Posts ByChea Franz – PorchDrinking.com
After a bit of time in hibernation, Lone Tree Brewing’s Horchata Stout comes back for a third year—this time with refreshed artwork. Horchata Stout is part of the brewery’s Branching Out series which consists of experimental, super limited beers in large format bottles that are great for sharing. On a side note, I was able to capture a photo of Horchata Stout not only resting on a lone tree but also nestled among branches. How’s that for art in the most literal sense? Okay, now back to the beer…
Lately, there has been quite a few articles about the rise of pastry stouts and why this is a problem, such as this recent article from the Chicago Tribune that argues we’re forgetting what beer tastes like. In case you did not know, a pastry stout is beerspeak for liquid dessert. Most often, pastry stouts include cacao nibs, vanilla, coconut and other adjuncts that help enhance the stout to emulate sweet treats.
The pastry stout debate, IMO, is moot. As craft beer continues to diversify, so do our taste buds. What is beer supposed to taste like nowadays? The answer is no longer “hoppy,” but subjective. It could be barrel-aged and malty, super hazy or fruity. The craft beer landscape is vast and ever-changing, with new hop varieties, ingredients, and techniques that pop up every day. Whether you’re a Reinheitsgebot beer purist, or you prefer your beer to taste like a chocolate bomb, the beauty of craft beer is that there is something for everyone. And pastry stouts, much like other styles of beer, if done well, are fantastic. WeldWerks Brewing‘s Peanut Butter Cup Achromatic Imperial Stout is one such example.
Whether it’s highly sought after collaborations, sold out brews or buzzworthy beers of yesteryear making a sudden reappearance, we’ve got the lowdown on what you should try before the year is over! Word to the wise: some of these beers have already been released via one day sales and are unavailable—like Tom Cruise’s youth. We recommend you brush up on your bribe game, head to your nearest bottle trade and do some serious campaigning.
On Thursday, October 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. friends, family, and Fort Collins community members will come together to raise money for a CSU Ram family in need. Hosted by New Belgium Brewing and Colorado State University at the New Belgium Porch at CSU’s football stadium, this Thursday’s “Happy Hour on the Porch” will be donated to CSU Associate Athletic Director Doug Max and his family who suffered a devastating loss recently when a fire heavily damaged their home and took the life of their daughter Rachel.
Once again, for the fourth year in a row, we get to try Strangely Epic, a blend of two celebrated beers from Strange Craft Beer Company and Epic Brewing. The beer was first created in 2013 for Denver’s Collaboration Fest. Crafted at both breweries and named Strangely Epic and Epically Strange (for where each beer was brewed and blended), the collaboration brews release is eagerly awaited each year.
As autumn fast approaches, and we start seeking winter warmers and other beers that are heavier in body and spiced with fall in mind, it’s important to remember— it’s only September! Many breweries are releasing their fall seasonals, but with warmer temperatures still trending in Colorado, I’m looking for something fruity with a more substantive ABV. Luckily, Bonfire Brewing has just that—Pink-I Raspberry IPA.
Situated on the Cache La Poudre River and about 65 miles north of Denver lies Fort Collins, home of the CSU Rams and where craft beer flows in abundance. Two years ago, I moved to Fort Collins from Denver and I was a bit apprehensive; Denver was home to me. There was always something to do — whether it was a Rockies game, art opening or new brewery to check out. And admittedly, as a proud Colorado Buffalo (#Skobuffs), Fort Collins felt a little like enemy territory.
But like one of those teachable Hallmark movie moments, Fort Collins proved me wrong. This college town is the fourth largest city in Colorado but it has plenty of local charm. Fort Collins is laid back like a lackadaisical Sunday afternoon. It’ll make you want to hop on your cruiser bike and ride over to the nearest brewery and watch the sun sink down across the foothills. Fort Collins has made me a tourist in my own state — which is really refreshing. And so, I present to you, the best spots to visit the next time you’re in Fort Collins — in my humble opinion, of course.
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, a brewery that RateBeer has awarded several “best” categories including double IPA, strong stout and American amber or pale, will be making its Colorado debut during the week of the Great American Beer Festival. The esteemed Iowa brewery will have a special GABF tapping at Tap and Handle in Fort Collins, Colorado at 5 p.m. on Monday October 2 (the brewery will also make its way down to Denver on October 4 at LowDown Brewery).
There is never a dull moment in the world of craft beer. Today, it was announced that a group led by New Belgium Brewing Company has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. This partnership will be a majority-owned subsidiary of New Belgium, with Elysian founder Dick Cantell as well as Belgian lambic producer Oud Beersel as minority partners. Both Magnolia locations, their existing brands and staff, will continue to operate, working alongside Magnolia founder Dave McLean, who is included in the partnership. This will be Cantwell’s first brewing project since leaving Elysian in April of 2015.
A little over a month ago, we reported on New Belgium’s decision to reimagine their specialty brands with the suspension of their popular Lips of Faith series and the implementation of their Wood Cellar Reserve series. Two weeks ago while attending the debut of Le Kriek Noir, the first entry in their new cork & cage Wood Cellar Reserve line, we were also treated to a sneak preview of what’s coming down the pipeline as well as a familiar brand that will also receive some fresh new packaging.
On Tuesday New Belgium Brewing Company announced that the second beer from its highly anticipated Wood Cellar Reserve series will be released this upcoming Saturday. At 8.5% ABV, single Foeder Oscar No. 65 is an unblended dark sour that has been maturing for 12 months in a 100 percent Missouri white oak foeder. According to the brewery, the beer pours dark walnut red with subtle notes of vanilla and coconut. These notes play beautifully with notes of plum skin and cherry Coca-Cola. This is a first run through using this foeder and only fresh beer will touch the American oak for the first time, thus the flavors for this release cannot be replicated—making this release truly special.
Sometimes tap rooms can act as testing grounds that can bring unassuming beers to the forefront, allowing for crowd pleasing favorites that otherwise wouldn’t be canned and distributed to share in some of the spotlight. Upslope Brewing’s Tap Room series is just that, offering a rotating series in which larger batches of popular tap room beer is brewed — split between kegs and cans, and then once it’s gone; that’s it for the year. Previous releases in 2017 have included Strawberry Mint IPA, Peanut Butter Porter and Hefeweizen. I was able to get my hands on its Champagne Saison with Nelson Sauvin, a beer that I like to call “fancy beer for outdoorsy folk.”
Tucked away in an industrial part of town near the old Fort Collins Airport, you’ll find a bright red building, originally an airplane hanger, and now a family-run brewery called Horse & Dragon Brewing. Inside, long community tables and round tops casually welcome you to put your phone away and have a seat. There are no TVs, live bands, or food trucks for entertainment. Instead, the brewery welcomes you to come in, grab a beer, chat with some friendly patrons or staff, and enjoy the moment. And immediately, you will feel welcome. There is an inexplicable vibe that Horse & Dragon exudes, that can only be attributed to owners Carol and Tim Cochran. Their love of craft beer and the Fort Collins community is poured into the brewery and here is their story.
Denver’s premiere festival, What the Funk!? Invitational showcasing wild, spontaneous, sour and barrel-aged beers returns Wednesday October 4 at The Studios at Overland Crossing. Over the years, the events surrounding The Great American Beer Festival have become just as popular and successful as the headlining event itself, and What the Funk!? always ranks at the top of our list as well.
At 10:30 p.m. we approach a line that spills out the door of New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins. The red carpet is rolled out, and folks are dressed to the nines wearing elegant cocktail dresses, suspenders, and fedoras to go along with the “film noir” theme of the evening. In a return to the cork and cage format of La Folie’s past, New Belgium’s Unveiled & Uncorked bottle release party was a celebration of the launch of the brewery’s Wood Cellar Reserve, a series of very rare, small batch wild and sour ales—and the star of the night was Le Kriek Noir, the first release from Wood Cellar Reserve.
ABV: 6.1% | IBU: 8
Last year, Dry Dock Brewing Company announced the launch of their Funk & Sour series, which features crowd-pleasing favorites from South Dock’s barrel-aging program. The series includes more than 80 barrels, which consist of mostly wine and some whiskey, and are dedicated to sour, Brett and mixed fermentations. I was able to get my hands on Batch No. 2, called Cassidae, a sour Brett saison that was bottled August 19, 2016.
Featured image courtesy of greatamericanbeerfestival.com
Get ready! Tickets for the 2017 Great American Beer Festival will go on sale August 1 and 2. Last year, GABF sold out in 1 hour and 7 minutes so be sure to mark your calendars!
In 2016, GABF celebrated its 35th anniversary where 60,000 attendees brought down the house at the convention center. That means 3,800+ beers were poured and 780 breweries pouring those beers, all of which hit a new record. We can only expect more for 2017.
This year, the most anticipated beer event takes place October 5 – 7. Choose from four sessions over the span of three days and sample brews from more than 800 breweries.
Featured image courtesy of Mainline Ale House’s Facebook page
Spring time is upon us which means it’s time to bring your patio furniture out from hibernation, crack open a tasty brew, and relish in warmer weather and longer days ahead. Spring in Fort Collins, Colorado is especially delightful; the flowers are in bloom, flops are out, and the people smile even brighter as they make their way around. Nestled in the heart of Old Town is Mainline Ale House, a restaurant serving up craft brews, cocktails and gourmet food. And this past Friday, the restaurant celebrated the change of seasons by serving up the ultimate spring-inspired beer and wine pairing, Hops + Vine Spring Beer and Wine Dinner.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
Carole King said it best when she sang, “where you lead, I will follow,” in the intro song for the Gilmore Girls. Since the beginning, the show has created a cult following that’s multi-generational, divisive (are you Team Jess or Team Logan) and very loyal. For seven seasons I followed the Gilmore Girls around the town of Stars Hollow, through the halls of Chilton, attended Friday night dinners, and had coffee at Luke’s. I cheered as Netflix announced the release of a four-episode continuation of the series and then mourned when it was all over (seriously, what’s up with those last four words)? But what I love about the show is that it’s always there waiting for you. Frozen in time, from the span of 2000 – 2007, filled with kooky characters and questionable fashion choices, the Gilmore Girls welcome you to step into their world and enjoy the ride.
“I was his light in the darkness.”
Frezi Bouckaert smiled slyly as she made the comment. Frezi further noted, “It was dark and I was his shining light.” As Frezi started explaining this rather somber statement, I realized she was speaking both literally and figuratively. Let me give you a little bit of context. Frezi (pronounced frazy like crazy) met her husband Peter Bouckaert (yes, that Peter) spelunking in Belgium. When dating, some folks like to go to the movies, see live music or wine and dine; Frezi and Peter would go caving. A lot.
New Belgium is bringing back Tour de Fat for its 18th year and this year’s celebration of biking music and beer will be bigger and bolder than ever before. Expanding the event from 9 participating cities to a 33-stop format, the tour season kicks off on May 20 in Asheville, NC and will end on October 7 in Tempe, AZ. “Fat Tire presents Tour de Fat” has pulled out all the stops with additional cities and world-class entertainment such as The Roots, Third Eye Blind, AWOLNATION, Skyler Grey, Michael Franti & Spearhead, X-Ambassadors and much more.