coloradocraft – PorchDrinking.com
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.
Beer pairing dinners are forcing their way into the spotlight, fighting for the same notoriety as the traditional wine pairing dinners many of us are accustomed to seeing. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or another special occasion, a multi-course menu with a specific wine for each course is a welcome treat from any restaurant. Fort Collins’ Mainline Ale House takes this concept and turns it into something those of us in Colorado will be more receptive to—beer pairing dinners.
Mainline Ale House is not content with beers from some of the biggest names in the craft beer game. While Odell and Prost have made their presence felt with the previous beer dinners, this time Mainline turned to Snowbank Brewing for their February beer pairing dinner. Big, bold flavors were on display, and Snowbank brought some of its flagship beers to the table, while showcasing new heavy hitters and imperial showstoppers. The meal truly highlighted these beers and the magic that Snowbank is working with in their taproom while showcasing the talented kitchen at Mainline.
Fort Collins is what some would consider the genesis of craft beer. Names like Odell, New Belgium, 90 Schilling and Fat Tire are synonymous with the craft beer movement and the renaissance of delicious drinks that have flooded the United States in recent years. The volume of newcomers to the brewing scene increases while the available real estate decreases, meaning it can be hard to set your new entry into the game apart from the rest. Rookies and veterans alike are trying to poke their heads out of a large crowd, which leads to the question: what separates a brewery from all the rest? That is a question McClellan’s Brewing Company has begun to answer.
When you think of a porter, the first thing to come to mind is often the dark color and rich texture it has while sitting in its glass. You may wonder what exactly the difference is between a porter and a stout and why the heck they have to look so similar. Maybe the sheer excitement of a beer in front of you means you don’t think about any of these things, and that is probably the most reasonable reaction. If you’re looking for a traditional porter, turn back now. If you’re looking for one that will surprise your taste buds, Crow Hop Brewing‘s Knee Knocker is where you should turn.
When it comes to Oktoberfest, there are plenty of things that come to mind. Lederhosen, Bavarian pretzels and rambunctious parties are included in that list. When the leaves begin to change and fall is in the air, one thing is almost certain; craft breweries will release their take on an Oktoberfest brew.
Big Thompson Brewery, a hidden gem in Loveland, Colorado, that just celebrated its two-year anniversary, is notorious for releasing Otto’s Oktoberfest quickly following the start of September. Coinciding with their employee brew-off and anniversary party, the release of Otto’s is an annual treat for patrons.
Like many large to mid-sized breweries in the country, Ska Brewing (Durango, CO) has begun eyeing the next phase of growth to keep up with the rising demands and competition in the craft beer industry. In 2017 that’ll take the form of a brewery expansion, new beers and an expanded beer garden at the brewery.
Happy Friday, 9-5ers! And Happy Monday to all of the industry friends out there. Regardless of which boat you fall into, either makes for a great occasion to drink some beer. I think you’ll notice a delicious trend in this week’s edition of What We’re Drinking: fruit beers. Yum. June is a-knockin’, folks. Break out the fruited wheats, berliner weisses, and radlers, please. *clink*
Denver is a city of world class breweries. You can literally close your eyes, spin around, start walking in any particular direction, and you’ll find amazing beer. I’m talking world class, triple-A examples of every style imaginable. But what if we were to narrow down everything that we have to offer into a format that we all understand? A six pack perhaps? The rules are simple: the beers can’t be distributed out of state, have to be available at least once per year, and packaging isn’t a requirement. Yes, I have taken on the unreasonably lofty task of narrowing down the top in the state to six total beers. Clearly you can’t go wrong with Denver beers, but these in my opinion, are some of the beers that are most representative of Denver’s top tier craft beer scene. Be gentle.
Style: IPA – Imperial/Double | ABV: 8.5% | IBUs: N/A
An 8% hop bomb; Hoppa Road is brewed with over two and a half pounds of Citra Hops per barrel. This makes for a big juicy, lupulicious brew.
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The Colorado Brewers Guild’s just released its recent findings, curated by Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder, about the economic impact of Colorado Craft Beer to the State’s Economy. The CBG is a non-profit organization serving craft breweries and brewpubs in Colorado.
So, what do the numbers mean to the Colorado Beer Drinker? We weigh in and find that the results may be shockingly simple but we’ll tell you why it is more important now, more than ever, to support your local brewery.
The Soft Sell: Hey, remember when you said you liked old hangars and culinary prowess unprecedented and sultry suds more than anything in the whole wide world? You should totes go to BrüFrou Beer + Culinary Pairings 2015 at Wings Over the Rockies Museum at the end of April. You’ll love it!
THE FIRST ANNUAL BRÜFROU WILL SHOWCASE THE BEST
OF COLORADO’S CRAFT BEER + CULINARY EXCELLENCE
Building upon the local celebrations, BrüFrou elevates craft beer to the next level by pairing
it with culinary excellence. On April 19th, we invite you to join Coloradoans-in-the-know.