PD takes a look at a brewery near you.
I stumbled across Backcountry Brewery when I was at Great American Beer Festival (GABF) a few weeks back. Their range of annual and seasonal beers combined has won six gold, silver and bronze medals at GABF from 1998-2011. But, what really put Backcountry on the map? In 2011, they submitted six beers for competition at the Colorado State Fair and all six received medals. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.
The 1996-year-old brewery and restaurant is located in Summit County on Main Street. If you’re like me and on your way to a ski resort out west, you are easily passing this place without knowing it.
OK, I’ll admit it, I’m not a Colorado native. I came up for school at Colorado State from New Mexico and only moved down to the capital a little over a year ago. That means, like so many other migrant Coloradans, I’m still discovering all that the Mile High City has to offer, and it’s a lot. So many pubs, clubs, breweries, hangouts, bars and so much more that this self-proclaimed beer snob is sure that funds will dry up well before my thirst for something new does.
Ever wonder what goes into setting up a major booth, or as the industry calls them, an endcap booth at the Great American Beer Festival? New Belgium Brewery out of Fort Collins, Colorado was nice enough to allow us to shadow their Thursday morning set up. We condensed that approximately two hour process into one and a half minutes. A big thanks to New Belgium Brewing!
One day, in the not so distant future, when the craft beer boom will have reached the height of it’s golden age, historians will point to breweries like Copper Kettle Brewing Company as the benchmark for the neighborhood brewery movement. As a point of emphasis, we’re no longer talking neighborhood bars, those will have already become ancient relics in this idilic world. Because comparatively, what good is a palm pilot when you have an iPhone and what good are bars that supply Bud Light and Smithwicks when you can cozy up to a glass of Helles Lager, or Mexican Chocolate Stout?
New Belgium Brewery was where it all began. It was in those same recycled bike framed bar stools in New Belgium’s tap room that I first embarked on my own journey into craft beer.
Virtually every Friday afternoon my buddy Cody and I would duck out a bit early and delve into the wide world of brew. It was here that I discovered my first sour. What the hell?! This beer, La Folie tastes like liquefied shock tarts! How is this possible?!
I mentioned in a previous article that Wynkoop Brewery is essentially the antithesis of what people expect of a microbrewery. Large, sometimes cavernous confines that house much more than just a bar and gathering area. Well, if Wynkoop is on one edge of the spectrum, Oskar Blues Brewery is on the other.
Renegade Brewery could be one of the best breweries in the city of Denver that non-residents may have never heard of. Brian O’Connell’s brew laboratory specializes in taking traditional styles and adding one twist to completely differentiate their beers from the rest. Even their flagship Ryetous refuses to conform to the base line IPA category with it being a rye IPA. “There is no theme to our style other than being creative without going completely off the wall,” said O’Connell.
What’s in a name? Orographic Lift Brewing Company doesn’t have the same ring. Upslope winds occur when air is elevated up the sides of large land masses (our Colorado mountains) via wind and then cools adiabatically and condenses, causing precipitation. Unless you’re an absolute meteorology nerd, you probably just read blah, blah, blah, but deep down everyone loves nerds and everyone loves precipitation. No matter how you slice it or dice it precipitation is the main ingredient in our coveted barley pops. Upslope Brewing adds the malts, hops and yeast, while their namesake winds provide the water.
River North Brewery opened a little over six months ago, specializing in Belgian style ales. I happen to specialize in drinking Belgian style ales, so RiNo quickly became a favorite local brewery. Scratch that, a favorite anywhere brewery.
One overcast September day, Odell Brewing harkened me to the Mecca of craft brewing, Fort Collins, for a few cozy tasters in their amazing taproom. As Lee Holliday and the Time Off crooned scintillating blues for the live music night, I admired the walls, embellished with huge rich oil paintings of their highly recognized and highly revered microbrews: Cut Throat Porter, Easy Street Wheat, Levity Amber, IPA, and of coarse 90 Shilling.
I recently discovered that I’m kinda a weird dude. My friend Paula recently called me out for being an “Asian, hipster, frat boy from Kentucky who also listens to bluegrass/country music.” I guess she has a point. Perhaps that’s why I find Strange Brewery in Denver, CO so endearing.
Lately trying to keep track of new breweries has been kinda like trying to keep track of FroYo stores, they keep popping up and I completely OK with that. The latest in Denver’s Craft Beer Renaissance period is Craig Rothgery’s High Gravity Brewing which is hoping to open it’s doors by late December or early January, a perfect way to start the new year.
It’s Bavaria meets the Rocky Mountains. It’s Reinheitsgebot meets experimental Colorado brewing. It’s my southern German ancestry meets my central Colorado present. The Lowry Beer Garden is unlike anything I’ve experienced since immersing myself into the Denver beer …
Offshore Ale Company, Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
I was a bit concerned last week when I boarded my red-eye and subsequent 5-hour ferry to Martha’s Vineyard (MV). No, I wasn’t going to be bothered by the bevy of pastels, …
Country Boy Brewing | Lexington, KY
This is a brewery that Tim the Tool Man Taylor would go to after palling around with Al Borland on the set of Tool Time; a brewery that Zac Brown Band …
Shameful admission number 1: I didn’t drink quality beer until after I left Kentucky in 2006. My experience with beer consisted of keg parties with Natty or Keystone Light—beer for purposes of getting drunk or having a cheap evening.