In Louisville, Colorado just outside of Boulder, driving down Main Street brings back the small town feel that has been lost in most places. With small restaurants, book stores, and other shops this is the kind of place where small business thrives. In June of 2013, the craft beer community made its claim on Main Street and is pouring their Belgian style beers to the masses. Named after one of the original methods to measure a beer’s gravity, in terms of Plato, and the second microbrewery in Louisville this is 12 Degrees Brewing.
Located inside the Main Street Marketplace next to a book and record store, this location transforms you with that small town feel, and the inside has the same feeling. Just through the doors or garage door opening, to create a patio, you find yourself inside a small but comfortable feeling tasting room with old hard wood floors, and old wooden beams throughout the entire room. To the left of the bar and tables guests can see the open kitchen where pizzas are made to order as well as the brewing equipment used. Behind the bar, above the tap handles, is the tap list, and with all Belgian style ales there were four various but refreshing styles to choose from.
When it comes to Belgian style ales there is nothing more classic than a traditional white ale and that is the case with the Walter’s White. A classic white ale that is slightly cloudy in appearance but has a light crisp flavor and is easy to drink. The crisp and refreshing citrus note is present along with the familiar spice note of coriander to enhance the citrus flavor. It is all rounded out with a prominent yeast flavor to give the beer body and depth. The aftertaste is very clean making this a very familiar refreshing beer that is done extremely well. If you want something refreshing but not as traditional then there is also a very unique Summer Saison. A style many people are familiar with, but this particular version has a flavor profile that is extremely unique. More dry than a typical saison, this one has a subtle flavor of tropical fruit that finishes with a hint of pepper for a slightly spicy finish. It has a very clean aftertaste making it very easy to drink, extremely refreshing, and a beer that will be enjoyed by all who try it due to the complexities of flavors within it.
Now of course a Colorado brewery wouldn’t be complete without a beer that brings forward the delicious flavor of hops, and that is the case with the Hommelbier, a Belgian Pale Ale that was a collaboration beer with Fate Brewing in nearby Boulder. It is a hop forward beer that has a strong bitter flavor but also has honey to balance the flavor out. Combine that with a hint of citrus, and the yeast strain and this is a very complex beer that is tart, sweet, full bodied, and bitter. The aftertaste does linger around for a little but not enough to overpower the beer, it is extremely refreshing, unique, and easy to enjoy. Also available is a traditional Tripel, a golden colored ale that is a balance of sweet and spicy that at 7 percent abv is very enjoyable.
It’s hard to believe that in such a small town like Louisville that there are now two microbreweries. Just a short drive away from such a beer rich community like Boulder this small town is producing high quality ales that can rival any microbrewery. 12 Degrees is no exception with their take on traditional Belgian Ales. Combine that with serving them in a historic location right off Main Street and it makes the small business feel that much more obvious. One sip of the beers and you want to stay around for a while, and enjoy a pint or two. So when heading in that direction make it a point to stop by and sample these four great beers, it is worth the trip.
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