Friday, May 2, 2014

Blue Spruce

Although it is still early in the year, 2014 has been a great year in new breweries opening in Colorado, and one of the reasons for it is quite simple. Breweries are opening up more in the suburbs and small towns all throughout the state. One town that has benefited the most from this is the small but expansive town of Centennial that has seen two breweries open up since February. The most recent came in April where they not only serve great Mexican food, but a wide variety of high quality ales and lagers brewed on site. Located near southwest of Denver, this is Blue Spruce Brewing.
Located right off County Line Road and Colorado Boulevard the building is very inviting from the outside, but even more inviting once guests have a seat. The inside of the building brings together an industrial yet comfortable feel that will make guests want to spend a lot of time their enjoying the atmosphere. The 7 BBL brewing equipment is easily visible and only separated by a short wall. The tap room is lined with several windows allowing for a well lit building. This is highlighted by a large enclosed patio with opening windows to enjoy the fresh air as you enjoy your beer. With eight beers on tap in diverse styles there is something for beer drinkers of all types to enjoy, so which one to try first?
For fans of malt forward beers there are several great options for both ales and lagers. The Brown Ale is a great malt forward ale with great balance. There is a great toasted flavor of the grains with a good balance between caramel and chocolate notes. The hop note is minimal, and the finish clean making it a very balanced, easy to drink beer. Also available, is a red ale that is also malt forward, but just as balanced. The red ale brings forward a subtle sweetness from caramel malts, but instead is balanced out by roasted grain. The end result is a balance of sweetness, roasted flavor, and a subtle bitterness that is refreshing and finishes clean. Also available is a Doppelbock which is not only a great malt forward beer, but also a great lager. With a great malt profile, toasted flavors, and crisp mouth feel that all finishes clean this is a lager worth trying.
On the opposite side of malt forward beer Blue Spruce does have offerings that are hop forward as well, and it starts with their Pale Ale. With its light appearance this beer has a very light body with a prominent but still subtle hop aroma and flavor. The light malt base leads way to a bright citrus note from the hops. With a clean finish, this is a very easy to drink pale ale. For the true hop fan out there, the beer to order is the Double IPA. Dry hopped with Belma and served on nitro this a hop forward, and complex flavored beer. The malt base provides a full body and rich mouth feel provide a great profile for this beer, but the hops give a great flavor. Strong flavors of pine and subtle citrus notes run through this beer giving it great flavor, and a fairly clean aftertaste making it very easy to drink and enjoy. A great double IPA with a unique flavor and hop schedule makes this a must try. For lighter body beers with a bright and slightly sweet flavor there is also a Honey Kolsch and Belgian Golden Strong available.
Not only does Blue Spruce serve high quality beers in a diversity of styles that will appeal to the masses, but they also have much more; great Mexican food to enjoy while sipping on those beers, an extremely friendly staff, and a spacious tap room great for both groups big and small. In the new current expansion of brewpubs throughout Colorado the food and beer both receive high marks at Blue Spruce. Factor in its great location and this is sure to grow in popularity and become not only a great neighborhood hangout, but a place people will travel to try. So, when you are in the increasing craft beer scene around the Highlands Ranch area make sure a trip to the small town of Centennial is part of the trip, and stop by Blue Spruce where you are sure to enjoy yourself.  

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brews News 4-29

Heading into the last week of April and into the beginning of May the craft beer scene is really starting to heat up. More new beer releases hit the tap lines every week, more breweries are celebrating their anniversaries, and now festival season will start to be in full swing every weekend. All that going on this week throughout the state. Cheers to the week ahead!
Festivals:
Saturday, May 3 and Sunday May, 4 craft beer lovers will flock to the Southwest suburb of Denver in Littleton, Colorado for the 2nd Annual South Denver Beer Fest. Located at the Lakeside at Clement Park this event will bring together 60 craft breweries, wineries, and ciders from across the state and country together to serve their high quality beverages for craft beer lovers across the state. Tickets are still available in both general admission and VIP for both days. General admission is $40 and VIP are $85. For a complete list of participants visit http://www.southdenverbeerfest.com/p/participating-breweries.html.
Anniversaries:
-North of Denver in the small town of Berthoud City Star Brewing will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary on Sunday, May 4. Starting at noon they will kick off their 2 Year Hootenanny with great food, new beers, trivia, and live music. For the occasion City Star will be releasing a Tequila Barrel Aged Golden Ale. City Star is located at 321 Mountain Ave., Berthoud.
-North of Denver in Broomfield Big Choice Brewing will be celebrating their second anniversary on Saturday, May 3 at The Old Man Bar. This event will be full of events, games, and of course new beer. Look for Ollie-Weizen (Hefeweizen) and an Extra Pale Ale to hit the tap lines on CO2 and cask plus much more. As they say Choose Wisely and enjoy some of their great beers and say congrats on another successful year.
New Beer Releases:
-North in Boulder Wild Woods Brewery has completed their upgrade in brewing equipment and the first beer made is ready to hit the tap lines. A new offering they are calling Class 2 Summit made with Summit and Cascade hops will be available Tuesday, April 29.
-Copper Kettle will continue and end their blonde ale month this week with “Sex on the Beach” Blonde. Made with orange, cranberry, and peach schnapps this is sure to be a refreshing beer. Tapping is at 3:00 Wednesday, April 30.
-River North Brewery has a great and unique beer lined up for Wayward Wednesday, a Barrel Session Wit. There River North White has spent time in 3 different barrels and has been blended ready to serve. First keg goes on at 3.
-Wednesday, April 30 Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada has a great beer ready for their Discovery Series. This week is a Passion Pale Ale.
-Friday, May 2 Saint Patrick’s Brewing has another great new lager ready to serve to the masses perfect for summertime. The new offering is a Limoncello Lager, so make sure to stop by for a sample and a bomber to save for later.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Footprint Ale

Since they opened their doors in 1988, Odell Brewing has become not only one of the biggest breweries in the state, but also one that has garnered a lot of national attention. But through all the awards and expansion one thing has remained consistent with this brewery and that is their small range of distribution. This allows the brewery to focus on quality, and keep their beers fresh and unfiltered to reach the customer with high standards of quality. In 2014, their distribution added Texas to the list creating 11 states you can find Odell in, and to celebrate a new beer had to brewed for the occasion.
The result is Footprint Ale, a limited release ale that brings together an ingredient from each state Odell is available at into one harmonious beer. The ingredients are complex and include hops and barley from Colorado and Idaho, wheat from Kansas, wild rice from Minnesota, corn from Nebraska, wheat from Wyoming, barley and honey from South Dakota, green chilies from New Mexico, prickly pear juice from Arizona, grapefruit juice from Texas, and the use of oak barrels from Missouri. The end result was a beer worthy of tasting notes after only a sample.
After ordering a pour at the Odell tap room, Footprint was served in a tulip glass, and had a great appearance to it. The beer had a rich golden color with a slightly hazy and unfiltered appearance. This was capped off with a bright white head that faded away quickly leading to a very unique and complex aroma. While this beer had one bold aroma it was full of subtleties from the several unique ingredients that made up this one of a kind ale. The wheat and barley created a light but bold aroma, and the other ingredients contributed as well. There were bright citrus notes from the grapefruit and prickly pear and it was all rounded out with a hint of oak. With an aroma so distinct it raised the question on how it would carry through to the flavor.
After one sip of this beer there were a few things that were immediately evident. The carbonation level was low, this was a full flavored and complex ale, and for a lighter colored ale this had a medium to full body. The lower level of carbonation combined with the ingredients created a creamy mouth feel, and an immediate richness that is not often seen in beers with wheat in them. The use of honey only helped to enhance the body and mouth feel created. The malt flavor was prominent on first sip with a more subtle and hidden hop note, but that was only one of the many flavors in this beer that came out at various times with each sip.
With so many powerful ingredients one would think that this beer would be overpowering, but it is the total opposite. Each ingredient added complexities and depth of flavor to the beer to make it more well rounded. The Arizona prickly pear adds a brightness and hint of tartness that helps to cut through the full body. The Texas grapefruit added a citrus note and a bitterness to balance out the sweetness. Last the New Mexico green chilies added only a hint of spice, but also a pure natural flavor. This was all rounded out with the oak aging from Missouri. While no flavor dominated this beer, each ingredient came through even if for a brief taste. The aftertaste was just as unique as the beer, with a slight lingering taste but not enough to deter the drinker from taking another sip.
Overall this beer was easily 4 out of 5. To combine so many ingredients into a balanced beer only goes to show the high quality and high standards Odell puts into every batch. While it is difficult to categorize it into a single style it fits many. American strong ale, wheat ale, fruit beer, and harvest ale can all be used to label Footprint. No matter how you look at it though it is a great beer full of flavor, balance, and unique ingredients that is a great celebration of the states where Odell is available. While it is only around for a limited time it is worth trying, one that you are sure to enjoy no matter what style of beer you prefer, and one you will definitely want to raise a glass to.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Copper Kettle Turns 3

From what was coined as A Year in the Making to mark their first anniversary quickly turned into a Year of Growth to celebrate their second anniversary. But what happened between then and now has been watching a company grow. That has included bottling and distributing their award winning Mexican Chocolate Stout with two more year round bottles coming soon, three barrel aged bottle releases, the upgrade to a new 15 barrel brew house, and an expanded tap room with the long awaited addition of a patio. All while maintaining high quality ales and lagers, and keeping a small neighborhood feel with a friendly staff.
So it is only appropriate that given all the great advancements made in the past year that their third anniversary would be known as the Year of Excitement. From April 24-27 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will be releasing new beers, bringing back some old favorites, and putting bragging rights on the line between the staff with their annual four day celebration. Starting Thursday each day will feature great beers, live music, food trucks, and is sure to be a great time. The only question is which day to go if not all of them.
The festivities kickoff Thursday, April 24 like any anniversary party should and that is with a look back at the past year as Copper Kettle will be putting some of their most popular beers back on the tap lines. Of course for an anniversary party of this size it has to be some of their most popular beers so it will be their barrel aged offerings. This includes but is not limited to their Rum Barrel Aged Pumpkin Porter, Snowed In Imperial Oatmeal Stout, a Rum Barrel Aged Old Ale and Well Bred English Barleywine. While there could be more available throughout the course of the day you are just going to have to show up and see what’s being offered.
Friday, April 25th Copper Kettle will be releasing not only a new barrel aged beer, but also their first sour ale. A Raspberry Framboise that was brewed last year and aging in wine barrels for the past 10 months is now ready to be served to guests who have been anxiously waiting for Copper Kettle to start a sour. Well now is the time and this beer is sure to go fast so arrive early to ensure you get a taste of this beer.
Saturday, April 26 will be one of the most popular days of this event, and that is the second year of the Battle of the Beers staff recipe showdown. People that were there last year remember how great the beers were, and this year is sure to top that with some unique beers in both style and flavor. Beers competing against each other for bragging rights this year include a Tokaji Hungarian Oak Spiced Biere de Garde, a Brown Sugar and Bacon Brown Ale, an India White Ale with Citra and Zythos hops, an Oak Aged Oatmeal Porter with blackberry liquor, a Mint and Vanilla Double Mexican Chocolate Stout, an Oak Aged Vanilla and Peach American Wheat, Colonial Ale with Blackstrap Molasses, and the Luis Suarez Extra Special Bitter. Try one or try them all, make sure to vote on your favorite and give bragging rights to one of the employees. One thing is for sure, all are sure to taste delicious and sound very unique.
Sunday April 27 the festivities will come to a close, and to send off another great year in style another barrel aged beer will be offered. This time the offering is a Petit Verdot aged Belgian Grand Cru. A great wine and a great style of beer being blended together will be the perfect way to toast another great year and remember another great anniversary celebration. Now of course to accompany so much great beer there will be different live music every day and great food trucks as well.
With each passing year the anniversaries at Copper Kettle seem to get bigger and better. The beers seem to get more bold and daring in flavor. The event becomes more memorable and something people continue to talk about. This year will be no exception with over thirteen one of a kind beers over a four day span, great entertainment, and great company it is sure to be a great event. The only question to answer is which day to go, if not all four and then wait and see what another year brings this growing company.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brews News 4-22

Tax season is officially over, Easter is behind us and now we head into the final full week of April. This week is full of anniversaries, new beer releases, and events that put beer against wine. A full week in Colorado craft beer as the season begins to warm up, here is what to look forward to.
Beer vs. Wine:
-Not only is this an event that puts Colorado beer against Colorado wine, but also one for bragging rights in the RiNo area. Saturday, April 26 at the Lobby River North Brewery will go against Infinite Monkey Theorem in a culinary competition. $65 will get you three courses each paired with a River North beer and an IMT wine, and guests pick the winner. Seats are limited to fifty so act quick for this unique culinary and craft beverage experience.
New Breweries:
-After much anticipation and a couple delays along the way another new brewery will be joining the great craft beer scene in Denver, Comrade Brewing. The festivities will start at 12 and will feature 6 beers on tap to start. A Blonde Ale, Irish Red, IPA, Pale Ale, Cream Stout with coffee, and a special collaboration Cascadian Dark Ale. All will be available to take home in growlers so stop by, and enjoy some new craft beer. Comrade Brewing is located at 7667 E Iliff Ave. Unit F, Denver, CO.
-Saturday, April 26 the suburb of Centennial will be opening its second new brewery this year. Blue Spruce Brewing located in between Lone Tree Brewing and Grist Brewing will be opening their doors at 2:00. They will be offering a limited food menu of their Mexican offerings, as well as 20 beers on tap, 8 of which are brewed on site. The beers brewed on site include a Red, Kolsch, Pale Ale, Brown, Doppelbock, Golden Strong, and a IIPA. Blue Spruce Brewing is located at 4151 E County Line Rd. Unit G, Centennial, CO.
New Beer Releases:
-Tuesday, April 22 for Tap it Tuesday Crooked Stave will be releasing Ryan and the Gosling, a collaboration they did with Evil Twin Brewing. This is a Pale Ale made with Brett and citrus. Beer hits the tap lines at 6 at the Source.
-Thursday, April 24 Station 26 Brewing in Denver has another great firkin ready to serve to thirsty guests. This week they will be serving a Centennial IPA dry hopped with Mosaic hops and conditioned with honey. Beer will be served at 4.
-Thursday, April 24 down in Colorado Springs Bristol Brewing will be releasing their Maibock. This will also help kickoff Colorado Springs Craft Beer Week.
-Saturday, April 26 River North Brewery will be releasing their newest addition to their canned beer lineup. The River North IPA will now be available year round in cans joining their already popular White.
-Friday, April 25 Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora has another great firkin ready to serve to its thirst guests. A Caramel Vanilla Coffee Milk Stout is the offering this week, as always this beer will be poured starting at 3 so arrive early to get your hands on a pint of this one.
-Pilsner week is finally here and at Saint Patrick’s Brewing in Englewood they have four great new lagers ready to serve. An American Pilsner, German Pilsner, Czech Golden, and Japanese Rice Lager. Get a sample or a bomber, but make sure you try these.
-Thursday, April 24 through Sunday, April 27 Copper Kettle will be turning 3 with several new beer releases, check back Wednesday for more details.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Divide 20th Anniversary

In 1994, the craft beer industry was a small business with only a few breweries spread around the state. A lot can change over time and 20 years later the craft beer industry has boomed to the point where a new brewery opens as often as every week. All throughout Colorado, especially in Denver the craft beer scene is thriving and new tap rooms are always available to go to. But through it all, one brewery has remained an icon in downtown Denver, and now they get ready to celebrate their 20th anniversary. One of the craft beer pioneers. This of course, is Great Divide.
To commemorate such a milestone anniversary, a special ale would need to be crafted in order to not only celebrate, but also top those from years past. From wood aged double IPAs to a birch wood aged strong ale all of Great Divide’s anniversary ales have been unique and very special. But for their 20th they made a very special Belgian Blond ale fermented with viognier grape juice. After seeking out a couple of bottles and sampling one here are our thoughts on this unique, limited release ale.
As with any Belgian style ale a traditional tulip glass was the proper glassware of choice for this ale. It poured a hazy golden color without much clarity to it, but it retained a bright white head that was not too thick and did not retain for too long. Once the head settled the aroma of this beer came out, and it was strong, complex, and very unique. Within the aroma were subtle hints of citrus, peaches, and a very faint nose of minerals from the viognier grapes. But like with any traditional Belgian golden ale the yeast played a prominent role in the aroma, while the fruit aspects added a brightness through the yeast. The interesting, but inviting aroma made the senses wake up and wanting that first sip happen much faster.
After one sip of this beer it was clear that the complexities of the aroma were going to carry through the rest of this beer, and that included the body. The high carbonation gave the beer an effervescence that created a light crispness, but the prominent yeast notes weighed down the beer slightly. When the two are factored together it gave the beer a light to medium body that both woke up the taste buds and hit with flavor right from the first sip due to its mouth feel. With a great malt base, and no hop presence to be detected the taste was going be a brand new experience. The complex flavors from the viognier grapes were present in the flavor but remained very subtle and not overpowering at all. There were hints of peach, minerals, and a bright acidity that cut through the yeast.
The yeast flavor was very bold in this beer, and played a major contribution in the flavor of the beer from beginning to end. Not only did it add to the body, but the flavor added a small hint of citrus notes to add a further level of acidity. It also helped to round out the beer and not let the strong fruit flavors dominate this golden ale. The aftertaste finished clean with the exception of only a hint of the yeast, and even that faded away quickly making it easy to enjoy another sip of this bold ale.
Overall this was a very well rounded beer full of strong flavors, but balanced out in a way to create a bold, full flavored beer from beginning to end. Beers like this are a constant reminder of what Great Divide has been doing for the past 20 years, and how they are now an iconic brewery not only in Denver but in Colorado. This was a great beer that should be sought after by beer drinkers of all styles, but get it while you can for this limited run. This is a great beer to celebrate 20 years of Great Divide, and a great beer to raise your glass to.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brews News 4-15

CBC week is officially over and the World Beer Cup is now gone for two more years. While Colorado had a great showing at the awards ceremony it is now time to turn our attention to the week ahead and of course that starts with making sure our taxes are done. They are right? Good, now here is how to celebrate the relief of tax season being over with beer. Here is what is new in the week ahead.
New Beer Releases:
-Tuesday, April 15 Two 22 Brew in Centennial will be bringing back their Blonde Ale. This was available at their opening and they are now calling it their Better Blonde, make sure to swing by and try a pint.
-Tuesday, April 15 Station 26 in Denver is bringing back their Double IPA by popular demand. This beer comes in at 10% ABV and 90 IBUs, and this time they made enough to fill growlers. $25 for a 64 oz. fill and $15 for a 32 oz. fill. This beer was popular and is sure to go fast so make sure to have at least a pint.
-Wednesday, April 16 Copper Kettle Brewing Company in Denver is continuing their month long firkin of blonde ales. This week is a citrus blonde made with Peach Schnapps, cranberry, and orange peel. Think the flavors of sex on the beach. Tapping is at 3 so make sure to arrive early for a pint of this brew.
-Wednesday, April 16 Station 26 will be tapping a new beer to their already great tap list. This time the new offering is a Foreign Extra Stout. This beer comes in at 6.5% and is sure to be bold.
--Wednesday, April 16 River North Brewery has a great beer lined up for Wayward Wednesday. Whiskey Barrel Quandary will be the offering this week, along with some other rare beers still on tap from CBC.
-Thursday, April 17 Station 26 has a great new firkin ready for the thirsty crowd that has come to expect some unique from this brewery. This week is a Green Tea Cream Ale. Tapping at 4 so arrive early for this one, you won’t want to miss it and it won’t last long.
-Friday, April 18 Dry Dock in Aurora has another great firkin Friday planned for us. This week is a dry hopped Bier De Garde. Tapping is at 3 but as always arrive early to save a spot in line.
-Sunday, April 20 TRVE Brewing in will be bringing back a Nazareth for a small run in the tap room.
-Towards the end of the week Two 22 Brew will be tapping a new beer, this time it will be a brown ale.
In other news save the date because 38 State in Littleton has announced an opening date. Saturday, May 10 they will open their doors to the general public and serve there great beers to the thirst masses.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 World Beer Cup Winners

Another World Beer Cup has once again come and gone, and with the event being hosted in Denver it was only fitting the city was well represented in the awards ceremony. Once again breweries from all over the state proved why Colorado beer is some of the best out there with several first time winners and breweries that consistently win multiple awards each go around. Here is a list of all the Colorado breweries that took home some new hardware at the 2014 World Beer Cup.
Dry Dock Brewing, Aurora, CO:
                Silver: Apricot Blonde
Strange Brewing, Denver, CO:
                Gold: Cherry Kriek
Elevation Beer Co, Poncha Springs, CO
                Bronze: Senorita
Boulder Beer Co, Boulder, CO
                Gold: Shake Chocolate Porter
Twisted Pine Brewing Co, Boulder, CO
                Gold: Big Shot Espresso Stout
Verboten Brewing, Loveland, CO
                Silver: Pure Imagination
                Bronze: Bourbon Barrel Aged Mountain Man
Aspen Brewing Co, Aspen, CO
                Gold: Saison
Eddyline Brewing, Buena Vista, CO
                Silver: River Runners Pale Ale
AC Golden Brewing Co, Golden, CO
                Gold: Winterfest
Rockbottom Brewing Co, Denver, CO
                Silver: The Baltic Gnome Baltic Porter
Wit’s End Brewing Co, Denver, CO
                Bronze: Jean Claude Van Blonde
Red Leg Brewing, Colorado Springs, CO
                Bronze: Devil Dog Stout
Funkwerks, Fort Collins, CO
                Silver: Deceit
Cannonball Creek Brewing, Golden, CO
                Bronze: Featherweight Pale
Odell Brewing, Fort Collins, CO
                Gold: Runoff Red IPA
Lefthand Brewing Co, Longmont, CO
                Gold: Sawtooth Ale
Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co, Glenwood Springs, CO
                Bronze: No Name

Congratulations to all the great Colorado craft breweries to win awards for all their well deserved work at making some of the finest beer in the world. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

La Folie/Transantlantique

Every year New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins exceeds expectations with great small batch beers known as their Lips of Faith Series. Each beer introduces guests to unique styles of fruit like Pluots and Yuzu, or they do great collaboration beers with other breweries like Cigar City in Tampa Bay. But through it all one beer is always sought after more than any other, and that is the Flanders style La Folie which takes anywhere from one to three years to make. In addition to the release of that in 2014 New Belgium also brought back another popular beer, the Trandantlantique Kriek. After acquiring some bottles and enjoying them thoroughly here are some tasting notes to these great limited batch beers.
La Folie: After spending 1-3 years in French Oak barrels this bottle went from the fridge into a traditional style tulip glass, and had a brown color with a red hue. The head was a slight off white but retained itself for a while to the size of about two fingers.
The aroma was very complex bringing out the best of what a sour should be, barrel aging, as well as the base of the beer all playing a role in the aroma. The malt base had a very subtle hint along with the French Oak from the barrel aging. The prominent aroma throughout this beer was all because of the sour process, and that was hints of plum. But the primary note on the nose was granny smith apple that gave off a sour note. The aroma was complex, but very inviting and with so many different notes in smell trying a sip just had to be done.
After one sip it is obvious just how complex this beer is. The medium body had a crisp and puckering mouth feel with a strong effervescence that translated to the flavor perfectly. In terms of flavor the notes captured in the aroma matched those in the flavor almost identically. The malt base in the beer was still present and gave a subtle sweetness of caramel, but that was quickly overpowered by the strong sour notes present in this beer. The flavors of granny smith apple were very strong and the most prominent fruit note in this beer, but the undertones of plum and citrus were still present in a more subtle form. The flavor from the French Oak helped to round out this beer creating depth and layers of unique flavors. But once all was said and done this was a very tart and sour beer that made the mouth pucker.
Despite having such strong and assertive flavors this beer has a relatively clean aftertaste. The tartness still lingers but not to the point where it makes the beer off putting. In general it was a very complex beer full of great and subtle flavors that will already make fans eager for next year’s batch.
Transatlantique Kriek: Made in partnership with Frank Boon’s brewery in Belgium to combine 45% ale with cherries and 55% ale creates a tart, refreshing, and full flavored final product: a Kriek. Thankfully for fans of this beer it was brought back for an encore release.
Again the glassware used was a tulip glass although a proper limbic glass would have been more traditional, and this beer poured a deep ruby color. This beer had a good amount of carbonation which formed a thick, light pink head at the top of the glass. The aroma was exactly what would be expected in such a bold beer. The subtle malt base, but this was a prominent cherry beer with a strong and tart aroma to match that carried through to the flavor on the first sip.
The flavor of the beer is exactly what you would expect based on the aroma, and that is a pure cherry flavor. Unlike most fruit ales this Kriek had a natural cherry flavor, there were no artificial flavors running through the bottle. Since this was a blended ale there was still malt base to this beer to give it a light body and different subtle sweetness to balance out the beer. This was complimented by the tartness, brightness, and refreshing notes from all the cherries. The finish to this beer left just a faint hint of tartness, but faded quickly making it very refreshing and easy to drink that next sip.
From top to bottom this was a very well rounded and artfully crafted beer full of great technique. To have a fruit beer that balances all the qualities within it making it the right amount of sweet, tart, and to have a pure natural flavor just goes to prove how much care went into this batch. This is a beer that will be enjoyed by fans of lambics, fruit beers, and is one worth trying as it may turn you on to a whole new style. All we can hope is that it will continue to make encore appearances on shelves for thirsty fans.


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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Brews News 4-8

Well we survived the first week of April which included breweries around the state trying to prank us with free beer, helium cans, and more. Then it wouldn’t be Colorado in April without a few inches of snow, and then of course opening day. Now we head into CBC and the anticipation of World Beer Cup winners, with of course more great new beers, openings, and events to get us through another work week. Here’s a look at the week ahead.
Events/New Beer Releases:
-Tuesday, April 8 Two 22 Brew will have a new beer hitting the tap lines just in time for their weekly trivia. This time it is an Imperial IPA made with a new and experimental hop strain. This will be one worth trying so head on down, and put your trivia knowledge on display as well.
-Tuesday, April 8 Crooked Stave will be releasing bottles of Between the Staves, a collaboration beer they made with Anchorage Brewing at 6:00 PM. Bottles are $17 cash only, with a limit of 2 per person so arrive early to get your spot in line.
-Wednesday, April 9 Copper Kettle is continuing their month of Blonde Firkins. This week is a hoppy blonde ale. Tapping is at 3.
-Wednesday, April 9 River North has a great lineup for Wayward Wednesday to see which Imperial Stout reigns supreme in the tap room. They will have both Barrel Aged and B-Side Avarice on tap together starting at 3. 2 great beers available for a short time to arrive early.
-Wednesday, April 9 Epic Brewing will be taking over the World of Beer in Glendale with 50 beers hitting the tap lines. Look for various years of Barleywine, single hop varietals of Hopulent, and a variety of the Brainless series available. This will be great for the longtime fan or new fan of Epic.
-Thursday, April 10 Station 26 has another great firkin ready for thirst guests. A Belgian Tripel dry hopped with El Dorado!
-Thursday, April 10 is the second Thursday of the month and that means beer and cheese pairing at Copper Kettle Brewing Company. $20 gets you four great samples of beer and 4 great samples of cheese from the Truffle Cheese Shop in Denver.
-Friday, April 11 Our Mutual Friend will be tapping Sour #2.
-Friday, April 11 Dry Dock Brewing has a great beer lined up for Firkin Friday, a Raspberry Porpoise Blonde. As always this beer will be ready at 3 so arrive early to try a pint of this refreshing blonde.
-Saturday, April 12 will release their new 35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA at the tap room that started it all. 12 ounce pours are only $3.50 with chances to win free pours throughout the day.
-Sunday, April 13 Copper Kettle will be releasing their newest bomber in their Barrel Aged Series, Le Chapeau. This Red Wine Barrel Aged Saison is making its return this time in bottles, and as well Copper Kettle will be having a party to celebrate the grand opening of their patio. This is a limited release beer so arrive early to ensure you get to try this.
-Saturday, April 12 Dry Dock Brewing will be tapping a special barrel aged beer, their Apricot Blonde Ale aged in whiskey barrels.
-Sunday, April 13 Denver Beer Co will be hosting round 3 of Beers and Spears. For $15 guests will have 3 samples of Denver Beer Co. beer, 3 pickles from the Real Dill, and for this round friend pickles as well from Big Country Barbecue. Event runs from 12-5.
-Oskar Blue Brewing who pioneered canning beers will once again revolutionize the canned beer industry, selling Old Chub Nitro in cans. This beer will soon be available in 4 packs of 16 ounce beers.
But the most important night of the week is Friday night when the World Beer Cup Awards Ceremony will be held in Denver. Unfortunately this event is not open to the public but awards will be posted during the weekend so you can hopefully try a new award winning beer.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Opening Day

After the long winter spring is officially upon us again, and with that comes the return of tress budding, long, warm days, and of course America’s pastime. The time of year where days are measured by when first pitch is, innings, and days are good or bad based on if our team wins or loses. Of course with baseball comes one other thing, and that is enjoying a cold beer. Unfortunately not all beer offered at stadiums are up to par and when it comes to celebrating a walk off win toasting with a craft beer is a must. Thankfully in Colorado there are plenty of breweries, and beers to enjoy before or after a game to celebrate a thrilling win or refresh after an agonizing defeat. Here are some of our favorite beers and breweries to enjoy that goes hand in hand with baseball near Coors Field.
Epic Brewing: Even though it is a small drive from the ballpark one of the best breweries to spend time at before or after a game is Epic Brewing. The large tap room will allow large groups to enjoy a few pints comfortably, as well as make new friends. Their early hours will make it possible to enjoy a few pints before a home game as well, and then there is the beer list. With over 20 beers to choose from ranging from classic lagers, stouts, porters, IPAs, fruit beers, herb beers this is one brewery where there is something that everybody will enjoy. From top to bottom this is a great brewery to spend time while waiting for first pitch to happen this season. Our Recommendations: Colorado exclusive Blue Ski Lager a crisp, refreshing, pale lager. For more flavor bold flavors the Mid Mountain Mild is a can’t miss, and for a truly unique beer the Utah Sage Saison is complex and refreshing.
Great Divide Brewing: In a brewery that is slightly older than Coors Field, and just as iconic in Lodo one brewery that is a must visit during baseball season is Great Divide. Just a short two block walk from Coors Field this brewery has a great tap room, patio, and environment that is a great place to spend time before any event. Again the beer list is very diverse, and with tap room only beers available regularly there is always something new to try. Factor it all together and whether it is a day or night game Great Divide should be a part of your baseball plans throughout the season. Our Recommendations: For something light and crisp with a subtle hop profile order the Nomad Pilsner. If you are still in the mood for a lager but with a more bold malt flavor and subtle spice the Hoss Rye Marzen is a great beer, and depending on the season Hey Day Belgian Wit is a refreshing beer great for baseball days.
Breckenridge Brewing: Another brewery that is a short walk from the stadium but also another great place to spend time before or after a game is another iconic brewery in Colorado, Breckenridge Brewing. With a very large bar/restaurant this again is a place great for large groups. What separates Breckenridge from the other breweries in this area is their full food menu of salads, burgers, and sandwiches to go along with their great lineup of beers. In addition they have a full bar of wine, spirits and guest taps from other local breweries and wineries. So when looking for a great beer or two and a quick bite to eat before a game Breckenridge is a great option to go to come baseball season. Our Recommendations: For a light, slightly sweet, but very refreshing beer the Agave Wheat is a always popular choice. While it is only available occasionally throughout the season the Second Base Brown is a great beer that can only be tried at the LoDo Location.
River North Brewery: For a great selection of Belgian inspired beers in close walking distance to Coors Field River North Brewery is a great choice. With their early hours on game days, and great selection of lighter bodied beers this is a must try. The River North White and J Marie Saison are great and refreshing choices before sitting in the bleachers as well as any of their barrel aged offerings. .
Prost Brewing: Just on the other side of the pedestrian bridge from Coors Field lies Prost Brewing a great place to quench your thirst on light, session German lagers. With great hours, and a spacious tap room the beers are a great choice, and all refreshing. The Dunkel, Weibier, and Pislner are all great choices before game time in addition to several of their rotating options.
Sandlot Brewing: Now of course you can’t mention breweries and baseball without mentioning the brewery that resides within Coors Field, the Sandlot. With great game day hours and a wide beer selection this is a brewery worth visiting, and for 2014 Opening Day they will be releasing two new beers to kickoff the new season. Batters I-PA is a pale ale made with Mandarina Bavaria a unique hop variety to the United States, and Willis Brau a Black Lager. That will be in addition to all their other offerings, and while at a game why not enjoy a beer brewed fresh on site?
Jagged Mountain Brewery:  Located a few blocks away from Coors Field Jagged Mountain will be a great place to start your day downtown before a Rockies game. For the home opener they will open at 10 am.
With so many options to choose from it’s a good thing the season is long, the only question is where to go and which to try first?

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Brews News 4-1

March is over, and April is officially upon us. With that comes America’s pastime with baseball returning, longer days, warm weather, and the beginning of what will be a great season of craft beer. Here is what is ahead this week in craft beer, absolutely nothing. April Fools.
Events:
-Sunday, April 6 Station 26 Brewing in Denver will be hosting their first Beer and Cheese Pairing. Partnering with Grant Farms this event will pair 5 of their cheeses with 5 Station 26 beers for only $15. Best thing is no tickets are required for this event so as soon as the craving hits head on down, and enjoy yourself. Event runs from 12-2 so best to arrive early.
New Beer Releases:
-Tuesday, April 1 for Tap it Tuesday down at the Source Crooked Stave will be releasing Raspberry Sour Origins. This burgundy sour ale has been aging in oak barrels for months with raspberries and is now ready for your enjoyment starting at 6.
-Wednesday, April 2 Copper Kettle will be starting a new month of firkins all featuring American Blonde Ales. The first in the lineup will be with Ugli fruit, a cross between orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. Only 10 gallons are available starting at 3.
-Wednesday, April 2 River North Brewery will be tapping 2 different 5 gallon batches for Wayward Wednesday. An India Brown Ale and Belgian Dubbel will be hitting the tap lines. Only 5 gallons of each making this extremely limited and the first one will hit the tap lines starting at 3.
-Thursday, April 3 St. Patrick’s Brewing in Englewood will be releasing their newest lager for all to enjoy. The offering this time is a Dunkel. Pints will be available in the tap room, and bombers to go for those thirst travelers.
-Thursday, April 3 at 4:00 PM Yak and Yeti Brewpub will be releasing the Devil’s Wine. This Barleywine was a pro-am winning beer made with Dr. Matt Kriewall from Ft. Collins. Her will be on hand for the release to answer any questions as people get to enjoy this offering.
-Friday, April 4 Dry Dock has a great firkin line up. This week at 3 they will be releasing a Cocoa Nib Belgian Dark. As always for a Dry Dock firkin arrive early to get your spot in line.
-Saturday, April 5 Yak and Yeti will be releasing their second new beer this week, the offering for the weekend is Rupee Red, and American style Red ale that will be available starting at 11:00 am.
-In other exciting news Colorado will have a new great sour ale producer as TRVE Brewing announced their plans to open a second production facility to focus on sour and barrel aged ales.
-Renegade Brewing will be easier to find as they are also opening a second production facility with plans to add more cans to their lineup from two to four, plus add more bombers.
-38 State in Littleton has begun brewing. Their flagship ColorAmber is fermenting away as we speak, and their Golden Lemon Honey Wheat is next. Hopefully and opening date will soon follow, and as soon as we know you will know.
-Approval from the State and Feds means one thing, and that is Casey Brewing and Blending can start brewing. Thos familiar with Troy Casey know how great his beers are and now we are hat much closer to being able to enjoy them again.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Craft Beer Week Saturday

How else can you describe the 2014 Colorado Craft Beer Week than unbelievable? We saw the first, but hopefully not the last Collaboration Festival, breweries go head to head, and more new beer releases that to try them all was a goal most of us fell short on. As we head into the last day, the events are just as good as the beginning of the week and it will only make us look forward to next year already. Here is what is going on Saturday.
-Even though they have been open for a little bit the Old Mine in Erie will officially be celebrating their grand opening. From 11-11 they will have all their great ciders available for guests to try as well as some great guest beers on tap. Some of the guest beers include Bligh’s Barleywine, Nightmare on Brett Street plus more. As soon as a keg is tapped another new one will hit the tap lines. A little off the beaten path, but this is one place worth checking out.
-From 1-4 in Denver Epic Brewing will be at it again, this time with Flights and Floats. In partnership with Little Man Ice Cream guests will have the opportunity to participate in a beer and ice cream pairing, or combine the two for a beer float. For non drinkers or designated drivers Rocky Mountain Soda will be on hand as well for standard floats.
-River North Brewery will be releasing a new limited release bottle. Their standard J Marie Saison has spent time in white wine barrels and is now ready for guests to take home. Quantities are very limited so guests can only purchase 2, $15 each.
-Along the Western Slope the 2nd Annual Western Colorado Craft Beer Celebration will be happening from 2-6. This event features 10 of the Western Slope’s breweries, and for $10 guests are allowed samples of all their beers. Event is located at Edgewater Brewery in Grand Junction.
-Copper Kettle Brewing Company in Denver will have a new beer hitting the tap lines, Naja Imperial Red. This Imperial Red Ale comes in at 110 IBUs and will be hitting the tap lines for the first time. This beer will be hitting the tap lines first, and will soon be a part of their regular lineup and will soon be available in 22 ounce bombers around the state.
-Up in Longmont from 12-6 Lefthand will once again be hosting Hops and Handrails. This event features not only great craft beers, but also a 25 foot high ski ramp to entertain guests. Tickets are $30 for both beer and rail jam, and $10 to just watch the rail show.
-The Historian’s Ale House is partnering with Renegade Brewing for a special run for charity. $30 gets you brunch, a participation in the run, and a special beer from Renegade.
What a week it has been, raise your glass to it and know there are many great events on the horizon for years to come.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Craft Beer Week Friday

We finally made it through the work week, and now we head into the final couple days of what has been a fantastic Colorado Craft Beer Week. As we head into the weekend the events are finishing the week off with a bang. Here is what to look forward to Friday night.
-Station 26 will be releasing their first single hop beer. The first offering will be a Mosaic Pale Ale. These are always great beers to try to learn the individual flavor profiles of hops, and Mosaic is a great one to start with.
-Grist Brewing will also be releasing a new IPA just in time for the weekend, a small batch New Zealand IPA.
-Also at the Historian’s Ale House two more breweries will be going head to head for bragging rights in what has become one of the most enjoyable events of the week. The featured breweries tonight are Diebolt in Denver against Gravity in Louisville. Both breweries are great, but which one will win?
-From 5-11 in Boulder Avery Brewing will be tapping a very special beer, Lilikoi Kepolo. This is a Belgian Style White Ale with Hawaiian Passion fruit added for a tart finish. This is one beer you will not want to miss.
-Also in Boulder at Twisted Pine a very unique event will be happening, a Beer and Bites Blind Pairing. Guests will be blind folded and receive 5 small bites along with 5 beers, but will not know what they are drinking until afterwards. This is a great chance to test how good your pallet is, and to see how good you are at guessing beers.
-From 6-8 at the World of Beer Belmar location the great beers at River North will be taking over the tap lines. This event will not only feature some more rare beers from River North available, but also a onetime only Single Hop Belgian Pale Ale with Williamette hops that River North brewed in collaboration with World of Beer for this event only!
-Epic Brewing in Denver will be putting on another great food and beer pairing from 4-8, this time beer and ribs which is perfect for the warmer weather. Epic has partnered with Tenderbelly for this event and has 3 ribs available for tasting a glazed, sauced, and rubbed rib to pair with all of Epic’s delicious brews.
-Up in Louisville at Lucky Pie Odell Brewing will be on hand for a special beer tasting featuring some of Odell’s more rare beers. From 7-9 guests will have a chance to try some of the cellar beers from Odell that include but are not limited to Tree Shaker, Myrcenary, and Friek.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Craft Beer Week Thursday

Craft Beer week is slowly starting to wind itself down, but that does not mean it will not go out without a bang. Thursday will bring forward not only some new beer releases, but also one of the highlight events of every year, and a new brewery opening! Cheers to ending your week with a bang, and inching one day closer to the weekend.
-Thursday at noon a new brewery will open their doors to serve their beers to the masses. Freedom’s Edge Brewing in Fort Collins. Not only will they offer a diverse tap list, but this will be a great addition to the Colorado scene in Fort Collins. What better way to celebrate beer than with a brand new brewery, so stop bay say congratulations and enjoy their high quality offerings.
-Since Station 26 opened their doors late last year one of the beers that has gotten the greatest reviews had been their Cherrywood Smoked beers. Well Thursday he will be releasing 2 more Cherrywood Smoked Pins. What will the style be? Stop by and find out.
-From 6-10 Renegade Brewing will be ditching the cans and releasing their first bomber. Sunday Morning is their first bomber release in what will be known as their conviction series. This coffee infused American Strong Ale is always a popular one in the tap room and will make a great addition to anyone’s beer cellar.
-From 6:30-9:30 at Avenue Grill there will be another dinner pairing great food with great craft beer. This one features Odell Brewing. $55 will get you six courses with a great Odell beer at each course.
-From 8-11 down at the Lobby in LoDo comes one of the best events, and highlights of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The New Kids on the Block Party. This great events celebrates the great breweries that are under 2 years old. $25 will allow guests samples of great beers, samples of food, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Brewers Guild. This is an 80s theme party so where your best attire, and celebrate the newest breweries to an already great community.
-Down at the Historian’s Ale House two more breweries will be going head to head for bragging rights. Thursday will put Tivoli vs. Echo. First keg to run out wins, so have some great beer and cheer on your favorite.
-Up north at Kokopelli Beer Company they will be hosting a great event for people wanting to introduce themselves, and learn more about craft beer. Beer 101 will introduce to what makes each style unique, as well as allow guests to enjoy a flight of beer from Kokopelli to enjoy what might be your new favorite style.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Craft Beer Week Wednesday

Colorado Craft Beer Week continues and as the week progresses the events continue to pile up. As we head into Wednesday we are blessed with great new beer releases, and more great events in Denver and around the state. With a calendar this full it will make getting through hump day that much easier.
-Station 26 will continue their week of new beer releases with a “Secret Pin” Firkin. To find out what’s on tap you will just have to visit the tap room, odds are it will be unique and refreshing.
-Copper Kettle Brewing Company will be finishing their “What the Firk” month with an Imperial Red Saison. Beer taps at 3 and is sure to go quick.
-Grist Brewing Company will be putting on the Brewer’s Challenge 1. This will put 2 beers against each other this time using breakfast cereal. The two beers going against each other are a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Trappist Ale vs. a Peanut Butter Crunch Porter.
-For Wayward Wednesday River North will be tapping their collaboration with TRVE Brewing. A Nelson hopped Barrel Fermented Belgian Single.
-Down in Poncha Springs Elevation Beer Company will be tapping another special firkin. Their Little Mo’ Porter aged in Deerhammer’s Oak Whiskey Barrels will be hitting the tap lines.
-Another day, another craft beer dinner. This time it will be located at the Ale House at Amatos and feature the breweries located within the Beermuda Triangle. For $50 guests will be treated a great meal and breweries from within this area that include Breckenridge, Strange, Renegade, Wit’s End, Black Sky, and TRVE. Tickets may still be available, for information cal (303) 433-9734.
From 6-11 at the Renegade Publik House in Denver there will be a tap takeover featuring the great beers from Odell and Renegade. This will feature more limited and rare beers from Odell including Mountain Standard, Myrcenary, Lugene, Tree Shaker, Wolf Picker, and Runoff Red IPA.
-Epic Brewing in Denver will be hosting a beer and finger painting party. From 5-8 guests can enjoy great Epic beer and enjoy doing great beer themed finger paintings. Paintings will then be auctioned off to benefit the Colorado Brewers Guild.
-The Historian’s Ale House will be hosting another head to head event between breweries. The participants this time are Elk Mountain out of Parker against Grimm Brothers in Loveland. First keg to run out wins so head down and cheer on your favorite.
Lots of events to choose from, just how many can you fit into one day? No matter which you choose it is sure to be a great time, with great company, and of course enjoying great beer.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Craft Beer Week Tuesday

Even though it is only a couple days old this year’s Colorado Craft Beer Week is setting high expectations for ones to come. As the week progresses the events only get bigger and better as well. Here are some of the highlights for what to consider doing on Tuesday.
-After brewing a Wheat Wine for the Collaboration Festival with Former Future Brewing, Station 26 will be releasing a special Barrel Aged Hot Toddy Version. This beer now has hints of lemon, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Sounds delicious and like a beer you are going to want to try.
-Another unique barrel aged beer will be hitting the tap lines in very limited quantities today. From 6-10 Renegade will be releasing a very limited amount of Barrel Aged Hammer and Sickle Russian Imperial Stout. This is a rye bourbon aged beer and was originally done as a collaboration with Feisty Spirits in Fort Collins. This may be your only chance to try this beer so arrive early to guarantee a pour.
-Up north in Boulder at the Lee Hill location Upslope Brewing will be doing a variety of Barrel Aged Belgian Pale Ale fruit release. Their limited release Belgian Pale Ale has spent time in red wine barrels and will be released as a variety of fruit beers including cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blood oranges. This is already a great beer by Upslope so enhancing it in a barrel will only make it better.
-As always a celebration of craft beer would not be complete without a Colorado Craft Beer Dinner, and that will be going down at 6:00 at Lou’s on 38th Avenue. For $55 guests will be treated to a five course meal featuring great beers from Lefthand, Avery, Prost, and Upslope. Dinner starts at 6, to see if there are still spots available contact Lou’s at (303) 458-0336.
-Beer for breakfast, but at dinner? Great Divide Brewing Company will be partnering with the great breakfast restaurant Snooze for a one of a kind PM Beer Brunch. For $50 guests will be treated to a four course meal featuring four of Snooze’s great dishes each paired with one of Great Divide’s excellent brews. Beers featured will include Colette Farmhouse Saison, Hoss Rye Marzen, Nomad Pilsner, Titan IPA or Claymore Scotch Ale, and Old Ruffian Barrel Aged Barleywine. Tickets may still be available at imbibedenver.com/snooze. This is sure to be a great event and could very well be one of the highlights from the whole week.
-Another head to head battle of breweries will be taking place at the Historian’s Ale House. Tuesday features Backcountry Brewery out of Frisco against Black Sky out of Denver. Cheer on your favorite to win, and the first keg to run out wins.  
No matter where you are at in the Denver area and surrounding towns this week there is plenty to do to keep your pint glasses full, but don’t have too much fun. There are still four more days of celebrating craft beer ahead of us, and a very busy Wednesday.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Craft Beer Week Monday

The weekend and the first ever Collaboration Festival is behind us and now the week that s Colorado Craft Beer Week is in full swing. Each day throughout the week there will be special events and new beers hitting the tap lines in Denver and all around Colorado. Here are the events going on Monday.
-The Historian’s Ale House will be the host to one of the great events on Monday, March 24 as it puts two great breweries against each other. Caution Brewing in Denver/Lakewood will be putting their beers head to head against Grist Brewing from Highlands Ranch. Join these two great breweries and cheer on your favorite as the first keg to run out wins bragging rights, but of course the craft beer drinkers win by getting to try two great breweries at a great location.
-Down in Poncha Springs, Colorado Elevation Beer Company has a special firkin ready to tap. A Chocolate Orange Stout which is based on their Oil Man Imperial Stout with chocolate and oranges added.
-Kannah Creek Brewing in Grand Junction also has a special firkin ready for Monday night. They will be releasing a small batch of a Salted Caramel Stout.
-Down at the Stapleton Tap House in Denver they have a great event lined up with a special beer release to follow. The brewers from the Wynkoop Brewing Company will be on hand, and they will tap a their new Barrel Aged Barleywine.
-For women only the Denver’s Barley Angels are getting involved with a Salsa and Beer pairing at Epic Brewing Company. This event will feature 4 of Epic’s great beers along with Salsa. Tickets are available through the Barley’s Angels website.
-Up north just outside of Boulder in the suburb of Louisville at Lucky Pie there will be Colorado Beer themed trivia from 7-9. In addition there will be 7 Elevation Beers on tap for people to enjoy in the process.
So no matter where you are in the state, enjoy all that Colorado craft beer week has to offer but pace yourself as it is a long, event filled week ahead.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Former Future

Beer is a beverage rich in history that dates back to the most ancient of days, and like with anything it has progressed overtime. Styles have evolved, new styles have become more mainstream, but once all is said and done those original recipes are the standard for what is still enjoyed today. In 2014 those traditional and old recipes were brought back to life by a husband and wife team looking to take classical beer recipes and put a modern twist on them. Fittingly located on Antique Row in the beer rich community of Denver the brewery is Former Future Brewing Company.
Walking into this long tap room guests are greeted with one of the most unique environments seen at a brewery where again the past meets the present. There is a long bar top to seat several guests as well as several tables to seat large groups. Off to the side of the bar lies the production where all the beer is made on site, as well as barrels where some great beers are aging. But the main feature of this tap room is all the d├ęcor, which primarily consists of second use and reclaimed products. Old barrels have been transformed into the light fixtures suspended from the ceilings, but the main highlight of second use equipment comes in the form of the bar top. That is made from reclaimed wings from an old airplane, and is on both sides of the bar creating a bright, metallic bar top. Everywhere guests look they can find decorations that are both modern, and slightly antiquated are spread throughout the tap room. With such a unique atmosphere to keep guests wanting to look around, a beer makes the experience that much more pleasurable, and there are some offerings just as unique as the environment.
The tap list is rotating so guests will get to try something different every time they go in, but there are always some beers that stand out and one can only hope they will hit the tap lines again. Like the very traditional but also very unique Oatmeal Saison. This beer came with a light, golden appearance and had all the great flavors one would expect. A light body, with a bright flavor bringing out a subtle hint of citrus is balanced out by a deep yeast flavor. The addition of oatmeal adds a rich mouth feel, and combine that with a clean aftertaste and this is a very well balanced Saison. Another beer to look for on the tap lines is their version of an English IPA. Based off a recipe from the 1800s this beer has been modernized and has a great balance between malt and hops. With a rich color the malts give this beer a hint of biscuit flavor, while the hops add a bright floral note. But through it all this is a very balanced beer where the hops are prominent, but do not overpower the beer. The finish is mostly clean, but the hint of bitterness in the finish makes another sip that more easy to enjoy.
Also available in the rotation has been a Session Black IPA, both a Porter and Salted Porter, and a Cream Ale but the main draw o Former Future will come in the form of their barrel program. A wide variety of barrel aged beers and sour ales will not only be hitting the tap lines but also will be bottled and sold on a regular, but limited basis. Once all is said and done this is a great new brewery with endless possibilities. Unique beer styles that people are still familiar with and a very original tap room make guests feel welcome. Combine that with a friendly staff and owners and it is no wonder guests continue to return on a regular basis. In the endless craft beer options that are available in Denver Former Future stands out as not only a great new brewery, but one that is worth the visit.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Brews News 3-18

St. Patrick’s Day weekend is over, and we hope you enjoyed something other than green beer. As we head into a new week we see an abundance of new beer releases, some celebrations at breweries, and a unique festival to kick off Colorado Craft Beer Week. Here is what to look forward to in the week ahead.
Grand Opening Celebrations:
Even though the tap room has been opened for a few months now Hall Brewing Co. in Parker will officially celebrate the Tap Room on Friday, March 21. This event will feature all of Hall’s great beers plus they will release 2 new Barrel Aged beers for the event. In addition this event will have a fundraiser for the Fallen Firefighters Foundation, plus great barbecue. Event runs from 4:30 to 10:00 at the Hall Tap Room located right on Parker and Main.
Festivals:
After a lot of press and anticipation the first ever Denver Collaboration Festival will finally happen to kick off Colorado Craft Beer Week. Saturday, March 22 at the Curtis Hotel in Denver guests will get to sample one of a kind beers made by several breweries working together. Tickets and information on participating breweries can be found from our previous press release on this event at http://milehighbrewsintro.blogspot.com/2014/02/denver-collaboration-festival.html.

New Beer Releases:
-Tuesday, March 18 Crooked Stave will have a new beer hitting the tap lines, Surusion. This is a combination of their popular Surette Provisional Saison and a Golden Sour Ale. Beer will be available starting at 6:00 PM at The Source.
-Wednesday, March 19 Copper Kettle is continuing their month of March Madness Firkins. This week features a combination of IPA and Fruit Beer with the end result being a Blackberry IPA. Only 10 gallons available starting at 3:00 PM.
-Wednesday, March 19 River North is bringing back one of their most limited beers for Wayward Wednesday. J Marie Barrelled and Bretted will hit the tap lines at 3 so arrive early.
-Thursday, March 20 Station 26 has a Euro Pale Ale on tap for their Firkin Thursday. This beer will use all Belgian Grains, German Hops, and is dry hopped with Australian Galaxy Hops. Beer will be tapped at 4.
-Friday, March 21 Loveland Aleworks will continue their new Friday releases with the tapping of the Darkest Day Chocolate Coconut Porter.
-Friday, March 21 Station 26 will have a special Firkin tapping of an Animal Cracker Porter.
-If you can’t make it to the collaboration festival some of the beers will be hitting the tap lines at the tap room. That includes the Former Future/Station 26 Wheat Wine, and the Caution/Copper Kettle Mole Spice Dunkel Lager.
-Sunday, March 23 Odd 13 Brewing in Lafayette will have a bottle release for Episode 1. This Belgian style Blond Ale had been brewed with Brett, aged in red wine barrels, and blended using chardonnay grapes. Bottles will go on sale starting at 4 and there is a limit of 2 per customer.
-Sunday, March 23 Station 26 will be hosting a Bluegrass Brunch. From 11-1 guests can enjoy live bluegrass music by the Hayward Strangers, donuts from Glazed and Confused, and there will be a new Vanilla Coffee Porter on tap for guests to enjoy.
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

It’s that time of year again where the Irish in all of us comes out, the bagpipe becomes our favorite instrument, corned beef and cabbage is a food group, and the beers a plentiful. Now in Colorado the events are in abundance from the parade to all the festivities at breweries around the state. Now if green beer isn’t your flavor then here are some of the best places to spend St. Patrick’s Day in the craft beers scene.
Copper Kettle Brewing Company (Denver, CO): Friday, March 14 from 12 to 10 PM Copper Kettle will be getting the St. Patrick’s weekend started with what has become a great annual tradition. It all starts with the return of the popular Help Me Out Stout, a dry Irish stout made from roasted barley and English hops served on nitro for a great mouth feel and rich, bitter taste. This will be paired with Irish inspired food from Dogtown Concessions food truck and live music from 6-9 featuring Kevin Dooley and Eric Drobny. This will be a great event featuring some great beer, so wear your best green clothes and start the holiday early!
Boulder Beer Company (Boulder, CO): If avoiding the chaos of downtown Denver is part of your St. Patrick’s Day plans then head to Boulder and celebrate with Colorado’s first microbrewery on Saturday, March 15 from 12-8. The pub will feature great food specials featuring corned buffalo reubens, and potato soup, plus drink specials including a Neopoltian Porter, Obovoid Stout, Celtic Warriors and more. In addition starting at 3 there will be live Irish step dancers, and live music from DeLalla-Bartsch Duo starting at 4. Great beer, food, and entertainment all off the beaten path from Denver, sounds like a great way to spend St. Patrick’s Day!
Saint Patrick’s Brewing Company (Englewood, CO): It’s only fitting that on St. Patrick’s Day a brewery named after him would be hosting a great party for this Irish holiday, by releasing 6 new lagers for the weekend! Friday, March 14 the highlight release will be an Imperial Oak Oatmeal Stout coming in at a hefty 9.5%. In addition the new lagers available will be a Red Lager, Honey Helles Bock, Strawberry Fire, Pilsner Wit, Saison Apple Lager, and the popular Lana’I Dry Hop Lager is making its return. The festivities continue on Saturday with Irish Dancer joining the party. For those who have not visited this hidden gem of breweries this is a great time to make your first visit, and for those looking to drink some great lagers this is easily one of the best places to spend your St. Patrick’s Day.
In addition there will be several new beer releases around the state all with a great Irish theme.
-Strange Brewing in Denver is releasing Jack Stout their Dry Irish Stout, wear green and receive $1 off your pint.
-Epic Brewing in Denver will be partnering with Big Kiwi Eats on a Corned Beef and Cabbage plate along with a pint of Epic’s Imperial Red on Saturday.
-River North Brewery in Denver will be opening early for thirsty guests after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Tap Room will open at 9:00 AM.
-Elk Mountain in Parker is releasing an Irish Red Ale aged in a 100 year old Rum Barrel. There will also be corned beef and hash to enjoy with your beer.
-Grist Brewing in Highlands Ranch will be releasing an Imperial Red on Monday, March 17 just in time for the holiday.
-Mountain Toad in Golden will be releasing a special Tadpole Beer, a Mint Chocolate Stout. Along with that Texorado BBQ Food Truck will be serving corned beef and cabbage to hungry guests.
No matter where you are in Colorado the options to let your inner Irish out will be plentiful, and even more important is none of the above come with a pint of green beer.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Brews News 3-11

March is in full swing and despite some cold weather and snow early n the month the craft beers scene is as busy as ever.  We have festivals on the horizon, new breweries constantly in progress of opening, and of course new beer releases leading up to St. Patrick’s Day and of course filling out our brackets! Here is what to look forward to leading up to a busy weekend.
Events:
-Thursday, March 13 means it is the second Thursday of the month and that means Beer and Cheese pairing with Copper Kettle Brewing Company and the Truffle Cheese Shop. $20 for 4 beers, 4 cheeses, bread, fresh fruit, and evening of fun and education. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.eventbee.com/v/copperkettle/event?eid=972887272.
-For those looking to start the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations early Hall Brewing in Parker will be hosting a food and beer pairing in partnership with Al Dente Cooking. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at http://www.aldentecolorado.com/event/saint-patricks-day-celebration-food-and-beer-pairing/. The menu will feature a Beer Shrimp Cocktail, Kale and Roasted Beets Salad, Irish Soda Bread, Herbed Meatballs with Beer Braised Cabbage, and Stout Pudding all featuring the great Farmhouse beers from Hall Brewing. This is sure to be a great event leading up to the celebration of the weekend.

New Beer Releases:
-Tuesday, March 11 Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery in Denver will release their fourth in a series of Small Batch Free Solo IPA. These beers are made using 4 different kinds of experimental hops, and with only 1 keg of each it is best to arrive early for a unique offering before is runs out.
-Copper Kettle Brewing Company in Denver is continuing their month long mix up of beers that will make guests ask “What the Firk?” These hybrid styles are very unique and this week they will be offering guests a Smoked California Common. This is a lager fermented at ale temperatures with the addition of smoked malts. Only 10 gallons available starting at 3 so arrive early for this unique one of a kind beer!
-Wednesday, March 12 River North Brewery will have the ever popular Whiskey Aged J Marie for Wayward Wednesday. Arrive early for this popular beer.
-Friday, March 14 Loveland Aleworks will continue their new release Friday for the month of March with the release of Double Birds Imperial IPA.
-Friday, March 14 Our Mutual Friend Malt and Brew will be releasing bottles of their popular Winter Warmer 2014. Bottles go on sale at the tap room starting at 2:00 PM and with a limit of 2 per person it is best to show up early.
-Friday, March 14 Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora has a great firkin to tap, a Toasted Pecan Albatross Nut Brown Ale. This beer is sure to go quickly so arrive in plenty of time to get a pint. Tapping is at 3:00.
-Friday, March 14 Yak and Yeti Brewpub in Arvada will be releasing the first in their HROC Home brewing collaboration, a Tequila/English porter using 6 pounds of agave and aged on oak. Beer releases at 4 and party goes until closing.
In other exciting news Grimm Brothers Brewing in Loveland will finally start canning in addition to their bombers. The first beer to hit the canning line will be the popular Red Cap Altbier. Six packs should be seen on store shelves beginning in April.
-Lone Tree Brewing also joined the canning game with the addition of their new canning line. Cans are still being printed but it looks like there should be a lot of great new beers on liquor store shelves soon.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Opuntia

Avery Brewing in Boulder has been a major part of the Colorado beer scene for over 20 years now, from the early days through the craft beer boom. This is in part to high quality flagship ales like Out of Bounds Stout, New World Porter, White Rascal, as well as great seasonal offerings like Old Jubilation Ale. But in addition Avery also offers a great variety of limited release barrel aged beers where barrels of all types are utilized and the beers are carefully blended to create a harmonious final product. In February of 2014 Avery released their newest offering to their Barrel-Aged Series: Opuntia, a sour ale aged nine months in first use tequila barrels, with prickly pear added. After acquiring a couple of bottles here are the tasting notes for this beer.
Like with any sour beer we reached for a tulip glass to enjoy this beer in, and after a soft pour there was a bright white head sitting on top of a copper colored ale with a subtle ruby hue. This led to a very complex aroma that was strong but inviting to want to sip this beer. The aroma had a strong floral note from the prickly pear. The tequila barrel aging brought out subtle aroma notes of oak, and vanilla. Additionally the agave notes added a hint of sweetness. Through it all this beer had a very complex aroma that was only enhanced through the very unique Brett yeast and lactobacillus which only made this beer a true sour style, which followed through to the taste.
The aroma carried through to the flavor perfectly creating a beer full of complex flavors. It started with a light, effervescent body that took on the bold flavors this beer offered. The primary flavor is the cactus pear, which provided a balance of sweetness, tartness, an all around flavor hard to describe with a refreshing quality. The barrel aging adds complexities and a deep flavor profile to this beer that compliments the prickly pear. The subtle hints from the oak play a role in this beer adding a hint of tequila and agave flavor to balance out the strong fruit flavor. The Brett yeast adds an earthy flavor that balances everything out, and the lactobacillus adds the great mouth puckering flavor that one would expect in a sour. This beer had a lot going on, and after one sip the complexities are strong, but each flavor shines through on its own from the tequila, oak, and prickly pear.
As a sour this beer hit the mouth with a quick hit of sour and tartness that made the mouth pucker, but it faded away very quickly making another sip easier to enjoy. The aftertaste was fairly clean, with only a hint of the yeast flavor lingering in the mouth. As a whole this was a very complex beer full of great and unique flavors, but also one that was extremely balanced and full of great flavor. With so many great beers in there barrel aged series Avery exceeded expectations with Opuntia making it a great addition to this lineup of limited releases. As a sour, fruit beer, and barrel aged beer Opuntia will cater to fans of many styles, and possible make people rethink whether or not they are a fan of certain styles. One that will only get better with age, or to drink in the moment this was a great beer and one that is a must try. Overall this would easily be a 4 out of 5 and one worth raising a glass to.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Brews News 3-4

February is officially over, and as we get into March we get into filling out our basketball brackets, and watching Spring Training baseball. What goes better with that than craft beer, and with celebrations, and new beer releases it is another full calendar in the week ahead.
Brewery Openings?
-After having to temporarily close due to running out of beer Former Future will once again be ready to open their doors to the masses waiting anxiously to drink there beer again. They will have the usual lineup on tap including the English IPA, Oatmeal Saison, and Wit plus rumor is there might be a Session Black IPA and a lemon wheat. They will be open again on March 7 with some new additions to the tap room as well.
-Even though they opened up back in November there was never an official grand opening party for Jagged Mountain, until this upcoming Saturday, March 8. There will be all the great beers available plus a limited Food and Beer pairing from 5-9 featuring great food from Mikes 2 Kitchen. Tickets for the event are $30. Also with every beer or merchandise purchase raffle tickets will be handed out awarding great prizes from tasters, glassware, merchandise, and the possibility to name a beer on their pilot system. Those that have been there already know how great the beer is, now it is just a reason to celebrate it.
New Beer Releases:
-City Star in Berthoud has added a new beer to their great tap lineup, the most recent is Vigilante Brown. A Belgian Rye Brown Ale.
-Tuesday, March 4 for Fat Tuesday Epic Brewing will be doing a Tap Takeover at Historian’s Ale House in Denver. They will have 8 beers on tap for the month of March including their Blue Ski Lager, Utah Sage Saison, Big Bad Baptist Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout to name a few, but Tuesday at 12 PM will feature a special firkin of their Sour Apple Saison with Rosebud. This will be a great way to start Mardi Gras and should not be missed.
-Tuesday, March 4 prior to their grand opening Jagged Mountain will be releasing the Barking Marmot Belgo-American Black IPA. This beer is sure to be complex and full of great flavors.
-Copper Kettle will begin a new month of firkins on Wednesday, March 5 consisting of March Madness, or 2 styles coming together to form 1 beer. The first one will be an Oatmeal Wit. Only 10 gallons available and beer will be tapped at 3.
-Wednesday, March 5 River North will be pouring a Trappist Style Hoppenberg Double IPA for their Wayward Wednesday starting at 3.
-Pumpkin Beer in March? That’s right, on Wednesday, March 5 Lone Tree Brewing will be bringing back Mr. Moo’s Pumpkin Brew at 12. Why a pumpkin beer in March, it is one of Lone Tree’s entries into the upcoming World Beer Cup so enjoy this special treat.
-Thursday, March 6 Station 26 has a great firkin lined up, a Tangerine Porter. Beer will be tapped at 4, you don’t want to miss this one.
-Thursday, March 6 Grist Brewing in Highlands Ranch will be tapping an Imperial Berliner. Raspberry and Woodruff syrups will be available on request to compliment this great sour. This beer is described as tasty, tart, and crisp so arrive at 4 to find out why.
-Every Friday in March Loveland Ale Works in Loveland will be releasing a new beer, the first comes March 7 with a Real Ale, a beer you will have to try to see what it really is.
-In other news starting Saturday, March 8 Lone Tree Brewing will be starting up their annual Beer-Acket. Last year the winning beer to hit the tap lines was a Triple IPA, so vote this year and hope your favorite beer gets brewed.
-This week all beers are due in Denver to be sorted for judging for the World Beer Cup, meaning we are getting closer to one of the best beer competitions around.

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Two 22

Every brewery has a story behind it, and one that makes each brewery unique. Like a husband and wife team who walked away from their jobs as teachers to start not only a new career in brewing but also a chance to be more charitable. That is the case in the small suburb of Centennial where the husband and wife team of Paige Schuster and Marcus Christianson not only changed careers into the craft beer scene, but also have found a way to give back to the community in the process. Out of every $10 in profit this brewery will donate $2.22 to the foundation created to honor Paige’s father. This brewery, of course, is Two 22 Brew.
Located in a shopping center surrounded by housing developments the tap room at Two 22 is very spacious, yet also inviting and comfortable. A large white marble bar top allows guests to sit and make new friends, and for larger groups there are communal tables to seat large and small groups. The highlight of this brewery is the custom artwork of “Two 22” that hangs above the tap handles, and the giant Jenga set that will be enjoyed by kids of all ages. The patio is just as large as the tasting room for those great warm Colorado days, but even on cool nights the large windows allow for great lighting and a comfortable environment to enjoy your beers. With several styles to choose from, the beer options will be enjoyed by the masses, just deciding which one to try first will be the hard part.
For fans of light beers, there is no better way to start your trip than with the Blonde Ale. This beer is incredibly light bodied, but still has a strong and unique flavor profile. The malt profile is still prominent, but the subtle citrus and floral undertones give this beer a very original flavor profile. Factor in a clean aftertaste and this is a great beer to start with and is great for any time of year. For fans of the hops, there are two different IPAs to choose from and the first is a very light, Session IPA. With a rich copper color this is a very true to style session IPA with a dry mouth feel and strong bitter flavor. The hops are very prominent but still do not overpower the beer.  It finishes fairly clean making it easy to drink. For a stronger IPA that allows the hops to shine through there is the Simcoe IPA, a single hop varietal. Again this beer has a rich copper color, a stronger malt base giving it a rich body, but this beer is still all about the hops. The Simcoe hops give this beer a bright citrus note with only a hint of bitterness. The finish is very clean making this an easy drinking IPA and a very unique single hop varietal.
For fans of dark beers, there are two different options, and it starts with the Centennial Chocolate Porter. This beer has a rich, dark color, is full bodied and is a great example of what a porter should be. The chocolate in this beer is full flavored from beginning to end. The body is full which creates a rich mouth feel, and while the chocolate is the primary flavor, it is not at all the only flavor. There are subtle flavors of roasted coffee, and a slight sweetness that balances out the whole beer. With a clean aftertaste this is a great porter and one that will be easily enjoyed by the masses. Also available for fans of the dark is a great and traditional Milk Stout. This full bodied stout has a rich coffee flavor with a subtle hint of chocolate. There is a good amount of sweetness, but not an overpowering amount, and the profile of the beer is very traditional and true to style. A clean finish, and balanced flavor profile makes this a very enjoyable beer.
Tucked away in a largely residential area this new brewery is one that is easy to drive by, but it is worth slowing down and making a visit. With a diverse style of high quality ales, a friendly staff, and an inviting tap room this has all the makings to become a popular destination brewery. Combine that with the charity work the owners are doing in the process, and it only adds to the desire to want to visit and meet the great owners. So when in the town of Centennial near the reservoirs make a stop by Two 22 Brew, taste the quality beers, and enjoy this great neighborhood brewery.   

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brews News 2-25

Hard to believe we are already in the last week of February, and heading into March. As the months progress the craft beer events continue to increase and heat up. New beer releases, and festivals are always waiting to greet us during the week and this week is no exception. Here is what to look forward to in the week ahead.
Festivals:
Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1 will be the 12th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Fest at Avery Brewing. This event brings together great craft breweries and their beers from around the country to bring out their best beers above 8 percent alcohol. Tickets are $50 and get guests 16 pours, and a commemorative glass and can be purchased here at strongalefest.eventbrite.com. Friday event is from 5 PM to 10 PM and Saturday from 12 PM to 5 PM. A list of participating breweries and beers can be found  Here. This is a great event every year for charity, and one that will let you taste several strong beers, and one of the most anticipated festivals each year.
New Beer Releases:
-Tuesday, February 25 Jagged Mountain Brewing in Denver will be releasing a new beer, Junta Dog Enigma Brown Ale. This beer comes in at 7.1% and is sure to be full flavored like the rest of their lineup.
-Wednesday, February 26 for Wayward Wednesday River North will be tapping the first beer brewed on their pilot system. A British Style Red Rye IPA dry hopped with Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin hops. Tapping at 3 for this one time only beer.
-Wednesday, February 26 Lone Tree Brewing will be tapping their newest lager, a Doppelbock. This slightly strong lager will be perfect for the cooler weather and will be available starting at 12.
-Wednesday, February 26 Copper Kettle will be finishing off Chocolate Decadence month with a Chocolate Strawberry Blonde Ale. This is a malt oriented American Blonde Ale with fresh strawberries and cocoa nibs, only 10 gallons will be available, tapped at 3 so arrive early for this unique beer.
-Saturday, March 1 River North Brewery will be releasing their newest Spring seasonal beer, Quad on Oak. This Belgian style Quad has spent time aging with oak like some of their other beers and is sure to be delicious and just as unique as their other offerings. Beer will be available starting at 1:00 PM.
-Friday, February 28 Dry Dock has yet another great firkin lined up, a Barrel Aged Raspberry Shotgun Stout. Tapping is at 3 so arrive early to claim your spot in line.
-Saturday, March 1 Copper Kettle will be releasing their first new beer in a few weeks, a Smoked Porter. Beer will hit the tap lines at 12.
In other news Gravity Brewing from Louisville reached a distribution agreement with Tivoli distribution. The great company that brings us Grimm Brothers, Backcountry, Centennial, and Crabtree will now be bringing the unique and full flavored beers from Gravity to the masses. More details to follow but for those that have not had Gravity beers, they will be worth the wait to get your hands on. Congratulations on their expanding and grown business.

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