Friday, November 29, 2013

Brewery Tours

With Thanksgiving behind us, but the remainder of the weekend still ahead and guests still in town, deciding how to fill the next couple days can be difficult. Thankfully in Colorado there is more craft beer than we know what to do with, and the ability to visit multiple breweries in a single day is easier than ever. With several regions in the state all with great breweries all around, and several new breweries as well, these are some of our top brewery tours to do with friends and family during this holiday season.
Denver: When it comes to craft beer in Colorado one of the most populated areas is in Denver, and to visit multiple breweries is extremely easy. The hard part is deciding which breweries to visit, and due to the wide geography within the city the easiest place to visit is in LoDo. To start off, visit one of the newest breweries in Denver, Jagged Mountain. With their diverse tap list, and unique takes on beers it is a great way to start any brewery tour. Whether the flavor is for a variety of saisons, IPAs, or a small batch strong ales the unique beers they offer will awaken your taste buds, and intrigue you to the other breweries within the area. After departing Jagged Mountain it is a short 2 block walk to one of the most iconic breweries in not only Denver, but all of Colorado and that is Great Divide. Within the old building lies some great beer in a wide variety of styles. Whether you are sampling on $1 tasters or enjoying a pint of one of the many beers they produce, you can’t go wrong here. Whether it is a lager like Hoss, a seasonal like Hibernation, or the iconic Yeti this brewery is a must visit with beers for everyone. Just make sure to get there close to open, but stay around long enough for the tour of this great brewery. To end your day in Denver, it is another short 2 block walk to a brewery with refreshing Belgian style ales, and complex barrel aged beers. Of course this is River North. Again this brewery offers a wide variety of beers, but all with a Belgian twist making them very complex and refreshing. As this brewery has grown they have also increased the amount of barrel aged beers and there are some very unique offerings on a daily basis from this small brewery. With these three breweries you get a combination of the best Denver has to offer, something new, one of the iconic, and one of the most unique. When you combine it into one day you get a variety of fantastic beers in all different styles making this one of the best mini brewery tours to do within Denver.
Boulder: Doing a mini-brewery tour within Colorado would not be complete without including Boulder, after all that is where the craft beer scene all got started. However, this tour does not include Boulder Beer, instead three breweries that make very straight forward ales. During the holiday season no brewery visit in Boulder would be complete without a trip to Upslope Brewing Company in their newest location on Flatiron Ct. On top of their always delicious flagship beers they also have a great lineup of limited releases and seasonal, but this time of year is especially good with the Pumpkin Ale and Christmas Ale. After departing Upslope head right down the street to a brewery that combines the owner’s love of craft beer and the outdoors at Wild Woods Brewery. This brewery does not do anything fancy, the beers are very straightforward and are all inspired by the outdoors.  Whether it is the Wildflower Pale Ale, Campfire Red, or Smores Stout there is a beer that everybody will enjoy at this small husband and wife operation. Make sure to ask what seasonal beers are available as well. For your last stop in Boulder it is a little bit of a drive but the environment, and scenery makes it totally worth it. It also happens to be one of the newest breweries in this town, Sanitas. With a lineup of great ales that include a saison, Black IPA, and Imperial Brown the beers are all well balanced, but what makes this brewery worth visiting is the environment. With a spacious tap room, great scenery, and a bocce ball court this is a place where hours could be spent relaxing, enjoying beer, and watching the trains go by. With great scenery all around in Boulder, and an abundance of craft beer available it is another town where visiting multiple breweries is easy, and the above three are a great way to start exploring Boulder.
Now of course the brewery tours do not stop there and the recent expansion of craft breweries has led to the suburbs. The south suburbs of Denver are consistently expanding in small towns like Highlands Ranch, Englewood, and Littleton, as well as Aurora and the edges of Denver. Further west continues to grow in towns like Arvada, Golden, and Wheatridge making the possibilities for traveling and visiting multiple breweries endless. The only thing to decide is where you want to drive to and how many breweries you want to visit.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brews News Thanksgiving Week

Hard to believe that this is the last week of November, and Thanksgiving as well. Soon the Holiday season will be in full swing, but for now let’s enjoy the week ahead. As our families fly in to visit, and we want to perfect beverage for our turkey there is still a lot to do in the craft beer world this week in anticipation of the holiday, and in the days that follow.
-After the chaos of the holiday has settled down head over to Dry Dock Brewing on Saturday, November 30 for their in house brew contest, also known as the 5th Annual Ho Ho Ho Slapdown. This annual event will feature 6 teams of 3 brewers and runs from 11-5. It is also ugly sweater day at the brewery so find the most ugly sweater you own and try to outdo the staff. This is a great, fun event every year and should not be missed.
-To treat yourself at the end of the weekend how about breakfast out? Sunday, December 1 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will be hosting their 2nd Annual Beer and Breakfast. There are 2 different times you can attend, and food will be cooked by El Toro the Tot along with 3 different beers. In addition to great food and great beer guests will be allowed to purchase bottles of Snowed In prior to anybody else! Tickets are only $30 per person, and this will be a great event.
The day after Thanksgiving is usually a day spent shopping, relaxing, and eating leftovers. But how about instead you enjoy the leftovers as a potluck, enjoy some great craft beer, and congratulate a brewery by celebrating their first anniversary with them? In Wheatridge Brewery Rickoli will be celebrating their first anniversary on Black Friday. In addition to the leftover potluck there will be special beer releases throughout the day. This is a great brewery, and will be a great event to congratulate him, and taste many of his delicious offerings.
New Beer Releases:
Both before and after the holiday breweries all across the state will be releasing new beers throughout the week.
-Wednesday, November 27 will be the last Wednesday of “Be Thankful” month at Copper Kettle Brewing Company, and they will finish off with a firkin of a Fresh Cranberry Witbier. Beer gets tapped at 3 and is sure to go quick.
-Wednesday, November 27 Wild Woods Brewery in Boulder is releasing 2 beers just in time for Thanksgiving. They will be rereleasing their Butternut Brown only this time a barrel aged version. In addition they will also be releasing a Pistachio Cream Ale. Both beers will be available starting at 4.
-Friday, November 29 Yak and Yeti in Arvada will be releasing Disgruntled Pumpkin Ale. This popular beer is looked forward to every year so should go quickly.
-Friday, November 29 Lone Tree Brewing Company will be releasing their 4th beer this month, this time a Chili Beer. In addition starting at 1 they will be offering small tours and a Q & A session with their head brewer Jason. This will be a great chance to have a unique beer and talk to the head brewer, so arrive early this day.
-Saturday, November 30 River North Brewery will be releasing their Whiskey Aged Quandary, one of their many great barrel aged beers.
Additionally on Thanksgiving Day Grist Brewing in Highlands Ranch will be open for pints, and for last minute growler fills.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and be safe during this holiday season. Cheers!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Tis the Season 2013

Each year as the seasons shift from fall to winter the beer scene changes as well. Pumpkin beers and marzens are gone for another year and in its place a new batch of seasonal offerings hit the shelf. Winter beers, those strong beers full of bold flavor, unique spice, and most importantly the ales that warm the body for those coldest of nights. Each year we sample these seasonal offerings from all over Colorado and come up with our favorites. In the spirit of the season this has become a tradition, and here are the best winter seasonal beers for 2013.
Accumulation (New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO): Often winter ales are dark, heavy, and spiced, but that is not at all the case with Accumulation, the newest addition to New Belgium’s great lineup of seasonal offerings. This White IPA is an homage to the snowfall in the Colorado winters and is nothing like any other seasonal you will have this year. The pale straw color appearance does not reflect the flavor profile of this beer. The citrus hop aroma from Mosaic and Amarillo hops carry through to the flavor creating a nice citrus forward beer. This is complimented by a dry mouth feel, and is balanced out by a strong bitterness. With a slightly lingering aftertaste, this is a beer that has several layers of flavor, and makes it very unique for the season.
Hibernation Ale (Great Divide Brewing, Denver, CO): Each year people wait in anticipation for Hibernation Ale to hit the shelves and tap lines, and with good reason. It’s not because it has a delicious spice blend, but instead because it is a hearty ale that warms the body on the coldest of nights. This English style Old Ale has a rich, full body and that matches the flavor perfectly with the richness of the malts. Through all the richness are subtle flavors of raisins, dates, and figs that add another level of flavor. The balance of this beer cannot be beat, and it is no wonder that this award winning beer continues to be one of the most popular every year, and one of the most warming beers of this winter season.
Christmas Ale (Upslope Brewing, Boulder, CO): When it comes to holiday beers one flavor profile comes to mind and that is the classic spiced ale. Upslope Brewing embodies that with their annual Christmas Ale, a Belgian Dubbel that has a light, effervescent body, but layers of flavor. Through the rich ruby color there is a fruit flavor and subtle spice note from the Abbey Yeast strain. But through that there is another level of spice notes that compliment the yeast, and while it is not revealed what spices are in it they are very warming. Hints of cinnamon and ginger give this beer that extra warmth, depth of flavor, and compliment the fruit flavor already in the beer. Again this is a balanced beer, and one of the most complex of the season.
Cocoa Porter (Tommyknocker Brewing, Idaho Springs, CO): When we were young there was nothing better than drinking a cup of hot chocolate on cold winter days. As adults this Idaho Springs brewery gives us that same flavor profile in their annual winter seasonal, the Cocoa Porter. This full bodied porter has a rich chocolate flavor that is balanced out with the addition of honey. The end result? A rich beer that is slightly sweet, but full of rich, chocolate flavor. Who would of thought that a cold beer could warm a person up so much. But with Cocoa Porter the childhood classic winter drink is brought to life in an adult version, minus the marshmallows and whipped cream. Regardless it is one of the best seasonal beers of 2013.  

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brews News 11-19

Can you believe that we are already in the second half of November? With each passing week the weather is getting colder, the days shorter, but one thing that keeps us busy is the craft beer scene in Colorado. As we head into another week we look at another full calendar of great events, new beer releases, and even a festival to keep our pint glasses full and our thirsts quenched.
Even after the chaos of the GABF there are still festivals going on, and on Friday, November 22 the first annual Holiday Beer Bash will be going down at Mile High Station. This event sponsored by American Craft Beer Radio costs $35 from 6-9 for general admission and access to beers from over 30 breweries, and food samples from six local chefs. There are several great Colorado breweries participating including Dry Dock, Copper Kettle, Ska, Elevation, Crooked Stave, plus more from around the country. Tickets are available through Eventbrite and are still available for both VIP and General Admission.
Some great events going on this week pairing food and beer in both savory and sweet forms.
-Wednesday, November 20 in Parker, Colorado Lil’ Riccis will be hosting Pizza and Pints partnering with Parker brewery Hall. Event runs from 4-7 and is a great chance to not only try some great beers in Hall but also meet brewer Aubrey Hall himself, and enjoy some New York style pizza in the process.
-Thursday, November 21 Denver Beer Co. is allowing guests to not only indulge in their sweet tooth, but also prepare for Thanksgiving in the process by hosting Pies and Beer. Starting at 6:00 $12 will get you 3 samples of pie from Maple Street Pie Company along with 3 samples of Denver Beer Co. beer, and you can pick your favorite pairing, and pre-order it for the upcoming holiday.
New Beer Releases:
Not a lot of new beer releases this week, but always something new and exciting around the state.
-Wednesday, November 20 Bristol Brewing will tap their newest community ale, the Give! Black Lager. This light sessionable lager has a subtle roasted flavor, and 100% of the profits will be donated to the Give! 2013 campaign and the 59 nonprofit organizations that are a part of this years class.
-Wednesday, November 20 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will be continuing their month long firkins of “Be Thankful.” This week we move in a dessert direction with the tapping of their Bourbon Pecan Brown. Beer will be available starting at 3, and sounds delicious.
-Thursday, November 21 Saint Patrick’s Brewing will be releasing El Draque Lager, inspired by spiced rum. This beer has 9 different herbs and spices and has been aged on French Oak. This will be available in tasters, and bombers to go.
-Friday, November 22 Lone Tree Brewing has not 1 but 2 new beers being tapped for the weekend. For the hop heads out there they will have a Triple IPA available, and for fans of the dark beers they will be tapping a Coffee Stout. Both beers will be available at noon.
-Saturday, November 23 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will be releasing a new lager perfect for the cooler weather. Their Bock Lager will be hitting the tap lines to join a lineup of great malty beers perfect for the season, beer will be available at noon.
-Sunday, November 24 TRVE in Denver will be releasing their second bottled beer. Starting at 1:30 Eastern Candle will be available for purchase. This pale wheat ale made with Brett has been aged in white wine barrels and certainly sounds interesting and refreshing. Quantities are limited with less than 40 cases available so arrive early to get your hands on this exclusive bottle release.
Other News:
-Hall Brewing began work on their tap room so it is only a matter of time before there is a second microbrewery in Parker we can visit.
-One of Denver’s newest breweries in the works Fermaentra signed a lease and officially have an address. They will be in the DU area at 1715 E. Evans Ave in Denver. This will be a great addition to this neighborhood and hopefully they will be pouring before we know it.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Jagged Mountain

When it comes to breweries in Denver, Colorado there is one part of town that is the most sought after, and that is the LoDo neighborhood. With a mixture of both iconic and new breweries this small region of Denver brings out not only great beers, but also some very unique offerings. So when three friends from Michigan moved out to Colorado and opened a microbrewery of their own they settled in LoDo to make their diverse selection of ales that also include some of the strongest, big flavored beers you will find anywhere in the state. In November of 2013 they opened their doors and the public got to taste firsthand the beers of Jagged Mountain Brewing.
Located inside the building that formerly housed the carriages for the 16th Street Mall the transformation has made the tasting room very nice, spacious, and inviting. The large L shaped bar allows guests ample room for seating and leads to the half wall allowing all the brewing equipment to be seen. Away from the bar are large communal tables that can accommodate large groups or allow guests to interact easily with one another. As for the rest of the tap room itself it is surrounded with large windows that allow not only great natural light in, but also allows great scenery to enjoyed including Coors Field. The walls are all brick and are adorned with both nature and skiing photography. This is a comfortable tap room where hours could be spent enjoying beers, and there are a lot to choose from as well.
For fans of the big hoppy IPAs there are two very unique offerings at Jagged Mountain, the forst being the Imlay, a standard American IPA. By appearance this beer looks more like a hefeweizen than an IPA with a cloudy, straw color but the aroma and flavor soon make you realize it is a hop forward beer. The aroma is very strong in both citrus and hops which carries through perfectly to the flavor. There was a good balance between hops and citrus in the taste, but the bitterness did not last long. A clean aftertaste made this a very refreshing and easy to drink IPA. For something just as hoppy but more complex there is the Barking Marmot, a Blego-American Black IPA. This dark brown ale had a citrus, hop aroma, but the flavor was more unique. The dry hoppy flavor was still prominent but it was balanced out by a subtle coffee flavor from the roasted malts, and the citrus flavor from both the hops and Belgian yeast strain. There was great balance between all the flavors, and through it all the hops were still prominent so you knew you were drinking an IPA. Combine that with a clean finish and this was a complex, easy to drink beer.
For fans of Belgian style beers there are also two different versions of a saison offered, the first being a session beer called Zero Gravity. This beer has very subtle flavors to compliment its light and effervescent body. Very easy to drink and very refreshing. For a more bold flavored version of this Belgian classic there is the Spearhead. More cloudy in appearance this beer has more bold flavors including tropical fruits, a slight spice note, and a bright tartness. All the flavors work together to create balance and a very refreshing, light beer. Also available is a malty Scotch ale known as the Acute Malted Scottish, but the one thing Jagged Mountain is known for is big, bold beers. When they first opened their doors Jagged Mountain offered two different Old Ales known as First Descent that came in at a strong 13 and 14 percent ABV, and the small experimental batches are going to continue and make the trip to this brewery worthwhile.
Not only does this brewery feature a diverse tap list from light to dark, session ales to strong, and styles in a wide range, but it also has so much more to offer. A very comfortable and inviting tap room that makes its guests feel welcome, and known that it is a place they can relax and enjoy some of that great beer. A friendly staff that is knowledgeable and passionate about craft beer. In an ever expanding craft beer scene Jagged Mountain is a great addition not only to Denver, but all of the Colorado breweries and one that is a must visit when in the historic LoDo area.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brews News 11-12

Can you believe we are already heading into the middle of November? The year has just flown by and every week there is still something new in craft beer. This upcoming week will be no exception, and even though the events are slowing down each week there are exciting new beer releases, and great relaxing events to entice all of us. Here is what is going on this upcoming week.
This week features three great events that combine great craft beer and food pairings to go along with them.
-Tuesday, November 12 at Denver Beer Co. they will be hosting a Surf and Suds Dinner with food provided by Jax Fish House in Denver. $70 gets you 5 courses of seafood and Denver Beer CO. beer to go along with it. Event starts at 7:00 and sounds delicious and worth going to.
-Thursday, November 14 is the second Thursday of the month and that can only mean one thing, the monthly Beer and Cheese pairing at Copper Kettle Brewing Company. This monthly event along with the Truffle Cheese Shop in Denver brings together four artisan cheeses, 4 of Copper Kettle’s beers along with bread, and fruit. Tickets are only $20 and if this is an event you haven’t done yet you should reconsider because it is a great time.
-Thursday, November 14 at the Expo Center in Denver the Chef and Brew Event will be happening. This event brings together 15 local craft breweries along with 15 regional top chefs. Tickets are $49 in advance and $59 at the door and are still available for this great event.
New Beer Releases:
This week features some new great beer releases and re-releases, but it is something to keep our pint glasses full every night.
-Tuesday, November 12 Boulder Beer Company in Boulder will be hosting a vertical tasting of their Barley Wine Killer Penguin. This features the Killer Penguin from 2010 to 2013 and will be hosted at the tap room from 5-10 pm. Supplies of certain years are limited so arrive early and taste some great barley wine.
-Wednesday, November 13 Lone Tree Brewing Company will be re-releasing their Black IPA. This was very popular when they released it earlier this year so there is sure to be high demand for it again.
-Wednesday, November 13 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will continue their firkin them for the month of “Be Thankful.” The new release this week? Yamalama- a candied yam red ale with brown sugar and marshmallow. Sounds interesting and will go fast!
-Thursday, November 14 Our Mutual Friend will be tapping their Cottonwood Rauchbier. This smoky beer is a collaboration brew with Colorado Malting Group and is a perfect fall beer.
-Saturday, November 16 Boulder Beer Company will be doing another barley win event, only this time it will be a limited bottle release of The Dude’s Bane. This will be Colorado’s first microbrewery doing their first barrel aged beer in a very limited quantity. This is sure to sell out so arrive early to secure your place in line.
-Saturday, November 16 River North Brewery in Denver will be bringing a classic back to the tap room. Whiskey Barrel Aged J Marie will be returning. This popular barrel aged saison won’t last long and it is another great barrel aged beer from this brewery.
-Yak and Yeti Brewpub recently tapped this week Dragon’s Wort. This is a Belgian Style Ale spiced with Tarragon and comes in at 8.2% ABV.
-No release date but sometime during this week in Lafayette Odd 13 will be tapping their first big batch sour beer. This Abbey style Dubbel with sour cherries will hit the tap lines and is sure to make our mouths pucker and water.

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Friday, November 8, 2013


With so many breweries in Colorado it is sometimes hard to believe that parts of the state are still without a microbrewery to call their own. This is true in the case of some small suburbs south of Denver, especially in the small suburb of Highlands Ranch where the only option for craft beer was from a chain brewery. But that all changed in November of 2013 when a group of four friends who loved craft beer opened the doors to their own microbrewery in this small suburb. With high quality true to style ales this is Grist Brewing Company in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Everything about this brewery is big from the 20 bbl brew house to the spacious size of the tasting room that has a very industrial feel to it. A lounge area with chairs and board games greet guests as soon as they walk in for a more relaxing environment and lining all the windows are group tables, but the highlight of this tasting room is the bar top. Centered in the building the u-shaped bar is spacious and allows guests to see the brewery from any area they are sitting at. The production area is as close as you can get at any brewery being separated only by some rope and barrels. This is a very inviting tap room to enjoy some very straight forward ales, but which one to try first?
With a wide variety to choose from and it being best to start on the lighter side at Grist that has to include the German inspired beers they offer. The Transition State Kolsch is a light golden colored beer that has subtle, yet complex flavors. There are very subtle fruity flavors in both the aroma and flavor of this beer with none of the bitterness from the hops. Combine that with a clean finish and this is an extremely refreshing, complex beer anybody would enjoy. For something still light, but more bold flavored there is the Window Tour Hefeweizen. This traditional unfiltered wheat has a light body and great balance between wheat and banana flavor. This particular beer is fermented at a lower temperature so the banana does not overpower the beer. The end result is a very balanced beer between wheat, banana, and clove that finishes clean and is very refreshing.
For something with a little more body, but much more bold flavor there is the Touch Line Brown, a traditional English style Brown Ale. This beer has a medium body and is full of complex flavors. The hops in this beer are very minimal but still provide a necessary bitterness, but this is a beer for fans of strong malt flavors. The malts are the primary flavor in this beer from aroma to taste but are unique and provide subtle hints of caramel and sweetness. Again the aftertaste is fairly clean, and at a sessionable 4.3% this is a very easy beer to enjoy. For fans of dark, full bodied beers there is the Niobrara Stout which also happens to be served on nitro. With a creamy mouth feel this is a very traditional stout full of strong coffee and chocolate flavors from beginning to end. Full bodied and rich this is a great stout perfect for cold weather months, but also whenever a hearty beer is craved. Also available is a traditional copper colored, dry, and bitter Staple IPA.
With both traditional ales and lagers available and beers in a wide array of styles Grist Brewing Company is a place where there is truly something for beer drinkers of all types. Whether it be a traditional German lager, a light wheat, hoppy IPA, or full bodied stout beer drinkers of all kinds will enjoy what this new brewery has to offer. Combine that with a spacious, inviting tap room and a very friendly staff who are passionate about high quality craft beer and the end result is a very enjoyable experience from beginning to end. Traditional ales done in a very straight forward style that allows the guest to enjoy the simplicity of beer and relax at the same time. So when south of Denver in the small suburb of Highlands Ranch stop by the first true microbrewery in this small town and enjoy the vast selection of beers for yourself.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Brews News 11-5

October is officially behind us and we now enter the month of November. The days are getting shorter and colder but the craft beer industry is still as busy as ever. All over the state again this week there are events going on all week to keep our thirst quenched and pint glasses full.
New Brewery Openings:
A few days late as this brewery actually opened on November 2 but Jagged Mountain Brewing is officially open for business. The newest brewery in the great LoDo neighborhood is at the intersection of 20th and Lawrence and offers a great selection of both strong and session ales. This place is a must try.
There are two smaller festivals going on this weekend.
-The 3rd Annual Rocky Mountain Brewfest is this weekend November 8th and 9th and it is at the annual Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo. Tickets are $35 at the door and include samples from great breweries like Big Choice, Odyssey, Upslope, WYnkoop, Left Hand and many more.
-Also November 9 in Boulder Avery Brewing will be hosting the 2nd Annual Boulder IPA Fest. This is a celebration of all beers IPA and will feature this great beer in all of its forms from double, imperial, and fresh. This event is also for a great cause and all proceeds will benefit the Foothills Flood Relief Fund as Boulder and its surrounding communities continue to rebuild from the floods in September. Tickets are $45 and this is sure to be a great event that is also for a great cause.
It is hard to believe that the first microbrewery in Aurora, Colorado is already turning 8 years old! On Saturday, November 9 Dry Dock Brewing will be opening the doors to their 8th Anniversary Party at the tap room off Hampden and Chambers. Details are still not officially released but expect a special beer release for the event to go along with all their other great, award winning beers. Some of the beers that will be tapped throughout the day include Imperial Pumpkin, Coffee Milk Stout, Cracked Saison, Belgian Dark Strong, Biere de Garde, Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Irish Red, Ambassador Sour, Topsail Tripel, Winter Solstice Saison, Big Ass Old Ale, Swabby (Sour Belgian Quad), and the 2012 Bligh's Barleywine at 4:00 pm.
New Beer Releases:
Not a lot of new beer releases this week but still some new and unique beers to try.
-Tuesday, November 5 Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley will be hosting an end to Prohibition Party and to go along with it will be tapping a limited release India Brown Ale.
-Wednesday, November 6 Lone Tree Brewing Company will be releasing their Bock Lager. This will be their first new beer release of four in the month so an exciting month ahead for this small brewery.
-Copper Kettle Brewing Company is starting a new month of Firkins and for November they are brewing beers to “Be Thankful” for. The month starts on Wednesday, November 6 with a Pumpernickle Sage Rye Porter. Only 1 cask so arrive early for this unique beer.
-November 7 Saint Patrick’s Brewing in Englewood will be releasing their newest lager, this one is the Strawberry Chili. For those of you who have not gotten to try this small brewery swing by the tasting room for a sample and bomber, especially of this new limited release.
-Saturday, November 9 Copper Kettle will be re-releasing their Pecan Wood Smoked Brown Ale. This was one of the many delicious beers they offered during their second anniversary party in April and is back as a perfect beer for the cooler weather.

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Friday, November 1, 2013


Within the Rocky Mountains of Colorado there are small towns that are nestled within the mountains. Some are very well known and sought after destinations while others are driven through on the way to another town. One of these small towns is Frisco which is located near the popular ski towns of Keystone and Breckenridge, and within this small town lies a small restaurant that not only provides guests with great views, and food, but they are also crafting their own beer on site. Serving pints to thirsty skiers and guests since 1996 this is the Backcountry Brewery.
Located right on Main Street this second story brewpub provides guests with a true mountain environment. Walking in you instantly feel as if you are in a mountain lodge from the wooden walls to the amazing views of the Rocky Mountains from the comforts of inside or on the spacious outdoor patio. In addition to the great scenery outside there are also clear and visible views into the brewery aspect of this brewpub which allows guests to see how their favorite beers here are made. With such a spacious and relaxing environment Backcountry is a place easy to enjoy craft beer at, and with a great selection of both year round and seasonal offerings the selection is plentiful.
When starting with a light beer it is best to also start with one of the award winning beers, and at Backcountry that happens to be the Pilsner. This beer can be described in one word and that is traditional from beginning to end. It starts with a very nice hop aroma that follows through to a balanced flavor of malts and hops. The hop flavor is prominent but does not overpower this beer, combine that with a clean finish and this is a very balanced, light beer. For a beer with a bolder flavor, and also one that has a gold medal to its name there is the Pale Ale. This beer has a traditional copper color and a nice malt forward but the highlight of this beer is the hops. With a distinct bitterness and brightness from Pacific Northwest hops this is a very unique beer. This is a very hop forward beer and a great representation for a pale ale. The finish does linger but it is very easy to enjoy. Also available for year round offerings are a wheat, amber, and a porter.
With a great lineup of flagship beers to choose from the seasonal offerings at Backcountry are both unique and a must try, and it starts with a Berliner Weisse. This light colored ale fits the profile perfectly for this sour beer and it starts with the light colored appearance which is a pale straw color. The aroma is a give away to how tart this beer is with a bright, and acidic aroma but the most important part of this style is the taste. The taste lives up to the style and this beer is sour without a doubt, and very sessionable to go along with it. While there is nothing fancy about this beer it is a very traditional sour and unique to see at a smaller brewery but once all is said and done it is a must try. For fans of something darker another signature seasonal offering at Backcountry is their trademark Breakfast Stout. This coffee milk stout brings together the best of various styles of stouts into one beer. The strong coffee flavor is prominent while the milk aspect adds a very creamy mouth feel. The beer is very well balanced, surprisingly light bodied, and finishes clean making it very easy to enjoy, and very warming in the cool mountain air. Also available in the seasonal lineup are an Oktoberfest, and Weizenbock.
Despite winning multiple awards and serving high quality beer Backcountry Brewery is still a very small brewery that not only produces high quality ales but also has some great views and a very friendly staff to go along with it. It also happens to be one of the easiest to drive by and not realize that you just missed it. With an abundance of various styles of traditional beers and a great selection of seasonal offerings that are both unique and traditional this brewery offers something that every beer fan will enjoy, and new beer drinkers will find something new that they like as well. So when driving along I-70 don’t rush to whatever final destination you have in mind, take a break in the small town in Frisco and enjoy Backcountry Brewery, the scenery they offer, and some of their award winning offerings.

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