Friday, January 31, 2014

Kokopelli Beer Co

Along Highway 36 in between Denver and Boulder there is little to enjoy as far as craft beer is concerned. That all changed in January of 2014 when Christine Wares decided to leave the telecommunications industry after 28 years to open a restaurant and brewery. Alongside her are Todd and Rick who were avid home brewers taking their craft to the next level and serving it to thirsty guests who come into this small business. Named after the god for fertility this brewpub is the first in the small suburb of Westminster, Colorado serving up not only great craft beer, but great bar food as well. After much anticipation of opening Colorado craft beers drinkers were finally able to sample the offerings from Kokopelli Beer Company.
Located inside a strip mall off 88th and Harlan walking inside this brewery transforms guests from the mountains of Colorado to the southwest. The spacious tap room is decorated with the Kokopelli god from wall art to the custom designed tap handles behind the bar. The dark red and light brown walls add great color and only add to the southwest environment that has been created. Divided by a wall lies all the brewing equipment used to serve the high quality ales, and with several flagship to choose from along with some rotating seasonal ales the options are endless of what to enjoy here.  
With several beers to choose from on their tap list Kokpelli has something for everybody, including multiple options for the hop heads out there, and it starts with the Pale Face Ale. This medium body malt forward beer has great color, and a surprisingly bright citrus note from the Amarillo hops. This beer has a great balance between malt and hops, finishes clean and lends itself to the more hop forward beers on the menu. For a lighter bodied IPA there is the Split Wit, and collaboration with Denver’s Caution. This beer brought together the great qualities of a White IPA with a saison yeast strain. This beer has a light body with a dry mouth feel and a balance between sweet and spicy. The hops are prominent but not overpowering making this a very unique IPA. For fans of dark ales but still like their hops there is the Night Thunder Black IPA.  This dark beer has all the great qualities of a porter and IPA combined. A rich body with strong coffee flavor is bitter on its own, but is enhanced by the hops. With a lingering aftertaste this IPA has a great bitterness any hop fan would love, and rounds out a great tap list of diverse IPAs.
For fans of more traditional styles of ales there are plenty to choose from at Kokopelli as well, and a great one to start with is the Red Moon Amber. This beer brings with it a medium body, amber color, and great layers of flavor. You are initially greeted with a sweetness of caramel and vanilla flavor from the malts used, but that is balanced out from a subtle hop flavor. The beer is balanced, and finishes clean making very refreshing and easy to enjoy. For drinkers of dark beers there is a stout available, the Cow Tipper Milk Stout. There is nothing fancy about this beer, instead it is a very straightforward style of a milk stout. A lighter body gives the drinker a rich flavor of coffee and chocolate that one would expect from a stout. The creamy mouth feel and prominent sweetness let it be known that this is a bold flavored milk stout. This beer does finish clean, and is a good interpretation of a milk stout, the light body make it easy to enjoy, and the flavors are well rounded making this a great beer. Also available will be small batch beers that rotate and at their grand opening that included a Dubbel, Altbier, and winter ale.
With a wide variety of hand crafted beers to choose from, a friendly and welcoming staff, a relaxing and spacious tap room, and food options right on site it is no wonder why there was so much anticipation for Kokopelli to open. Now that their doors have opened it is no surprise to see them packed regularly with people enjoying their pizza and beer. In a time where brewpubs are few and far between, and in an area where craft beer is still limited Kokopelli was a great addition to not only the Westminster area but to Colorado craft beer in general. So when north of Denver ignore the chains, and stop by this new brewpub sure to be full of regulars and first time customers for a long time to come, and worth the wait for their opening.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Brews News 1-28

As we enter the last week of January and head into the first week of February we remember that the first month of the year was a busy one in the craft beer world. With five days to go until the Super Bowl at least the craft beer community has plenty of events to keep them busy as they eagerly await the big game with anniversaries, and new beer releases. Here is what is going on in the week ahead in craft beer.
One of the best new breweries from 2013 is finally turning 1 and are doing so with a four day party featuring 4 new beer releases. That small brewery tucked away in an alley in the Highlands neighborhood, De Steeg! The festivities will start on Thursday, January 30 and run through Sunday, February 2 featuring a new beer release the first three days and finishing off with a Super Bowl Party. The new beer releases will feature a Biere De Garde, Dubbel, Tripel, and Quad. For those who have not been to this brewery yet this will be a great first time to visit and try some great beers, and enjoy a great time as they celebrate their first of many anniversaries.
New Beer Releases: New beers and firkins will be in abundance again this week, but which ones to try?
-Tuesday, January 28 Crooked Stave will be releasing their newest bottle, Batch 60. This beer was released last week for Tap it Tuesday and now the bottle release will be happening at The Source. This is an American Wild Ale that has been dry hopped with Amarillo and Citra hops. Bottles are $10 each and is a cash only event starting at 5 pm.
-Wednesday, January 29 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will be ending their New Year’s Resolution cask month with a gluten free beer made with rice. This beer will go on tap at 3 and should go quickly like they all have this month.
-Wednesday, January 29 for Wayward Wednesday River North has a great beer lined up for guests. Unified Theory with grapefruit fermented with wine yeast. Tapping is at 3.
-Thursday, January 30 Station 26 in Denver has a great firkin planned for the masses. Their Belgian-American Pale Ale will be the offering with blood oranges added to it. Although the firkin program here is new it has caught on quickly so arrive early for the 4 pm tapping.
-Saturday, February 1 Copper Kettle will be releasing a great beer perfect to welcome in February. They will be releasing their Chocolate Milk Stout. Tapping is at 12 and this is a beer that is a must try.
-Saturday, February 1 River North Brewery has another limited beer release for us. Scotch Barrel J Marie Saison. Only 110 cases of this beer were made and it will be available starting at 1 PM.
-Need a beer for the Super Bowl? Snapshot by New Belgium and Lugene by Odell are officially on the shelves around town so grab this while you can.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Hall Tap Room

It was early on in 2013 that the small town of Parker was welcomed with a new microbrewery, and one that everybody in the surrounding areas could enjoy just as easily. Hall Brewing started off small with three distinct farmhouse style beers: a red, IPA, and stout that were available in 22 ounce bombers in various liquor stores and on tap at select bars. Throughout the year they were at festivals, tasting events, and one questioned was always asked, “When are you going to open a tasting room?” Luckily for the craft beer community they listened and in December of 2013 the doors to the Hall Brewing Tap Room opened in the small town where it all started, Parker.
Located in the heart of downtown Parker right on the corner of Main Street the tap room is very spacious, but inviting and comfortable. Walking in there are barrels against the wall, and the place is decorated to match the brewery perfectly. Behind the bar is a very rustic look where the tap handles are bordered by aged, weathered looking wood. Just above the bar lies small pine trees that adds to the outdoor environment they created. A tap room as large as this one still has a small town feel with a very friendly staff that is very engaging with all customers that walk in, and of course all the great Hall beers are available to sample and enjoy a Mason jar pint.
With what started as three beers has quickly expanded into a full and diverse tap list that any craft beer fan would enjoy. The red, IPA, and stout are all available as well as a nitro tap, and the additional farmhouse saison is on tap. In addition shortly after they began distributing beer Hall expanded its production into making high quality craft lagers. Included in the lagers are farmhouse styles of a pilsner, helles, and a bock that are all very traditional to the style and full of great hop and malt flavor one would expect in lagers.
Lastly are the seasonal and small release batches that Hall has produced throughout its first year. These included a peach blonde ale perfect for the summertime with its light body and refreshing flavor. This was followed by a marzen during the fall, this great malty lager fit the profile of autumn and October perfectly, and for the winter months we were offered Deck the Hall Holiday Ale. This ale was the original recipe of owner Aubrey Hall’s grandfather that was brewed as it originally was and offered to the masses in a very enjoyable malt forward slightly spiced ale. Of course a tap room would not be complete without some exclusive small batch beers or firkins, and Hall has those which have included a Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine with vanilla beans, a pilsner with orange peel, plus many more to come in the near future.
Great ales, lagers, and seasonal ales Hall Brewing already had a great following of people who anxiously awaited their next release so we could get our hands on a bottle. But the addition of the tap room has now made it possible to enjoy many of their farmhouse offerings in one comfortable sitting. Whether it is some tasters or a mason jar pint, a flagship offering or seasonal small batch this farmhouse brewery opening a tap room was not only a great addition to Parker, but to the Colorado craft beer scene in general. A welcome part of the craft beer expansion this south suburb of Denver now has two great microbreweries to visit, and Hall is a must in the area.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Denver Barely's Angels

Groups of dedicated craft beer lovers are in abundance across the country. These are groups of people that not only enjoy drinking, but also being educated about craft beer. One group that has brought the educational aspect and made it prominent is Barley’s Angels founded in 2011 to help women get more access to craft beer. The group has evolved to over 60 chapters worldwide and in 2014 it expanded into Colorado with a chapter in Denver and Boulder. The Denver group will meet the 4th Monday of every month, and the Boulder group the 4th Wednesday of every month, and as January comes to a close they will soon celebrate their inaugural events in Colorado.
Monday, January 27 the Denver event will kickoff at the Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver. This event will provide food and Wynkoop beer and a tremendous opportunity to meet Bess Dougherty, who also happens to be Wynkoop’s first full time female brewer. After the meeting, attendees are invited to stay to discuss future meeting topics and activities to do while in Denver. Tickets are $15 and this will be a great opportunity to not only sample high quality ales, but to also meet people in the industry and ask any questions regarding working in the craft beer industry.
Two nights later on Wednesday, January 29 the Boulder chapter will have their kickoff party at one of Boulder’s newest breweries, Sanitas. This event will be a beer and cheese pairing featuring cheese educator John Scaggs from Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese. Tickets are $15 and will give guests four cheeses that will be paired with four tasters of Sanitas beer. After the event, guests are invited to stay around to help plan future events in the Boulder area. This is sure to be a great event and a great way for the Boulder chapter to start.
To purchase tickets to either event visit 
With two great events in two great craft beer communities, Barley’s Angels is instantly going to make an impact and create a quick, rapidly growing following with their new chapter in Colorado. From Denver to Boulder and the surrounding communities, the possibilities are endless in types of beer to sample, and educational possibilities. Regardless of how you look at it this group is not only great for the craft beer scene, but is a welcome addition to craft beer lovers in Colorado.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Brews News 1-21

So far January has been a great month in craft beer and a great start to the year. As the month continues we continue to see festivals start up again, new beer releases, and much more in the craft beer world. Here is what is going on in the week ahead in craft beer.
Festivals: Shortly after the annual Vail Big Beers festival the season continues on and before we know it we will be in the full swing of festival season.
-For now we have the Denver Winter Brew Fest at Mile High Station. This annual event will now be 2 days Friday, January 24 and Saturday, January 25. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 day of for general admission, and $40/$45 for VIP hour. This event will feature some great Colorado breweries including Mountain Toad, Odd 13, Odyssey, Jagged Mountain, and Grist. Also included will be great local cider, mead, and kombucha from Colorado as well. This is a great event to start off festival season, and a great chance to try breweries from Colorado and around the country. For a complete list of participating breweries and to purchase tickets here is the link
New Beer Releases: Each week breweries around the state are releasing new beers to the thirst masses, here is what’s new this week.
-Tuesday, January 21 at The Source Crooked Stave has a great beer for Tap it Tuesday. This week is Batch 60 dry hopped with citra and Amarillo hops. Beer releases at 5:00.
-Tuesday, January 21 in Boulder Wild Woods Brewery will be releasing their Frozen Forest. This American style Barleywine was brewed with coriander and spruce, tapping is at 4.
-Wednesday, January 22 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will continue their New Year’s Resolution cask month with the resolution “Eat Better.” The beer this week was made with super foods and is a light wheat with pomegranate and acai berries. Tapping is at 3.
-Thursday, January 23 Our Mutual Friend in Denver will be releasing their newest beer, a Chinook Red Ale. This 8.3% beer comes in at 90 IBUs and is sure to be hoppy and malty. Beer will be tapped at 4 with food truck, and is a great addition to their lineup of beers. 
-Thursday, January 23 Station 26 will be tapping a Brown Ale with French Oak for their weekly firkin. Tapping will be at 4, these are becoming more popular on a weekly basis so arrive early!
-Friday, January 24 Dry Dock will be tapping a Tart Cherry Belgian Dubbel for firkin Friday, arrive early to save your spot in line for this 3:00 tapping.
-Saturday, January 25 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will be bringing back their popular Saison Savoureux. This is always a popular beer when they bring it back, and this time is sure to be no different. Tapping is a 12.
-Saturday, January 25 River North Brewery will be releasing their newest barrel aged series and also their newest B Side Series. This Imperial Stout was aged in Oak Rye Whiskey Barrels. Only 360 bottles made, so arrive early and get your hands on this one.
-Sunday, January 26 TRVE Brewing will be releasing Batch3 of Eastern Candle. This batch was dry hopped with citra, and is sure to go fast. Bottles will be sold out of the tap room.
-Also by end of week 2 new beers should be hitting liquor store shelves. Lugene, the great Chocolate Milk Stout from Odell, and Snapshot, a new subtle sour from New Belgium.
Upcoming Events: Although this week is plenty to keep you busy there is always more to look forward to in craft beer.
-Alpine Dog Brewing in Denver announced their location. Colfax and Ogden in the old Independent Record store. Now that the location is squared away we have to patiently wait for the beer.
-Two22 Brew in Centennial should soon be finishing their construction in their great location, and should be announcing an opening date soon.
-As we are a few weeks away from Valentine’s Day look for some great events from breweries all over the city, including an already announced four course dinner from Copper Kettle Brewing Company.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

J Marie Barrelled and Bretted

Since River North Brewery in Denver opened their doors in 2012 they have prided themselves in serving great Belgian style ales. Whether it was a traditional saison, white ale, stout, or IPA a great Belgian influence went into each beer designed. Shortly after that quickly evolved into a brewery that featured their already great beers being aged into various style of barrels. From various styles aged in white wine barrels to whiskey barrels, and including a great barrel reserve beer that combines all their whiskey beers into one great offering. However in January 2014 this small brewery took their next step in their barrel aged program with a red wine barrel aged beer, fermented with Brett yeast. This could only be the J Marie Saison Barrel and Bretted.
Now of course for a beer so unique and limited proper glassware was a major necessity and for a beer like this we went with a traditional goblet style glass. The beer poured a rich dark golden color that showed all its effervescence, and this was capped off with a bright white head to top it off. A slightly heavy pour left a good inch of head on top this beer. The aroma was very unique combing the qualities of Belgian style ales and sours together into one beer. This beer brought a very complex aroma which has great qualities of yeast from the Brett, a subtle hint of citrus was visible in the nose, plus the red wine and oak were prominent from the barrel. With such a complex aroma how would this beer taste?
The body was very light and exactly what a saison/farmhouse ale should be. A light and effervescent body is the first thing you notice as the beer hits your tongue to awaken your pallet. A subtle malt flavor with low hop bitterness is the main base of this beer which creates a mellow flavor profile. Like with any farmhouse ale the yeast plays a prominent role in the flavor, and that is where this version of J Marie becomes bold, and unique. The reason behind such a bold flavor profile is that popular wild yeast strain Brett. This gave the beer a very unique and earthy flavor profile. This added a very subtle tartness to the beer but did not overpower the rest of the beer. Instead it worked in balance with the barrel aging this beer went through as well.
The barrel flavor came through strongly with a bold red wine flavor followed by a more subtle oak flavor. This added tartness to compliment the Brett yeast. To finish this beer had a slightly lingering aftertaste, but not one so powerful it makes you not want to drink it. It was just strong enough to make you intrigued to keep sipping, and the before you know it the bottle is gone.
Overall this was a great beer that was full flavored, and a great addition to an already great lineup of barrel aged beers that River North produces. Not only is the first use of red wine barrels but also the first beer they bottle conditioned, used a wild yeast train on, and a great version of one of their flagship ales. This simplistic ale was elevated with so many flavors, and yet the integrity of the saison was kept intact. With only 360 bottles produced not only could this be one of the best rare beers in Denver this year, but also one worth aging to see how this beer evolves and matures with time. Over all this beer is easily a 4 out of 5 and a great way to kick off a new year of craft beer.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Brews News 1-14

The month is already half over and we have already seen new brewery openings faster than we can keep up with them. Also festival season has slowly begun, but as we head into a new week we take a break from new brewery openings. Instead we look at anniversaries and new beer releases to keep our pint glasses full. Here is what is going on in the upcoming week.
Grand Openings:
Even though they have already been open for a few weeks now Caution Brewing Company will be celebrating the grand opening of their new location Caution: West in Lakewood. Event is Saturday, January 18 from 12-10 and will feature some great beer specials, food trucks, and entertainment all day.
In the end of 2012 the small mountain town of Golden had only 1 microbrewery, now they have 4 and on Saturday, January 18 the second craft brewery in this town will be turning 1. Cannonball Creek will be celebrating their first anniversary with live music, great food, and of course great beer. 10 to be exact to celebrate 1 year in business that include a brand new Oatmeal brown n nitro, an anniversary ale, and a collaboration beer with the Colorado School of Mines home brew club. The party starts at noon so stop by, say congratulations, and enjoy some great beer in the process.
New Beer Releases/Events:
Some new beer releases around town this week, some new and some returning favorites.
-Tuesday, January 14 at the Source Crooked Stave will be selling Nightmare on Brett Street starting at 5:00. Bottles are $12 with a 6 bottle limit and this is a cash only event. Arrive early to get your spot in line as this popular beer is sure to go fast.
-Immediately following the sale of Nightmare on Brett Crooked Stave will be tapping their final keg of Hop Savant with Galaxy starting at 6. This great beer won’t last long.
-Wednesday, January 15 Copper Kettle is continuing their month long beers around New Years Resolutions. This week is “Be Kinder,” with a no bitterness ale. This mild ale was made with only finishing hops so there will be no bitterness. Tapping is at 3.
-Wednesday, January 15 Lone Tree Brewing will be bringing back their popular India Pale Lager (IPL). This is a rerelease of this beer and the first time it was extremely popular, so make sure t get a pint or growler early, it might not last long.
-Wednesday, January 15 for Wayward Wednesday River North Brewery in Denver will be bringing back a popular favorite, Abbey Style Unified Theory. Tapping will happen at 3.
-Yak and Yeti Brewpub in Arvada has been doing a porter series for the past few weeks and that continues Wednesday, January 15 with a Molasses Porter. These beers have been running out within a couple days so arrive early to try.
-Thursday, January 16 Station 26 will tap a new firkin. This week will feature the Red IPA with red and black chipotles and Cocoa Nibs. Sounds like a full flavored beer that should not be missed.
-Friday, January 17 at Grist Brewing in Highlands Ranch they will be releasing a new beer they call the Giant Rabbit Belgian Specialty Ale.
-Saturday, January 18 Copper Kettle Brewing Company in Denver is bringing back their Belgian Golden Strong. This beer is brought back on a limited basis and is always popular, tapping will be at 12 for this great beer.
-Saturday, January 18 at Epic Brewing in Denver they will be hosting the event Brewed, exploring how coffee and beer came together. This event is $15 and features 5 local coffee roasters, 5 local brewers, and will feature samples of both. Tickets are still available but are going fast.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stem Ciders

Within downtown Denver, in the River North neighborhood, the past year has seen a renaissance of sorts in this once run down area. First, the craft breweries came in and opened in masses. Shortly after, the Colorado wine scene expanded into this part of Denver with two wineries complete with tasting rooms. But in January 2014, a new business opened up in this booming part of Denver now making the options for refreshing beverages complete. Located right behind a small winery in a great warehouse, is one of Denver’s newest tasting rooms featuring none other than hard ciders, and the place is Stem Cider’s.
Walking up to this tasting room you know you’re there from the stenciled logo on a brick wall, a hanging metal sign, and a patio that will have picnic tables during warm weather. Walk inside and you are greeted with both a production facility and a comfortable tasting room. A small bar surrounded by growlers and glassware looks out on to the bar stools and long communal tables for guests to sit. Dividing the tasting room from the production is a wall of barrels all storing great cider waiting to be served. During their soft opening they offered a Farmhouse Cider, but once the doors open permanently there will be more offerings for the masses sure to come in.
The cider has a light golden color with a light carbonation with an aroma one would expect from a cider. But, it is in the flavor where you realize that this is a unique glass of cider with a talented brewer crafting each batch. While most ciders out on the market are very sweet, the ones at Stem are the total opposite and are dry. Not only does this add a great mouth feel but it also adds complexities that help to enhance the other flavors in this cider. To compliment the dryness of this cider there is a light body that makes this very crisp, and effervescent. But of course a cider wouldn’t be a cider without its most important ingredient, the apple. Grown locally in Colorado the pureness of the apples is very prominent adding a tartness and brightness that adds a refreshing quality. There is a subtle sweetness to this cider, but it does not overpower the drink. Instead, it creates balance and makes it well rounded with layers of flavor that keep evolving with each sip. The finish is extremely clean and pallet cleansing making it very refreshing, and easy to enjoy any time of year.
Once the grand opening happens the tap list is going to increase, and there will be a total of four ciders available; all of which are going to be unique in flavor profile and the way they were treated. The Malice will be dry fermented and stainless steel aged which should lead to create a different mouth feel. The Banjo has been aging in bourbon barrels which can only lead to a great blend of oak, vanilla notes, and a lot of complexities to compliment apples. The options of ciders are endless and what guests can look forward to are a wide variety of bold, full flavored ciders.
With a great selection of ciders, a relaxing and comfortable tasting room, and a group of very friendly owners, Stem Ciders has already created a great atmosphere to visit. As the tap list expands and the year goes on this will quickly become a place full of great regular customers, and newcomers looking to introduce themselves to cider. In an area of Denver that continues to grow at a rapid rate Stem Ciders is cemented right in the center of this growth with their unique take on a beverage not commonly seen on a craft market. So when in Denver and craving something refreshing to drink pass on the breweries and wineries, and make a trip to Stem Ciders to not only taste the quality, but to experience one of the great new businesses in RiNo for yourself.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brews News 1-7

We are already a week into the year, and what a week it has been. 2 weeks into the year the craft beer scene is already heating up for the year. Already we are celebrating anniversaries, festivals are starting up again, new breweries are opening up on almost a weekly basis, and the new beer releases around the state are being tapped in abundance. And that is all going down this week.
Friday, January 10 J Wells Brewing in Boulder will be turning 1! This small brewery quickly established themselves in the rich Boulder craft beer scene with their great English style ales, and Hop Haze Imperial IPA. The event runs from 4-9 PM and will feature 7 great beers on tap, so stop by, say congratulations, and enjoy some great craft beer.
New Brewery Openings:
This week we will have not 1, but 2 places opening for small batch beer and ciders.
-Thursday, January 9 Lafayette will welcome a great new brewery into this small suburb when The Post Brewing Company opens their doors. This chicken restaurant and brewery will be a welcome addition to the expanding beer scene in Lafayette. Dinner will be served at 4 along with their great craft beer offerings, and weekend brunch to follow that weekend.
-Friday, January 10 in RiNo Stem Cider’s will officially open their doors. This small building has had a couple soft openings offering one of their delicious ciders, and there should be 4 available for the grand opening. This is a great addition to the bursting RiNo scene so stop by, say hello to the friendly owners and enjoy some great dry cider.
It is already that time of year again for craft beer lovers head into the mountains for the 14th Annual Vail Big Beers, Belgian’s and Barleywines. This annual event is one of the highlights of the festival year fro breweries and craft beer lovers alike. Event runs from Thursday, January 9 to Saturday, January 11 and is a must attend for those who have not.
New Beer Releases/Events:
There are a lot of great new beer releases this week, as well as craft beer events.
-Tuesday, January 7 Crooked Stave will be tapping the popular Nightmare on Brett Street aged in Leopold Whiskey Barrels. Tapping will be at 5 PM at where else but The Source.
-Wednesday, January 8 Copper Kettle will be starting a new month of firkins revolved around New Years Resolutions. The first beer is about reducing stress, and will be their India Pale Lager with Holy Basil added to it. Only 10 gallons that will be tapped at 3 PM will it’s gone.
-Wednesday, January 8 back at The Source Crooked Stave will continue their Happy Leaf release as collaboration with Happy Leaf Kombucha. This week will be the Vieille Saison with Cranberry lavender kombucha.
-Wednesday, January 8 Lone Tree will be bringing back their popular Bronco Belgian Pale Ale. This is a popular beer every year and with good reason.
-Thursday, January 9 Station 26 in Denver will continue their new firkin releases. This week’s small release will be a Coffee Red IPA.
-Thursday, January 9 is the second Thursday of the month and that can only mean one thing, the monthly beer and cheese pairing between Truffle Cheese Shop and Copper Kettle Brewing Company. $20 gets you four great cheeses, 4 great beers, and a night full of fun and information. Tickets go fast and can be purchased on the Copper Kettle website.
-Friday, January 10 Rockyard Brewing Company in Castle Rock will be releasing their Lightning Strike Oatmeal Stout aged in bourbon barrels. This beer has been available at the brewery, but look for bottles of this great beer to hit liquor store shelves. Buy them quick because their small batch beers go quick, and are always popular.
-In other news Black Shirt Brewing continues to can their beers. This week the Red Saison will be joining the lineup that already features the Red IPA and Red Porter. Look for these great beers to go at the tap room by the end of the week.
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Station 26

Within the Denver craft beer scene the number of breweries and parts of the city these breweries are in continue to expand. What used to be primarily in downtown has now expanded to the very limits of the Denver border. Most recently towards the end of 2013 a new part of Denver became part of the craft beer scene, the Stapleton area. What used to house Denver’s main airport has undergone a huge makeover the past few years and now has a microbrewery to call its own. Housed in an old historical fire station this new brewery has a name fitting to the building, Station 26 Brewing.
Located within the old Station 26 Firehouse in Denver this brewery has undergone a great conversion to become a brewery, but still kept the historical firehouse environment present. Walk inside the large red building inside the large red brick building is a spacious tap room. The large garage doors make this well lit along with all the industrial light fixtures hanging from the high ceilings. The bar top wraps around the building with tables and standing room all around. The old brick walls are still the same and the fireman’s poles separate the seating area from where the beer was made. This brewery has a great environment, and of course there is the beer and with some very unique styles being served they are all worth trying.
For fans of the hops there are two very distinct options and the first is a Belgian-American Pale Ale. This classic style pale ale has the subtle hop bitterness but is balanced out by a citrus and grapefruit note from the Belgian yeast strain. Very straightforward in flavor profile, but very balanced, refreshing, and easy to enjoy. For a bolder hop profile there is the IPA #1. Made with Apollo, Nelson, and Simcoe hops this IPA has the bitterness one would expect but with layers of complex flavors from the three unique hop varietals. Subtle aromas and flavors of citrus and pine balance out the hop notes. The aftertaste lingers but this is a very traditional IPA that will be enjoyed by the hop heads out there. For another bitter beer but not in the pale ale category is the New World Bitter, a version of an ESB. With three different hops this beer is well balanced, full flavored, and very sessionable. Refreshing, unique, and easy to drink this is a great beer easy to enjoy by craft beer drinkers of all styles.
Of course Station 26 also has some unique offerings as well, and none are more unique than the Cherrywood-Smoked Golden Ale. A very light bodied easy to drink ale that is full of complex flavor and aroma. This light bodied ale has a subtle smoke not to the aroma that follows through perfectly to the flavor with a subtle sweetness. The flavors were all balanced from the malts to hops all with a hint of smoke. Cap it off with a clean finish and this is a very unique, refreshing beer that is easy to drink and very enjoyable. For fans of the dark beers there is a stout available, but a session stout. This light 4.1% ABV beer has a lighter body for a stout, but is still packed full of stout flavor. All the great qualities of a stout are present from the rich dark color, tan head, roasted barley, coffee, and chocolate. But unlike a traditional stout the light 4.1% ABV makes this not only light bodied but very easy to drink. A very refreshing beer for one so dark with a clean finish and so flavorful it makes it that much easier to drink.
With not only a diverse tap list in which there is a beer for fans of all styles this brewery has so much more going for it. A very friendly staff who are welcoming and engaging, a talented brewer who makes great traditional and unique beers, and a great tap room that is not only comfortable but brings together the great environment of a historic firehouse and craft brewery. In a craft beer market as rich and diverse as Denver’s this was a welcome addition. While off the beaten path from most of Denver’s brewery this one is worth the visit. So next time you are in the north Denver area swing by Station 26 Brewing and enjoy many of the great offerings, and see if anything new has hit the tap lines yet.

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