About- Kara Loo & Kelissa Hieber
It’s finally time for the Craft Brewers Conference! This year’s summit convenes in Washington, D.C. where it was last seen in 2013. We’ve all seen the landscape change a lot in four years, so if your last jaunt through D.C. was in 2013 or even earlier you’re gonna have some new ground to cover! For the latest lay of the land, check out the Brewers Association’s guide to Exploring the D.C. Beer Scene.
On a trip to Oregon back in June 2016 we were able to visit so many breweries with really amazingly consistent quality! Most of our time was spent in Portland, but we capped off our trip with a day in Hood River on a coffee barista’s recommendation. The one hour drive thru the Cascade Mountains is absolutely worth it for the views and beer. We spent the day watching kite sailing under a blue sky and visited pFriem Family Brewers for lunch. pFriem has specialized in lots of Belgians and sour varietals since opening in 2012 but offers a very eclectic and well-executed menu as a whole, including tasty pub-style food! Oh, and it’s pronounced “FREE-um,” as a waitress helpfully clarified for us.
Image (c)Desiree Duzich, Spoiled Beer Brat Productions
Valentine’s Day marks the release of one of Ratio Beerworks newest beer creations: Loveless Raspberry Dark Sour Saison created to celebrate the Denver brewery’s 2nd Anniversary. We got a sneak peak of this beer at a special early tasting on February 9.
Back in January we chatted for a bit with Neil Fisher and Colin Jones of WeldWerks Brewing Company at the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. The guys were nice enough to step away from their crowded booth and give us a thorough walkthrough of their upcoming 2017 plans, dropping so much exciting news and knowledge on us that we decided to pluck this interview out and do a feature.
Avg. Reading Time: 3 min
Above: Brewers and supporters gather on January 2nd, 2017, to brew the 3rd installment of “Makin Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer”. From the left: Shel, project supporter, Bess Dougherty of The Grateful Gnome Brewery, Jax, project supporter, Kim of The Guardian Brewing Company, Kate, Betsy and Jen, all from Lady Justice Brewing Company.
Major Colorado mountain resorts have been ramping up since serious snow showers started around the week of Thanksgiving, and now Metereologists at OpenSnow.com are predicting snow nearly every day for the first half of December. Ah, yes, the Colorado Rockies are finally getting a good base going after quite a warm fall, and our boards have been tuned, waxed and ready to go for months now. For snowboarders and skiers that are ready to hit the slopes: No matter how early in the morning you’re running out the door to beat I-70 traffic, don’t forget a reliable, refreshing 6er to round out your day!
Beers Made By Walking’s sixth go-around did not disappoint attendees at the Denver Nature and Science museum this past Tuesday, Oct. 4. Attendees rolled in at 5:30 p.m. sharp to fill their tasting glasses alongside earthly relics like a sparkling gemstone exhibit and a huge whale skeleton suspended from the rafters. The setting was certainly fitting for the nature theme of the festival, and breweries displayed whimsical adjuncts like pine cones and berries on their respective tables. I felt a buzz just thinking about how the event’s proceeds would be directly benefitting this museum we were standing in.
Despite her recent announcement that she’ll be leaving Wynkoop, rest assured, “Bess’s Barrel-Aged Beer Babies” will live on! Back in June, PorchDrinking spoke with brewer Bess Dougherty, recording a PorchCast episode in her “happy place,” Wynkoop Brewing Company’s barrel room. Little did we know a mere 12 hours later Bess and the rest of the Wynkoop family would learn that the brewery would begin scaling back operations to eliminate external distribution AND Bess would soon decide to leave her brewing position at Wynkoop for another opportunity. In light of the latest happenings, we sat down to talk women and beer with her and hear about the latest landmarks in her career path.
Add a dose of environmental philanthropy to your beer sesh at the 6th annual Save the Ales beerfest! The event is coming up on Friday, August 12th and provides attendees access to beer, cider and kombucha samples from nearly 40 local Colorado breweries, plus food and live music.
As we approach Julia Herz at the CraftBeer.com booth at the Vail Big Beers fest, she’s standing with Executive Chef Adam Dulye, purveying toffee and craft beer samples. Enthusiastically, she encourages us to give the pairing a try and we do so willingly. The confection is a 70% dark chocolate with almonds, toffee and a sweetness level calculated to complement the malt bill of the beer, Baere Brewing Company’s Big Hoppy Brown. It’s a pairing tastier than we even imagined — the delicious hop character of the brown ale comes forward as the rich, malty, nutty sweetness takes a backseat. As we wash down the last of the toffee, we chat with Julia on her long history in the brewing community.
Beer and food pairing is becoming an ever more-relevant skill, and we’ve seen an increasing number of culinary programs now require finely-tuned beer pairing skills just as they do with wine. Outside professional realms, beer pairing skills will help you put a damn tasty and impressive meal on the table, and it’s hard to surpass that satisfaction. So why shouldn’t we possess the same care and consideration when we pair a beer with experience? We’re not here to tell you that beer and outdoor activities go great together. That’s already ridiculously obvious. But carefully selecting your beer by factoring in the day’s physical activities can also be a refined skill, similar to choosing your dish’s boozy soulmate.
Nugget, Delta hops
We must preface this beer with a short story: In October 2014 we flew to Austin for vacation. Upon arrival, we Ubered straight to a lunch spot that was also, coincidentally, a brewery (The ABGB, for those wondering, where the food, beer and hospitality were all awesome). Sitting at the bar, we talked with another patron, John, who works at Independence Brewing Company. John had just recently returned from GABF in Denver, and we all became enthusiastic about our shared love of the Denver beer scene. Out of nowhere, he graciously offered to give us a tour of Independence’s facilities later on. We told him we’d see him there and parted ways, already feeling great about our first impression of Austin.
The Beatitude series of Saisons by Council Brewing Company is kind of a thing in San Diego. That is to say that the fruity Saisons pop up in various kegs and bottles throughout the city with a distinct notoriety and a high demand. This beer has existed, to be exact, in Mosaic dry-hopped, Citra dry-hopped, raspberry, apricot, passion fruit, cherry, three berry, pineapple, blueberry and, of course, mango versions, all of which are bottle-conditioned. We discovered the Beatitude Mango fresh on tap when we visited the brewery location.
Paisley is a beer from Funkwerks’ experimental series, packaged in a bright Paisley-decorated bottle that could have come from Pier 1 Imports rather than the liquor store. We were excited to try our first Funkwerks wild ale and popped it open with some anticipation. The beer poured into the glass a hazy golden orange color with delicate lacing. At first whiff there was a strong barnyard smell that immediately transitioned to tropical flavors including apricot, cherry, and spicy passion fruit aided by the Funkwerks’ house yeast strain.
We’d been searching for Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s newest release Otra Vez since we first saw it advertised on Beer Advocate. A Gose with prickly pear and grapefruit sounded like an amazing way to break up the past few months of winter warmers. After contacting liquor stores for weeks we finally were able to track a six pack down.
Brewing has been a part of the world since the dawn of civilization; some have even claimed that beer has helped influence the evolution of our species. In many eras, brewing was largely a woman’s job. Men began to dominate the field starting in the Renaissance period and even more so during The Industrial Revolution as brewing operations scaled to mass production. Today Colorado is one of the biggest beer states in the country with cities such as Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver offering some of the best beer available. However, men still notoriously hold the title “brewmaster” more often than women. As females in the industry, we felt compelled to highlight some of the talented women who currently make Colorado beer, the paths they took to their currently role in the industry, and the awesome work they are doing on a daily basis.
About three weeks ago we touched back down on U.S. soil after a whirlwind trip through Germany and Belgium. Against our better judgement, we managed 7 bottles of Belgian beer (both large and small) through 6 airports. It was a heavy experience, toeing the weight limit line on several occasions, and it was a moment of relief to unpack each intact, fizzy bottle in our kitchen. The trip was a fantastic one that we’re so grateful for. As a craft beer lover, most trips conveniently seem to involve a brewery or two, but the trip to Belgium was the king of all brew-centric journeys.
To those who want to take the trip – it may be closer within reach than you think. A flight to Europe is undoubtedly a financial setback, but traveling, eating and drinking your way around Belgium is fairly cheap, and the country is so small you can digest it all in a week or less, no problem. You will find yourself overwhelmed by amazing beer options at a price that is unfathomable for such rare gems.