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.
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 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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Friday, February 21, 2014

Lowdown Brewery and Kitchen

In the craft beer expansion, that has been going on in Colorado over the past couple years, it is easier to find a brewery no matter where you are. This is especially true within the Denver area where all parts and neighborhoods now have a brewery to call their own. In 2014, the Golden Triangle area became part of the craft beer scene where award winning brewers, with over twenty years of combined experience, came together to open a brewery to call their own. With not only high quality ales, but great food as well; this is Lowdown Brewery and Kitchen.
Located on the corner of 8th and Lincoln in downtown Denver, Lowdown has a large but comfortable atmosphere to greet its guests. The atmosphere is both warm and inviting, but also brings together a great industrial feel to the tap room. Large exposed pipes line the ceilings and walls, but there are comfortable booths and tables for large groups to sit. Large windows line the side walls, and throughout there is eclectic artwork that ranges from impressionist paintings to portraits. The tile floors feature the word “cheers” in various languages. Right near the bar is a large hanging chalkboard that displays all the beers offered, brewed on site, which is a large variety, and many styles. Only question is which to try first?
For fans of the hoppy beers there are an abundance of options, but one of the best to start with is a beer called Selfish which is a pale ale with a very unique flavor profile. This ale was pale in appearance, had a bright hoppy flavor, but also had a bright flavor of citrus and tropical fruits including grapefruit and pineapple. This beer finished very clean making it very easy to drink. It is one of the most unique pale ales you will find anywhere, and it is also one of the most enjoyable. Now, of course there are several other options for hoppy beers. A light crisp traditional Bohemian style Pilsner will refresh guests with a subtle hint of bitterness from the hops, and is a great beer to start with. The Lowdown IPA will give drinkers a complex flavor of hops including citrus and hints of pine with a lingering aftertaste IPA fans will absolutely love. For a beer that is hop forward but has more of a malt balance there is the Boxer India Red Ale. Sweet caramel flavors from the malts compliment the citrus and pine flavors of the hops creating a well rounded and balanced beer guests are sure to love.
Now, of course there a wide variety of beers available as well with a more subtle hop profile, but still just as full flavored. There are two different Belgian style offerings including a traditional White Ale that is refreshing with a subtle hint of spice. Also available is a unique and bold flavored Tripel. This beer has a light and effervescent body that balances great spices of ginger and black pepper with a unique fruit flavor of apricot. This beer has a very complex flavor, with a clean aftertaste, and is very refreshing. For fans of more malt forward beers there are two options. For a lighter version, reach for the Lonely Sheep, a Scottish style export ale. This medium body amber colored ale has a great malt flavor that finishes clean. For a big bold beer, there is Black Bessie, a traditional milk stout available on both CO2 and nitro. This beer has a rich coffee flavor with subtle hints of chocolate, and sweetness from the milk sugar. Similar to an iced coffee with cream this beer will fill you up, but is so delicious you will want another.
With not only a diverse selection of high quality ales and lagers to choose from, but also an eclectic a great food menu, Lowdown has been a great addition to the Denver beer scene. The food is made with high quality ingredients and is unique which translates to the beers brewed on site with flavor profiles unique to the styles. As brewpubs continue to increase in popularity Lowdown is at the forefront of what every brewpub should be. A great experience from beginning to end with a friendly and knowledgeable staff to go along with everything else they have to offer. So the next time you are in and around Denver when that craving for beer and a bite hits take a trip to the golden triangle and visit Lowdown Brewery and Kitchen and taste the quality for yourself.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Denver Collaboration Festival

In just under a month craft beer lovers in Denver and around Colorado will be celebrating Colorado Craft Beer Week. While the events surrounding this week are always worth visiting around local bars and tap rooms this year will be better than in years past. Of course there will still be special beer releases at various breweries, and tap takeovers at bars this year will be headlined by the first ever Collaboration Festival to be held Saturday, March 22.
This inaugural event will bring together breweries from Colorado and across the country together to make one of a kind beers for this unique event. All in all there will be over 20 breweries from the Colorado Brewers Guild in attendance, and the collaborations involved will feature as many as 5 different breweries working together. Also a first for Colorado Craft Beer Week will be the involvement of out of state breweries participating in this great event as well. While the list is still being finalized here are the breweries working together in anticipation of this festival.
-Avery and Russian River
         -Barrels & Bottles and Golden City
         -Big Choice and Caution
         -Black Fox and TRVE
         -Bootstrap and Eddyline
         -Boulder Beer and Sanitas
         -Cannonball Creek and 12 Degree
         -Caution and Copper Kettle
         -Denver Beer Co and Upslope
         -Dry Dock and Steamworks
         -Echo and Front Range
         -Echo and Right Brain (MI)          
         -FATE and Mission (SD)
         -Fate, Bru, and Wild Woods
         -Former Future and Station 26
         -Denver Pearl Brewing and Front Range
         -Crooked Stave and Great Divide
         -Crooked Stave and Hogshead
         -Breckenridge, Cannonball Creek, Durango, Jagged Mountain, Eddyline, Mountain Sun, Telluride,
           Iron Springs (CA), Moo Brew
         -New Belgium and Odell
         -OMF and Wild Woods
         -Oskar Blues and La Cumbre
         -Oskar Blues and Shamrock
         -Oskar Blues and St. Archer
         -Pagosa Springs and Rockyard
         -Pug Ryan’s, Dillon Dam, Breckenridge, and Backcountry
         -Renegade, Wit’s End, Strange, TRVE, Black Sky, and Breckenridge
         -River North and TRVE
         -Rockslide, Kannah Creek, and Palisade
         -Ska and Nynashamns Angbryggeri
         -Pikes Peak, Bristol, and Phantom Canton
         -Telluride and Marble
         -Trinity and Black Bottle
         -Twisted Pine and Swamp Head
         -Wild Woods and Echo
         -Wynkoop and Wonderland
More participating breweries and collaborations to be added leading up to the event.
This event will be held Saturday, March 22 from 3:00-7:00PM at the Curtis Hotel located on 1405 Curtis Street in Denver. Tickets are $50 for General Admission which gives guests samples to all the available beers. There are also VIP tickets or Collaboration Aficionado tickets in this case for $80 which gives guests into the event an hour early, a private room with snacks, a private restroom, reserved access to breakout sessions, as well as a custom growler. Tickets can be purchased at
This event is sure to be a great time, but also a great way to celebrate Colorado Craft Beer Week, with the community of craft beer coming working together to put out a great and unique product. With so many great breweries coming together the beers are sure to be a hit, and hopefully this will be an annual event to look forward to and become a great addition to the festival calendar in Colorado.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Brews News 2-18

Valentine’s Day weekend is over and now it is back to another week. February continues to move along at a fast pace and this week is another busy week in craft beer. Not one but two new breweries opening, festivals, and of course new beer releases. Here is what is going on in the week ahead.
New Breweries!
2 New breweries will be opening up this week.
-The first is 300 Suns in Longmont which will be opening their doors to the public on Saturday, February 22. They will join some already great breweries in the area, and after a year and a half in the making they are ready to open. They have been brewing since January and plan to have 4 different beers on tap for opening day.
-Saturday, February 22 will also be a big day in the small suburb of Centennial, which is when Two 22 Brew will open their doors to the public. This new brewery located in a strip mall will pride themselves on donating $2.22 of every $10 in sales to charity. They will have several diverse beers on tap for opening weekend including a Blonde Ale, Session IPA, Simcoe IPA, Cinnamon Red, Chocolate Porter, and Milk Stout. The residents in the area surrounding this brewery have been looking forward to it for quite some time, now that it is finally ready to open we wish them the best a luck and raise a glass in congratulations to all their hard work.
-Although festival season is still a few months away from warming up there are still some great ones early on in the year. That is the case on Saturday, February 22 when Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs will host the 10th Annual Firkin Rendezvous. 33 craft brewers will bring their cask conditioned ales for guests to try. Event runs from 1-5 in the tasting room. VIP Tickets are $60 and comes with a 12 start time, and general admission is $35. Tickets can be purchased through or the Bristol website. This is always a fun festival and a great chance to try some small, experimental beers.
New Beers!
-Tuesday, February 18 Upslope Brewing will be celebrating their Ferus Fluxus Collaboration with Crooked Stave at their Lee Hill location. This beer will be available in 19.2 oz cans for $14 each with a limit of 3. This is Upslope’s Belgian Pale Ale with a Crooked Stave twist and a beer definitely worth trying.
-Copper Kettle is continuing their month of Chocolate Decadence on Wednesday, February 19 with a cask of Grand Marnier Chocolate Milk Stout! This is sure to sell out fast so arrive early for this 3:00 pm tapping.
-Wednesday, February 19 River North Brewery will be giving guests a last chance to enjoy their Anniversary Ales for Wayward Wednesday. They will have both year 1 (Russian Imperial Stout) and year 2 (Nelson Dry Hopped Belgian Golden Strong) on tap starting at 3.
-Wednesday, February 19 Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs will be releasing their Smokebrush Porter for the 7th straight year. Beer will be released in the tap room at 5:00 pm.
-Thursday, February 20 Station 26 in Denver will have a Vanilla Bean Scottish Ale firkin being tapped at 4:00.
-Sunday, February 23 Dry Dock Brewing is bringing back Bligh’s Barley Wine. This event gains more and more attention every year and this year will be no different. Starting at 11:00 am guests can buy 22 ounce bombers in the tap room for $20, and there will also be a limited amount on tap in the tap room. A great beer, so arrive early and claim your spot in line.
-Sunday February 23 Avery Brewing will be releasing Beer number 18 in their Barrel Aged Beer Series, Opuntia. This sour ale with prickly pears spent 9 months in tequila barrels, and is now ready to be served. Bottles are available in 12 ounces with a limit of 12 and are $12 each. This beer sounds very intriguing and is sure to go fast so arrive early.
-Sunday, February 23 Station 26 in Denver will be tapping a horizontal pairing of their Session Coffee Stout. Volkopi Lintong was made with Sumatra coffee, Hopped Kivu Konzu was brewed with Rwanda and hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops. Last is the Whiskey Coffee Session Stout made with green coffee beans aged on whiskey barrel wood, then roasted at Corvus Coffee. Only 5 gallons of each available so arrive early and see just how different the same beer can be.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Centennial Beer Co.

When craft beer towns in Colorado are mentioned one towards the top of everyone’s list is in north of Denver, and is Fort Collins. With some already well established breweries this small college town continues to expand its own craft beer scene and spread it throughout the Denver metro area and surrounding towns as well. This was added to in 2013 when a small brewery established themselves on making straightforward, simple, high quality craft ales. Though they do not have a tap room they are easily accessible throughout parts of Colorado due to an agreement with Tivoli distribution. This is one of Colorado’s newest breweries, Centennial Beer Company.
Without a tap room for people to visit, how does Centennial make their beers and serve it to the thirst masses in Colorado? Although they are based in Fort Collins they brew their beers through a contract with Crazy Mountain Brewing in Edwards. This allows them to focus just on making high quality craft beer while being able to utilize great resources at Crazy Mountain. In addition it also allows them to keep costs down and focus on the business side of brewing. Named after the Centennial state there are two beers available at the moment and both are unique, straightforward, and worth tracking down to try.
 The first beer features a blonde panning for gold on its can and features a name true to the style, the All American Blonde Ale. This beer is very light in body and appearance but that does not mean it does not have full flavor in each sip. The light, crisp flavor of wheat is the prominent flavor throughout this beer but there are so many subtle undertones that not only compliment it but also enhance certain flavors in this beer. The hop notes are very subtle and provide not only balance to the wheat, but also a hint of bitterness and brightness. In addition there is a hint of sweetness that not only brings a balance to the beer but also gives it a well rounded flavor profile. With a very clean finish, this is a very easy drinking, refreshing beer that will be easily enjoyed year round.
For a beer with a bolder flavor reach for the can with the same distinct look but instead a showgirl on it, the All American Red Ale. This beer pours a rich red color with a crisp white head, and the flavor is both traditional and unique. The rich malt forward flavor is prominent and that not only adds a great body to this beer but provides a lot of layers of flavor. The malts provide the backbone to this beer and there are subtle hints of both caramel and chocolate. But the subtle sweetness of this beer is balanced out by the surprising hop profile this beer has. The hop flavor is strong in this beer balancing out the sweetness of the malts with a strong bitter flavor. The two balance each other out to create a harmonious, easy to drink beer that finishes clean. A very unique red ale that is easy to enjoy any time of year.
With only the two beers available at the moment that is all that is necessary for this relatively new brewery. A tasting room is not necessary; a great distribution deal has made it easy for the masses to enjoy the ales offered. From north Colorado to Denver and its surrounding suburbs  whether it is in a six pack or a pint from a bar it is becoming easier by the week to find the Blonde and Red Ale. So when wanting to try something new, or needing something for the weekend try Centennial Beer Co. and taste the high quality full flavored ales they offer.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day

That time of year is here again where heart shaped boxes of chocolates, and flowers fly off the stores shelves. Of course this is Valentine’s Day. But thankfully we live in Colorado where we have all the craft breweries that have taken notice of this holiday, and have put their own interpretation on it. Gone are the days of expensive dinners, and here are some of the most fun, and entertaining ways to spend Valentine’s Day with not only your loved one, but also some great craft beer around Colorado.
Beer and Chocolate Pairing- Denver Beer Co. (Denver, CO): After that fancy dinner out what better way to end a night than with some craft beer and artisanal chocolates? Well Denver Beer Co. will be hosting their annual Beer and Chocolate Pairing in the Barrel Room Friday night starting at 7:00 pm. For $30 you will receive 8 chocolates from The Chocolate Lab in Denver along with 4 great beers from Denver Beer Co. The pairings are an Apricot Belgian Ale with and Apricot Truffle and a Pecan Bacon Caramel Toffee. A Cocoa Crème Graham Crack Porter will be paired with a Dark Chocolate Truffle and a Chocolate Covered Marshmallow. A Chocolate Chile Stout will be paired with an Ancho Chile Truffle and Chocolate Covered Bacon. Last will be Hide the Rum paired with and Irish Stout Truffle and Candied Pecans. This will be a fun evening with craft beer and chocolate lovers, and a great way to end the evening.
Sweetheart Dinner- Kokopelli Beer Co. (Westminster, CO): One of the newest brew pubs in Colorado will be bringing their great beer and pizza to the table for a special dinner during Valentine’s Day Weekend. For $40 per couple guests will receive a drink, a heart shaped pizza, dessert to share, plus a chocolate rose and teddy bear to take home. If you already have plans for Friday night this is a two night event that will also be going on Saturday night as well. 24 hours notice is required for reservations. This is sure to be a great event with not only high quality craft beer, but great pizza, and great company making it a can’t miss craft beer event for Valentine’s day.
Valentine’s Day Pairing- Black Shirt Brewing Co. (Denver, CO): What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with a wide variety of Red Ales? Friday, February 14 from 2-9 Black Shirt Brewing will be offering a special Valentine’s Day Pairing for $30. This will include a flight of 8 beers, a board of artisanal breads, cheeses, and for dessert two espresso marshmallows. This will be a great event with not only great beers, but a great way to celebrate the holiday with a friend or loved one. Tickets are available at 
Cider and Cheese Pairing-Stem Ciders (Denver, CO): Beer and cheese pairings are becoming more and more popular every month but on Valentine’s Day there is the opportunity to try something totally new. A cider and cheese pairing. Stem Ciders in Denver has teamed up with St. Kilians Cheese Shop in Denver to bring a great offering of craft cider and cheese. Friday night from 6-8 for $15 guests will receive a flight of 4 ciders and tasters of 4 cheeses. No reservations are required but guests are asked to RSVP so that there is enough food to go around. Most times fruits are on the side of cheese plates, now guests will have the opportunity to drink a great fruit beverage while enjoying. This is sure to be a great event that is not only fun, but also educational and delicious and sure to be a great way to spend Valentine’s.
Now of course there are smaller events and special Valentine’s themed beer releases this day as well.
-12 Degree Brewing in Louisville will be offering special beer and chocolate flights on Friday.
-Arvada Beer Co. in Arvada will be tapping a special release Golden Ale with strawberries on Friday.
-Bootstrap Brewing Co. in Niwot will be re-releasing their Cherry Ginger Gold Ale Friday for the holiday.
-Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora will be releasing a Chocolate Raspberry Porter for their Firkin Friday.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brews News 2-11

February is moving right along and this week we find ourselves in the middle of watching the Olympics and hoping the weather will stay above 0 for this week. Let’s hope it does because this is a very busy week in craft beer full of new beer releases, events, and anniversaries. Here is what to look forward to in the week ahead.
New Brewery!
Tuesday, February 11 the newest brewery in Denver will open their doors, Lowdown Brewery and Kitchen. This new brewery located on the corner of 8th and Lincoln brings together great craft beer from award winning brewers as well as great seasonal food offerings. For their opening they will have eight beers on tap: Porch Pounding Pilz a Pilsner, Lowdown White Ale a Belgian Wheat, Selfish a Pale Ale, Lowdown IPA, The Boxer a India Red Ale, Lonely Sheep a Scottish Style Export, Black Bessie a Milk Stout that will be available on nitro as well, and a Belgian Tripel. This is sure to be a great addition to the Denver beer scene so make sure to stop by at some point this week to say hi and taste their offerings.
This weekend from Friday, February 14 to Sunday, February 16 River North Brewery in Denver will be turning 2, and celebrating over 3 days. This is all highlighted by the release of their new Anniversary Ale which this year is a Nelson Dry Hopped Belgian Golden Strong Ale. That will be available on Friday along with their 1 Anniversary Ale, remember the great Russian Imperial Stout? Saturday they will be releasing a rotation of barrel aged kegs all day, but the highlight of this weekend will come Sunday. J Marie Barrelled and Bretted will be hitting the tap lines again, and in addition they will be having a cellar sale. Limited quantities of rare barrel aged bombers will be available, so stock up early because once these are gone they are gone!
New Beer Releases/Events:
-Station 26 Brewing in Denver added a new beer to their lineup with a Scottish Ale.
-Wednesday, February 12 Copper Kettle Brewing Company continues their cask month of Chocolate Decadence. This week will be a Chocolate Vanilla Cream Ale. This classic American style ale has both Tahitian Vanilla Beans, and Cocoa. Tapping is at 3 and this is sure to go fast.
-Wednesday, February 12 Lone Tree Brewing will be bringing back a favorite for this time of year, My Cherie Amour a Chocolate Cherry Stout. This was very popular last year, but this year’s batch is a much smaller batch and they aren’t expecting it to make it to Friday, so arrive early to ensure you get to try this beer.
-Wednesday, February 12 in anticipation of their anniversary party River North Brewery will be tapping a keg of Scotch Barrel J Marie for Wayward Wednesday.
-Thursday, February 13 it is the second Thursday of the month and that means it is Beer and Cheese time at Copper Kettle. This monthly event I partnership with the Truffle Cheese Shop in Denver brings 4 beers and 4 cheeses for $20. This event is always fun, and educational.
-Looking ahead a little further ahead than usual next Monday, February 17 Crooked Stave will be releasing the first in their Ferus Flexus Series. The Wild Belgian Pale Ale was a first in a collaboration series and this one was made with Upslope Brewing in Boulder. Bottles are $10 each and is cash only as usual with a 4 bottle limit starting at 6. At 6:30 the draft lines will be pouring this beer for guests wanting a sample as well.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Westminster Brewing Co.

East of Boulder and north of Denver lies the small suburb of Westminster, Colorado. Through the entire craft beer boom that has been going on in Colorado the past couple years this town was never part of it, only surrounded by new microbreweries. That all changed late in 2013 when the first production brewery opened their doors in this small suburb. With an emphasis on high quality ales and creating beers for both seasoned and new craft beer drinkers this brewery has quickly become a great addition to Westminster. Named after the town it resides in this is the Westminster Brewing Company.
Located of 108th this brewery is easy to drive by, but pay attention for the banner hanging outside to see all the great things happening on the inside. Inside what seems like a small brewery is a large tasting lab as they refer to it is complete with private rooms for events. Just to the left of the bar surrounded by windows guests can get a glimpse of all the brewing equipment used to craft all their beer on site. The bar back is stainless steel as the tap handles are connected to the walk in fridge holding all the beer, but the most impressive feature of this tap room is the view. The large windows allow guests great views of the mountains to watch as they enjoy their beer, and with six flagship beers to choose from deciding which to enjoy first can be a challenge.
Serving mostly English styles ales there are a lot to choose from, but none are better to start with than the Shiva or English Pale Ale. This beer has a ruby color with a subtle malt flavor and light body. The hops dominate this ale with a brightness and great bitterness. The aftertaste does linger with hops, but it is a great refreshing session ale that is easy to drink. For something with a good bitter flavor but more balanced ask for the 1066 which is a traditional ESB. This beer has slightly more body but has a good balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Bright, with a subtle citrus and floral hop flavor this beer finishes very clean making it easy to enjoy. Also available is an Irish Ale which is very traditional in its malt and hop profile. This creates an extremely balanced beer that is a great session ale making it perfect for any kind of day.
For non English style beers there are several offerings as well, and it starts with a light German style ale known as 12 Apostles. Similar to a pilsner this beer has a light, crisp body with a dry mouth feel and prominent hop profile. None of the hops overpower the flavor of this wheat colored ale, instead they balance each other out creating a great flavor profile with a clean finish. For something more bold with hops there is an American Pale Ale. Contrary to the Shiva this beer is much bolder in hops and has a great citrus flavor with a strong bitterness. The aftertaste lingers creating a beer full of flavor, but one to be sipped and savored so each hop varietal has a chance to come through. Now of course there needs to be a dark beer offered, and that is available in the Moses a chocolate porter. This porter has a rich, full body that brings out the best in the subtle coffee flavor, and full chocolate flavor. With a rich mouth feel and subtle bitter notes from the coffee and chocolate this beer is rich, finishes clean, and very enjoyable.
Soon the tap list will be expanding as well not only with new beers, but with the addition of cask conditioned ales served on a traditional hand pull system. That will bring the traditional English style ales and add a unique flavor profile to already existing beers, making horizontal pairings easily possible. Combine that with the great atmosphere, friendly staff, scenic views, and neighborhood feel and it is no wonder that Westminster Brewing has quickly established themselves as a great and unique brewery. In an area that is only to go expand its craft beer scene Westminster Brewing will forever be the first and the original which is fitting with their great ales. So when north of Denver and in search of a great beer stay in the suburbs and check out the tasting lab at Westminster Brewing, it will be worth the visit.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Brews News 2-4

The Super Bowl is behind us and we are now officially into February. Even though the Denver was not successful on Sunday Denver still has better beer than Seattle. This week once again proves that with new brewery openings, and new beer releases. Here is what is happening in the week ahead.  
New Brewery Openings
After much anticipation and what has been a long time coming Former Future Brewing Company will finally be opening their doors to the masses. Friday, February 7 they will be celebrating their grand opening. Look for there to be 5 beers on tap including an English IPA, Belgian Wit, Robust Porter, Salted Caramel Porter, and a 100% Brett Fermented Farmhouse IPA. As the beers continue Former Future will also be releasing barrel aged beers in limited releases as well as bottles. This brewery is sure to be a great addition to Denver, and will be worth checking out for grand opening and many times after that. Former Future is located on 1290 S Broadway in Denver along antique row.
New Beer Releases
There are plenty of new beer releases this week sure to please fans of every style of beer.
-Wednesday, February 5 Copper Kettle Brewing Company will begin a month of chocolate decadence firkins. The first beer they will be offering is a Chocolate Cherry Milk Stout. Last year a similar version of this beer sold out in record time so arrive early for this beer.  Tapping is at 3:00.
-Wednesday, February 5 River North Brewery has a great beer for Wayward Wednesday, Whiskey Barrel Quandary. In a week like this there is nothing better than a barrel aged Belgian Quad to keep us warm. Tapping is at 3.
-Thursday, February 6 Station 26 in Denver has another unique offering for their weekly firkin. This week is a Lemongrass Ginger Kolsch. Tapping is at 4, and the regular Kolsch is also back on tap to compare side by side with.
-Saturday, February 8 Copper Kettle will be releasing another new barrel aged beer on their tap lines. This week is a Rum Barrel Aged Old Ale. Tapping will be at 12.
-Saturday, February 8 in Parker Elk Mountain will be releasing their first bottled beer. Ghost Town Brown will be available in the tap room starting at 2:00. Be one of the first to buy a bottle of this great beer before they become available in liquor stores.
-Sunday, February 9 Avery in Boulder will be releasing its third release of Uncle Jacob’s Stout. This is the second beer in Avery’s annual barrel aged series and comes in at a strong 14.8% Bottles are 12 ounces and are being sold in the tap room for $12 each with a maximum of 1 case starting at 11 am.
In other very exciting news Chain Reaction Brewing Company has signed a lease and officially has a location, but they won’t be announcing it until this Saturday, February 8 so as soon as we know you will know.

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