coloradobeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
During a drastic weather change like the ones we experience in Colorado from time to time, it’s easy to go right from crispy summer brews to heavy winter Stouts without the intermediary Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers. But LUKI Brewery in Arvada, Colorado, is giving its fairly new fan base reason to seek out squash and gourd-centric beers this fall: Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie.
Instead of being labeled a “pumpkin Ale” or an Imperial Stout with pumpkin like so many others, Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie is a spiced Brown Ale. LUKI’s current craft lineup contains no sub-5% ABV beers nor any 10%+ ABV booze bombs; the beers are born from owner and brewer Jeff Smith’s love of old-school styles and desire to create well-balanced, accessible (and still entertaining) brews.
While styles like lambic and gueuze might conjure images of a farmhouse in the rolling countryside, some of the best sour and funky beers in America are made by Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales right on South Broadway in Denver, CO. Their collab with Falling Rock Tap House, called Raven Rock, is no exception. While Raven Rock might not technically be a lambic, it’s about as damn close as you can get.
The progression of becoming a true craft beer snob is a subtle one but the path is marked by some key moments. You generally begin dabbling in IPAs, starting with a gateway local pale ale into becoming an expert on all things dank and/or hazy. Then you move onto Stouts—a bigger flavor profile, a bigger ABV and a bigger blow to your wallet. Most craft beer nerds will live in this Stout phase for a long time, perhaps expanding into Barley wines, maybe diverting over to Sours, but generally content to chase the whales and tip the scales between what is beer and what is actually just brownie batter. The mark of a true snob, though, is when you loop back around into the lightest and most overlooked styles that the industry has to offer: Pilsners.
Perched above the Denver metro area at the absolute foot of the Rockies, Golden’s Over Yonder Brewing waits with propped-open doors and beers to-go at the ready. Inside, a colorful mural and projector screen (playing a live concert stream) welcome its socially distanced pickup patrons. Upon greeting co-founder and head brewer Jason Bilodeaux, we (OK, I) forget briefly not to shake hands and then we go in for the elbow-five.
Good things come to those who wait, right? That’s the case for Colorado beer drinkers, who got a chance recently to buy Where I Live, a mixed culture dark sour beer created in collaboration between two of Colorado’s most esteemed brewers: New Belgium Brewing Co. and TRVE Brewing. Made with 100% Colorado-made malt and lavender, Where I Live is unique both in composition and inspiration. The brewers first discussed making this beer during the 2016 GABF, but it wasn’t possible due to regulations that prohibited brewer-to-brewery tax-free transfers of ‘finished’ beer. As fate would have it, a legal loophole that popped up in passed legislation one year later made the blending collaboration possible and Where I Live became a reality. To learn more about how this beer came to be, we asked Andrew Emerton, New Belgium’s Specialty Brand Manager.
Last year, the Brewers Association introduced Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale category at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, becoming the first national competition to recognize the category. It was one of the highest entered categories of 2018, with 132 entries from across the United States. Only three breweries won medals, Fiction Beer Company in Denver, Colorado was among the winners, earning a Bronze Medal for Madame Psychosis.
A “doughnut” or “donut” is a circular type of fried pasty (I grew up eating “donuts,” so for the purpose of this article, I will use this spelling). Donuts seem to have been around since breakfast food was invented, but many cultures include these tasty delicacies into everyday eating. Modern donuts are said to have been brought to America by Dutch settlers when they immigrated to New York in the early 17th century. Although some people might agree that donut day should be every day, the official National Donut Day takes place on the first Friday of every June. The origin of this day is said to derive from The Salvation Army during WWI in which they served donuts to soldiers. These baked goods were such a hit that the Salvation Army tents were one of the most popular spots during the war.
Over the past several years, donuts have also been a staple across pop culture from Wayne and Garth’s trips to Stan Mikita’s Donut Shop to Ron Swanson’s affection towards mouthwatering breakfast foods. However, nothing in pop culture compares to Homer Simpson’s addiction to donuts. It’s so encompassing that on one of the famous Halloween episodes of “The Simpsons,” Homer sold his soul to the devil for a donut. To Homer’s delight, he was sent to “Donut Hell” while having endless donuts shoved into his mouth. Mmmmm… donuts.
The best way to lift yourself out of a winter funk is to drink a beer that’s dark and delicious, with a high enough ABV to warm you up. After walking a few blocks in 19-degree weather to Novel Strand–a relatively new brewery located only a few blocks away from my apartment–I needed something full-bodied, boldly flavored and a little weird.
If you’re in a part of the country without snow on the ground right now, you might not fully appreciate the solace that lies within winter beers. You may have already read that it’s a primal instinct for humans to party. But taking it a step further, there’s something much more instinctively satisfying about getting together with your fellow primates; braving the cold and celebrating the very fact that you’ve braved the cold. Being out in a public gathering area during cold weather somehow amplifies the sense of community. Maxline Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado is exactly the kind of place you’d want to go and brave the cold weather.
How many of you grew up eating Fruity Pebbles cereal for breakfast? I know I indulged as a child. When I heard Something Brewery was releasing a cereal-beer crowler pack that included a Fruity Pebbles beer, I knew I had to get my hands on some. I mean, who doesn’t want to enjoy beer for breakfast?
In a city like Denver where the craft beer market is insanely competitive, party planners and marketing teams now build events around a top-notch tap list—it’s no longer an afterthought or bonus. Take Denver Zoo, for example. Not so long ago, patrons would have been stoked to have any kind of beer available as they peered at Pachyderms. But now, during the 28th annual Zoo Lights, the park proudly presents its visitors with a carefully cultivated beer menu, which includes over 20 craft brews.
Sometimes a beer is more than a beer. Sometimes it’s a symbol of support, solidarity, girl power, fearless females even — like Erin Moynihan, the brewer behind Eddyline Brewery’s new sweetly-sour creation, the Mango Kettle Sour.
The first sour in Eddyline’s lineup (and Erin’s first solo effort) was born with a purpose, with the Colorado Women’s Rafting Team in mind. This group of intrepid ladies based in Buena Vista and Salida won the Nationals in this international sport and will represent the United States in Argentina in November 2018. Anyone who has priced international flights knows that kind of travel doesn’t come cheap so a percentage of the sales of this feisty, fruity brew will help support their bid for the prize.
Rockyard Brewing Company embarked on a complete overhaul and rebrand earlier this year, an endeavor that has seen these Castle Rock beerslingers bring about not only a new image, but an entirely new slate of beers to accompany it. As I was searching one of the local liquor stores in Fort Collins, I came across the can for Hopalypto. The can was unique, different and striking, which was all it took to convince me to pick it up.
The Colorado brewery scene is one with its ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Some breweries see their star shine brightly, then quickly fizzle out and shut their doors nearly as soon as they opened. Others, like Crow Hop Brewing in Loveland, CO, find increased success year after year and eventually need to move locations to accommodate the greater fanfare.
Downtown Loveland is currently home to three breweries (soon to be four) which are well-established in the community and gaining notoriety among the always crowded Colorado craft scene. Loveland Aleworks has been in their current residence, for a long while, and Verboten had a recent change when they moved to their current location on 5th Street. Crow Hop Brewing, the third of the trifecta, called 3rd Street their home since their opening in 2015. That all changed last week, when the team closed shop on 3rd and moved one block north to the east side of 4th Street in Downtown Loveland. Prior to their grand reopening in early June, Crow Hop has put on a few soft open events for their loyal patrons, and Thursday was the first soft open for folks outside of Crow Hops staff and immediate family, and the event did not disappoint.
Colorado is synonymous with countless things: skiing, white water rafting, legalized marijuana, green chili, and, of course, craft beer. With the genesis of the movement often attributed to New Belgium and Odell Brewing in Fort Collins, alongside the well-known names coming out of Denver and Boulder, it’s easy to see how the other locales can be lost in the fold. Loveland, Colorado sits roughly 20 minutes south of Fort Collins, and about an hour North from both Denver and Boulder. While smaller in terms of brewery offerings (roughly six), these establishments sure know how to pack a punch. If you’re in town, here are the six beers you should ensure you get a taste of before you leave.
Much to the dismay of Colorado’s powder hounds, its taken a little longer than expected for the Centennial State to feel full effects of winter this season. However, as we’ve inched toward February (Colorado’s official Stout Month thanks to the Mountain Sun Breweries), temperatures have dropped, and it’s finally time to embrace the bounty of prolific dark and roasty stouts this state has to offer. As we look back on all of the tremendous beers consumed in 2017, our staff took some time to share their picks for Colorado’s best stouts from the past year.
Colorado craft beer has come a long way. While the old guard of New Belgium, Odell, Wynkoop, Great Divide, Left Hand, Avery, and Ska initially thrust the state onto the national scene the early 90’s, it’s been Colorado’s current brewing renaissance that has propelled its meteoric rise to even greater heights of recognition and acclaim. Just in the past 5 years since PorchDrinking’s existence, we’ve seen alleyway breweries grow to become national powers, startups in rural towns grow to become coveted brands, and a countless number of homebrewers who have their desk jobs to become household names among beer circles.
Personally, one of my favorite beer styles is sours, but not everyone feels the same way I do. I could go on for days about all the different reasons that I like sours, but that still wouldn’t change the opinion of someone that doesn’t like the style. I believe that sours are like IPAs for people that haven’t tried very much of the style. When someone first tries IPAs they tend to be overwhelmed by the hoppiness and intense bitterness, and the same concept applies with sours. Not all beer drinkers are used to the mouth-puckering sourness you get from some sours and that can turn people off. By creating the Sour Beer Project Series, Kannah Creek Brewing Company set out on a mission to help introduce people to sour beers.
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.”