The weekend’s nearly here. Big weekend of beer, combined with a beautiful forecast.
The Kool-Aid Man always knows the right words to say. Chicks dig the big guy too.
Oh, before we get started, Mile High Wine & Spirits deserves a HUGE shout out for bringing De Dolle Stille Nacht back to Colorado. Yep, the bestest ever xmas beer made a return appearance in our great state last week.
I don’t know how Andre does it, but he does. Keep on, keeping on my friend. The Reserva lasted about 11.3 seconds, so don’t waste your time calling to get a bottle. I don’t know if he’s got any Stille Nacht left. He shouldn’t. If I had made it over, he wouldn’t. But either way, I applaud Andre and his beer department for continuing to track down the very best offerings from around the globe. If you haven’t checked them out yet, make it a priority. They care about bringing the very best beers to Colorado. Mile High Wine & Spirits is located at: 435 S Vance St, Lakewood, CO 80226. 303-936-0272.
Crooked Stave has a killer menu every week and they’re at it again with this great lineup.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
Get over to Yak & Yeti sometime soon for a chance to try some of Head Brewer Adam Draeger’s awesome creations. Right now, he’s got everything from a Chipotle Porter to a Oaked IPA, the latest release in his Haunted Series.
Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-431-9000.
Friday, January 25th, 2013
Dry Dock Brewing Company will tap a Maple Smoked Porter at 3 PM for this week’s Firkin Friday release.
Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Jellyman’s got “The Honey Bird” lined up for this week’s Deviation.
This is a 6% ABV filtered American Wheat Braggot. Look for a mead and malt nose, nicely balanced flavor and big time drinkability. Tapping at 4 PM. When it’s gone, it’s gone, so leave work a little early and get on over for this one. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
As for us, we’ll be attending the Winter Brew Fest at Mile High Station on Friday.
It sold out earlier this week, but I hope to see some familiar faces in attendance. More than 40 breweries will be pouring including Elevation, Firestone Walker, Oskar Blues and Stone. Doors open at 6 PM for VIP and 7 PM for GA. Mile High Station is located at: 2027 W Lower Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204.
Saturday, January 26th, 2013
Saturday is stupid. It’s too big for its’ own good. Saturday is so bad, it should be in detention.
Over at Falling Rock Tap House, the King’s cleaning out his cellar.
Owner Chris Black has been digging deep to share some of his cellared treasures with Denver beer geeks and he was kind enough to give us an exclusive sneak peek into what’ll be available. You want this? Are you ready? Me too, but first, a few points I was asked to keep in mind:
– Quantities are LIMITED! Falling Rock will have a tally board to keep track of what’s available, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. No cry babies, so get there early if you see something you MUST have.
– Beer must be consumed on-site. Sorry, but that’s standard CO law. No growlers, no takeaways, no flasks and no crazy camelbacks to sneak out your beloved beer. Bring a friend, a wife, a girlfriend, your friend’s girlfriend, your friend’s boyfriend, an enemy, an enemy’s friend or whoever to imbibe with… Open, share, enjoy, repeat.
– Prices weren’t given to me, but I was told beers “will be at a much lower price than they would be offered at the bar any other time”.
The list below is only about 1/2 of the 60+ different beers that will be available on Saturday. You’ll have to come by on Saturday to see the full list, but here’s what we know so far:
|A Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout||2003||11.2oz|
|A Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout||2009||9.3oz|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2003||16 oz.|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2006||22oz|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2008||22oz|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2009||22oz|
|Avery Beast||2004||22oz (Batch #2!)|
|Bridgeport Old Knucklehead||1997||12oz|
|Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout||2008||750ml|
|Full Sail Old Boardhead||2003||22oz|
|Gale’s Prize Old Ale||1999||9.3oz|
|Gale’s Prize Old Ale||2005||9.3oz|
|Great Divide Barrel Aged Old Ruffian||2008||22oz|
|Great Divide Barrel Aged Old Ruffian||2009||22oz|
|Lost Abbey Bourbon Barrel Aged Angels Share||2009||375ml|
|Lost Abbey Judgment Day||2011||750ml|
|North Coast Old Stock||2003||12oz|
|Odell Old Curmudgeon||2003||12oz|
|Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale||2008||750ml|
|Rogue Old Crustacean||2006||750ml|
|Sierra Nevada Bigfoot||1999||12oz|
There’s a sexy little rumor floating around that there might be a special appearance from some early 2000’s J.W. Lees Harvest Ales as well, but you didn’t hear that from me…
Thanks to Chris and Beth over at Falling Rock for getting us this list. Beer Geeks, do your part on Saturday and help the King make some space in his cellar. The sale starts at noon and runs until 6 PM. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-293-8338.
Over at Parry’s Pizza, we’ve got a Dry Dock Tap Takeover lined up for Saturday. But, not just at the Parry’s in Highlands Ranch. No sir, this’ll be going down at their Castle Rock location as well. Now you’ve got no excuse to miss it.
They’ll be pouring everything from Apricot Blonde to Hop Abomination. (Side note – you ever mix the Apricot with the Hop Abomination? The Dry Dock staff calls it a Hopricot. I call it splendidly delish! Try it.) Brewery reps will be on hand at both locations to answer your questions and give away some great Dry Dock merchandise. The takeover runs from 11 AM – 10 PM. Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 and 5650 Allen Way, Castle Rock 80106.
Hops & Pie is gearing up for another round of Denver’s Littlest Big Beer Fest. This time they’ve teamed up with Green Flash Brewing from San Diego, CA to bring some seriously big-ass brews to you.
The party starts at noon. Take a cab. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 S Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-477-7000.
Saturday will also be the premiere of Our Mutual Film, a film about Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew.
Come out for a pint and enjoy the movie at the brewery. The movie begins at 7:30 PM and the filmmakers will be on hand to answer your questions. Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-722-2810.
While you’re drinking all this great beer around town, tune into AM 760 from noon – 2 PM for the Colorado Craft Beer Show.
This week, they’ll be broadcasting live from Arvada Beer and chatting with Jeff Griffith from Fate Brewing in Boulder, which is set to open at the end of the month. Stop by Arvada Beer for the live broadcast. Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-467-2337.
Sunday, January 27th, 2013
The local breweries are rallying around Strange Brewing this weekend in the ongoing, Strange vs. Strange battle.
The Rackhouse Pub will play host to more than two dozen breweries in an event designed to raise funds for Strange Brewing’s legal defense. This event is sold out. No tickets will be sold at the door. Click HERE for a full list of breweries that’ll be participating on Sunday. The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223. 720-570-7824.
Up in Boulder, Backcountry Pizza and Tap House will celebrate their 2nd anniversary with an “Epic Avery Tap Takeover”. More than 30 kegs from Epic Brewing and more than 30 kegs from Avery Brewing will be flowing at Backcountry for this killer event. No tickets, no bull, just show up and enjoy some great beers (and food).
On the Epic side, Brewmaster Kevin Crompton will be in attendance and will be pouring beers like Elder Brett, Big Bad Baptist and for the first time ever, Brainless IPA. I haven’t seen the Avery lineup yet, but come on, you can practically walk to the brewery from Backcountry. I’m sure they’ll have plenty of awesome things on tap to share. Backcountry will have a buffet for $15 from 11 AM – 4 PM, plus giveaways throughout the day. Backcountry Pizza and Tap House is located at: 2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302. 303-449-4285.
Schoolhouse Rock! with Bill Eye and Prost Brewing
And now for your German lesson of the week with Prost Head Brewer, Bill Eye.
Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211. 303-729-1175.
That’s it for this round my beer-lovin’ friends. Hope to see you all around town this weekend!
I Love me a good beer fest and here in Colorado, there’s no shortage of good beer fests. We’ve got plenty to choose from throughout the year. But, it’s the Great Ones that keep me up at night. The Great Ones that get me excited like a kid on Christmas morning. The Great Ones that I’d jump on a flight to attend if I ever moved out-of-state. (Gasp!) The annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines in Vail is a Great Beer Fest.
Big Beers (or BBB or #Bigbeers for you twitterers / hash tag types), is a world-class event that educates beer lovers, brings us closer together with tastings and bottle shares and when all’s said and done, leaves us thirsting for more. How the hell have I not been back to this event for the past 6 years!?!? No clue, but I guarantee it won’t happen again.
On The Road Again
Our adventure began on Friday morning with a trip up old I-70. No trip through the mountains is complete without a stop at Backcountry Brewery in Frisco.
Within a few minutes of arriving, our group had secured spots at the bar and I had a glass of Old Beer Wagon Barleywine sitting in front of me, courtesy of Backcountry’s Head Brewer Alan Simons. The perfect beer to warm up with from the sub-freezing temperatures and blowing snow outside. We enjoyed lunch and I got my fill of Alan’s amazing Barleywine and hearty Breakfast Stout.
Just as we were preparing to press on to Vail, Alan re-appeared and offered us a tour and the chance to check out Backcountry’s recent expansion.
In addition to the new family of fermenters, Backcountry has a new bottling line that should be rolling out 6-packs down the mountain shortly. Alan was kind enough to share some special treats with us like his GABF award-winning Imperial Saison, Imperial Saison w/ Brett and Tart SaiZin, which was aged in Zinfandel barrels. Another great visit to Backcountry. Their great beers and hospitality can’t be beat. Be sure to pay Backcountry a visit on your next trip up that way.
Warming Up With A Bottle Share
We pressed on and in no time, found ourselves pulling into Vail. We hadn’t even checked into our condo yet, when I realized Gary V from American Craft Beer Radio was trying to catch up with us for a beer. With not much else planned for the day and bone chilling, sub-zero temperatures outside, we decided to coordinate a bottle share for the night.
We had a solid group of craft beer enthusiasts including Dave from Fermentedly Challenged, John from Backcountry Pizza, Lauren from Napa of Beer, plus several homebrewers and our host Gary from American Craft Beer Radio. It was a lot of fun just to sit around, taste and share a variety of beers from Cigar City to Jester King. Surly Five is such a tasty, barrel-aged Brett beer. Three Floyds Dark Lord seems to show up at every tasting we attend and I can’t get enough of the rich, inky stout. And Cantillon continues to be my favorite Belgian Brewery.
We talked and tasted into the wee hours. Thanks to everyone involved for a great time!
The Main Event
On Saturday, with no kids to wake me up at 5 AM, I managed to sleep in until all of 7 AM. A quick check on the phone revealed a lovely temperature of -15 F.
Yeah, -15 F is pretty special. No reason to fight it. We just got the gang together, got the fire going, started a pot of coffee and whipped up pancakes, sausage and eggs. Who forgot the bacon???
Before I knew it, we were off to the Commercial Tasting Session.
Starting things off right with some Rochefort and Orval.
I finally had the opportunity to sample the variety of sours from Colorado’s Three Barrel Brewing. They are hoping to get bombers into the Denver market later this year. I really enjoyed all of their beers and if you’re a sour fan, I’d definitely keep an eye on them.
Brewtally Best of Show
With so many amazing beers, covering a wide variety of styles, it was nearly impossible to narrow down a favorite. But here are three that stuck with me.
Big Beer: Bell’s Brewery – Raspberry Wild One. With the ridiculous amount of stellar beers pouring, I could easily list 10 as my “Favorite Big Beer”, but I’ve done my best and narrowed it down to this one. The Wild One. The tartness, mixed with the sweet fruit, was what made me enjoy this one so much. It’s got complexity and depth with the oak presence, acidity and sour notes. Raspberry Wild One was just a great beer that really stuck out in my mind from the weekend. Great job Bell’s!
Belgian: Brasserie d’Orval – Orval. This is the Trappist that goes against the grain. While the other Trappist monasteries brew some of the finest Dubbels and Quads around, Orval takes a different approach with their dry, slightly hoppy and funky Brettanomyces brewed beer. I could drink Orval all day. Drink it fresh for the hops, or age it for a little more Bretty funk. Orval is a delicious beer and the only one the brewery puts into bottles.
Barleywine: Strange Brewing – Dr. Strangelove. This is an American Barleywine with tons of sweet, caramel malt, balanced by a generous does of hops. Head Brewer Tim Myers, said he hopes to bottle Dr. Strangelove later this month and sell bottles at the brewery shortly thereafter. Job well done. Beer hunters, snag some if you can.
With 200+ beers pouring this past weekend, it’s downright unfair to pick just 3, so here are a few others that definitely deserve a mention: Wynkoop – The Chancellor Barleywine, AC Golden – Peach Sour, Mission Brewing – Double IPA, Hair of the Dog – Adam, Three Barrel – Penitente Chimayo, Surly – Abrasive, Rockyard – Buddha Nuvo, Trappistes Rochefort – 10, Renegade – Black Gold (Peanut Butter Cup Stout), Oskar Blues / Ska – OSKAr the G’Rauch, Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Elevation – Oil Man Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Boston Beer Company – Utopias 10th Anniversary, Crooked Stave – L’Brett d’Or, Backcountry – Imperial Saison with Brett, Grimm Brothers – Wee Heavy Bourbon Barrel Brett and on and on and on. As you can see, the list was phenomenal!
Here’s some links to last week’s radio shows, both of which were live from Vail:
Vail Big Beers gives beer lovers a rare chance to sample some of the finest beers on the planet AND talk to the brewers that create them. Such a great weekend and a BIG Thank You to all involved. We can’t wait to go back next year.
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.
I declare Shenanigans! In September, the good people at Strange Brewing Company here in Denver, were threatened with a potential lawsuit from Strange Brew Homebrew in Marlboro, MA over the use of the term “Strange Brew”. You can get all the details in this great article from our friend Jonathan Shikes over at the Denver Westword.
I wasn’t going to chime in on this debate, but I can’t help it, so I’ll try to keep it short. To me, this just comes off as sad and lame. Seems like Strange Brew is trying to get a little publicity from the success of Denver’s Strange Brewing Co. Show your support to the Strange gang by clicking “Like” on Keep Strange Brewing Strange on Facebook. This page was started by fans of our local brewery and has been keeping people up to date with the latest in this drama filled battle.
This whole situation makes me sad. I’m not necessarily surprised, just let down that Strange Brew Homebrew isn’t willing to work with Strange Brewing here in Denver to figure this out. You’re talking about a term that’s been around for ages and is referenced in music, movies and more… Hey, if Avery and Russian River can settle their differences and collaborate together to brew “Collaboration Not Litigation”, I’m pretty sure these two can come up with a better solution rather than wasting time and money on lawyers… Stay tuned to watch this one unfold.
Time for something positive. I found out on Monday that we were nominated for a Westword Web Award in the Best Booze Blog category! I’m really excited to have made the list of 4-finalists. Denver Off The Wagon, Fermentedly Challenged and Colorado Wino are also in the running. Man, am I in good company or what? All of these sites are run by good people and without a doubt, deserve to win. I’m just happy to be mentioned. We’ve come a long way since I started this journey 9-months ago and I can’t Thank You guys enough for your continued support. So Cheers to you!
Alright friends, we’ve got a big weekend to talk about. Roll Tide!
Thursday, November 15th, 2012.
Beer Craving is gearing up for their first beer festival. They’ve created Chef N Brew, which will pair 12 locally brewed beers with 12 dishes from local chefs in an event / challenge to come up with the perfect pairing.
Want a teaser of what to expect? How about Prost Brewing’s Dunkel paired with pasta, handmade meatballs, cheese tortellini, cinnamon custard and savory pie crust from Panzano’s. Or how about Elevation’s Apis IV Quad, paired with smoked lamb neck shepherd’s pie, with goat cheese whipped potatoes in a honey whole wheat crust.
In addition to the tasting, pairing and competition, there will be a silent auction and raffle. Head over to The Oriental Theatre for this fun and one-of-a-kind event. Tickets are $49 at the door and the event runs from 6 – 9:30 PM. More details can be found HERE. The Oriental Theatre is located at: 4335 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80212. LATE UPDATE – This is now SOLD OUT!
Over at Crooked Stave, Chad’s got another lineup of amazing sour brews pouring in the Barrel Room.
Man, I need to get over and try Cellar Blend #1. Sounds awesome! Crooked Stave is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
As for us, we’ll be hitting the Westword Web Awards on Thursday. This looks to be a pretty sweet event that recognizes writers, photographers, twitterererers, bloggers and just about anybody else covering the great city of Denver via the internets. The complete list of finalists can be found HERE. Winners will be announced in more than 40 different categories.
Odell Brewing will be pouring #OhMyGourd, a small-batch pumpkin beer, which was brewed specifically for the event. The tap handle logo was designed by Jeff Herndon, who had his winning creation chosen by Odell in a recent contest. Awesome design in my opinion.
Despite being an invitation only event, there will be some extra tickets available via the Denver Westword’s Facebook page on Thursday morning. Get on it if you’re interested and come cheers us on in the “Best Booze Blog” Category. The Web Awards run from 7 PM – 11 PM at Denver’s RedLine, located at: 2350 Arapahoe Ave, Denver, CO 80205. Wish us luck!
Avery releases the 2012 batch of Czar today at 5 PM. This big, bold Russian Imperial Stout is a tasty release from their “Dictator Series” and is one of those beers that drinks well both now and later. Don’t be afraid to grab a few for the cellar.
Stop by the Tasting Room and bring some non-perishable food items with you. You’ll get a 10 oz. pour of Czar for every 3 items you donate. You’ll also have a shot at winning a 5 gallon keg or 2-cases of Czar. Good Beer for a Good Cause. Win / Win. The Avery Tasting Room is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is open with regular hours!
Hours will be: Thu 4 PM – 10 PM, Fri 4 PM – 12 AM, Sat 2 PM – 12 AM and Sun 2 PM – 10 PM. Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-722-2810. Stop by and welcome them to Denver!
Friday, November 16th, 2012.
Down in Castle Rock, the Jellyman’s got another of his Deviations ready to roll at Rockyard. This week, look for “Verbal Warning”, a 6.0% ABV version of their Redhawk Scottish Ale lagered with semi-sweet chocolate.
Tapping at 4 PM. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Over at Dry Dock, Firkin Master Walt, has brewed a Chestnut Brown Ale.
Tapping’s at 3 PM & 7 PM. Don’t be late. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch is hosting another Pint Night. They’ll have Odell in the house for this round.
Stop by and try the yummy Haven and Hale Peach Ale and get a pint glass to take home. Ryan Odell will be in the house handing out Odell swag from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM.
So you’re in the Parry’s Pizza Ale Yeah club right? I hope so. It’s the only way to find out about special tappings and events at Parry’s before they happen! Oh, and it’s FREE! There’s a special tapping coming up next Wednesday that Sour-heads won’t want to miss, so get over there and sign up today! Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. 303-683-0600.
Saturday, November 17th, 2012.
Turk and The Gubna are headin’ North on Saturday. They’ll be broadcasting live from the Foeder Forest at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins.
Man, we had a tour of that area earlier this summer and I’m still having funky, sour dreams because of it. Such a cool place. New Belgium better lock up the La Folie. Turk can’t resist that beer. Tune in and listen live on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM or grab the podcast on their website. LOVE their show!
10 Years of Dale’s Cans?!?! Nicely done Oskar Blues! Crazy to think the can movement has grown from OB into more than 200 breweries canning beers in the U.S. today. Head over to the original OB, the OG of cans if you will, for their CANiversary. On Saturday, stop by their Lyon’s location and raise a
pint can to the OB gang.
There’s a concert by The White Buffalo, sorry, it’s sold out… But, the rest of the party is FREE and runs from 6 PM – midnight. There’s even a special CANlaboration beer debuting at the party. OB teamed up with Ska to brew “oSKAr the G’Rauch”, an 8.5% ABV, smoked IPA that will debut in 19.2 oz cans this weekend.
Come on out for some great food, beer, silent disco and more! Oskar Blues is located at: 303 Main St, Lyons, CO 80540.
Sunday, November 18th, 2012.
And on the 7th Day, He rested (and had beer for breakfast at Copper Kettle Brewing Company). Bourbon Breakfast Stout is back!
On Sunday, Copper Kettle is hosting a breakfast and beer pairing, which will give you the only chance to try last year’s batch of Bourbon Breakfast Stout, alongside this year’s batch. The $25 ticket includes 3-courses and 4-beers. Stop by the brewery or send them an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve your spot at either the 9:30 AM or 11 AM meals. Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC. Oh, and if you can’t attend Sunday’s breakfast, you’ll still have a chance to try this year’s batch. The tapping is scheduled for next weekend. Keep your browser pointed right here for all the details.
The Littlest Big Beer Fest is back at Denver’s Hops & Pie. Killer freakin’ lineup this time with the FiftyFifty crew out of Truckee, CA.
Some sick brews will be flowing. Man (or WoMan) up and order a glass of the Eclipse, aged for 300 days in 12 Yr. Elijah Craig Bourbon Barrels. Are you freakin’ kidding me? Their stouts are not for the faint of heart, not easy to find and certainly not to be missed. Want. To. Drink. The. Eclipse. I. Do. said Master Yoda in odd, punctuated speak. LBBF starts at 2 PM. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-477-7000.
That’s it for now friends. Once again, Thank You for getting us nominated for a Denver Westword’s Web Awards tonight! Have a great weekend.
Pumpkin Beers Round 2! Last time, we discussed some awesome Pumpkin Ales and Lagers from around the U.S. This time, we’re going to talk Pumpkin Beers that are brewed right here in Colorado! Whether they come in bottles, cans or growlers, there’s a variety of great tasting gourds waiting for you. Take a look.
Tommyknocker Brewery, Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale. The Idaho Springs brewery first released their Small Batch Pumpkin Harvest Ale in 2011. This 5% ABV beer retails for $7.99/ 6-pack. The beer poured a very dark, ruby red color with a 1-finger, off-white head. The aroma was malt, dark fruit and molasses. Where’s the pumpkin? The taste was cherry, raisins, burnt wood and molasses. I was a little confused by this one as I found very little pumpkin anywhere in the beer. It seemed one-dimensional and was fairly disappointing. Score: 2.5/5
Note: My review is based on Tommyknocker’s bottled version. I had it on-tap at the brewery in Idaho Springs two weeks ago and found it to be a whole lot better. It’s possible I got a bad bottle.
Dry Dock Brewing, Half Moon Pumpkin Ale. The ’09 Small Brewery of the Year released this beauty last week and I was able to make it over for the release party. This 5.2% ABV beauty pours a clear, dark orange color, with a 1-finger, off-white head. Big pumpkin spice dominates the aroma, along with some notes of cinnamon and brown sugar. The taste was pumpkin pie spices, brown sugar, molasses and a touch of vanilla. This is a very spicy, flavorful brew. Very enjoyable. Hey homebrewers, The Brew Hut (homebrew shop) next door will set you up with the recipe so you can brew your own batch. I brewed a batch about 6 years ago and it’s a great recipe. Score: 3.75/5
Upslope Brewing, Pumpkin Ale. The Boulder brewery took home a Gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011 with this special beer. The 7.7% ABV brew pours a clear, copper color with a half-finger, off-white head. Soft carbonation and faint lacing trim the glass. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and malt round out the aroma, while the flavor is pumpkin pie, graham cracker, brown sugar and a touch of hops. A touch of alcohol and the slightest hop bite in the finish. Very nice beer.
In addition to sporadic tappings at the brewery, 16oz. cans have been distributed to multiple stores along the Front Range. You can purchase a 4-pack from the brewery for $15, which also includes a coupon for a free pumpkin from Munson Farms in Boulder. Baby Bear Pumpkins from Munson Farms were used in the making of this wonderful beer. Score: 4.5/5
Avery Brewing, Rumpkin. Wow. There are pumpkin beers and there are PUMPKIN BEERS! This is a monster of a pumpkin beer, clocking in at 15.9% ABV! That’s right, 15.9%! Avery released this amazing concoction for the first time in bottles last year and most stores were sold out within hours. This brew was barrel-aged in rum barrels and sold for $10 / 12oz. bottle. I’m reviewing the inaugural 2011 batch, since the 2012 batch is yet to be released.
This monster pours a hazy, dark amber color, with a 1-finger tan head. Amazingly sweet notes of rum, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, raisins and booze. Smells more along the lines of an Old Ale or aged-Barleywine than a Pumpkin Ale. The taste, ooooohhhhhh, the taste… Sooo sweet and smooth. Vanilla, rum, raisins, dark fruit, cinnamon, caramelized brown sugar and a slight hint of pumpkin. This is a truly amazing beer and completely different to anything else I’ve tasted while going on this little journey through the land of Pumpkin Beers. It’s clear that some of the pumpkin flavors have faded since the ’11 release, but that’s part of the beauty of aging beers. Over time, the layers slowly blend together, harsh flavors mellow out and time can turn sharp notes into smooth ones. Score: 4.75/5
This is a very special beer and is more along the lines of Avery’s “The Beast” than a standard Pumpkin Ale. I picture The Beast chowing down in a pumpkin patch. If you’re looking to grab a bottle from this year’s batch, you had better make plans to visit the brewery on Saturday, September 29th. Word on the street from Avery’s Barrel Herder, Andy Parker, is that he had trouble tracking down rum barrels and production is lower than last year. I’ve also heard that there will be no distribution for the 2012 batch. In other words, get your butt to the brewery on the 29th if you want a bottle. 12oz. bottles will run $10/each, with a 12-bottle limit. It seems like there’s 826 beer related events going down on the 29th, but I’m going to give it the old “college try” to make it up to Boulder for this. Hope to see you there!
“But wait, there’s more!”
Keep your eyes out for a variety of other Pumpkin brews that are in various stages of fermentation at your favorite local brewery. Strange Brewing in Denver is working on a Pumpkin Porter. Look for it to get tapped sometime around October 8th.
TRVE Brewing, also in Denver, was cooking their gourds earlier this week. Owner / Brewer Nick Nunns is naming TRVE’s Pumpkin Ale, “Carving Out The Eyes Of Gourd”. He’s brewed the beer with 8 different varieties of roasted heirloom gourds and expects it to be in the 8% – 10% ABV range. Nick’s planning to spice it up later with vadouvan, which is a French-influenced curry blend. I’m excited to try his creative take on the style.
Down in Colorado Springs, Bristol Brewing was picking perfect pumpkins earlier this week for their amazing Venetucci Ale. This is a very nice beer that can only be purchased at the brewery (guaranteed to sell out!) and proceeds go to charity.
Also down South in the Springs, Trinity Brewing has brewed several batches of this year’s Emma’s Pumpkin Saison. This is always an impressive beer that can be found on tap at the brewery and in 750mL bottles.
This list is by no means complete, but it’s certainly a great starting point for you to get your gourd on this season. Grab a pint at your favorite brewery or get a growler to-go. Many of these won’t last more than a few weeks, while some will be gone in a matter of hours, so get out and enjoy them while you can. If you’d like to share your favorites, feel free to send me an e-mail or post a picture on the Facebook page.
It’s brew fest season here in Colorado. We’re in full swing right now as we inch closer and closer to the Big Daddy, the Great American Beer Festival. Seems like my calendar has some sort of festival or tasting highlighted nearly every weekend. There’s no chance I’ll hit ’em all. My liver couldn’t keep up, but one can dream right?
For me, beer festivals fall into a few different categories. There are a handful of festivals that I probably won’t ever attend again for a variety of reasons (cost, distance, poorly run, etc…). Others, are on the “Maybe” list, which just means it’s a solid beer fest that would be nice to attend again, but life goes on if I can’t make it. While a few make it to the exclusive, “Must-Do!” list, that I make every effort to attend every year. Last night, my wife and I attended the Art and Ale Brew Festival at The Wildlife Experience in Parker, CO and it’s already been added to our “Must-Do!” list for next year.
We went with the Dry Dock crew and spent the evening pouring samples of their Amber, Pale, Hefeweizen and the ever popular Apricot Blonde. We had a great spot outside, in the shade and right next to New Belgium Brewing.
NB Beer Ranger Andrew, kept us stocked with samples of their Peach Porch Lounger, Red Hoptober and Super IPA, their delicious IPA brewed in collaboration with Alpine Brewing out in California. We talked about their sour program for a bit and he mentioned that the next batch of La Folie might be ready as early as this fall. Keep your fingers crossed!
In between pours, we took some time to wander the grounds outside and the halls of the museum inside.
In addition to the 30+ breweries, there were a variety of restaurants, wineries and distilleries in attendance as well.
David Parry, owner of Parry’s Pizza was super-busy all night long handing out slices of their delicious pies. They banged through more than 150 pizzas during the event!
He had just gotten the keg list for his next tap takeover, which will be with Oskar Blues on Saturday, September 15th. There are some mighty fine beers on the list, so mark your calendars now. More details to come.
The gang from Strange Brewing was pouring Cherry Kriek, Colorado’s answer to Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin. God, I love that beer. Thanks again for the full pours guys!
Jim from Rockyard Brewing brought his Redhawk Scottish Ale and Double Eagle Wheat. They also had their chef on duty, who cooked up an amazing batch of Jalapeño Cheddar Soup and Pretzels stuffed with jalapeño cheese. Oh my goodness! Delish!!!
Outside at Elevation Brewing, Xandy was flying through kegs of Mount Blanca Belgian Saison and Apis IV Quadrupel.
Twisted Pine brought three offerings from their monthly Artisan Ale Series.
I finally got a chance to try the Dank IPA from Dad & Dude’s, which was nice and hoppy, but still approachable and very drinkable.
There was even a band inside cranking out 80’s covers from bands like Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. Alcohol + Music + Dance Floor = Best People Watching Ever!
After eating and tasting our way through the festival, we met up with some friends and hit the chocolate fountains for desert. The good peeps from Sir Chocolate brought a variety of things like strawberries, marshmallows and rice crispy treats to dip in three different kinds of chocolate. Nom, nom, nom!
As the sun dipped down behind the mountains, the fire pits lit up and people lounged in the grass around the museum. What a night!
Beautiful weather, plenty of old friends and new ones too, music, amazing beer and food. We’ll definitely be back again next year and so should you!
Anybody else make it out there last night? What did you think?
Big thanks to the staff and volunteers at The Wildlife Experience for hosting a great event. Shoutout to all of the different companies in attendance as well. You guys rock!
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.
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!
It seems like every weekend, there are more and more events going on around town. There’s a TON of events happening this weekend. I’m not complaining, I just hope I can fit it all into one post. It’s worth a shot.
Start your weekend by hitting up Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday release on July 20th. Mix Master Walt has come up with Apple Pie Rye in July for this week’s release. 3 PM sucka!
Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Speaking of Dry Dock, Patti and I will be pouring beers for them over at the Hops for Habitat Beer Festival on Friday, July 20th at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, CO. Come out and drink some beer while raising money for the environment! This charity brewfest runs from 5 PM – 9 PM and will feature more than 15 Colorado breweries, food trucks, wagon rides, live music and more.
Some of the breweries pouring include Dry Dock, Copper Kettle, Odell, New Belgium and Ska. Stop by the Dry Dock booth and say Hi! Tickets for the event are $30 ($15 for DD’s) and can be purchased in advance HERE. The Plains Conservation Center is located at: 21901 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013. 303-693-3379.
Celebrate Belgian Independence Day on Saturday, July 21st, over at the Wynkoop Brewing in Denver, CO. They’ll be hosting the 2nd Annual United Tastes of Belgium with more than 50 breweries on-hand, pouring authentic Belgian and Belgian-style beers.
Some amazing breweries will be in attendance including Stone, Great Divide, Crooked Stave, Duvel and of course Wynkoop. Check out the complete list of beers HERE. Advance tickets are $30, which covers your glass, beer, cheese and chocolate samples. Tickets can be purchased HERE. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $37.50. Wynkoop Brewing is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-297-2700.
The radio waves will be blowin’ up again with Turk and The Gubna from the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM 760 at noon.
This week, they’ll be sitting down with the guys from TwinHops Brewing to talk about their campaign on Kickstarter and hear about their plans to open a brewery in Aurora next year. (More on TwinHops further down in this post). Also in the studio will be Whitney and John from City Star Brewing out of Berthoud, CO. The Colorado Craft Beer Show will also be giving away tickets to Kyle’s Brew Fest and the Denver Summer Brewfest, so keep your phones handy.
Over on American Craft Beer Radio, Gary V will be sitting down with a panel of beer judges. They’ll be breaking down the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines, explaining how a beer is judged and doing some on-air tastings of commercial beers.
Tune in to the show on 102.3 FM on Saturday, July 21st at noon.
Where my freaks at? Sour Freaks that’s you! (Don’t get offended, I include myself in that category). The 2nd meeting of the Funk ‘n Wild Club is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont, CO.
This unofficial club of local sour freaks doesn’t require a golden ticket or secret password to get inside. Just show up and be ready to get your mouth-puckering, funky, freak on. Breweries on-hand include Crooked Stave, Jolly Pumpkin, New Belgium, Russian River and more. Beers can be purchased in full pours, half pours or tasting flights. Special guest Chad Yakobson, the mastermind behind Crooked Stave Brewing is scheduled to be the guest speaker.
Dude, I’m pumped for this! More info on Funk’n Wild can be found HERE. The event runs from 3 PM – 6 PM at Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503. 303-485-9400.
Speaking of sours, The Rackhouse Pub keeps their Sour Month rolling with new sours getting tapped daily throughout the month of July. This week, look for Great Divide Bretty Yeti, Crooked Stave Surette, Odell Shenanigans and AC Golden Apricot Sour hitting the tap lines.
The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223. 720-507-7824.
Looking for something not sour, but still packed with complexity and flavor? Copper Kettle Brewing’s got ya covered. They’re releasing an Imperial Oak Aged Stout on Saturday, July 21st. This is one of those rare chances to try a nice, big, flavorful stout, right, smack in the middle of summer. Skip the wheat and pils, grab your big boy drinking pants and hit up Copper Kettle for this one.
Stop by at noon for the tapping, stick around for the Harvest Food Truck at 5 PM and music from Pete Stein at 6 PM. Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
River North Brewery is getting ready to begin accepting sign-ups for their Locals’ Club. Sign-ups for the club begins on Sunday, July 22nd at 1 PM. The $30 membership includes an exclusive, 16 oz. glass (pictured below), $4 pints all day, every day and a membership card.
Memberships will be sold to the first 50 people on a first come, first served basis. River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205. 303-296-2617.
Hops & Pie is back with the next round of their Littlest Big Beer Fest on Sunday, July 22nd. There’s a killer lineup of Firestone Walker beers hitting the tap lines at 2 PM. Look for Double Jack (Double IPA), Double DBA (Barrel-Aged Barleywine), Parabola (Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout / my FAV of the bunch!) and more.
This special collection of Firestone Walker beers should not be missed. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-477-7000.
Lastly, the guys behind TwinHops Brewing want to invite you over to help them brew a batch of beer on Sunday, July 21st. Brad, Scott, Rick and Colin will be firing up the burners to educate, answer questions and share with fans all the details about their upcoming brewery. More info on TwinHops Brewing can be found on yesterday’s blog.
Starting at noon and rolling throughout the day, stop by and taste their beer. Bring your homebrew rig over and brew with them if you’d like! This is being held at: 23891 E Alabama Dr, Aurora, CO 80018.
7/20 Update: The TwinHops brew day has been postponed. Just got word that it won’t be happening on Sunday, July 21st, but will be rescheduled for a later date. I’ll update you when they get a new date scheduled.
That’s it kids! Hope to see you around town this weekend. Have fun, stay cool and follow us on Facebook for more updates throughout the weekend.
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!