About- Chris Day
When hearing about a beer event, my first questions are usually “who’s pouring?” and “where is it?” With an unannounced list of breweries and a secret location that wouldn’t be disclosed until the morning of the event, Fuss Off offered precious few details, but the association with the Colorado Brewers Guild brought the promise of something interesting. Did I really want to spend an evening with people dressed in insufferable “hipster” costumes?
So it has been announced that The Fuss Off Festival will take place at the Ellie Caulkins Theater at 6pm TONIGHT!
Limited tickets are still available at the door for $50 to find out more information call the Fuss Off Hotline announcing the venue location and day of ticket information. Feel free to share with any interested parties or on your website. 720-503-6832
Craft beer connoisseur, are you sick of some macro beer knuckledragger taking potshots at people who like to think about the beer they’re pouring down their gullet, or god forbid, actually smell it? Fuss Off Festival may be just what the doctor ordered.
If you’re an experienced fan of craft beer, I bet there are a few seasonal beer releases you look forward to every year. Maybe you’re waiting for a big and burly barrel-aged stout, a strong holiday ale, or perhaps a super-hoppy triple IPA that people wait hours to taste. While I love many of these beers, today I’d like to suggest an understated spring release from Colorado’s Kannah Creek Brewing Company, Crossed Irons. Granted, an Irish Red isn’t the type of brew that usually has people lining up around the block, but how about one that supports a good cause?
A month after the Super Bowl, Budweiser’s infamous, widely-derided “Brewed the Hard Way” advertisement is still polluting our commercial breaks, eliciting groans and chuckles from anybody who likes to fuss over their beer. During this pathetic, moronic, and unoriginal 60-second viewing experience, one of the most eye roll-worthy moments is their mention of beechwood aging. In a triumphant, chest-thumping, knuckle-dragging celebration of all things mediocre, I suppose it’s appropriate, because the process is all about speedy lagering and filtering, not taste. After being processed in sodium bicarbonate, the beechwood chips they use contribute no flavor whatsoever. In contrast, I’d like to showcase six wood-aged craft brews using woods that actually contribute something to the beer.
With craft breweries opening at a rate of 1.5 per day, coming up with inventive names can be a real challenge for brewers. Thanks to aggressive litigation and creative marketing, we have inventive names like Raucho Man Randy Beverage from Against the Grain, Boom Shakalager from Terrapin, and my personal favorite: Those Candies Your Granny Loves Brown Ale from Cigar City. Then there’s Wolf Picker Pale Ale from Odell Brewing Company. What’s a Wolf Picker? Good question. Trigger warning: German subtitles.
As the spectacular growth of breweries in the area suggests, the average Coloradoan has an insatiable thirst for craft beer. However, it should also be known that we love to eat, as evidenced by a booming restaurant industry that employs more than 250,000 statewide. I suppose the two go hand-in-hand. What’s better than sharing a beer and meal with good friends? Well, what happens when one friend wants pizza, a second wants tacos, and the third is “only eating things with roots” this week? Avanti Food & Beverage, a collective eatery opening early 2015 in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood should make these situations less frustrating and far more delicious.
Have you ever had a great idea for a beer but no means to realize it? Do you lay awake at night longing for that imperial rice lager aged in fish sauce barrels that nobody seems interested in brewing? Well, don’t lose hope; Mobcraft, the world’s first crowdsourced brewery, might just be the answer to your dreams.
It’s fair to say I have a soft spot in my heart for Dry Dock Brewing Co. Their Aurora taproom is one of the first breweries I visited after moving to Colorado, and its proximity to my office made it a frequent haunt for happy hours with coworkers and friends. With a lineup of beers running the gamut from a really solid Hefeweizen to one of my favorite double IPAs in the state, I didn’t need many excuses to return. One of their most highly-anticipated releases has always been Signature Series Bligh’s Barleywine, an excellent take on the style aged in whiskey barrels. This winter, Dry Dock added several companions to their Signature Series including one that caught my eye while shopping several weeks ago, Double Hazelnut Brown Ale. Deciding that a big brown ale plus whiskey plus hazelnuts sounded like one of the most delicious things ever, I grabbed a bottle and headed home.
The holidays can be a hectic time of year with such high volumes of eating, shopping, and forced family time making it exceptionally easy to miss these special, and in many cases extremely limited holiday brews. As such, we’d like to recommend a few must-try holiday beers from around the country. Whether you like malt-bombs, spices, hops, or even fruit, we’ve got you covered. Just don’t play any more of that damned Christmas music.
ABV: 9% | IBU: 25
I have a confession: I’m a bit of a grinch. The winter holiday season doesn’t excite me very much, and that feeling generally extends to holiday beers. Regardless of how delicious they might sound, I’m usually disappointed with brews …
The winter holiday season is here, and I couldn’t be more delighted. First there’s Thanksgiving, a feat of herculean gorging culminating in the revered presentation of one of the world’s blandest animals, the turkey. I just can’t get excited about a bird with a flavor that falls somewhere between a supermarket chicken and gas station paper towels. Next, there’s the compulsory shopping gauntlet of Black Friday and Cyber Monday where desperate consumers fight each other tooth and nail while risking trampling and pepper spray for vaunted treasures like discounted copies of Grown Ups 2 or that one TV they swear sold out just before you arrived. Then we limp shivering and penniless through Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, all scored with that execreble holiday music that’s been pummeling your ears for what feels like three months. I suppose my grinch status is well confirmed by this point, but I’m just not much of a holiday person. Thank Krampus there’s Festivus to look forward to.
American craft beer fans are regularly maligned by lupulin-adverse detractors for being addicted to hops. They say we value intense bitterness above all while ignoring the subtle and nuanced flavors malt and yeast bring to the table. Well, I suppose I’m about to give the hop-haters another log to throw on that roaring fire they’ve built under a crude effigy of Sam Calagione loading a hop cannon, because I love hoppy beer. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a syrupy barleywine or mouth-puckering gueuze as much as the next guy, but most of the time, a clean, dry IPA is what I crave. That wasn’t always the case, mind you. The IPAs I encountered a decade ago on the East Coast didn’t really do it for me. Perhaps I chose poorly, but they were usually cloyingly sweet with a flat, one-dimensionally bitterness. My love affair with hops didn’t begin in earnest until I moved to Colorado.
Celebrity chef David Chang set the internet ablaze earlier last week when GQ published his paean to watery industrial pale lagers “My Name is David Chang, and I hate Fancy Beer.” While less incendiary than the title might suggest, the article provoked intense rebuttals from many in the craft beer community including fellow New Yorker Garrett Oliver. Even our own Tristan Chan weighed in on the subject in this week’s Happy Hour post. While I don’t share Chang’s love of crappy beer, I’m sympathetic to his anti-snobbery concerns and can understand wanting light, crisp brews that are refreshing and don’t overwhelm your tastebuds while eating food. I’m sure hordes of beer writers are at this very moment penning intelligent and passionate essays about the many reasons beer pairs better with food than almost any beverage out there–and they’re right–but I doubt Chang will read them. I suggest a more nefarious solution: let’s just trick him.
With almost 700 breweries from all over the country pouring at the Great American Beer Festival this year, it’s easy to overlook how many great ones we have right here in Denver. How many? I count 37 breweries and cideries with taprooms in a roughly five-mile radius of the Colorado Convention Center where the festival will be held, and I’m guessing a handful more opened while I was typing this post. Many of them will not be at GABF, and most do not distribute their products outside of Colorado. We know craft beer drinkers to be an adventurous sort, so why not do a little exploring before or after the fest? In that spirit, I’ve compiled a list of destinations nearby that are easily accessible by foot, bike, or a short ride with your favorite car service. Dear readers, please stow your pretzel necklaces and hop cone hats for a moment – we’re going on an insider’s Denver brewery tour.
As one might expect from the name, New Belgium Brewing has a long-standing reputation built on producing solid Belgian-style beers including their Abbey ale, Trippel, and even Fat Tire, a ubiquitous brew which undoubtedly marked the beginning of many a casual beer drinker’s insobrietous journey to certified beer geek. As such, I was excited to find Wild² Dubbel, a new entry in their Lips of Faith series in a local bottle shop. What makes this dubbel wild? Well, it’s brewed with Schisandra berries, also known as the “five taste fruit” and finished with Brettanomyces. The five flavors promised by the berry are sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Brett is something I generally enjoy, but not being familiar with Schisandra, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I opened the bottle.
Fermentation is defined as “the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat.” Sure, that might sound a little bit unappealing, but without the process of fermentation, we wouldn’t have beer, wine, spirits, cheese, vinegar, pickles, chocolate, and so many other foods and drinks we love dearly. As a fan of nearly all fermented treasures – I’m still trying to cultivate a taste for Natto – I was very excited to attend the second annual Fermentation Festival held last weekend.
I’m always excited to taste new entries in Odell Brewing Company‘s cellar series, a line of unique beers conceived on their pilot system. Over the years, this program has yielded delicious results such as Friek, Fernet-aged Porter, and Treeshaker. Jaunt is a recent addition to the family, a pale ale aged on oak staves and blended with Riesling grape juice sourced from Colorado’s western slopes. When I saw a bottle on the shelf in a local shop, I knew I had to have it.
Since you’re reading these words, I expect you have at least a passing fondness for beer, and perhaps other fermented beverages such as cider, wine, and kombucha. Great, now what about fermented foods? Sure, everybody loves cheese, but how about sauerkraut, kimchi, or tempeh? The process of fermentation has been yielding some of the most delicious things we eat and drink for thousands of years, so it’s a good thing Colorado has an annual event celebrating them. Yes, the Fermentation Fest returns to Denver this weekend!
By this point in the summer, it seems like there are at least a couple beer festivals happening every weekend in or around Denver. Sure, they’re great and we all love them, but even the thirstiest craft beer drinker can feel a bit fatigued after one too many afternoons spent drinking Belgian Strong Ales, double IPAs, and Russian Imperial Stouts. Plus, they’re usually a bit pricey, so good luck convincing your friends who aren’t quite so beer-obsessed to come with you. Sometimes you just want something a little lighter and more refreshing. Thankfully, Imbibe and the Colorado Brewers Guild rewarded Denver with Sesh Fest 2014, an event dedicated to session beers and the perfect antidote to excessive, expensive beer festivals.
Last Thursday, the Denver Performing Arts Complex hosted Eat Denver‘s fifth annual Big Eat, a glorious gustatory celebration of Denver’s independent restaurants. The event featured bites from dozens of the city’s best restaurants along with samples of craft beer, wine, and spirits. Fellow Porchdrinker Chelsea Mitchell and I braved this sea of food and drink to bring you a recap of the night’s festivities.