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Weekend Beer Buzz 03/09/2013

So this week’s news didn’t really go according to plan.  I was with the fam on vacation in the land of pirates and princesses, but already had much of the weekend news written.  Our hotel however had a rough and expensive internet connection and it just didn’t get published…  Boo.  Luckily, Disneyland was insanely fun and a special trip that none of us will ever forget.

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We ended our trip early and came back in order to beat Snowmageddon, only to find the grocery store shelves picked clean of fruit, bread and meat.  What the???

So with not much else to do, I figured I’d give you what news I’ve got, minus Thursday & Friday.  Call ahead before you go out today, as I’d imagine some places will be closed or will be closing early with all of the snow we’re supposed to get.  And if you’re staying in, check out the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM760 at noon for your dose of beer for your ears.

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

The Colorado Craft Beer Show will be back in the studio this week with Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Wynkoop’s Beer Drinker of the Year Warren Monteiro and from the upcoming World of Beer Cherry Creek, Ricardo Cabrera.

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Grab a beer and tune into AM 760 from noon – 2 PM for the fun.

Black Shirt Brewing has some great brews on this week’s setlist.

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Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-993-2799.

Crooked Stave also tapped some new brews for you.

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

Over at Yak & Yeti, Adam released a Vanilla Porter on Wednesday.  He’ll also release the newest beer in his Haunted Series today at 4 PM.  This time, it’s a Carrot Cake Desert Ale, brewed with 12lbs of carrots per barrel, plus lactose, vanilla and spices.

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

Other News

Beer Traders should take note that Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing will release Hunahpu, an Imperial Stout brewed with cacao nibs, cinnamon, chiles and vanilla beans, during the 4th Annual Hunahpu Day at the brewery on Saturday.  The first 4,000 attendees will be able to purchase up to 3 – 750 mL bottles of this highly sought after brew.  The beer, which sells for $20 / bottle, will only be sold at the brewery.  A special list of draft beers will be available, along with live music and food trucks. Our reporters in the field are saying it’s a beautiful day down there in Tampa.  Raise a glass to out east coast beer hunters.

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Lots of tank movement around town this week.  TRVE Brewing received three new 7 BBL fermenters. Copper Kettle Brewing and Lone Tree Brewing assisted in the move and set up.  TRVE’s three 4 BBL fermenters, known as Orion, Nergal and Inferno, were purchased by Former Future Brewing.  Former Future doesn’t have a home just yet, so the fermenters are being housed at Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew for the time being.  Me thinks some fun collaboration brews could be in the works.

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In addition, Kokopelli Beer Company, which just secured a location in Westminster, had an army of 23 tanks roll in this week.

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This was just a great week for growth and an excellent showing of camaraderie amongst the local breweries.

Thats all for this round.  Sorry if it’s a bit abbreviated, we were just having too much fun at Disneyland.  Stay warm, stay safe and call ahead if you’re heading out in this mess.

Cheers!

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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!


Pumpkin Beer Guide Pt. 2 – The Locals

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.

Slaying Pumpkins at Strange Brewing

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.

Grilling Gourds at TRVE Brewing

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.

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!


Weekend Beer Buzz 07/05/12

Hey everybody!  Hope you had a fun and safe Independence Day.  I know many of you are probably taking advantage of the mid-week holiday and enjoying a nice, loooong weekend.  Many of my favorite breweries either closed early or were closed all together on the 4th, but are gearing up for a busy weekend.  You ready?

Kick it off over at Dry Dock Brewing for their weekly Firkin Friday.  This week’s release is a Kona Coffee Milk Stout.

Dry Dock’s Milk Stout is solid and I know Walt worked some magic with this coffee’d version.  I’m going to try to hit this one up and so should you.   Tapping is at 3 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Breckenridge Brewery is turning 22 this weekend!  Wow!  There’s not too many craft breweries that have been pumping out beer for 22 years.  Congrats guys!  To celebrate, there’s a Pig Roast / Concert / Beer Drinkin’ Throwdown on Saturday, July 7th from 11 AM – 6 PM.

$22 covers all you can drink, grub on and listen to for the day.  Sure to be a great time.  You can grab tickets ahead of time at: breckbrew.com

The Colorado Craft Beer Show will be broadcasting live from Breck’s Anniversary Party.

Turk will have Tebo sitting in for The Gubna again this week.  Plan on lots of updates from the Breckenridge crew, plus visits with Brian O’Connell from Renegade Brewing, Boone from Bristol Brewing and Virgil from Illegal Pete’s.  The show airs live on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM.  Breckenridge Brewery is located at: 471 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80204.  800-328-6723.

Over on the FM side, American Craft Beer Radio, will be broadcasting live from Backcountry Pizza and Tap House up in Boulder, CO.  Gary V will be hittin’ the waves on Saturday at noon.  Keep your ear on 102.3 FM for giveaways and beer news.  If you can make it over to Backcountry, they’ll treat you to happy hour pricing from 11-2.

Backcountry Pizza and Tap House is located at: 2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302.  303-449-4285.

Copper Kettle Brewing is releasing another round of deliciousness this weekend.  This Saturday, July 7th, the tap lines will be graced with this year’s batch of German Altbier.  A nice blend of malt and hops round out this highly drinkable, German-style brew.

They’ll be joined by Reetz Treats at 5 PM, who’ll be bringing an assortment of sweet, yummy morsels to pair with this and other Copper Kettle beers.  The tapping is at noon.  Copper Kettle is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247.  720-443-CKBC.

Up in Boulder, Twisted Pine is ready to release the next installment in their Artisan Ale Series.  For July, they’re releasing Hoppy Girl, an 8% ABV, 70 IBU, IPA infused with hibiscus and jasmine.  750’s will go on sale at the brewery on Saturday, July 7th from noon – 9 PM.

Kate Medlin, who designed the label art, will be on hand to sign bottles.  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St. Ste A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

Sour Freaks, listen up!  It’s Sour Month over at the Rackhouse Pub.  This week will see Dry Dock’s Apricot Sour and Grand Teton’s Snarling Badger (Berliner Weisse) hitting the tap lines.  Looking towards next week, keep an eye out for AC Golden’s Rackhouse Blend and Dry Hopped Sour, Avery Immitis and Crooked Stave’s Petite Sour.

There’s a lot of special sour treats to watch for over at the Rackhouse Pub in July.  This event runs all month long and I’ll keep you updated with everything they’ll be putting on the tap lines.  Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.  720-570-7824.

TRVE Brewing picked up a Buffalo Trace barrel earlier this week.

A hint of things to come?  They must have gotten smoked on their opening week, as they had to close for a few days to catch up and make more beer.  Don’t worry, they’ll be ready for you this weekend. TRVE Brewing is located at: 227 Broadway #101, Denver, CO 80203.  303-351-1021.

Lastly, Prost brewed their first batch of beer this week!  Bill brewed up his Weißbier on Tuesday.

One step closer to seeing these guys in action!

Still no firm opening date, but they’re getting closer.  Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211.

That’s all I got!  Hope you guys get out and try some great beer this weekend.  Click “Like” on our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all the latest updates, events and beer news in Colorado and around the globe.

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 06/28/2012

Wow, what a week.  It’s been a little tough to take around here.  High temps and wildfires up and down the front range.  I hate to be a downer, but I’ve got some good friends being affected by this and I think we’re all just ready for a nice, long rain shower (minus the lightning)…

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I like to get you pumped for the weekend with a rundown of everything happening around town.  It just feels a bit “off” this week.  I’m going to keep it short, hit the highlights and hope for better conditions next week.  These fires have hit us hard and I’m just feeling “funny” about the beer scene this week.

Dry Dock’s got their weekly “Firkin Friday” coming up on June 29th.  This week is a Roasted Almond Brown Ale.  Tapping is at 3 PM.

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

Maggie Smith’s Irish Pub is tapping a keg of Firestone Walker’s Parabola on Friday, June 29th at 5 PM. Parabola is a 12.5% ABV, barrel aged, Russian Imperial Stout and it’s an amazing beer.

Bottles hit the state a few months ago and it didn’t take more than a few days to sell out.  If you missed out or just want to try it on draft, be sure to hit up Maggie Smith’s.  They’re located at: 6631 S Peoria St, Centennial, CO 80111.  303-999-2010.

Renegade Brewing is turning 1 this weekend!

One Year Anniversary

They’ll be throwing down on Saturday, June 30th from noon – 10 PM with all sorts of tasty brews. Look for Elevated Wood, a Bourbon Barrel Aged version of Elevation (their Triple IPA!) and special vintage brews like Hammer and Sickle (Russian Imp. Stout), Radiator (Winter Warmer) and more!

Stick around for live music, food trucks and the kickoff of their first canned beer, Ryetous IPA.

Renegade Brewing is located at: 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204.  720-401-4089.

Don’t forget to turn your radios on this weekend.  American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from Echo Brewing in Fredrick, CO.  Get the latest updates on what’s going on up there at this new brewery. Gary will be joined by Elizabeth Kegan from Firestone Walker Brewing.  Get your phones ready as he’s got some giveaways too.

American Craft Beer Radio is on 102.3 ESPN Radio at noon on Saturday.

On the AM side, Colorado Craft Beer Show will be doing their monthly broadcast from Arvada Beer Company.  They’ll be joined by David Parry from Parry’s Pizza and the gang from The Beer Drinker’s Guide To Colorado.

The Colorado Craft Beer Show is on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM.

Bottles, bottles, bottles!  Lots of fun stuff showing up on shelves this weekend.

River North Brewery has two, barrel-aged releases this weekend.  Whiskey Aged J. Marie Saison and Unified Theory Oaked Imperial Wit will be going on sale at the brewery today.  There will also be a small amount of bottles showing up at select stores in the Denver Metro area.

251 bottles, first come, first served.  River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205.  303-296-2617.

The freaks at Stone also have some new beers hitting shelves right now.  Be on the lookout for Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans and Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers.  They’ve made these beers before, but until now, it’s only been in kegs and in very limited amounts.  This is your first chance to get grab them in a bottle.  Look for 120z. bottles to sell for right around $4.00.

They’ve also hit us with their 10th Anniversary of Ruination IPA.  This already amazing beer got pumped up with double hops for this special batch.  This beast clocks in at 10.8% ABV, 110 IBU’s and will be selling for $8.00 / 22oz. bomber.

TRVE had their official Grand Opening earlier this week and from what I hear, the turnout was great.  I visited them and blogged about them twice this month and there are plenty of details about TRVE here.

I also hear that Hogshead Brewery will be opening their doors tomorrow.  These guys will be pouring 3 English style beers.  Look for Chin Wag – a Red ESB; Lake Lightening – Summer Ale and Gilpin Black Gold – a chocolate, roasted nut brown.

Hogshead Brewery is located at: 4460 W 29th Ave, Denver, CO 80212.

Lastly, Chad’s packing his bags, barrels and brewhouse up at Crooked Stave in Fort Collins and headin’ South to his new digs down in Denver.

I can’t wait to visit his new place.

That’s it folks.  Have fun this weekend, be safe and pray for rain!

Cheers!


TRVE Grand Opening Is Tomorrow. Join The Cvlt Before It’s Too Late!

Don’t forget beer peeps, TRVE Brewing’s Grand Opening is tomorrow, June 27th at 4 PM.  You won’t want to miss this.  Nick and his team are ready to serve up some tasty metal music and awesome beers for you.

They’ll have four beers flowing tomorrow: Wanderlust, a Belgian American Pale Ale; Prehistoric Dog, a Salty Wheat; Black Cascade, a Black IPA; and Tunnel of Trees, a Piney IPA.

I had the chance to visit TRVE a few weeks ago and get the scoop from the man himself.  Here’s the link in case you missed it.

There’s still a handful of memberships available in the Cvlt if you’re interested. But don’t wait long, these are sure to go quickly.  Miss out, and you might get stuck listening to Celine Dion and drinking Coors Light.  Brutal…

So get on it, head over, drink up, rock out.  TRVE is opening their doors at 4 PM tomorrow.  Basic Kneads will be set up on Broadway firing up some tasty pizzas to enjoy.

TRVE Brewing is located at:  227 Broadway #101, Denver, CO 80203.  303-351-1021.

Cheers!


The Beer Drinker’s Guide To Colorado

Several years ago, somewhere amidst the madness that is the Great American Beer Festival, I got my first glimpse of an awesome product called the Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado (BDG2C).  I snatched one up and over the years, it’s helped me plan out weekend road trips with my wife and track down breweries all over the state.  Over time, the explosion of breweries in the state has taken its toll on my little map.  It’s out of date and ready to be retired.

A few weeks ago, the 6th edition of the Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado was released and filled the holes in my outdated guide.

If you’re not familiar with the guide, it’s a 39 x 26 inch, color map of the state.  Pint glasses dot the map and denote the 168 breweries and brewpubs across Colorado.  They’ve done their homework and planned ahead by including many breweries that are going to be opening in the near future, like TRVE and Black Bottle Brewery.  If you’re not sure about a brewery, call ahead to make sure they’re open and will have beer flowing when you arrive.

The flip side has a ton of useful information, including breakdowns of different beer styles, a list of CO State Parks and 14ers, drive times between cities, homebrew shops around the state and most importantly, addresses, phone numbers, hours and other details about all those breweries you’ll be checking out.  The newly updated map has everything a beer lover in Colorado could ever want.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep you happy, the brains behind the map have also put together an awesome collection of coupons to help you save some money while you drink your way across this great state.  The coupon book has exploded since my last map purchase.  It’s set up like a check book that’s full of coupons you can redeem for free beer, taster trays, discounts, glassware and more!

There are 44 coupons in total, which are valued at more than $250 and don’t expire until January 1, 2014.  Grab one now and you’ve got 18 months to do some serious damage across the state!

Right about now, you’re probably wondering how to get your very own, super snazzy, handy Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado.  Head over to their official website and order one online.  They’ve got traditional, folded map versions along with rolled maps for $13.95 each.  There’s also a laminated, man-cave approved version for $42.95.

If you’re in a hurry and need to have one right now, click HERE for a list of breweries, homebrew shops and liquor stores that have the BDG2C for sale.  This is a great map and awesome coupon book that should be in the glove box of any good beer nerd’s ride.  Now get out and explore!

Cheers!


Beer Review: Dry Dock Brewing, 3 Heavy Wee Heavy

If you live in the beautiful state of Colorado, you have no shortage of options when it comes to beer.  You grab your growler, head to your local brewery, but have no clue what to get.  Sometimes it can be downright overwhelming.  I’m taking the guess-work out of it for you and giving you a sweet, malty brew that’s out for a very limited time.

Today, I’m going to review the 3 Heavy Wee Heavy, which is an award-winning, winter seasonal from Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO.  It pops up during the cold months and is available on draft at the brewery and tap houses around town, while also making appearances in 22 oz. bombers at liquor stores in the Denver area.  But, if you’ve pay attention and are on top of your game, you’ve got a rare chance to grab some today.  Yeah, I realize it’s the middle of summer, but read along and find out how to score some right now!

The 3 Heavy Wee Heavy recently won a Gold Medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup in sunny San Diego, CA.  The World Beer Cup (WBC), is the BIG one.  The Great American Beer Festival is up there too, but the WBC is an international event held every other year in a different city.  The international aspect, makes it even tougher for breweries to bring home a medal.  The 3 Heavy Wee Heavy is a back-to-back winner, as it brought home a silver medal in 2010.

Poured from a 32oz. mini-growler into a Dry Dock tulip glass.  Deep, dark copper in color, with just the slightest touch of cloudiness.  The beer has a 1/2 finger, creamy, tan head that leaves very little lacing around the edge of the glass.  A moderate stream of carbonation rises from the bottom.

The aroma is caramel, sugar, maple syrup, with a touch of raisins and dark fruit.  Overall, very sweet.  Smells like candy.  Mmm, beer candy.  On to the taste!

The first small sip is malt, caramel and rock candy.  Nom, nom, nom!  A second larger sip reveals a dark fruit flavor.  Boozy fruit.  I’m thinking fruit soaked in rum.  Oh, delish.  In the background, I taste biscuit, a pinch of bitter hops and the slightest hint of alcohol.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.  The 8.8% ABV hides itself pretty well.  The hidden alcohol combined with the smoothness, makes for a very drinkable beer.  Full flavored and complex, but still, very drinkable.

Careful not to let the 8.8% ABV sneak up on you.  This is a beer you should pull out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you’re actually ready to drink it.  Allowing it to warm up a bit, will give you more flavors and aromas to explore.

The perfect beer for sipping next to a roaring fire in the middle of a snowstorm.  Wait!  Snap out of it man, it’s JUNE!  Flip on the Rockies game and throw a hearty steak on the grill.  This beer is sure to pair well.

I don’t want to be an advertisement for the 32 oz. growler, but I like the little guys.  I’ve gotten a few in trades from Cigar City out in Tampa, FL and it’s nice to see them make their way out west to us non-humidity lovin’, mountain folks here in Colorado.  TRVE Brewing founded their Cvlt around them and Dry Dock Brewing just started selling them last week.  The smaller size gives you a chance to actually finish a beer with a high alcohol content level, like the Wee Heavy, before it goes flat.

The 3 Heavy Wee Heavy is the masterpiece from brewer Lachlan McLean over at Dry Dock.  Get some now while it’s making a rare, summer, encore appearance.  This batch was brewed to celebrate the recent WBC Gold Medal and won’t last long.  Grab a 32 oz. growler fill for $12 or a 64 oz. growler fill for the low, low price of $20.  Miss out now and you’ll probably have to wait until winter to try it again.  Don’t let Mother Nature dictate your beer drinking schedule.  Get some!

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

Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz 06/07/2012

What’s up weekend?  I’ve missed you!  Good to see you again.  Let’s make some plans!

The big buzz for Saturday, June 9th is over in Lyons, CO, where Oskar Blues has joined forces with the Lyons Outdoor Games and the Colorado Brewers Guild to bring you a fun filled day with sports, dogs and beer.  Head up to Lyons to check out the kayaking, fly fishing, chainsaw carving and more.  Stick around to get your fill at Burning Can, which is a beer festival featuring ALL canned beers!  35 breweries are expected to be pouring their canned masterpieces including Maui, 21st Amendment, Ska and New Belgium.

Tickets for Burning Can are $25 in advance and $30 at the event ($25 if you ride your bike!) and can be found HERE.  The beer fest runs from noon – 4 PM.  There’s plenty of nearby camping available, so get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery up there.

If you go, check out the guys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM 760.  They’ll be broadcasting live from Burning Can in their newly exanded, 2-hour time slot, from noon – 2 PM.

Copper Kettle Brewing will be releasing their Czech Pilsner on Saturday, June 9th at noon.  Can’t say that I reach for this style very often, but it does make for a nice session beer on a warm summer day.  In case you didn’t notice, it’s going to be in the 90’s this weekend, so their timing couldn’t be better.  They’ll have Capt’n Crabby outside at 5 PM serving authentic Maryland-style crab cakes.  I was raised in Maryland and have been trying to find a good crab cake outside of Maryland (aside from Mom’s), for years.  Capt’n Crabby, I have high hopes for you sir!

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

Over at Dry Dock Brewing, they recently tapped a keg of Lachlan’s award winning Wee Heavy.  This beautiful Scotch Ale has won not one, but two medals at the World Beer Cup!

Dry Dock will be tapping a firkin of Challenger Dry-Hopped Amber for Firkin Friday at 3 PM.  Check it out!  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Lone Tree Brewing will be celebrating their 6 month anniversary on Friday, June 8th.  They’ve got a bunch of great seasonals pouring right now, including Das Bart Dunkelweizen, Nate’s Saison (homebrew winner), Marienplatz Pilsner along with their tasty flagship beers like Hoptree IIPA and Toots’ Oatmeal Stout.  The party runs all day, with pizza available for purchase at 5 PM and live music at 6 PM.

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

Speaking of anniversary parties, Pateros Creek Brewing, up in Fort Collins, CO, will be celebrating their 1-year Anniversary on Saturday, June 9th.  They’ll be tapping some new beers and revisiting some old favorites from their weekly Outlaw Series.  Some of the special beers getting tapped are Franklinstein (a 4-pepper pale ale), Blueberry-lemon kolsch and their newest creation, Spiranthes Extra Pale Ale.  The event runs from 4 PM – 9 PM and also features music, games and food.

I still need to make it up to Pateros Creek.  Sounds like they’re doing really well up there.  Pateros Creek is located at: 242 N College Ave. Unit B, Fort Collins, CO 80524.  970-484-7222.

I’m really, really excited about the upcoming opening of TRVE (pronounced “True”) Brewing in Denver, CO.  While the big opening on Wednesday, June 27th is still a few weeks away, you can get a sneak peek this weekend.  TRVE will open their doors on Saturday, June 9th at noon to give fans a glimpse inside and check everything out.  They’ll also be pouring samples of Wanderlust, their Belgian-American Pale Ale.

This Saturday will also be the first chance beer nerds will have to join the TRVE Cvlt.  The Cvlt gives members one of the kick ass, signed and numbered growlers pictured below, five free growler fills, refills with any TRVE beer for only $7, invitiations to member-only events and more.  Get all the details HERE.

growlers

I’m really excited for these guys.  Small, 3 BBL batches of craft beer and heavy metal music!  TRVE Brewing is located at: 227 Broadway #100, Denver, CO.  303-351-1021.

Finally, if you’re heading to the Greenwood Village Summerfest on Saturday, June 9th, say “Hi!” to my wife Patti.  She’ll be hanging out in the biergarten pouring for Dry Dock Brewing from 11 AM – 3 PM.  This is a great chance to get out and try some good brews and check out some fun and unique cars at the classic car show.  All the details can be found HERE.       

That’s it for this round of weekend news.  Hope you can find something to stay busy and beat the heat.

Cheers!