#coloradocraftbeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
There are certain spirits in the world of barrel aged beer that elicit perked up ears, and then there are those brands that generate whiplash causing sore necks and desperate trips to the chiropractor. Pappy Van Winkle (PVW) falls squarely in the latter category, a mythical wheated bourbon whose popularity and even legend has skyrocketed in the past decade causing bottles to sell on secondary markets for 20-30x their retail prices of $120-$300. Even the used barrels from these 15-23 year aged whiskeys sell for exorbitant prices as breweries clamor to get their hands on them. Cerebral Brewing was lucky enough to land two Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year barrels, and they chose to rest a triple mash version of their Here Be Monsters Imperial Stout in those barrels. This particular single barrel expression aged for 39 months, an incredibly long time yielding an incredible creation.
The number 13 has appeared repeatedly throughout the history of Crystal Springs Brewing. Co-owner Tom Horst was born on the 13th. His son was born on the 13th. Multiple other family members were born on the 13th. The opening day for the brewery was May 13, 2010. When they were poised to open their first taproom, they closed on the property on the 13th, a date randomly set by the title company. That taproom — guess how far it was from their original brewery / home? 13 miles. With their approaching 13th anniversary, Crystal Springs has proved that 13 does not have to be an unlucky number and can in fact turn a garage homebrew operation into a successful commercial brewery.
Colorado craft beer fans will have one less major beer festival on the calendar for 2023. WeldWerks recently announced they are hitting pause on hosting the WeldWerks Invitational as they focus time and energy on their largest brewhouse expansion to date. “This is a good year to pause and reevaluate what the experience of the Invitational is and what we want it to be and how we want to keep progressing it,” says Kristin Popcheff, director of events & experience at WeldWerks.
Some breweries become known for a certain style of beer and then struggle to expand beyond that, trapped in the successes of their past. While it is never a bad thing to have notoriety for a particular style, it can leave a brewery in a difficult spot as they seek to diversify their lineup and adapt to the everchanging beer landscape. Casey Brewing is known for their incredible sour beer program, churning out highly sought-after Saisons and Wild Ales since 2013. Finding themselves with some extra tanks and a desire to open a new taproom, Casey made the decision to venture into non-sour beer, doing something brewery founder Troy Casey said would never happen. A prophetic cliché that morphed into an incredible barrel aged Barleywine, Casey BA Never Say Never Barleywine exemplifies the non-sour quality of the brewery’s side dabbles.
In a hypercompetitive craft beer market that is ever trending towards (but not quite reaching) that mythical saturation point, breweries can find it difficult to differentiate themselves. Whether it be a new style (that’s probably a rebranded old style), new hop varieties, clever marketing or some combination of these and other “innovative” elements, breweries have to try to rise above the pack and distinguish their product from what the upstart down the street is doing. New Image Brewing is no stranger to innovation with their lineup of various Barrel Aged Beers, their heavy use of Phantasm powder and the impending opening of their own meadery brand Post Future. Estufa is perhaps their most ambitious project yet. Estufa is the first release and the genesis of New Image’s forthcoming macro-oxidized solera Barleywine program. That is a lot of beer related words not often (if ever) stringed together, so follow along as we explore what New Image is currently doing and where they are looking to take this program.
2022 is almost in the books, meaning it’s time to celebrate the year that was and look forward to what 2023 will bring us. While some may be content to spend New Year’s Eve huddled amongst freezing masses for hours on end or in a crowded club struggling to reach the bar, the discerning Coloradan will wisely seek out a local brewery for a more relaxed and enjoyable vibe. Many breweries throughout the state have events planned in the hours leading up to New Year’s, so we have assembled a list of those here. Whether you want to catch some live music, eat a multiple course beer dinner or try some special beers, there is something here for every beer lover. As always, be safe and responsible in your New Year’s Eve drinking activities – let’s end this year and start the next in a great way!
If we missed any Colorado NYE Brewery events be sure to shoot us a message and we would love to add your event to our round-up.
Eschewing the typical Barrel-Aged Stout and Hazy IPA hype beers of most festivals these days, Welcome – A Farmhouse & Lager Festival takes a gentler approach in beer styles, highlighting some of Colorado’s best Farmhouse Ales and Lagers being produced. Subtlety and nuance are the defining characteristics of these styles, and it takes a discerning brewer to properly craft them and make something greater than the sum of its often simplistic parts.
Part of the magic associated with the return of GABF involves all of the incredible beer events that take place outside of the actual festival. Although technically the Great American Beer Fest (GABF) begins on Thursday, October 6 and runs through Saturday, October 8, the festivities begin well before the main event and continue throughout the week.
From special tap takeovers to paired beer dinners, out-of-state bottle releases, and collaborations to full-fledged beer festivals, the beer world descends upon Denver in all of its glory. With over a week jam-packed full of events, it can be a bit hard to navigate. Luckily we’re here to help sort through it all with the return of our 2022 GABF Week Events Guide.
2022 GABF Routes:
Be sure to bookmark this page or check back often as we will continue to update the page as events are released.
If you ask Little Machine Beer’s co-owner and brewer, Brett Williams his idea of a perfect beer, he will tell you about his recent release, Big Money Pale Ale. Named after the cost put into sourcing “the Rolls Royce of malt,” according to Simpsons Malt, UK native Maris Otter. Additionally, flaked oats, Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops combine to create a low abv Pale Ale with big hop flavor. Sitting at 5.6%, with balanced bitterness and a dry, aromatic finish, this beer is ideal for the conclusion of summer.
After earning a Bronze medal at this year’s World Beer Cup, Atari’s Lantern, a Jasmine Rice Lager, is back on tap at Denver’s The Empourium Brewing Co. First released in January 2022, The name Atari’s Lantern is a reference to Wes Anderson’s film, Isle Of Dogs. The name also serves as a nod to the taproom’s dog-friendly environment.
After 28 years as a pioneer in the Colorado craft beer scene, Tommyknocker Brewery located in the mountain town of Idaho Springs, CO, is undergoing an extensive overhaul. With the introduction of a branding refresh, new core beer offerings and a $100,000 remodel of their brewpub, Tommyknocker is looking to reinvent itself in today’s competitive craft beer market.
When is a Pastry Stout not a Pastry Stout? At what point does a barrel-aged 11.2% beer become refreshing to drink? These were questions I pondered while drinking Wild Blue Yonder Cellar Reserve – Tropical Storm, a rum barrel aged Imperial Stout with bananas, toasted coconut and macadamia nut. Expectations were exceeded and stereotypes were broken with this unique concoction brewed in Castle Rock, Colorado.
A beer fest set in the middle of the Rocky Mountains is bound to be beautiful, and the Vail Craft Beer Classic did not disappoint in that regard. Along with the wondrous mountain scenery is a laid back mountain vibe enjoyed by patrons and vendors alike. No long lines, no crowded bottlenecks, and plenty of time and space to casually have a conversation with a brewery worker or a random attendee, the Vail Craft Beer Classic is ideally set up for enjoying a couple hours worth of various brews.
How does a simple party become a full blown shindig? Make it an all weekend party celebrating two huge occasions! Wah Gwaan Brewing is turning one this weekend, an anniversary that coincidentally coincides with Juneteenth. Being a Black-owned brewery, Juneteenth is a perfect time for Wah Gwaan to celebrate, and celebrate they will.
As the weather has transitioned to long, warm, pleasant days, one’s choice in beer necessarily becomes something that can be drunk for longer periods of time. No longer just getting it in while you can, this is the season for drinking sessions that extend for the duration of several beers, necessitating a beverage that is both refreshing and of moderate ABV so as to leave you in decent shape. This is the season for a beer like Westbound & Down Chicago Peaks Kolsch. Light and drinkable yet still packing serious flavor, this beer was made for warm weather get-togethers.
Believe it or not, summer is once again drawing to a close. Before we dive into pumpkin spice bombs and fresh hop season, let us raise a liter to German-style beers with a round-up of Colorado’s craft beer-centric Oktoberfest celebrations. So lace up those dirndls and strap on the lederhosen it’s time for the beautifully crisp, easy-drinking, toasted malt forward profile of Oktoberfest Märzen lagers. Check out our craft beer guide to Colorado’s Oktoberfest celebrations. Keep in mind, we’ll keep adding Oktoberfest beers from Colorado’s craft breweries as they’re released, as well as Oktoberfest celebration events for future weeks.
The Colorado legislature ended their 2021 session in early June, having passed four bills that will help Colorado craft breweries recover from the pandemic and grow. Several bills take effect near-term, while others roll into place later in the year. Additionally, two of the bills will give craft beer lovers more options to get ahold of their favorites.
It’s been a long path for Sean Guerrero to reach the grand opening of Jade Mountain Brewery & Teahouse in Aurora, CO. The brewery, which blends American and Asian culture in its beers, celebrates its opening weekend starting on June 11, 2021. Along the way, Guerrero’s journey spanned 13 years, two continents, a pandemic and countless test batches of beer.
As part of their five-year anniversary series, New Image Brewing tackles the complicated science of fractional freezing with their new Imperial Stout, Five for Freezing. Typically, frozen beer is a travesty. There’s nothing quite as disheartening as cracking open the beer you crave, only to find that it’s morphed into a slushie mess or worse, discovering that a bottle left to chill in the freezer exploded like a Peep in the microwave. However, freezing beer before it’s packaged, is actually an old-world technique that yields some highly desirable results.
Building on the recent brewery trend of creating innovative to-go offerings, LUKI Brewery in Arvada, Colorado, will debut Circus-in-a-Box March 16. This is the first of their quarterly boxes offering seasonal goodies, fun-inspired curations and deals from local vendors.
The first edition of Circus-in-a-Box will be available through May. It includes glassware, snacks and items designed to bring out the beer-lover’s inner child. Customers can get their box by purchasing four crowlers online or in-person and choosing the Circus-in-a-Box upgrade.