Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wild Woods

In such a small town like Boulder, Colorado it is often wondered if there is really room for another microbrewery. The answer is simply yes. Especially when the idea for a brewery is bringing together high quality craft ale that is inspired from the nature that is all around Colorado. So when the husband and wife team of Jake and Erin Evans moved from Wisconsin to Colorado they got to enjoy the hiking in the Rocky Mountains and perfecting recipes in their basement as avid home brewers. The end result is a small brewery that takes traditional style ales, and mixes them with flavors inspired from the outdoors, and it is Boulder’s newest brewery Wild Woods.
Located down the street from Avery this brewery is hidden, and from the exterior it is a brick warehouse, with climbing rope squaring off the outdoor seating area. Step inside and you are in a lodge environment. The bar top is long and all wood, along the middle of the tasting room is a wooden island, and along the back wall are tables and chairs. Behind the bar is a wood paneled wall which houses the chalkboard menu of the available beers and along the wall next to the bar is more wood paneling which only adds to the lodge environment. An opening to the left of the bar allows guests to see the 2 barrel system used to make the ales, as well as shelving with all the ingredients. With such a small brewing system it allows the beer to be very fresh at all times, and with beer so fresh it can be difficult to decide which to try first.
Wild Woods has beers of all style to cater to beer fans of all sorts, and that includes two for the fans of hoppy beers. The Treeline IPA has the classic flavors one would expect, however it has been conditioned with juniper berries. The end result is a dry IPA with the complex yet subtle flavors of pine and citrus, and a tiny spice note from the addition of juniper. While the hops are still the primary flavor the undertones all from the little juniper berry took and ordinary beer to a new level of complexity. Another adventurous beer for the hop fans is the Wildflower Pale Ale. This is a very light pale ale with all the citrus qualities, and bitterness from the hops that one would expect. Add the extra flavor of jasmine flowers during the brewing process and the flavors are elevated. The floral note lightens up the whole beer adding a crisp and clean flavor that sets this beer apart. Also available for fans of lighter beers is the berry patch wheat. A light wheat ale that combines both raspberries and strawberries. Both fruit flavors come through strong, but do not overpower each other. Not too sweet, and with a clean aftertaste this is a unique and very enjoyable fruit ale.
From light, dry beers to dark and hearty beers the porter and stout are classical beers done right, but the extra ingredients elevate these beers to great. The Ponderosa Porter named after a type of pine tree is known to give off a sweet aroma in the wilderness, but how does that translate to a beer? Add caramel malts and oak age it with vanilla beans. The end result is a beer that has a butterscotch taste with a floral vanilla aftertaste. Full bodied, but full flavored this beer has such a depth of flavor each new sip brings something new onto the pallet. Very enjoyable, and one might not be enough. When spending time outdoors and camping there is one thing that usually comes to mind and that is smores. So when you take a stout base and add three different malts (roasted barley, chocolate, and biscuit), milk sugar, and age the beer with cacao nibs you get a smores stout. A heavy beer that is slightly sweet, has a full body, and a slightly smoky aftertaste this beer will remind you of sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, and is a smore in a glass. If a smoky beer sounds good but the sweetness does not then there is the Campfire Red Ale. No hops are present in this ale instead it is mostly malty (some of which are smoked), and it creates a very straightforward flavor of malts with a subtle smokiness. A very clean aftertaste follows the bold flavor of this ale and sip for sip it is very enjoyable.
In a town like Boulder, Colorado there are two qualities that define it as a town. They house the very first microbrewery in the state and many more, plus it is known for the wonderful outdoors and active lifestyle its residents have. Now it has one of the newest microbreweries in the state that has combined the best of both worlds. High quality ales and the best of the nature that surrounds them both in the beer and in the environment they have created within the brewery. After a long day of hiking in Boulder continue the outdoor experience while quenching your thirst and pay Wild Woods Brewery a visit for a flight, pint, or growler.

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