherers.

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River North will also be offering tours of their barrel room.  The party starts at 1 PM and you won’t want to miss out.  River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-296-2617,

The Tasty Weasel is also gearing up for an Anniversary Party.  The Oskar Blues Tap Room in Longmont will be celebrating 4 years with a super secret beer release, food trucks and of course skee ball. They’ll be joined by the Colorado Craft Beer Show, who’ll be kicking it off at noon on AM 760.  Better yet, stop by and watch the show live.

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The Tasty Weasel is located at: 1800 Pike Rd, Unit B, Longmont, CO 80501.  303-776-1914.

The 3rd Annual Winter Beer Fest is right around the corner.  On Saturday, the Woodland Park Cultural Center will be turned into a beer garden as Prost Brewing, Arvada Beer Company, Trinity Brewing and others set up shop for the afternoon.

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Tickets are only $15, but hurry, as they’ll jump to $30 if you wait to buy them at the door.  Ticket price includes taster glass and unlimited tastings.  This event runs from 2 – 6 PM.  More details and ticket info can be found HERE.  The Woodland Park Cultural Center is located at: 210 E Midland Ave, Woodland Park, CO 80863.

Pliny the Younger Update

The Younger kegs are slowly invading Denver.

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So far, we’ve got two tapping times confirmed.

Backcountry Pizza and Tap House will tap their keg on Sunday, February 24th at noon.  Tickets are $9 / 11 oz. and will be sold at 11 AM.  Backcountry Pizza and Tap House is located at: 2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302.  303-449-4285.

The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe in Denver will have TWO tappings!  The first will hit tap lines on Monday, February 25th, the second will get tapped on Thursday, February 28th.  Both will start pouring at 6:30 PM.  $10 / glass, first come, first serve.  The Cheeky Monk is located at: 534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203.  303-861-0347.

Until next time, here’s your German lesson for the week.

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Pretty sure they didn’t teach you that in High School.  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.  303-729-1175.

It’s been fun.  Let’s do it again next weekend.

Cheers!


River North Brewery Announces 1st Anniversary Celebration

rivernorthDenver’s River North Brewery will celebrate their 1-year anniversary next month.  To celebrate, they’re planning a party on Saturday, February 16th, where they’ll also release a new Imperial Stout and open their barrel garden to the public. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out on this great event.  Read the press release below for the full scoop.

Press Release:

River North Brewery Celebrates One Year

As River North Brewery rapidly approaches one year of operation, Head Brewer Matt Hess has been harboring a dark secret, a concoction unlike any other the brewery has produced to date.

Clocking in at 12.5% ABV, the River North 1st Anniversary Imperial Stout is the brewery’s highest-gravity offering thus far. It will release Saturday, February 16th at 1pm to kick off the brewery’s first-anniversary party, when the brewery will open its barrel garden to the public. Both draft pours and bombers-to-go will be available.

This celebration represents the culmination of a productive first year for River North. Including the anniversary beer, the brewery released nine unique “mainline” ales this past year, in addition to seven barrel-aged varieties of those brews. Since acquiring its first two whiskey barrels in March, the barrel program has grown to include more than 30 whiskey, wine and rum barrels of varying brands.

Additionally, the brewery released weekly “Wayward” beers – experimental five-gallon variations on existing recipes – which allowed customers to taste how subtle changes in yeast or hops can add entirely new flavor profiles to a brew.

Aside from cranking out creative and unique beers, River North Brewery has cemented itself in Denver’s new beer district, RiNo, establishing close and personal relationships with local residents and businesses. In addition to promoting a “drink local” mentality, River North connects with customers through social media. The brewery hosted a Twitter contest where followers could submit suggestions for fermenter names, with the winning suggestions going on the tanks. The two winners: “Think Tank” and “The Louis Pasteur Cultural Events Center.”

Matt and Jessica Hess opened River North Brewery in downtown Denver on February 18th, 2012. Matt, who walked away from his engineering job in the aerospace industry, heads the brewing operation and focuses on Belgian-style beers and Belgo-American hybrids.

River North Brewery produced 295 barrels in 2012, a number expected to triple this year.


Miracles Happen At The Denver Only Beer Festivus!

We had the opportunity to attend the Denver Only Beer Festivus last Saturday.  This is a new (and hopefully recurring) beer festival that was presented by Denver Off The Wagon and Imbibe Denver. The event was held at the recently renovated McNichols Building at Civic Center Park in Denver and featured ONLY Denver breweries (all 18 of them!).  Despite having sold out weeks ago, the inaugural Festivus had no lines, great beer, a DJ and dance area, plenty of room to move about and brewers working their booths and supporting their craft beers.  At one point, my wife whispered in my ear “This might be my new favorite beer festival”.  It was truly a Festivus Miracle!

TRVE Brewing just keeps getting better and better.  Owner / Brewer Nick Nunns was pouring Diotima, a Smoked Tea Saison and Stout O))), a thick and roasty American Stout.  Stop by the brewery and give these brews a try if you haven’t already.  Stout O))) was one of my favorite beers of the night.  It’s a hearty brew and perfect for those cold winter nights that lie ahead.

Crooked Stave brought the funk and crushed it as usual.  No shocker there.  Amazing brews.

There was a Yeti sighting at the Great Divide table.  They brought Oak-Aged Yeti, Titan IPA, Hibernation Ale and their upcoming Belgian Tripel called Orabelle.  Keep an eye out for Orabelle in 12oz. bottles sometime in January.

Prost is awesome, but you already knew that.

Strange Brewing always brings a great lineup and the Festivus was no exception.  Head Brewer Tim Myers brought his “Beers Made By Walking” release called Eldorado Juniper Bel-Jin Dark, along with the very tasty Pumpkin Porter and Le Bruit du Diable Farmhouse Ale.

I geek’d out for a good 20 minutes at the River North Brewery table.  They brought some big and impressive beers for all the geeks in the house.  They were pouring a barrel-aged version of Avarice (Belgian-style Imperial Stout), along with Quandary (Quadrupel) and Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle (Belgian-style Double IPA).  Awesome stuff.

The standout of the night for me was Black Shirt Brewing and their Imperial Red Rye IPA.  This a hop heads wet dream.  Man, I was blown away by this beer with its’ full and complex flavor profile.  I also tried their Saison and Red Ale, both of which were really tasty.  There was reportedly a keg of Red Hubbard Squash Saison, but it was so popular that they ran out before I got a pour.

Black Shirt Brewing Co-Owner Branden Miller has been really helpful with providing information and answering questions for the blog and it was nice to finally meet and taste his beers.  Guys, I’m excited about this one.  Black Shirt Brewing looks to be the real deal.  Miller said that going forward, they plan to open every Saturday, so check the Weekend Beer Buzz for updates on what they’ll be pouring in the Tap Room.

And that’s just a few of the many great breweries that were in attendance at the Festivus.  Don’t forget Our Mutual Friend, CAUTION, Denver Beer Co., Wynkoop, Wit’s End, Renegade and on and on! Denver is lucky to have so many great, young brewers that are crafting some awesome beers these days. It’s really impressive to see so many high quality beers coming out of places that are so new to the brewing community.  I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in 5 years.

So that’s just a quick recap on the Festivus scene and the many great beers that were flowing. Again, awesome, awesome time.  Thanks again to Denver Off The Wagon and Imbibe Denver for hosting a great event.  Now, on to the pictures.

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Cheers!


Brewery Spotlight: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

Crooked Stave is here!  After months and months of waiting, dreaming and drooling about owner Chad Yakobson’s funky, sour brews, I’m happy to report that the beer is flowing at his new Taproom and Barrel Cellar in Denver.

Since opening in 2011, Crooked Stave has been operating out of Funkwerks in Fort Collins.  This past June, Chad packed up his barrels and made the trek down to Denver to open his own facility.

Today’s Taproom and Barrel Cellar opening is part of a bigger plan to also open a brewery and taproom in a market called The Source, scheduled to open in Denver next Spring.  In addition to the brewery, The Source will bring together a chocolatier, winemaker, coffee roaster and more, all under one roof.  For now, Chad is brewing his beers at Prost Brewing and River North Brewery and transferring them over to barrels in his Barrel Cellar.

For today’s opening, they’re pouring:

Wild Wild Brett Blue (WWBB) – Dark hoppy ale brewed with Colorado blue spruce tips and fermented with Brettanomyces.

Wild Wild Brett Indigo (WWBI) – Brewed and barrel aged with blueberries and fermented with Brettanomyces.

Vignole – Belgian golden ale with Vignole grapes.

Petite Sour – A true farmhouse beer, brewed with lacto and Brett.

L’Brett d’Or – Aged in Leopold Bros Peach Whiskey barrels that were previously used to make New Belgium’s Love.

Unfortunately, I was short on time and only had the chance to enjoy one glass.  Decisions, decisions…  I went with The L’Brett d’Or, which was amazing!  Medium tartness, fruity, crisp and complex.

During my visit, I talked beer with Jonathan Shikes aka Big Shikes, the Beer Man from the Denver Westword. He shared his WWBI with me, which was tart, earthy and lightly fruity.  Also a winner.

The bar has roughly 10 seats for fans to get their funk on, plus several tables and a small patio out front.  The Barrel Cellar is behind the bar in the warehouse area of the building.

There’s no growler fills, but several bottles are available to go (WWBI, Surette Reserva and Batch 1) along with glassware and shirts.

I feel like Crooked Stave completes the Denver Beer Scene.  The Coasts have their Russian River, Cascade, Allagash, Bruery, Lost Abbey and so on.  The middle of the U.S. has their Upland, Destihl and Jolly Pumpkin.  And now we’ve got our Crooked Stave.  So raise your glasses with me fellow Colorado Beer Geeks, as we toast to Chad and Crooked Stave.  Congrats and Welcome to Denver!  I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is open Wed – Sat from noon – 7 PM and is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.

Cheers!


New Brewery Spotlight: Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew

Session beer.  What’s your definition of a session beer?  For me, it’s something with a low ABV (4 – 6% range), well-balanced, yet still flavorful and able to keep me interested over the course of several pints.  I want a nice session beer that will allow me to hang out with friends for a few hours of good conversation, a game of Risk or to discuss our preparations for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.  A good session beer will allow me to do this without the threat of getting sloppy or intoxicated.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably realize that I like the big-bad barrel aged monsters, like the Yeti, The Beast and the all-powerful Dark Lord as much as the next guy.  But, the reality is that when I go to Great Divide or Avery or wherever to drink these 8%, 9%, 10%+ ABV beers, I’m limited to one or two at most.  It’s almost as if some of the bigger breweries treat “session” like it’s a 4-letter word.  Not a bad thing, but there’s a time and place for all beer. (Except for maybe Keystone Light…  I gotta draw the line somewhere.)  Sometimes, I just want to sit and enjoy some quality, low ABV beers.  Fortunately for you and me, there’s a new brewery getting set to open in Denver, that’s looking to fill this oh-so-sad hole in our lives.

Enter Brandon Proff, Andrew Strasburg and Bryan Leavelle of Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew (OMF).

The team of three behind OMF are setting out to make delicious craft beers that are low in alcohol content, highly sessionable and pleasing to the beer geeks palate.  They’re creating a place that will draw in the after-work crowd with great beers, engaging conversation and a comfortable hangout that feels like your buddy’s garage (only with better beer).  Simple, yet modern and inviting, with a small beer garden on the side.

A small record player in the corner and I’m taken back to my high school days.  I feel like they should have a drum set and a couple of guitars in the corner for when those creative juices really get going.

Last week, we met with OMF Director of Operations, Brandon Proff, to discuss OMF’s concept, upcoming beers and future plans.

The idea behind OMF had been getting tossed around for over a year.  Brandon had been eyeing the location at 2810 Larimer Street for months and when it finally went up for sale, the OMF team jumped on it.  They put their business plan into action, moved into the location on May 1st and now are just a few short weeks away from their opening day.

Brandon and OMF are going to offer local beers, made with local ingredients.  Local hops and local specialty ingredients will be used whenever possible.  They’re taking a very hands-on approach in their brewery by malting their own grains, something no other brewery (as far as I know) in the area has tried to do.  This gives them total control over their product, allowing them to fine tune and experiment even more with their recipes.  They’ll be a true nano-brewery, using a 1-BBL system, hand-crafting each batch, one keg at time.

The beers themselves are simple and true to style, but will surely be appreciated by both craft beer geeks and those still stuck in the dark ages of macro swill.  OMF will be pouring 5-beers for their official opening: Saison, IPA, Pale Ale, Porter and the only beer with an actual name, the Cream Ale called Proletariat.  There’s an extra tap line reserved for seasonals and experiments and another line reserved for Root Beer for those responsible DD’s or little ones in the crowd.

Click on the picture for a description of each beer.

Have no fear barrel-aged freaks, there’s already talk about procuring wine barrels from their wine-making neighbors down the street at The Infinite Monkey Theorem.  Or if coffee’s your thing, they’re right next door to local artisan coffee roasters, Huckleberry Roasters.  In other words, there’s plenty of opportunity for brewmaster Bryan to play.

Brandon is planning on serving pies from The Humble Pie Store, which makes the best damn pie I’ve ever had in my life!  Such a nice change from the typical pretzels and popcorn offered by many other breweries in town.

OMF has also created a Beer Appreciation Society for a small number of devotees.  The $85 price tag will reward members with a LIFETIME of benefits including:

– 1 custom printed 32 oz growler

– 1 Beer Appreciation Society t-shirt

– 1 OMF notebook for tasting notes, journaling, ransom letters, etc.

– 1 laminated membership card

– 6 (FREE) growler fills (regular price $7, a $42 value)

– 12 (FREE) pints (regular price $4, a $48 value)

– 10% off your bar tab FOREVER

– Invites to all special tasting parties we do

– Secret Beer Society meetings where awesomeness will happen (guest brewer hangouts, collaboration beers, etc)

OMF isn’t even open yet and more than half of the memberships have already been claimed.  If you think you’d like to sign up, I’d recommend doing so sooner than later.  For more information, shoot an e-mail to OMF using this address: hello@omfmb.com

While it might seem like Denver is getting overrun with new breweries these days, each one is quickly finding their own niche in town.  Prost is doing the German thing, River North is leaning towards Belgian-styles, Crooked Stave continues to lay down the funk and Black Shirt (when they open later this year) will be taking the classic Red Ale and twisting it in a variety of interesting ways.  Our Mutual Friend will be a welcome addition to the quickly growing Five Points neighborhood in Northeast Denver with their classy, sessionable brews.

They’re targeting an opening date on September 15th and will be open Thu – Sun from 1 – 10 PM. Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.  720-722-2810.

Cheers!


Pints in Pictures 07/22/12

Hope you guys had a fun and safe weekend!  On Friday, we hit the Hops for Habitat Beer Festival at the Plains Center in Aurora.  This was our first time attending, but certainly not our last.  There were about 15 different Colorado breweries in attendance pouring a variety of beers including IPA’s, sours, wheats and everything in between.

On Saturday, Patti helped out in the studio with American Craft Beer Radio.  We also made visits to River North Brewery and TRVE Brewing.  But enough from me, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The Dry Dock Crew getting ready!

Turk pouring a little Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout

Coolin’ off at Ska.

On American Craft Beer Radio, Gary V brought in a panel of beer judges to do some on-air judging and explain how a beer is graded and evaluated.  Here’s some studio shots.

We wrapped up our weekend with stops at River North Brewery and TRVE Brewing.  River North just launched their Locals’ Club (more details in the Weekend Beer Buzz).  They’re also staying busy with their weekly barrel-aged releases on Wednesday afternoons.

TRVE just can’t seem to keep up.  They’ve been working their tails off brewing more beer, but demand is sooo high, they can’t make enough.  It’s safe to say that business is good and they’ve been well received in the neighborhood.

That’s about it.  Hope you all were able to get out and enjoy your weekend!

Cheers!


Beer Trading Part Two, Uncle Jacob’s Release and Opening Day

So a few days ago I gave you a little tease about getting into the delicious world of beer trading.  We were going to walk through a trade, along with Tony, one of our readers and track down some tasty New Glarus in exchange for some Colorado locals.  Did you miss out?  If so, click HERE to catch up and come back when you’re ready.  (insert Jeopardy theme song…)

Good?  Good! 

So we set up our free account on beeradvocate.com; we made our simple ISO (In Search Of): FT (For Trade) post; we raked in a bunch of responses (about 15 in 24 hours).  Now what??? 

So now you’re wondering, how do I pick a trader to go with?  Like I said, we got about 15 responses the first day of our ISO:FT post.  I’ve got a few ways to narrow down the trader we’re going to work with.  The first way is to go with the first response.  Kind of seems fair that the early bird gets the worm.  Another way is to go with someone you’ve already traded with. 

For me, trading is all about establishing good, friendly relationships with traders from around the country.  That way, when a beer comes along in a certain area of the U.S. that I’m looking for, I’ve got someone that might be able to help me out and vice versa.  There are several traders that I’ve known for years and we hook each other up with local fav’s, brewery only releases and so on, to share the loot.  In this case though, I wanted to start fresh and not fall back on past experiences.  I wanted to play the “rookie” and show you that it’s still easy to lock in a trade without knowing someone ahead of time. 

So I decided on a response from Kody, who actually lives in Chicago, IL, but makes frequent trips to Wisconsin.  Kody’s initial response was simple and to the point.  He just stated that he had New Glarus Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart and was looking for Odell and Lost Abbey.  We swapped a few more messages and came to the realization that we both had access to the same Lost Abbey beers, but I suggested some beers from Dry Dock, Avery and Funkwerks that he hadn’t heard of and might be interested in. 

In the past week, we’ve exchanged about a dozen more messages, narrowing down specific beers to swap and our favorite styles.  Turns out, Kody is going to be obtaining bottles of Three Floyd’s Dark Lord later this month, which is considered to be one of the best beers on the planet.  I love me some Dark Lord and am always on the hunt for more.  So we’re already talking about future trades! 

Like I said, beer trading for me, is about making those friendships that will continue for years to come.  I enjoy making connections with people like Kody who have the same passion for beer as I do.  In the future, I can get beers exclusive to my area that he will enjoy and swap for beers in his area that I will enjoy.  This is what makes the beer geek community so cool and unique.  Granted, it’s not always this way.  I’ve done many “one and done” trades, but more often than not, I trade with the same people, over and over again.  Hell, there’s even a guy in Boston, MA that I traded with so many times that I flew him out for the Great American Beer Festival a few years ago. 

Anyway, so we’ve locked in our trader, made small talk, locked in the beers we’re going to trade and we’re one step closer to having some delicious New Glarus for our glass.  Our next step is to buy our beers, pack, ship and wait for our box o’ goodies to arrive.  Questions????  Comments????  I’m going to try and pack our beers this week, so stay tuned! 

In other news, I hit the Uncle Jacob’s Stout release at Avery last night.  Uncle Who?  Click HERE for the details.  I got there late, but avoided the line and still got my allocation.  The reviews so far have been great.  For anybody that went and popped open a bottle, what did you think?  Looks like they flipped the line around and ran it into the barrel room and back through the keg room.  After attending various Avery releases for the past few years, it seems like Avery has gotten better and better about their small batch releases.  They continue to improve the customer experience and that’s a GREAT thing.  Big shout-out to Adam, Phil and everyone else over there for their awesome efforts in making these releases run smoother each and every time.  I hope to open a bottle soon and will try to share with you when I do. 

Lastly, tomorrow is Opening Day for the Colorado Rockies.  As a huge baseball fan, I’m really, really looking forward to this.  The weather should be perfect and the beer scene will be in full effect.  Falling Rock Tap House will be rockin’ with tents set up out front representing your favorite breweries.  Freshcraft, Denver Beer Company, Great Divide and the new kid on the block, River North, will be open and ready for the baseball crowd.  Rumor has it, Sandlot, at Coors Field, will even be pouring a sour for Opening Day!  Patti and I will be there and hope to see you downtown!  Drop us a line if you’re going.  We’d love to meet up and share a brew with you.