Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mile High Brews: Rocky Mountain

Colorado Springs, Colorado is a town well established in the microbrewery scene. A lot of that can be attributed to one brewery: Bristol. But about 9 miles from there in a hidden warehouse part of the town lies a small microbrewery that has won multiple gold medals at the World Beer Cup, and specializes in fruit ales of all beers. Not a well known brewery, or one that is easy to find but one worth visiting, the Rocky Mountain Brewery.
The story of this brewery is one that is becoming more and more common. Owner Duane Lujan was a home brewer who owned a home brewing shop, then one day another brewery was going out of business, the equipment and space was bought, and Rocky Mountain Brewing was official. When you first drive up to this brewery you might think you are lost. It is on a back road in a warehouse and there are not even windows, but don’t drive away. Walk inside and meet the friendly bartender/owner, and try some of the interesting fruit ales they make.
Winner of the Gold Medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup, and silver at the 2012 the one beer that is a must try is the Da’ Yoopers Cherry Ale. Now while there are a lot of cherry ales on the market this one is like no other you have ever had. From the intense red cherry color to the unique flavor this is one of the most unique cherry ales there is. To top it off is the taste, it does not taste like a wheat beer with a hint of cherry, and instead it tastes just like a cherry pie. A malty golden ale base loaded with Michigan cherries and finished off with a hint of cinnamon give this beer ale the great qualities of cherry pie. The only thing missing is the crust and the a la mode. Perfect for those summer days, or even when the weather is cold and you crave something comforting, this cherry ale will satisfy every appetite, and quench any thirst.
Now with a beer as good as the cherry ale winning a silver medal at the World Beer Cup the beer that took gold in the fruit category would have had to be even more flavorful and balanced. And who else but Rocky Mountain Brewery could do this? Instead of beer this is actually a cider, and instead of apple it is peach and somehow they found the perfect balance of sweetness, tartness, and the end result is this amazing crisp and refreshing beverage. The aroma and taste are just like biting into a fresh peach at the peak of its ripeness.  Now while ciders are typically extremely sweet this one is not. There is a subtle sweetness but the tartness from the peaches balances it out. Another one of those beverages that is absolutely refreshing in summertime, and a beverage for non beer drinkers to enjoy. One of the newest offerings at this brewery and it is no wonder that it already has the following and awards it does.
Aside from the fruit ales everything at Rocky Mountain is unique. Other offerings available are a chocolate stout, a blonde, brunette, and red lager, and they are also one of the first breweries to introduce smoked beers (where the ingredients are smoked or smoked woods are added during the brewing process). While innovation has given this brewery their following and uniqueness it is the fruit beers that make them special. In addition they occasionally offer a blueberry ale and a raspberry cider, but with the quality and passion they put into them it is no wonder this brewery has won so many awards. Next time you are in Colorado Springs stop by for a pint or a flight and as their slogan says it you can taste the quality. You can also see why they have such a great following and why they have won so many awards.
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