Friday, February 3, 2012

Mile High Brews: Copper Kettle

It is impressive that with already over a hundred microbreweries in Colorado that new ones are still opening up. What is even more impressive is that in the same year they opened they win a gold medal for best spiced beer at the Great American Beer Festival. A small brewery in southeast Denver located in a strip mall around some apartments without even a lit sign to attract customer. Also the fact that it was founded by a husband and wife team after he finished his doctorate at North Carolina State University. A largely German inspired brewery that opened its doors in April of 2011 this is the Copper Kettle Brewery.
Upon walking into this brewery it becomes the true definition of what a neighborhood bar really is. From the copper that lines the top of the bar to the cherry wood tables scattered throughout to the couches all on the rustic looking hardwood floors this place has a truly relaxed feel to it that makes you feel right at home. Decks of cards at each table make it easy to pass the time with the other customers around. A glass window behind the bar makes viewing the production that much easier, and to get to the restroom you walk right by all the tanks. With the friendliest staff and owners who converse with all the customers it is easy to see why this brewery already has such an established following. Mix that with the addition of some high quality and very original beers this is one place that is one of the true hidden gems in the Denver beer scene. With seven regular beers offered ranging from light to dark they are all worth trying, but there are also a few that set them apart from all the other competition.
When after only a few short months of bring open and a gold medal is awarded to a beer for the best herb and spice beer it is one that is definitely worth trying. When that beer is influenced by and ancient Aztec recipe for hot chocolate it is a recipe for a truly unique beer, and that is what you will find with the Mexican Chocolate Stout. A dark stout beer that has a pretty light body and is infused with cinnamon, chocolate, and guajillo red peppers. Sounds like a lot to be in one beer, but this beer is incredibly balanced and each flavor comes through and stands on its own without overpowering the other flavors. The strong aroma of cinnamon is the first flavor that you will notice, and the richness of the chocolate hits your pallet and adds a nice body to this beer. The last flavor you will notice is the red peppers which leaves a subtle lingering heat in the back of your throat. This is a very warming beer which is only fitting given its inspiration from hot chocolate, but no matter what weather this beer is one worth trying, and one that you will keep talking about for not only its uniqueness, but also how good it really is.
While a Mexican Chocolate Stout might sound like the perfect beer to drink during the cold winter months, there is an ale brewed that fits the flavors of the season perfectly and it is the Winter Spice Ale. A brown ale with a prominent malt flavor this beer is good based on that, but with the additional flavors of allspice, ginger, star anise, and vanilla beans it escalates this beer to a whole new level of comforting and warming flavors. All flavors on this beer come through with the licorice flavor of anise, the subtle spice of the ginger, and the floral and sweet notes of the vanilla bean. A beer that defines sitting by the fireplace in winter that has such comforting flavors, one that will be enjoyed more with each sip, and one that will be looked forward to each season.
While those are only two of the beers offered at Copper Kettle there are five others that are all enjoyable. A Bavarian Helles which is so light and so clean it is the perfect palate pleaser with a subtle flavor and very muted aftertaste. A Czech inspired Pilsner with the bitterness and hoppy flavor everybody loves but not overpowering enough that it makes to beer hard to drink. There is also the Dortmunder Lager that has a full body, a slightly more pronounced hop flavor, and a complexity of flavors that are all very refreshing. Of course every brewery offers I.P.A.s and there are two offered here. One is the Better Half IPA which was actually created by home brewers and put on tap after winning a contest. Made with seven different styles of hops and has all the characteristics of hops, bitterness, and a dry flavor it is worth trying for any avid fan of IPAs. Last there is the Black IPA where the grains are roasted and in addition to the hops, and bitterness there is a subtle flavor of chocolate and toffee that adds a unique sweetness. One that is worth trying it is a very original IPA that will be hard to come by anywhere else. Most recently they have also added to their tap list a hefeweizen and a breakfast stout as new offerings.
Award winning ales, a friendly staff that interacts with all customers and a relaxed environment that hours could be spent in not only enjoying the beers, but also talking with all the people who walk in and out. While the brewery itself may still be establishing itself as one of the newest breweries the loyal following is already there with new people coming in everyday. A truly unique brewery that is hidden it could very easily be the next great neighborhood bar, and with the hand crafted high quality ales it very easily will be. When on Parker Road do not drive by the Copper Kettle, it is worth stopping by for a pint and will very easily become one of your new favorite regular spots.
Have a brewery you want us to visit? Let us know by joining the official Mile High Brews fan page:!/pages/Mile-High-Brews/300062080014536

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