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AboutKara Rowland, Author at

Kara Rowland

Kara Rowland

I'm a Denver-based transplant from Washington, D.C., with a penchant for piney hops, lactose IPAs and sours. Aside from beer, I'm a fan of cats, the outdoors and psychedelic rock.

Posts By Kara Rowland

Event Preview | Save the Ales Beer Festival

August 1, 2019 |

There are ample reasons to conserve water in the Centennial State — fishing, rafting and tap water come to mind — but readers would likely agree there’s one prevailing motivation.

Dave Bergen, brewmaster and owner at Joyride Brewing Co., puts it succinctly: “Without water, there is no beer. And that gives off the prospect of a future that I think not a lot of people are excited about.”

To help avoid such a grim fate, Edgewater-based Joyride is brewing the signature beer for the Save the Ales Beer Festival, hosted by Conservation Colorado, a nonprofit devoted to protecting the environment throughout the state.

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4 Noses Brewing Company | Fruit on the Bottom

July 24, 2019 |

With a name like Fruit on the Bottom, it would be easy to mistake this kettle sour from 4 Noses Brewing Co. for a yogurt parfait. Alas, dear readers: I can confirm that it is indeed beer.

While my go-to beverage in a heat wave is usually a salty gose, every once in awhile it’s time to switch things up. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve had from this Broomfield-based brewery so it seemed like a worthwhile gamble.

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Telluride Brewing Co. | AlpenGOSE

April 3, 2019 |

As a big fan of Telluride Brewing Co., I couldn’t resist the presence of a new can offering in my neighborhood liquor store. But wait—a Leipzig-style gose brewed in the winter?

Indeed. AlpenGOSE is such a fanciful elixir.

The 4.5-percent beer represents the brewery’s first seasonal sour. Telluride released it last year on draft only under the moniker “There Gose the Snow,” a nod to the anemic snowfall. This season, the creation took on the name AlpenGOSE in hopes of a winter full of powder.

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Event Preview | A Salted Cucumber Returns

March 12, 2019 |

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the only green-themed boozy celebration this month. Stem Ciders is feting the return of A Salted Cucumber, one of its most popular seasonal releases, with parties at both its RiNo taproom and its Acreage restaurant in Lafayette, Colorado.

Produced in collaboration with Denver-based The Real Dill, A Salted Cucumber is a Gose-style cider first created two years ago in honor of the pickle company’s five-year anniversary. Stem will be selling 10-ounce pours for $5 throughout the day and night on Saturday, March 16 at its RiNo location. Read More

Ultimate 6er | “The Bachelorette”

July 25, 2018 |

Craft beer may not be a fixture of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” franchise, but it certainly helps make those awkward limo introductions, catty video confessionals and declarations of love after just two weeks bearable.

Becca Kufrin’s season has been no exception. Suitors vying for the heart of the Minnesota native—who was famously dumped by Arie Luyendyk Jr. just months after he proposed—have checked off the routine boxes of comical villains, off-screen controversy and unexpected love triangles. As we approach the final episodes, let’s pay homage to Becca’s motley crew by assembling a reflective six-pack.

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WestFax Brewing Unveils Just Brut It IPA, First Dedicated Crowler Release

July 7, 2018 |

WestFax Brewing has never been afraid to push the envelope — right now they’ve got a cilantro lime ale on tap alongside a Belgian quad, for example — and the Lakewood brewery’s new “Brut IPA” is no exception.

Head brewer Alex Stansbury didn’t even make a pilot batch of Just Brut It, his initial take on the new style coming out of Northern California. He and owner Anthony Martuscello simply decided to go for it.

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Great Divide’s Denver Pale Ale Artist Series #3 Featuring Rachel Jablonski

June 28, 2018 |

Great Divide Brewing Co. is out with a new label for its Denver Pale Ale as illustrator Rachel Jablonski takes the torch from John Vogl for the third iteration of the brewery’s Artist Series.

Featuring a man relaxing on a hammock as he sips a beer with an eye toward the city and mountain skyline, Jablonski’s design will now adorn cans of Denver Pale Ale, the brewery’s piney and sessionable staple. Rounding out the composition are iconic Denver symbols such as a hiker, the state capitol, skis, a hawk and a deer.

Great Divide — which at 24 years old is one of Denver’s older breweries — started the Denver Pale Ale Artist Series in 2016 shortly after opening its new RiNo location. Director of Marketing Shannon Berner described the series as a way to showcase local artists and pay tribute to the Mile High City that the brewery calls home.
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Rogue Ales | Cold Brew IPA

May 18, 2018 |

Coffee and beer is hardly a revolutionary coupling. As is the case with most hackneyed combinations, however, there’s a reason these two are so often paired together — albeit usually in the context of a stout or porter, whose malty flavors and thick, creamy mouthfeel play well with the roasted bitterness of coffee beans.

Rogue Ales’ Cold Brew IPA aims to do something different, even in the less-common realm of coffee-infused IPAs and pale ales. The can boasts of a “hop punch,” an intriguing claim given the array of coffee beers I’ve had over the years, most of which treat hoppiness as an afterthought. Thanks to a generous hop mix that includes Liberty, Rebel, Freedom and Simcoe, the Newport, Oregon-based brewery manages to deliver.
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Beers, Burgers and Games Delight at Cherry Cricket’s Ballpark Location

April 17, 2018 |

When I moved from Washington, D.C. to Denver this past summer, my goal was to leave behind the hamster wheel that is political journalism. But in doing so, I was forced to make a sacrifice I hadn’t prepared for: leaving behind my favorite hamburger joint (Fuddruckers), which does not have a presence in Colorado.

To be sure, there are plenty of burger proprietors in the Mile High City, but I loathe having to choose between a customizable patty, decent sides and a flavorful beer list—you know, with options that offer more than merely an alternate source of hydration to water. With the addition of Cherry Cricket’s new location across from Coors Field, my problem appears to have been solved.
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Event Recap | Warm Temps, Sundry Styles at Winter Craft Beer Festival

March 8, 2018 |

With temperatures in the mid-60s, there may not have been much “winter” in Boulder’s Winter Craft Beer Festival, but there were still plenty of tasty, cold-weather beer styles for revelers to enjoy this past weekend.

The options weren’t limited to porters, stouts and other dark beers, however. Loveland Aleworks had a slew of crisp, fruity sours on hand—a decision that Jason Brill, head of sales and distribution at Loveland, described as a no-brainer. “It’s really a core product for us,” Brill said. “A sour drinker is going to drink sours all year long.” (As a sour enthusiast, I can attest to the veracity of that statement.)
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Event Preview | Boulder’s Winter Craft Beer Festival

February 22, 2018 |

The Winter Craft Beer Festival is out with a pour list that’s sure to coax even the most stubborn out of hibernation.

The festival, taking place in Boulder on March 3, boasts a lineup of 52 breweries from 10 states this year, including Colorado mainstays Oskar Blues Brewery, Odell Brewing Co. and Left Hand Brewing, as well as out-of-state favorites like Surly Brewing Co. of Minnesota and Dogfish Head Brewery of Delaware. Cold-weather styles like porters, stouts and Belgian strong ales are prevalent, though the list is also rounded out by lagers, IPAs and offerings as diverse as sours and even a chili beer. 

Regardless of their size or origin, participating breweries will have one thing in common this year: They satisfy the Brewers Association definition of “independent craft brewer.” 

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New Belgium’s Lost in the Woods: A Psychedelic Celebration of Sours

February 14, 2018 |

As someone based in Denver who makes a hobby out of beer writing, I have what can only be described as an embarrassing confession: I had never tasted New Belgium’s La Folie—or any other of its critically acclaimed sours—before last week.

The gravity of this oversight may be lost on the casual enthusiast, so allow me to explain. For 20 years, the Fort Collins-based brewery has been cranking out some of the country’s most complex wood-aged beers, starting with the first iteration of La Folie, its flagship Flanders-style Sour Brown Ale aged in massive oak barrels called foeders. New Belgium’s is now the largest wood cellar program in the U.S., with 64 French oak foeders and one American white oak foeder all imparting funky flavors to base beers as they mature.

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Baere Brewing Company | Unknown Parentage

February 6, 2018 |

Baere Brewing Company had never done an open fermentation before, nor had the three-year-old Denver brewery made a beer using grapes. In Unknown Parentage, they did both—with a dry, funky and all-around delicious result.

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Brewery Showcase | Brewability Lab

January 18, 2018 |

Many breweries begin with a familiar story: a homebrewer who’s tired of a desk job and decides to make a go at scaling up.

Brewability Lab is not one of those stories. Founder Tiffany Fixter had neither brewing experience nor a business background. What the former special education teacher did have, however, was an ambitious—even radical—idea. Why not tap into Denver’s affinity for craft beer to create jobs for adults with special needs?
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Wit’s End Brewing | The Last Jed-IPA

December 21, 2017 |

I’ve learned a few cardinal truths in my years of craft beer fandom. Most fall into the category of brewing basics, such as the fact that Brettanomyces imparts a funky flavor or that fresh-hop season begins in late August. But there are some cultural observations, too—like the industry’s fanatical penchant for Star Wars.

Denver-based Wit’s End Brewing owner Scott Witsoe is no exception to this axiom. Witsoe and his crew unveiled three limited-release beers to coincide with the latest installment of the inter-galactic saga: The Last Jed-IPA, Stay On Target Southern English Brown Ale and Kyber Kristallweizen Pale Kristall Weizenbock.

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Event Recap | Left Hand’s Nitro Fest Brings Beer to the Big Tent

November 15, 2017 |

Chances are most readers of have been to scores of beer festivals, with many—while still awesome—fairly indistinguishable from the other. Left Hand’s Nitro Fest, now in its fourth year, is not one of those.

Imagine some of the world’s smoothest, rarest beers coupled with a psychedelic circus and a legion of hardcore, costumed fans on a warm fall night in Longmont, CO and you’ll get an idea of the experience.

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