Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Copper Kettle Anniversary

In 2012 it was known as a “Year in the Making,” where the small Denver brewery Copper Kettle celebrated their first anniversary. This event was celebrated over the course of 4 days with 4 new beers which included a Black Belgian Quad, a Belgian Golden Strong, and a Barleywine. Fast forward a year and now this brewery is celebrating their second anniversary with what is appropriately called “A Year of Growth.” A year in which the fermenters were upgraded to included both 10 and 30 BBL, where the size of their refrigeration was tripled, and a year where the overall space of the brewery almost tripled in size. Soon to be added to that list will be bombers available after their purchase of a bottling line. It has been a year of growth for Copper Kettle and now this four day event will include not 4, but 10 new beers, the only question is which day to try?
The festivities will begin on Thursday, April 18 with two different beers being profiled on cask. The first is a variation of the signature and award winning Mexican Chocolate Stout, but instead it is a Double Mexican Chocolate Stout. Does that mean more chocolate, cinnamon, peppers, or all three? Regardless of what the double means it sounds like a must try for the longtime fans of this beer or the guests trying this for the first time. Also available on cask this day is a beer that is not often seen, and that is a Rauchbier. A beer from Bamberg, Germany where the malts were dried over an open flame a Rauchbier is a smoked beer. The level of smoke flavor varies from brewery to brewery buy given that they are not seen often on the craft beer level, this is a can’t miss beer.
Friday, April 19 will be that day that internal bragging rights are on the line as all five employees of Copper Kettle made their own beer and guests will get to enjoy the Battle of the Beer. Five very unique styles of beer that guests will be allowed to vote on. The beers available will be a Pecan Wood Smoked Brown Ale, an India Alt Ale, a Belgian Witbier with lemongrass and Ginger, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged in port wine barrels, and a Belgian saison with strawberry and rhubarb also aged in port wine barrels. All sound delicious, interesting, and refreshing. But before the voting begins they must be tasted, and the first question we will all be facing is which one to try first.
Going into the weekend the celebration will continue with a few more new beer releases. Saturday the bourbon barrels that have been used to bring us the High Country Breakfast Stout, and Old Ale will now also bring us a Baltic Porter. A higher alcohol, but also sweeter porter that is originated from the Baltic states these are beers that are not often seen, but are very good. Mix that with bourbon barrel aging and it has the potential to be one of the best beers released this weekend. Also available on Saturday are 2 more cask releases that are one day only. Once they are gone that is it so show up early to get a taste of these highly limited brews. Going into the last day of this four day celebration will be a throwback to the first anniversary and a celebration of the second. There will be vertical pairings of the 2012 and 2013 batches of Barleywine. These are worth tasting side by side to note the differences in taste, and what a year’s worth of aging does to change the profile of this ale. 
Through all four days there will also be events going on to keep the crowd entertained with live music, plus local food trucks to feed all the hungry guests that will be there for this event. The amount of growth that Copper Kettle Brewing Company has seen since they first opened their doors has been nothing short of amazing. This once small brewery now has a huge customer base but the regulars from day one are still showing up every day to enjoy the same high quality beers they have loved from the beginning. As the second anniversary approaches and the growth that they have seen since the first it makes you want to enjoy the moment of the celebration and enjoy all the great beers that will be available. But in the same moment it makes you wonder where they will be a year from now, and how big they will be then. For that we will have to wait and see, but for this second anniversary party, it could very well be one of the best celebrations for a craft brewery this year.
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