Friday, September 20, 2013

Saint Patrick's Brewing

Despite the growth of craft beer in Colorado there are still certain styles that can be difficult to find on a regular basis. One of those styles is lagers, those clean, crisp refreshing ales that take time, cold fermentation, and great execution to make. So to find a brewery that only makes artisan lagers in a wide variety of styles is a hidden gem, and then to find out that they are only making them 25 gallons at a time shows the true craft this brewery has. That is the case in a small brewery in Englewood, Colorado where the lagers are pouring in traditional, hybrid, and experimental styles at Saint Patrick’s Brewing Company.
What started off in a garage in Centennial has now evolved into a small tap room located in a small row of warehouses. With only 18 seats this tap room is very small, but very comfortable and inviting. A large chalkboard displaying the available beers is visible for all to see, but the highlight of this tap room d├ęcor is the artwork that hangs from the walls. Prior to crafting lagers co-owner Chris Phelps was an artist, and some of his amazing paintings grace the walls creating a great eye piece. Right behind the bar top lays a group of small fermenters where these small batches are turning into beer. With so many different styles of lagers to choose from, deciding which one to try first can be overwhelming.  
A good rule of thumb to follow when tasting beers is to start light, and that would be the Luminosity, a traditional Helles meets a Belgian Farmhouse. This beer has all the traditional aspects of a Helles like the light body, crisp mouth feel, and light malt flavor. The addition of honey and fresh citrus zest gives this beer a bright fresh flavor with a subtle sweetness. Factor in the five hop additions and this is a complex beer that is balanced, finishes clean, and is very refreshing. For something still light, but with a much different flavor profile there is the Colorado Golden Lager, a Czech Pilsner with Saison influences. The honey and citrus flavors are still visible in the beer, but contrary to the Luminosity, this beer has a much more prominent hop flavor. This creates a dry mouth feel with a slight bitterness, but it is not overpowering. Instead the end result is a more complex beer that has a slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but is still very refreshing and easy to drink.
For something slightly more malt forward there is the Cerevisia, a traditional Vienna style lager with influences of the California Common style. A rich copper color sets the tone of this beer and the flavor profile is slightly sweet with a more malt forward flavor. The bitterness from the hops are still visible, but secondary in this clean beer. For fans of the dark beers, there is the Midnight Mocha, a Schwarz beer. This dark black lager had strong notes of coffee and chocolate which created a slight bitterness. This was balanced out by honey, and lactose added created a creamy mouth feel which added to the mocha flavor profile. With a surprisingly light body, and strong flavor profile this is a very unique beer that was very easy to drink. Also available are various seasonal lagers including a Czech Chai Ginger, Chocolate Pumpkin Lager, Pumpkin Vanilla Chai, Lana’I IPL and a traditional Dry Stout all released throughout the year.
Since opening their doors in 2012, Saint Patrick’s Brewing has been bringing forward the art of lagers. With the amount of time and the craft that goes into each batch the end result is truly a craft. With so many distinct beers to choose from the styles of this beer are endless, and the light bodied refreshing beers are all complex but easy to drink. This is truly a brewery that has brought forward a difficult style of beer to make, and the small 25 gallon batches bring the craft to life. While lagers can be difficult to find on the craft beer level, Saint Patrick’s has made it a little easier. So when looking for a new brewery, or style to try venture down to Santa Fe Circle in Englewood and give Saint Patrick’s a try, you may find a new favorite.

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