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Weekend Beer Buzz 11/29/2012

We’ve got a big weekend folks and I’m dropping bombs!  Say what?  Hey, there’s not one, but two new breweries opening in Colorado this week!  This looks like it’ll be the biggest weekend we’ve had since the GABF circus rolled through town almost two months ago.  Strap on your beer goggles and get ready to go.  Oh and if you really want to enjoy this week’s post, grab your favorite beer and take a swig every time you see the word “BOOM!”.  Hurry up, you just missed one.

Ready?  Alright, let’s do this.

Earlier This Week

Firestone Walker XVI dropped not once, but twice.  BOOM!

The Bad News: It disappeared from store shelves almost as soon as it landed.  The Good News: It’s on tap at Parry’s Pizza right now (11/29/2012 11AM).  Head over and try this unique anniversary blend of 8 different barrel-aged beers!  BOOM!

Deschutes The Abyss hit Colorado.  BOOM!

This inky impy stout is proving to be a challenge to track down as well.  There’s not as much to go around as originally anticipated.  I’m not sure if we’ll be getting a second shipment or if the beer geek boom is stretching the supply thinner than previous years.  Whatever the case may be, if you want some, don’t wait around.  It’s hitting shelves this week and a few stores have already sold out.

Dry Dock bottled their 2012 batch of Bligh’s Barleywine on Tuesday.  BOOM!  This luscious Barleywine has spent the better part of 2012 aging in Stranahan Whiskey Barrels.

I had the opportunity to try a sample a few weeks ago during our interview with Dry Dock Co-Owner & Founder Kevin DeLange and it’s shaped up very nicely.  You’re going to love it.  And if you don’t, you’ll sell your bottles to me and like it.  Dry Dock’s releasing 10 cases at the brewery on Sunday, 12/9 ($20 each / 1-bottle limit), with more cases going to local liquor stores on 12/11.

Brewery Rickoli Ltd. opened in Wheat Ridge on Wednesday.  BOOM!

Brewmaster Rick Abitbol has been brewing along the Front Range for more than a decade.  Rickoli opened with Black Pliny Double IPA, Social Lubricant Scotch Ale, Aldo’s Red, Totally IPA and a Rye Stout.  Stay tuned for a single-hopped Pale Ale series exploring one hop variety at a time, plus a Hoppy Barleywine, a Bourbon Peach Strong Ale, a Dark Chocolate Milk Stout and more!  Brewery Rickoli Ltd is located at: 4335 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.  Mon – Thu: 3 PM – 11 PM & Fri – Sun: 2 PM – 12 AM.  303-344-8988.

Cantillon bottles have been dropping on local retailers too (thankfully no one was injured)!  BOOM!

My most favoritest of the Belgians.  I heart you Cantillon.  Sadly, I’m not too hopeful that I’ll find any. With everyone on the hunt, I figure winning this week’s $400+ Million Powerball jackpot might be easier than finding a little Cantillon on a store shelf around town.  But, hey, at least it’s returned to CO.  More Cantillon news below…

Friday, November 30, 2012

For this week’s Deviation down at Rockyard Brewing, the Jellyman will be pouring JPA – Jelly Pale Ale.

According to Jellyman, this is a 7% ABV that pours a “dark straw with lacy white head”, has aromas of “fruit berry jelly with hints of toffee” and has “a balanced maltiness and citrus hops, punctuated by jam”.  Get your Jelly On at 4 PM!  BOOM!  Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.

Dry Dock Brewing is following up last week’s Ho Ho Ho Slapdown with a very festivus Firkin Friday. Here’s Firkin Friday Surgeon General Walt Chleva modeling an amazing beer and pairing it with this Christmas sweater that’s…  Well it’s…  hmm, oh yeah nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Thanks Mom.

This week’s firkin will feature a Roasted Marshmallow version of Bethla-Yam.  Bethla-Yam is a Sweet Potato Stout, winner of the 2012 Ho Ho Ho Slapdown and creation from Dry Dock Brewer Brett Williams.  The win has secured Brett bragging rights around the brewery for the next 12 months as he beat out fellow brewers Doug Hyndman and John Schneider for the title.

As for Bethla-Yam, it’s a sweet, moderately spiced stout.  BTW – Dry Dock is still pouring all of the Ho Ho Ho Slapdown entries, so if you’re interested in trying them or grabbing a growler to-go, head over now and get your fix.  As for Firkin Friday, tappings will be at 3 PM & 7 PM.  Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014.  303-400-5606.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wynkoop’s Annual Parade of Darks is lined up for Saturday.

34 breweries bringing 82 brews, all leaning towards the darker side of the force.  BOOM!  Here’s the complete list from Wynkoop’s very own Beer Evangelist, Mr. Marty Jones:

Arvada Beer Co – Jolly Holiday Ale, Foreign to Me Stout
Avery Brewing – The Czar, Old Jubilation, Out of Bounds Stout
AC Golden – Blueberry Sour, Plum Sour,
Bootstrap Brewing– Worthog Stout, Boomer Brown
Boulevard Brewing – Bully! Porter, Dark Truth Stout
Breckenridge Brewery – Oatmeal StoutVanilla PorterExtra ESB, Christmas Ale 
Bull & Bush – Big Ben Brown Ale, Stonehenge Stout, Punk Up The Yams, The Legend Of The Liquid Brain, Captain Funk, Captain Midnight
Caution Brewing – Toaster Bat Black Smoked Porter, Dunkel(er)weiss.
Copper Kettle – Mexican Chocolate Stout, Pumpkin Porter
Denver Beer Co– Graham Cracker Porter, Chill Out Chocolate Chili Stout
Elevation Brewing – Apis, Lil Mo Porter 
Drydock Brewing – Wee Heavy Strong Scotch Ale, Raspberry Porter
Firestone Walker – Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout, Walker’s Reserve Porter, DBA 
Fort Collins Brewery – Double Chocolate Stout
Great Divide – Yeti Imperial Stout, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Claymore Scotch Ale, Hibernation
Green Flash – Double Stout
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse – Master Thief German Porter, Fearless Youth Dunkel Lager, Wee Heavy Barrel-Aged Scottish Strong Ale
Jolly Pumpkin – Bam Noir
Left Hand – Fade to Black, Milk Stout Nitro
Lone Tree Brewing – Acres O Green Irish Red, Toots’s Full-Bodied Oatmeal Stout, Chili Beer Collaboration #2, Old # 99 Rauchbier
Lost Abbey – Lost & Found 
Maui Brewing – Coconut Porter 
Mountain Sun Brewery & Pub — Megatron Imperial Stout, Oatimus Prime Imperial Stout
Odell Brewing – Mountain Standard, Isolation Ale 
Ommegang – Three Philosophers 
Port Brewing – Old Viscosity 
Prost Brewing – Doppelbock, Dunkel
Pug Ryan’s– Brain-teaser Barlywine, Barell-Aged Leap Year Trifecta
Sierra Nevada –Narwhal Imperial Stout,Wine Barrel Aged Dubbel
Ska – Steel Toe Stout, Nefarious, On The Sly Again
Strange Brewing – Pumpkin Porter, Cherry Bomb Stout, Gingerbread Man, Vanilla Rum Porter
Twisted Pine – Espresso Stout, Honey Brown 
Upslope Brewing– Christmas Ale, Brown Ale
Wynkoop Brewing – Gingerbread Stout, 2012 Barleywine, Cowtown Milk Stout, B3K Black Lager, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, Colorojo

As you can tell, this is going to be full of awesome beers for your tasting pleasure.  Tickets are $35 in advance and available HERE or $42 at the door (if they’re not already sold out come Saturday).  The Wynkoop is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202.  303-297-2700.

Just up the road from the Wynkoop, Crooked Stave will be hosting Cantillon’s Zwanze Day on Saturday.  BOOM!

This is a world-wide event with a coordinated toast at 1 PM MST.   This is the first time a Colorado location has been picked to participate so don’t miss out.  To quote some snotty teenager somewhere in America, “it’s kind of a big deal”.  BOOM!  For more specifics, check out our article about Zwanze Day from earlier in the week by clicking HERE.  Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.

Black Bottle Brewing up in Fort Collins, CO will open their doors to beer freaks for the first time this Saturday.  BOOM!

This new brewery, run by Sean Nook, will be pouring their own beers, along with some great craft beer on their 40 guest taps.  They’ll also have a full bar and fermented grape juice for those non-beer drinking types you so unwisely choose to associate yourself with…  I’m freakin’ psyched about these guys.  They’ve gotten great reviews and took second place in the People’s Choice Awards at the 2012 Gnarly Barley Brew Festival.   In the near future, they’ll be working out a barrel-aging program, souring beers and brewin’ up some nice styles of craft beer that they’ll want to drink.  And by the looks of things, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to drink them too.

Their videos are tough to beat.  I mean, have you seen this yet?

Because Craft Beer Rocks!  BOOM!  I can’t wait to visit Black Bottle Brewing and give them a try. Black Bottle Brewing will be open 7 days a week from 11 AM – 2 AM and is located at: 1605 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525.  970-493-2337.

Over in Boulder, Asher Brewing turns 3 this weekend.

They’ve got a little shindig planned complete with beer, food, beer, music, beer, dogs, games, beer and beer.  Beer, it’s what’s for dinner.  Bet you thought I was going to say “BOOM!”.  I did clown. Now drink!  Two for flinching.  The party runs from noon – midnight.  Asher Brewing is located at: 4699 Nautilus Ct, Suite 104, Boulder CO, 80301.  303-530-1381.

But wait, there’s more.  While you’re up in the People’s Republic of Boulder, swing over to Twisted Pine and grab a bottle or 3 of the last installment in their Artisan Ale Series.  For December, they’re releasing Noel Tripel.

This beer is a 9% ABV Belgian-style Tripel.  750mL bottles will be sold in the tap room beginning at noon.  Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301.  303-786-9270.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Into next week, New Belgium has planned “The Creator’s Dinner”, where all the beers being poured will be introduced by their creator / brewer.  This is happening over at The Kitchen in Denver on Monday at 6:30.  Check out this lineup:

  • Kick- Presented by Kim Jordan (NBB Co-founder and CEO) and Dick Cantwell (head brewer and owner of Elysian Brewing Co)
  • La Folie- Presented by Peter Bouckaert (Brew Master at New Belgium)
  • Le Terroir- Presented by Lauren Salazar (Wood Beer Blender and Sensory Specialist at New Belgium)
  • Eric’s Ale- Presented by Eric Salazar (Wood Beer Brewer and Blender at New Belgium)
  • Chocolate Coffee Stout- Presented by Grady Hull (Assistant Brew Master at New Belgium)
  • Transatlantique Kriek- Presented by Peter Bouckaert (Brew Master at New Belgium)

BOOM!  There will be incredible food paired with each beer.  This is a really great opportunity to meet and talk with some of the creative minds behind New Belgium’s fantastic beers.  Reservations are $85 and can be made by calling 303-623-3127.  The Kitchen Denver is located at: 1530 16th St, Denver, CO 80202.

That’s it.  Did you make it all the way to the end?  I hope so.  I’m all BOOM’d! out.  Yes, that one counts too, so take your final sip and go grab a nap.  You’re going to need it before the weekend gets here.

Have fun out there.

Cheers!

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A Brewer, A Blogger, and A Beer at Dry Dock Brewing. Part 1 – The First 7 Years.

A brewer, a blogger and a bottle of 6-year old Dry Dock Framboise.  Where could this be headed? Well, when the brewer is Kevin DeLange, founder and owner of Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO, good things are bound to happen.  Join us as we talk brews, brewers and breweries and share some tasty brews along the way. (That’s a lot of brew talk and that’s how I like it!)  In Part 1, we’ll discuss Dry Dock’s Past and Present, going all the way back to their opening in 2005 and working up to the release of Bligh’s Barleywine later this year.  In Part 2, we’ll discuss the Future of Dry Dock Brewing into 2013 and beyond.  Grab a beer, err brew and join us!  

Humble Beginnings

Where, oh where does the time go?  It seems like the older I get, the quicker the time passes me by. I noticed it the other day as I was preparing for the upcoming Weekend Beer Buzz.  On my calendar, I had written down the Dry Dock Anniversary Party coming up on November 10th.  When I realized it was their 7th Anniversary, I scratched my head in disbelief.  7 years?!?!  Has it really been 7 years?

My wife and I discovered Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora within the first few months of their opening in 2005 and it didn’t take us long to become adopted as “regulars”.  I can still remember sitting in the original, tiny tasting room, behind The Brew Hut homebrew supply shop, sipping on their small batches of hand-crafted brews.  The Dry Dock of 2005 and 2006 was a family.  A pretty goofy one for sure, but a family nonetheless.  Everyone knew each other and we looked out for one another. Dry Dock came along and filled Aurora’s craft beer void and began producing great beers in the process.

While the small, 800 square foot tasting room, with its’ maximum capacity of 24 people (this may or may not have been exceeded on occasion…) might be extinct, Dry Dock and their beers have risen and gone on to rank among some of the finest in the land.  Walking into Dry Dock these days, one can’t help but notice the wall of awards in the Brewery located at the corner of Hampden and Chambers.

A ton of medals decorate the brewery, coming from a variety of sources, including the Colorado State Fair, Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

Let’s not forget they were crowned U.S. Small Brewery of the Year in 2009.  This all happened in less than 4 years!

Dry Dock Brewing 2.0

By 2009, Dry Dock had outgrown their humble home behind The Brew Hut and were forced to expand further down in the Aurora strip mall they called home.   They upgraded to a 7 BBL brewhouse and jumped into their current 9,000 square foot location, which gave beer drinkers plenty of space to spread out and enjoy themselves.

Dry Dock brought The Brew Hut with them, which has evolved into the area’s leading retailer for supplies, ingredients and know-how with regards to homebrewing, wine making, cheese making and more.  The new location has also played host to many popular events like the annual Docktoberfest and the Ho Ho Ho Slapdown.

Over the years, owners Kevin and Michelle DeLange have recruited a team of world-class brewers that bring a variety of different beer backgrounds and resumes into the brewhouse.  The Dry Dock brewers keep things interesting for even the most adventurous of beer geeks with an ever rotating selection of seasonals, one-offs, firkins and barrel-aged rarities that supplement their award-winning Flagship lineup of beers.

The team is led by Head Brewer Doug Hyndman, who has previously brewed at Ska and Green Flash.  Hyndman took the reigns at Dry Dock when former Head Brewer Bill Eye departed to open Prost Brewing in Denver earlier this year.  Hyndman has already begun to make a name for himself, by bringing the West Coast to Colorado, with his big, citrusy, hop-centric Double IPA’s.  The delicious flavor of his Hop Abomination (a favorite of mine!), will be squeezed into cans for the first time early next year.  (More on Dry Dock’s entrance into the canning business in Part 2).

For Dry Dock’s weekly Firkin Friday releases, Brewer / Firkin Master Walt Chleva has been given carte blanche to come up with new and interesting batches of beers for the Friday afternoon tappings.  He tries to pair his releases with the seasons and looks to “use local ingredients as much as possible”.

Many of the beers don’t make it past the first hour of getting tapped on Friday evenings.  Not much of a surprise considering he’s created beers like Peanut Butter Cup Porter, Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA and his personal favorite, Toasted Coconut Porter.  In the Toasted Coconut Porter, Chleva says he “uses a pound of hand toasted coconut for each firkin”, which he’s happy to point out, “makes my house smell great!”.

Although not every beer is a sure-fire winner, (Wasabi Rice Pale anyone?) and he’s still fine tuning his Maple Bacon Amber Ale recipe, but the majority of his Firkins leave Dry Dock customers thirsting for more.  In the past month alone, he’s released a Boysenberry Sour, Madagascar Vanilla Bean Porter and a Cherry Belgian Blonde.  He’s already looking towards next Summer, when he’s hoping to “make a Palisade Peach Ale and maybe a Fresh Hop Firkin”.

Do yourself a favor and get over to Dry Dock on a Friday to see what he’s brewed for the week.  Keep up to date with what Chleva has planned by checking our Weekend Beer Buzz.  Firkin Friday Tappings occur at 3 PM and 7 PM.  Don’t be late or you might get stuck listening to your friends tell you about the one that got away.

Going Big With Bligh’s

Dry Dock’s flagship lineup, which consists of USS Enterprise IPA, Apricot Blonde, HMS Victory Amber, Breakwater Pale Ale, Vanilla Porter, Double IPA and Hefeweizen, continue to draw in appreciative craft beer drinkers and regularly introducing new palates to Colorado’s craft beer movement.  Dry Dock also continues to deliver the goods with their big, experimental, boundary pushing, world-class releases.

Take for example, last year’s inaugural release of Bligh’s Barleywine, an English Barleywine, aged in Stranahan Whiskey Barrels.  Bligh’s was so well received by craft beer aficionados that it catapulted the beer onto the “Top 100 Beers on Planet Earth” as ranked by BeerAdvocate.com.

Later this year, Dry Dock will release a new batch of Bligh’s Barleywine in 22oz. bombers.  This highly anticipated, 10% ABV English Barleywine has spent the past year in Colorado Whiskey Barrels, absorbing notes of vanilla, oak and caramel along the way.  DeLange was kind enough to pull a nail from one of the many barrels housing Bligh’s and share a sample of this year’s batch.  You’re not going to want to miss this one!

With a target release date of 12/15/12, it’s the perfect beer to warm up with at the end of a cold, winter day.  In addition to 22oz. bombers, Bligh’s will also be pouring in the Tap Room for a limited time. Sorry, but NO Growler fills, in order to allow as many people as possible to try this extremely popular beer.

From There to Here, But Now Where?

In 7 years, Dry Dock has gone from a nano-brewery in the back of a homebrew supply shop to one of the top breweries in the nation.  But what’s next for Kevin and Michelle DeLange and their team of skilled brewers and dedicated employees?  Check back soon for Part 2 as we continue our chat with Kevin DeLange and talk about what lies ahead for the Aurora-based brewery.  This is BIG!  Trust me, you won’t want to miss this!

Cheers!


Weekend Wrap Up, New Beers and Beer News 4/22/12

The house is quiet.  The kids are in bed, Patti’s makin’ the big bucks at work and I’m sitting out back on the deck.  My cat watches me through the screen door in total jealousy.  I’m not sure if he’s jealous of the fact that I’m outside or if he’s just eyeing up the IPA I’m sipping on, but either way, he’s not happy with me.  At any rate, I’m loving this weather and I’m a little bummed that another weekend is drawing to a close.  Did you get out and enjoy it?  We sure did.

We hit the Copper Kettle 1-year Anniversary Party on both Friday and Saturday.  It gave us a chance to try some of their special releases like the Belgian Golden Strong, Belgian Black Quad and American Barleywine, among others.  If you missed it, you need to kick yourself…  hard.  It was a great, 4-day long celebration, with different beer releases each day, along with food trucks and live music on-site.  I’m not sure if they staff got any sleep over the weekend or not, but they were having fun and kept things running smoothly.

Copper Kettle beer list on Friday.

Gary V was there broadcasting his American Craft Beer Radio program on Saturday morning.  He had Jeremy Gobien and Kristin Kozik from Copper Kettle on the show, along with Bill Eye talking about the upcoming opening of Prost Brewing, Firkin Master Walt Chleva from Dry Dock and Tim Myers from Strange Brewing.  Great show and thanks Gary for the shout out!

American Craft Beer Radio live from Copper Kettle Brewing.

After the past weekend, I’m really digging Copper Kettle and their great beers.  I’ll be stopping by more and more to try their different releases and get growlers to go.  Congrats on a great first year guys!

We also hit up the Avery Tap Takeover out at Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch, CO.  This was an awesome event, featuring 21 Avery beers on tap, plus a handful in bottles.  They brought some heavy hitters for this event, including ’11 Beast Grand Cru, Tweak, Uncle Jacob’s Stout and a ton more.  Very, very impressed with the lineup.  The standout for me was the Boulder Weiss.  A (not over the top) German sour, that was served with a touch of either cherry or peach.  The peach was delish!

They also had Avery giveaways every hour throughout the day.  We couldn’t resist the food.  Dude, their food is seriously good.  We got a pizza that was dripping with tasty meat.  It couldn’t have been better.  Really good food, great beer.  If you haven’t been yet, move Parry’s to the top of your list.  Stay tuned for more Tap Takeovers in the coming weeks.

Alright, so you get the idea, the weekend rocked.  Hope you were able to get away from the yard work and enjoy it at some point.

Got plenty of new beers on the way to keep your beer hunting skills finely tuned.  First up is Stone Ruination.  Seems the gargoyle has been working out and has pumped up from 7.7% ABV to 10% ABV for his birthday.  Come on now, who doesn’t like Stone?  This classic Double IPA should be pretty easy to track down, so keep an eye out for it in upcoming weeks.

   Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA

For the sour beer and funk lovers out there, Chad Yakobson up at Crooked Stave has bottled his Petite Sour.  You might recognize the name from last year’s Pure Guava Petite Sour release, but this is a completely different beer.  It’s being described as a “tart, farmhouse, table beer”.  I know last year’s Pure Guava had a, well, uhm, interesting (?) aroma when it was released, that wasn’t necessarily well received by the funksters.  Settle down people, Chad knows his beer.  If you like wild yeast, sours and funky things, this should be on your radar.  Oh, and pick up two if you can.  One for now and one to try in a year or two, after the yeast has really gone to town and worked its’ magic.

While we’re laying down the funk, Jason Yester down at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs just got label approval for his upcoming Oh Face Saison.  Another tribute to the movie Office Space, this was brewed with pumpkin, lavender and spices and fermented with Brettanomyces.  He’s putting that new brew system to good use.  They don’t call him Saison Man for nothing.  Jason is a master at what he does and this will definitely warrant a trip to the brewery to pick up a bottle or three.

 

Right about now you might be thinking, damn man, can’t you just tell me about a good beer that I can go to the store and buy today!  Sorry, I just get excited about all the new beers coming our way.  But yes, you’re right.  There are plenty of new, tasty beers that have found their way to your local shelves in the last week that you can easily track down and enjoy right now.

How about Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack.  This is the latest release in their Reserve Series and is listed as a Black Rye IPA.  Wookey Jack is double dry-hopped with Citra and Amarillo hops, which should give a big grapefruit or citrusy aroma.  It’s unfiltered and I’m guessing the rye will make it pretty easy drinking.  At only $5.99 / 22-oz bomber, it’s worth trying.

Firestone Walker Wookey Jack 22oz Label

Quick teaser, FW fans, Parabola will be back in mid-May.  I believe this will be the third batch.  More details as I get ’em, but if you like imperial stouts, this is a winner.  Stay tuned.

One more beer that’s out and about now is Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout.  I know, I know, I’ve mentioned this beer about 6 times in the last two weeks, but it’s THAT good.  Plus, I know you’re going to be really mad at yourself when all the other little Colorado beer nerds have bought them up and you missed out.  Yep, it’s $10.00 / 12-oz bottle.  I get it, it’s expensive, but it’s also 17% ABV.  Split a bottle with someone and put on a long movie.  You’re evening is set.  It’s a nice, nice beer that is very drinkable right now and will continue to evolve and change over time.  Avery plans to release this beer again next year, so start building your vertical now.  Pick up some today.  It’s still around at a few places, but won’t be there for long.  If you don’t grab one, I don’t want to hear any whining later.  Just sayin’.

 

That’s it for now.  Again, hope you had a great weekend and hope I could add some beers to your shopping list.  Oh, almost forgot, our beer trade is going along swimmingly.  (Swimmingly???  I don’t know, just liked the sound of it)  Our beers are getting shipped out tomorrow.  Stay tuned and I’ll walk you through the whole packing process and get us one step closer to some tasty, sweet New Glarus morsels.

Happy Earth Day!  Cheers!


Weekend Beer Buzz and Trade Update

Even on Easter weekend, the beautiful beer state of Colorado has several events planned to prevent you from getting thirsty.  The weekend’s right around the corner, where are you gonna be?

Boulder is topping the list with two big releases this weekend.  First, swing by Twisted Pine for their West Bound Braggot Release.  This is the fourth release in their Artisan Ale Project and is scheduled for Saturday, April 7th, from 4-8PM.  Think sweet honey mead, mixed with exotic Tasmanian pepper berries and fermented with Belgian saison yeast.  Think adventurous and delish!  Stop by the brewery to grab your bottles, meet the brewers and get your bottle signed by the artist who designed the label.

After Twisted Pine, grab a cab and swing by Avery for the Uncle Jacob’s Stout release party.  This will join Rumpkin as the second beer in their Annual Barrel Series.  Uncle Jacob’s Stout is a big ol’ 17.4% ABV stout that’s been aging for 6 months in fresh bourbon barrels.  Maker’s Mark I believe…

Fan boys and girls can grab  bottles for their cellar on Saturday, beginning at 5PM.  12oz. bottles are $10 / each, with a 12 bottle limit.  Even if you’re not looking to score any bottles, stop by for some banjo pickin’, and try the special beers pouring for the event.  Eremita III, Barrel Aged Tweak (aka Meph Addict) and Rumpkin will be flowing along with whatever else Avery pulls out of their stash to share.  You won’t want to miss it.

So you can’t make it Boulder this weekend?  No worries, out on the southwest side of town in Highlands Ranch, Parry’s Pizza is getting ready for an onslaught of Firestone Walker.  Parry’s is putting on a pint night on Saturday, April 7th from 5:30 to 7:30PM.  Word is that they’ll have 21-23 different taps flowing of Firestone Walker deliciousness.  Order a Firestone Walker beer, get a glass to bring home and add to the collection.  You’ll also be entered to win shirts and other prizes.

Sounds like they’ll be bringing out some tasty kegs from the cellar to share with Colorado.  I visited Parry’s for the first time last weekend and had a great time.  Awesome food and amazing tap list.  Stop kidding yourself.  This place is a legit attraction for beer nerds.  Check them out!

On the other side of town in Aurora, Dry Dock’s Firkin Master, Walt Chleva has brewed a Rose Hips Superstition Ale.  This rose hips infused version of their sour mash ale will go on tap on Friday at 3PM, so slip out of work a little early and get your weekend started in the right direction.

Anybody make it last week for the Bacon Maple Ale firkin?  I’m bummed that I missed that one and would love to hear how it turned out.

My last post was all about getting started in the wide world of beer trading.  I’ll be continuing this series soon, but wanted to give you a quick update on where we are with this project.  After my initial post on beeradvocate.com, I had 3 replies in 20 minutes and ended up getting 15 replies in 24 hours.  I’m currently working out the details with a trader who lives in Chicago, IL and is making a trip to Wisconsin to do some beer shopping this weekend.  I’ll be making a few more posts on this and will walk you through the entire process, but just wanted to give you a quick update.

Finally, a few cases of Cantillon have trickled in from Belgium and a few more should be showing up on shelves around town this weekend.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can find a bottle or two, but I don’t have my hopes up.  Gone are the days when Cantillon was readily available all over town.  But good luck beer hunters and if you come across an extra, I’d love to trade you for a bottle.  If you come up empty-handed, just remember, it’s only beer.  There’s always something new and tasty to try coming up on the horizon.

Have a great weekend and Hoppy Easter!  Cheers!


New Beers and Beer News 03/28/2012

It’s a great time to be a beer trader.  Spring is shaping up nicely with so many great beers getting ready to pop up around the country.  Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA is about to drop another batch of Beatification for your drinking pleasure.  This is a much, much bigger batch when compared to last month’s release.  That’s good news, but it’s still going to be a brewery only release.  Vinnie and the gang are going to start selling bottles on Friday, March 30th at 9AM, with a 6 bottle limit.  Beatification is sour turned up to 11!  It’s delish and should be on your radar if that’s your thing.  Highly recommended.

Glorious spontaneous fermentation!

Last week I mentioned Cascade up in Oregon and their Sour Blueberry release.  They’ve got another tasty beer coming out on March 29, (yeah, tomorrow!), called The Vine.  The Vine is a blend of soured triple, blonde quad and golden ale, refermented with white wine grapes.  It then undergoes lactic fermentation, while spending more than 6 months in a barrel.  I found some old notes from a bottle I opened back in 2010.  I rated it very well and wrote down “notes of lemon, apples, grapes, grass and wood.”  The good news about Cascade and their bottles is that they’ll ship directly to many states.  Just check their website for an order form with all the details.  I believe they still have bottles of Sour Blueberry, Apricot and Kriek for sale as well. 

Also on the horizon for traders is Ithaca’s LeBleu.  All the way out in upstate New York, is a great little place, called Ithaca Beer Company.  LeBleu is part of their Excelsior series, which highlights events and special releases and has resulted in some amazing beers.  I believe this will be the third batch of LeBleu to be released.  The beer is a sour ale brewed with New York state blueberries and fermented with Brettanomyces.  It’s then barrel aged and gets a dose of Champagne yeast when it’s finally transferred into 750mL bottles.  This batch is a blend of barrels filled in 2010 and 2011.

LeBleu is another tart and super sour beer, but the Champagne yeast gives it an added dimension.  The Champagne yeast gives it a huge, bubbly head, plenty of carbonation and a very dry finish, much like a traditional gueuze.  I’ve been going on and on about how tasty this beer is, just making myself thirsty, that I didn’t even give you the release details.  So the release is set for Saturday, April 14th from 11-7 EST.  I haven’t seen a price yet, but plan on paying in the $20 range for a bottle.  The good news is that there will be a 1 case limit, so if you know a beer trader out that way, it shouldn’t be too hard to track down.

I’ve talked quite a bit about beers to track down in trades and some of you might not have a clue as to how to go about getting into the world of beer trading.  So maybe it’s about time we do a trade together.  Whaddya think?  I’ll work on putting together a trade in the next few weeks and I’ll walk you through it from start to finish.

Anybody have a suggestion on a beer they’d like to trade for?  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy rare or limited, it can just be a simple 6 pack or bomber that you have had and enjoyed, maybe something you miss from back home or something you’ve never had before, but have been wanting to try.  Here’s your chance.  I’m telling you, it’s like Christmas morning when you get a big ol’ box o’ beer from the FedEx guy.  It’s a fun and exciting way to try beers from all over the country that aren’t available in your neck of the woods.  So hit me up if there’s something you’re after and we’ll go through the entire process together, one step at a time and post it on here.

Ready for your first beer trade?

Now for something you don’t have to trade for.  Firkin Master Walt Chleva over at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO, has a Bacon Maple Firkin that will be tapped on Friday, March 30th at 3PM.  I can’t make it out for this one, but would love to hear how it turns out.

MMMMMM, Bacon!!!

Also at Dry Dock this weekend is their sort of, maybe, kind of annual Chili Cookoff.  It’s being held on Sunday, April 1st from 1-3PM.  Stop by and try some really tasty entries and vote for your favorite.  They’ve got details on their Facebook page if you’d like to enter your own creation.  This is a great way to spend the afternoon and the competition is pretty fierce.

That’s it for today.  Drop me a line if you have a suggestion for a beer to track down in trade, or if you’d like to learn how it’s done.  Cheers!


Strong Ale Fest Teaser, Prost Brewing, Firkins, Dark Lord Day Tickets and Beer Radio!

So it’s been an exciting week for me.  We had more than 300 hits in the first week of Brewtally Insane.  It’s awesome to see such a positive response.  Thank You! 

As I get ready to have my face melted at the Avery Strong Ale Festival tonight, I wanted to share a few pieces of beer news that I came across over the past few days. 

First up, Prost Brewing is hard at work getting their brew system up and running.  Prost is led by Bill Eye, the former head brewer over at Dry Dock in Aurora, CO.  Since leaving Dry Dock, he bought a brew system over in Germany, had it shipped to the U.S. by boat and has been hard at work getting it ready to fire off some tasty German style beers.  Bill and the gang at Prost are aiming for a Spring 2012 opening.  Prost will be located at 2540 19th Street, Denver, CO 80211.  Check out their Facebook page to stay up to date on their progress, participate in surveys and see pictures of everything, from construction to glassware. 

Let the countdown to Spring begin!

Speaking of Dry Dock, their Firkin Friday release today is Hop Project:X.  Firkin master, Walt Chleva, says this is a dry hopped pale ale with an experimental hop.  First firkin at 3PM, second firkin at 7PM. 

12 hours from now, the Strong Ale Festival up at Avery will be in full force.  Here’s a few teasers for you from two of my favorite breweries.  First up, Surly.  They sent kegs of Smoke, which is a smoked lager and Five, which is a sour ale they brewed for their 5th anniversary.  Surly doesn’t distribute very far from their brewery up in Minnesota, so be sure to check these out if you’re attending  this weekend.  

Get Surly this weekend at Avery's Strong Ale Festival

Oskar Blues also has some intersting “one-offs” for you to enjoy at the festival.  They’re bringing four beers this time around.  Look for a wine barrel aged G’Knight, an oak aged version of Gubna and a Double Deviant.  That should satisfy the hopheads in the crowd.  If double IPA’s aren’t your thing, they’re also bringing a Wild Turkey barrel aged version of Ten FIDY, their Russian Imperial Stout.  Personally, I’m really looking forward to giving that a try. 

Look for Oskar Blues to bring some tap some tasty barrel aged beers this weekend.

American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live for a pre-festival, tailgate-like show at Avery from 11-noon tomorrow.  Joining host Gary V. on the show tomorrow will be Surly head brewer, Todd Haug and Avery barrel master, Andy Parker.  American Craft Beer Radio is on 102.3 FM, ESPN Radio.  At noon, you can flip over to 760 AM for the Colorado Craft Beer Show and here all the local happenings with John Turk and from Oskar Blues, Chris Katechis, aka “The Gubna”.  I love both of these programs and it’s nice that they’re going to be on at staggered times this weekend so listeners don’t have to flip back and forth. 

Oh and real quick, Three Floyds has announced that tickets for their 2012 Dark Lord Day release will go on sale on March 17th.  The release date is set for Saturday, April 28th.  I’ll have more info on Dark Lord Day soon, but if you’re thinking about going, check out their website and mark your calendars.  This is one of the biggest releases of the year and is sure to be a good time.

Get ready to reserve your Dark Lord Day 2012 tickets next week.

Again, thanks for a great first week.  Business cards have arrived.  They look pretty sharp if I may say so and have a tip chart on the back so you’ve got no reason not to take care of your bartenders around town.  Give me a shout and I’ll give you some to pass along to your beer loving friends.  Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook to get updates, beer releases, reviews and links shared with you throughout the week.


Weekend Beer Buzz and Another New Brewery 03/12/2012

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Get a jump start and kick things off right by heading over to Dry Dock this afternoon for their latest Firkin Friday release.  Firkin Master Walt Chleva has brewed a special Graham Cracker Marshmallow Brown to be tapped today.  No, that’s not a typo.  Sounds like a winner to me.  First firkin goes on at 3pm, followed by a second at 7pm.  Don’t be late, these won’t last long.

Roasting marshamallows for the tasty firkin.

In addition to today’s firkin, they’ve got some awesome seasonals on tap like an oak-aged Sour ESB called Stowaway, a Belgian Tripel, a Bourbon Barrel aged Porter and just in time for St. Patrick’s day, a dry Irish stout pouring on nitro.  Dry Dock is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave., in Aurora, CO.  303-400-5606.

While you’re there, head next door to The Brew Hut, their homebrew shop.  Ever thought about growing hops in your backyard?  If you brew your own beer or just want a cool, unique and great smelling plant to grow in your backyard, maybe it’s time to start thinking about it.  The always helpful and knowledgable Brew Hut staff is taking orders through today for hop rhizomes.  A rhizome is a chunk of root that will produce a plant.  They’re offering a variety of great hops including Cascade, Centennial, Fuggle, Hallertau and Nugget.

Cascades from my backyard.

Hops are very easy to grow and after a year or two of getting themselves established, will produce a ton of useful hops for you to use in your beer or just to sit back, smell and enjoy while you’re outside.  I’ve been growing Cascade and Nugget since 2006 and they come back stronger and more prolific every year.  Call the guys at the shop to reserve your rhizomes.  303-680-8898.  If you’re not sure what to get or still have your head in the snow and aren’t yet ready to start thinking about gardening, they usually order extra to sell to customers.  At $4.50 / rhizome, you can’t go wrong.

Down south in Colorado Springs, Trinity just released some exciting news.  Their head brewer, Darren, announced that they will be upgrading their 4.5 barrel brewhouse to a 12 barrel brewhouse.  They will be closed on March 12th and 13th to get the new equipment moved in and the first batch on the new setup is scheduled to be brewed on March 16th.

They also have a firkin scheduled to be tapped on Saturday, as part of their First Saturday Firkin program.  This go round is FLO IPA, with Summit, Kent Golding and Williamette hops.  At only $3 a glass, it can’t beat it.  Lastly, if you’re a fan of Saisons, you won’t want to miss their Saison and Farmhouse Ale Festival coming up on April 14th.

$30 pre-sale, $35 at the door, gets you a glass and access to some seriously tasty Belgian style Saison and Farmhouse Ales.  Owner and brewer, Jason Yester is a master at what he does and I highly recommend checking this festival out.  Trinity Brewing is located at 1466 Garden of the Gods Road, Colorado Springs, CO.  1-719-634-0029.

I just caught wind of another brewery getting ready to open up in the Denver area.  Alpine Dog has a website up and running.  Check them out by clicking HERE.  I really know next to nothing about these guys, but will keep you in the loop with whatever I can find out.

Enjoy your weekend and feel free to e-mail me or shoot me a message on the facebook page with any news or anything you’d like to share.  Cheers!