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Weekend Beer Buzz 09/13/2012

I love weeks like this.  You know, the ones where you get to partake in so many beery events, that it just flies by.  This past week, I made it over to Crooked Stave for the Grand Opening of their Taproom and Barrel Cellar, got the full tour and tasting with Head Brewer Adam Draeger over at Yak & Yeti (blog is forthcoming), attended Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival and because they’re just sooo dang good, went back to Crooked Stave for another visit and got the all access tour and tasting with Owner / Brewer Chad Yakobson.  It’s been so much fun, I kind of want to do it all over again.

Unfortunately, the DeLorean’s in the shop, so let’s just start a new week!

Thursday, September 15th, 2012.

Prost Brewing is getting the weekend kicked off right, with the tapping of Bill Eye’s Helles Lager.

The beer has been named Tivoli and is a nod to the Tivoli Brewery, which operated in Denver from 1866-1969.  Click HERE for a good read about Prost that ran in The Denver Post earlier this week. Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-729-1175.

Copper Kettle is getting a jump start on the weekend too, with their Beer & Cheese Pairing Series. This monthly event is a tag-team tasting, coordinated with the amazing cheese Fromager’s from Denver’s Truffle Cheese Shop.

I had the opportunity to attend a pairing back in July and it was pretty damn delish.  Four Copper Kettle beers are matched with four artisan cheeses for participants to sample, learn, talk about and enjoy.  The cheese gets cut at 7 and tickets are $20.  Grab a ticket at the brewery or reserve your spot by sending an e-mail to: info@copperkettledenver.com

This will also be your first opportunity to get a sneak-peek into Copper Kettle’s expansion.  Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Friday, September 14th, 2012.  

Dry Dock Brewing is waiting for you.  Firkin Friday will bring a version of their Mild Ale that’s been dry-hopped with Kent Goldings hops.

The Mild barely clocks in at 3% ABV, so help yourself to another before it’s gone.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

The Rockyard’s got a Belgian IPA lined up for this week’s Deviation.  Tapping’s at 4 PM.  Don’t be late!

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

Saturday, September 15th, 2012.

Parry’s Pizza is at it again, this time with an Oskar Blues Tap Takeover!

16 delicious treats will be on tap just for you.  Check out this amazing lineup: Nitro G’Knight, Nitro Old Chub, Nitro Dale’s Pale Ale, TEN Fidy, Gubna, Deviant Dale’s, Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils, Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils, Red Wine Barrel-Aged G’Knight, Barrel-Aged Gubna, Barrel-Aged TEN Fidy, Barrel-Aged Chub, Dave’s Pale Ale, Legends India Brown, Homeskillet (Black IPA) and Chaka.

Let’s be honest, that’s a ridiculous lineup of beers.  Don’t miss this.  You’ll only kick yourself when it’s over.  When you’re done kicking yourself, I’ll kick you too.  I had a few of these beers at the Avery IPA Fest last weekend and they’re awesome.  As if the beer isn’t enough, the food at Parry’s is amazing too.  The poster says “Barrel Aged Passion”.  So wrong, but oh, so right!  Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.  303-683-0600.

Don’t miss this people.  I’m serious!  Do it for the children!

So what if I told you, I’m not going to Parry’s Tap Takeover on Saturday?!?!  Will you still love me tomorrow?  Truth be told, I can’t.  Mrs. Brewtally Insane and I are hittin’ the road with our peeps for some camping and a stop at the Colorado Mountain Winefest in Palisade.  Yep, this is a beer blog, I’m quite aware…

I look at the Winefest as a chance to get a professional palate cleansing by some of the state’s best wine makers.  I’m resetting my taste buds so I can better enhance my beer drinking experience.  It’s to better mankind.  Yeah, that makes it sounds better.  Whatever…

Don’t worry, we’ll be hitting a few breweries along the way and have a trunkload of beer to enjoy and share with any beer nerds we meet.  I’ve already talked to Danny, the Head Brewer at Palisade Brewing Company and he’s going to meet up for a few pints.  See, I’m not turning into some sort of wine snob on you.

And look, if wine’s your thing, the CO Mountain Winefest is apparently a pretty big deal.  50 wineries, unlimited tastings, live music, food and more.  It’s also a great excuse to leave things behind, hit the road and get away for a few days.  Grab a ticket and get all the details HERE if you’re interested.

Palisade is loaded with wineries and orchards and sometimes the delicious fruit finds its’ way into a brew kettle.  Copper Kettle is releasing two firkins of their Peach Saison on Saturday at noon that was made with Palisade peaches.  These peaches are amazing!  I can only imagine how good this beer is going to taste.

Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

The boys at the Colorado Craft Beer Show are hittin’ the road for a trek over to Telluride for the 19th Annual Blues & Brews Fest.

A huge variety of breweries will be pouring.  From the smaller breweries like Bonfire, Horsefly and Revolution, up to the big boys like Stone, Deschutes and Sierra Nevada.  Grab a beer and enjoy the tunes from Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, The B-52’s, Little Feat and dozens more.  It’s like Bonnaroo without the hipsters and humidity.  Yeah, I said it.  To hell with that east coast humidity.

This looks solid.  Click HERE for all the details, ticket info and more.

Can’t make it?  Tune into the show on AM 760 at noon and see what you’re missing.  I’m going to miss the broadcast since I’ll be with the winos in Palisade, but you can always catch the podcast over on coloradocraftbeershow.com  Now you’ve got no excuse.

The Fight Fire With Beer Festival will be held on Saturday at Boulder’s 29th Street Mall.

This family friendly event runs from noon – 10 PM and features 10 breweries, food and live music. The beer flows from 3 – 7 PM at 1710 29th Street, Boulder, CO.

The Vine Street Pub is hosting their third annual Uptown Block Party at 1PM.  10 Breweries will compete in the Brewer’s Olympics for bragging rights around town.  Watch the fun while sipping on more than 30 beers pouring in the beer garden.

Live music and tasty food will be available as well.  Vine Street Pub & Brewery is located at: 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206.  P.S. Bring cash if you’re going to attend as Vine Street doesn’t take plastic.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a new brewery opening their doors for the first time on Saturday from noon – 7 PM and again on Sunday from noon – 5 PM.  High Hops Brewing in Windsor is ready to share a beer with you on this weekend, but keep in mind this is a soft opening.  Look for their Grand Opening sometime in October.

They’ll be pouring 4 beers at their Hop Hut: The Golden One – Lemon Pilsner, The Honeyed One – Sweet American Red, The Noble One – Belgian Ale brewed with Noble Hops and The Dark One – Milk Stout.  High Hops is a family run brewery, hop farm, homebrew shop and garden center.  They’re brewing on a 10 BBL system and grow 35 different varieties of hops on their own hop farm!  I’m looking forward to stopping by for a pint on my next trip up north.  High Hops Brewery is located at: 6461 Highway 392, Windsor, CO 80550.  970-686-9771.

Oh, does anybody know anything about the twitter?  My agent signed me up with an account and I’m supposed to be twittin’ about beer stuff I guess.  Look for my bird and follow Brewtally Insane please.  I’ll figure it out eventually.

That’s it for this round guys.  Get out and take advantage of the nice weather before Old Man Winter rolls in.

Cheers!

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Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival 2012

Just got back from a full weekend up in the mountains.  Patti and I made the trip up to Breckenridge for their annual Spring Beer Festival.  It was our first time attending, but we had heard good things from friends who had attended in the past.  We headed up I-70 on Friday afternoon and took our time exploring some of the little mountain towns on the way.  We hit a few breweries along the way, including some old favorites as well as a few places that were completely new to us.  I’ll try to post some reviews later in the week.

We stayed in the quiet, resort town of Keystone, CO.  Keystone is just a short, 15-minute drive from Breckenridge, CO and turned out to be the perfect place to call home for a few days.  Hot tubs, no neighbors and no crowds.  It was just what we needed.  We’re not skiers, so we kind of prefer going up there in the off-season.  In our 5-story building, there were only 3 other cars in the garage.  Perfect!

We finished off our day with some bacon-wrapped filets and a bottle of Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout.  Beer was delicious.  Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, sweet – but not overly sweet, 17.4% ABV is well hidden.  Surprisingly smooth at this point in its’ young life, but should age very well.  If you missed the release at Avery last weekend, keep your eyes peeled for the remaining bottles to start showing up around town soon.  Grab some while you can.

 

The Breckenridge area has a public transportation system that could rival New York City.  I couldn’t believe how many busses they offer to get you around town.  During the off-season, the Keystone area even has a bus that you can call to arrange pick up and drop off for personalized service.  It’s convenient and free.  To Breckenridge however, we caught the Swan Mountain Flyer.  This bus runs once an hour from Keystone and makes the loop into downtown Breckenridge.

We caught the 11:30 bus to head to the festival, which opened at noon.  We arrived in Breckenridge at around 12:10 and started our walk to Main Street Station.  Along the way, we ran into Jason, the head brewer over at Lone Tree Brewing.  Sadly, he wasn’t pouring any beers at the festival, but was just out enjoying a rare and well deserved day off with his girlfriend.

The festival offers both a standard tasting ticket, as well as a VIP ticket.  The standard ticket sells for $25 and offers admission, unlimited tastings and music.  The VIP ticket sells for $65 and comes with a commemorative stein, private buffet and lounge area, along with unlimited tastings and music.  Patti had found a deal online for more than half off VIP tickets, so we snagged a pair.  We got up to the festival entrance, traded our tickets for a map and stein and headed inside.

Once we got through the gate, the first table we came upon was Oskar Blues.  I had to get the day started off on the right foot, so I reached for a pour of Deviant Dale’s.  A great accompaniment to the band covering Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” in the background.

Main Street Station is surrounded by several buildings that are condo’s on top, with restaurants and stores on the main level.  Between the buildings is a large, open space, that’s used for different events throughout the year.  It’s a great area for a mid-sized beer festival.

Working around the outside edge of tables, were many out-of-state breweries, including Sierra Nevada, Widmer, Red Hook and Alaskan.

Towards the back were some of the smaller, local places.  A few of which I had never even tried like Bonfire (remember the Tebrew beer from last year’s Tebow mania?), Crazy Mountain and Palisade.  This was my favorite area of the festival.  The tables were situated along the river, with a beautiful mountain view in the background.  Lots of new beers to try, a great view and a whole row of bathrooms nearby.  Hey, you gotta know where your bathrooms are at a beer fest.  Good combination folks.

Back towards the middle of the festival were the big boys.  Avery, Odell, Great Divide, Bristol and more.  Great Divide tapped a keg of Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti at 2PM, which went well with the cooler, afternoon temperatures and the light snow that started coming down.

The VIP ticket also gave us access to a private buffet that was catered by Kenosha Steakhouse.  They brought some tasty BBQ for the meat lovers, plus some lighter sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, salad and even desert.  The lounge area had comfy couches and chairs, so festival attendees could sit down and enjoy their food.  There was even a table full of beers donated by the breweries.  I snagged a Dale’s Pale Ale to go with my plate of pulled pork.  As someone who was kind of on the fence about spending the extra money for VIP tickets, I’d have to say it was worth it.  Even if we had paid full price, the unlimited trips to the buffet, the quiet area to sit and eat, the big table full of beers and the private bathroom, made it all worthwhile.

25 breweries in total made the trip.  It was well balanced between novice, gateway Wheat and Pale Ales, up to big Double IPA’s and Stouts for the true beer nerds in the crowd.  I tried alot of new beers and discovered some new breweries that don’t distribute out my way.  Towards the end of the festival, I snagged a nearly full stein of Great Divide’s Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and went to listen to the live bands on stage.

The clouds eventually started to roll in and the sun gave way to snow, but it only added to our experience.  You’ve got to expect snow in Breckenridge in Spring.  We made the walk back to the bus station and caught our ride home.

As much as I love the Great American Beer Festival, these little beer fests around the country are a great way to get out and truly appreciate the beer scene, without feeling too overwhelmed.  Nice and relaxing, not too big of a crowd, good music and plenty of good beer and food to go around.  I’d definitely give it a thumb’s up.

Breckenridge also hosts a Festival in Summer, which is coming up on Saturday, July 14th.  I would expect to see a much bigger crowd, but they run a good show.  It might be worth checking out.

Random pics from the festival:

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!