Friday, September 9, 2011

Denver Brew at the Zoo

This evening marks the 14th annual Denver Brew at the Zoo. Proceeds of the event benefit the Denver Zoo’s Red Apple Fund for Lifelong Learning which focuses on animal conservation and education.

Brew at the Zoo features over 40 breweries and restaurants as well as live music. This event has sold out the past 2 years. Tickets are only available until 3:00pm.

Ticket Prices
$70 Individual Ticket
$65 Member Ticket
$30 Designated Driver

Event Preview
$100 Preview Ticket
Want to avoid the crowds and be one of the first to taste the region’s best brews? Purchase an exclusive preview ticket which includes early admission to the event at 6 p.m.
Preview tickets are limited.

No guests under 21 years of age will be admitted
(including infants).

Ticket Price Includes:
Souvenir Tasting Mug
Complimentary appetizers from some of Denver's best pubs.
Unlimited four-ounce beer samples from more than 40 of the region's top breweries.

Information provided by

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Renegade Brewing Company - Grand Opening Party!

On Saturday September 10th Renegade Brewing Company will be celebrating with a Grand Opening Party! The party will be rockin with live music featuring Bill Groh, The Harlequin Saints, and Turducken. In addition they will be tapping some rare Renegade Beers and have food provided by local food trucks as well Beer Cupcakes from Frills Bakery (I can't wait to try these).

There will also be some amazing door prizes from Renegade Brewing Company and their sponsors that include:

  • Gift Certificate to Frills Bakery
  • Gift Certificate to Interstate Kitchen and Bar
  • 2 tickets for the Denver Brews Cruise
  • A Renegade Brewing Company Tap Handle
  • 2 prizes for free growler refills for a entire year
  • Renegade Merchandise
  • ...and the Grand Prize of two tickets to the the Friday Night Session of the Great American Beer Fest (GABF).

Renegade Brewing Company is located at:

925 W. 9th Ave.,
Denver, CO 80204

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homebrew Competitions – Go Big or Go Home!

As a self described “obsessed homebrewer”, I love the idea of being able to submit a beer that I made to a certified judge to have it evaluated. Not only is this a wonderful way to build confidence as a brewer, it is great to get feedback and advice from someone who has studied the brewing process, so that you can learn new ways in which you can improve upon your beer. Overall I would say that I am a big proponent of competitions in general. So much so that I am studying to become a judge myself.

With all of that said, I feel that there is a major flaw in the system. This is a flaw that lies more with human nature than with the BJCP, AHA or any individual competition coordinators. The problem with competitions is that the winning beers are often not based on the style guidelines for the category they are designed to be. In fact, competitions have become a very strategic pass-time. As brewers chart out which categories and styles will give them the best chance of winning a gold.

In the culture of craft beer and homebrew, we have continued to push the limits of what is possible in regard to flavor. Although this is wonderful and the benefits of such creativity are staggering. Have we forgotten the subtle beauty of a well balanced, well crafted beer? It often seems that we have replaced them with the biggest baddest Barley Wines, and mouth numbing DIPA's. Even with a category as familiar and old as a Dry Stout, we continually find new ways to make them bigger and more unusual. Don't get me wrong, this in itself is not a bad thing. The real problem comes into play when a beer that is submitted to a competition and is made perfectly for its style, is over shadowed by larger more flavorful beers that are not necessarily appropriate for the style.

The BJCP guideline are created to show us the distinctions and definitions of a particular style of beer as well as to draw a line in the sand between categories. But I feel that we may be moving too far away from what was intended.There is a certain amount of art that goes into the creation of each beer. That being said, I fear that we may be losing touch with the “classic” subtle flavors that made craft beer amazing in the first place. In no way am I suggesting that we stop moving forward in the creation of new imaginative beers. In fact I love nothing better than a big hopped up beer or basically anything oaked in a bourbon barrel. I just feel that we need to re-examine our palates and begin judging beers as they were intended to be, instead of how out of the box one can get. I fear the day we start to see Imperial Pilsner submitted to competitions.

Understand that when I discuss this as an ongoing issue, I am in no way referring to any of my personal beers, as I have not even come close to perfecting a style. But I will keep trying.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Buddha Nuvo - A Colorado Collaboration Beer

I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive at first, about spending $40 for a beer. Even one that was brewed by 14 of my favorite brewers. It took having the beer described to me by a couple of the brewers, as well as reading some local reviews before deciding that I absolutely had to try it.

The idea for Buddha Nuvo came about as all ideas should...over a beer. Jim Stinson of the Rockyard and Jason Yester of Trinity Brewing were enjoying a couple of pints, when they decided that they should get together to do a collaboration Saison beer. As they discussed it further and began to get excited, they decided to call on some of their friends and fellow brewers to help create the beer . They all agreed to brew at the Rockyard as well as use this as an opportunity to raise some money for the Colorado Brewers Guild.

Buddha Nuvo is a Saison that comes in at 12% ABV, but it is unlike any Saison that I have ever seen, or better yet tasted. The grain bill includes Weyerman Pilsen, Vienna, Rye, as well as Spelt which is a species of wheat. Pumpkin is then added to the boil as are a mixture of Peppercorns to add a distinct spice flavor. The beer uses 6 different strains of yeast as well as 5 strains of brettanomyces for a sour tartness. The beer was then aged in Oak Chardonnay Barrels where they added the addition of Buddha Hand which is a rare citrus fruit originally grown in India.

When poured, Buddha Nuvo is a cloudy orange amber color with a nice white head. The aroma gives off a strong citrus orange nose with a wonderful tartness from the brett. When you first taste it, Buddha has the flavor of bitter orange with the spice of the peppercorns. On the back-end, you can taste the Oaked Chardonnay from the barrels that gives an almost champagne type quality. The beer is very complex and yet simple at the same time. The flavors seem to continually change in your mouth as you drink.

Overall Buddha Nuvo it is a truly remarkable beer that is dangerously easy to drink and unlike anything that I have had before. I am so happy that I live in state with brewers who are so willing to work together to create something so special. Even more so, I am so happy that I put my cheapness aside (if even for a little while), so that I could experience this amazing beer. To answer your next question, yes, it is worth the money although I do wish it was a bit cheaper so I could have even more. Word on the street is that we may get to see Buddha Nuvo again next year, lets keep our fingers crossed.

Buddha Nuvo was brewed by the following breweries:

  • Rockyard Brewing

  • Trinity Brewing

  • AC Golden

  • Crooked Stave

  • Funkwerks

  • Rock Bottom Brewery

  • Strange Brewing

  • Ska Brewing

  • Black Fox Brewing

  • Del Norte Brewing

  • Tommyknocker Brewery

  • Dry Dock Brewery

  • Shamrock Brewing

  • Colorado Mountain Brewery

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Beer Festival Calendar

Saturday August, 13th

Sunday August, 14th

Friday August, 19th

Saturday August, 20th

    Saturday August, 27th

    Please let me know if there are any that I missed.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Hops for Habitat Brewfest

    Plains Conservation Center 7th Annual Hops for Habitat Brewfest
    Friday, July 29th, 2011 5-9 pm

    Join dozens of Colorado brewers and hundreds of fellow beer aficionados for an evening of fun, music, and best of all Beer! Taste Colorado beer from across the state and meet the brewers and reps all while surrounded by the summer beauty of the Plains Conservation Center. Take a wagon ride into the natural area (don’t forget your brew!) and get up close and personal with all the critters that call the PCC home. Live music, campfire with s’mores, root beer floats, snacks, food (for purchase), games, and this year, introducing Prairie Pong! Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your neighbors, but leave the kids, over 21 only, please!

    Plains Conservation Center:

    21901 E. Hampden Avenue
    Aurora CO 80013
    (303) 693-3621

    Admission: $30 per person/$15 designated drivers
    (includes commemorative pint glass)

    Need more Info?, or call Sara (303) 693-3621

    Information taken from

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Denver Beer Co. Opening

    The Denver Beer Co, has just announced that they will be opening their doors and tapping their kegs on August 12th. Seven beers are schedule to be on tap for opening day

    • Platte Pils
    • Graham Cracker Porter
    • Kaffir Wheat
    • Gear Up IPA
    • Rye Twenty Five
    • Confluence Pale Ale
    • Summer Stout

    In addition to the wonderful beer line-up, they will have snacks of their giant German Pretzles. If that is not enough, there will be guest food trucks to keep your stomach happy. The tap room will be opening at 12:00 and the official ribbon cutting is scheduled for 7:00pm. The owners/brewers Patrick and Charlie will be around to talk with and of course doing a little celebrating. 

    1695 Platte Street
    Denver, CO 80202

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Breckenridge Brewery Celebrates its 21st Birthday

    On Saturday, July 9th, Breckenridge Brewery celebrated its 21st birthday in style by throwing a party at their Denver production facility. 

    The festivities included everything that someone could possibly want on their 21st birthday, food, friends, live music and most For only $21, part goers had unlimited access to all the food, beer and entertainment they could handle.

    Prior to even pulling up to the brewery, you could smell the BBQ in the air as they had a full spread of food, including a pig roast to ensure that no one got hungry. To keep us all entertained throughout the day and into the evening, there were 3 live bands in the back lot of what is aptly named “The Avalanche Ranch”. As well as the boys from Colorado Craft Beer Radio, who were broadcasting live from the party. In addition, the brewery itself was opened up and made available to allow everyone a chance to wander around and meet the brewers as well as learn about the inner workings of its operation.
    As much fun as the party was, the highlight of the afternoon was the opportunity to try some extremely rare Breckenridge brews that were made or tapped just for this special occasion.
    The most popular of these beers was a small batch ESB simply called “20”. It was made specifically for their anniversary celebration. The name “20” comes from the fact that it took their entire 20th year to make this beer, as it condition for 6-months and was then aged in Stranahan Whiskey Barrels for an additional 6 months. Some of the other rare beers that were made available included a firkin of Buddha's Hand Ale, a Double Vanilla Porter, as well as some of their more traditional small batch series.
    After getting our fill of food and beer, it was back to the party to finish off the evening listening to headlining band, The Colorado Goat Ropers Guild, which is fronted by the Breckenridge Brewery Warehouse Manager. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the afternoon and am just happy that Breckenridge is now old enough to actually drink some of the wonderful beers that have made them so popular. I am already looking forward to next year.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    A Craft Beer Uprising! Hand Over the Bud Light and No One Gets Hurt!

    Independents Day has come and gone, and it got me thinking about all of the beer that has been consumed over the past weekend to celebrate the birth of our country. At this point, it is not new information, at least to the educated Craft Beer Drinker, that Budweiser, Coors and Miller are no longer American owned breweries. But still much of the population seems to ignore this fact entirely. Maybe the general population is just so wonderfully enthralled with the tastelessness of these beer knockoffs and their sexist marketing, that they have forgotten to realize the close similarity to these beverages with what has been previously described as ball sweat. 

    Now I am no different then most people in the fact that I have friends, and yes, even family who absolutely refuse to drink anything other than these beverages. It saddens me that many of these are good wholesome people who just do not know any better and are suffering without ever realizing it. Personally I would like to grab each one of them by the scruff of the neck and shake them until they succumb. Or even violently kick them in the sack so that I may then pour a flavorful pint down their throat. But I know in my heart that violence is not the answer. (thanks mom!)

    So what are we to do as a nation to help our fellow Americans get on the path to righteousness and beer freedom? After spending many restless nights pondering this question. I have come to realize that it is only with diligence and bravery in which we shall prevail. So I call on all of you... the enlightened ones, to reach out to your fellow human beings, to our brothers and sisters. Now is the time to sway the uneducated by providing samples of crossover brews! Initiate beer tastings! Food Pairings! Homebrew Demonstrations! And if necessary utilize gorilla warfare to raid their fridges and replace the unholy piss water with beers of flavor and substance!

    We can no longer stand by and allow this behavior to continue! If you won’t do it for yourselves, then for goodness sakes, do it for America!

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Green Flash - Le Freak

    I was not officially introduced to the beers of Green Flash until last year at the Great American Beer Fest 2010. Let me tell you that it made quite an impact, not just for myself, but for many of the conventioneers. I found myself going back again and again to try these wonderful brews.
    Although Le Freak is certainly not a new beer to me as I have been steadily consuming it for the past year. I thought that now was as good a time as any to write an official review.

    With Le Freak you are truly getting the best of both worlds as it is a combination of two of my favorite styles of beer, an Imperial IPA and a Belgian Trippel. When you first pour this beer you will see that it is an orange copper color with an absolutely huge off-white, creamy head. The carbonation level is a bit higher than your normal pale ale. The aroma has a nose of fruit, hops and that tang that can only come from Belgian yeast. The first sip can be a confusing one as your pallet picks up citrus hops, Belgian yeast and fruit flavors such as orange and peach. This beer is so well balanced and complex that it can be almost difficult to describe. After the first sip of the beer I can pick up back flavors such as toast and resin from the hops.

    There is nothing better then a well made beer and this is one of them. Green Flash was able to take two very distinct beer styles and combined them so perfectly that you would never even consider that it hasn't been made this way for hundreds of years. The only bad comment I can make is that I am now out of Le Freak and will have to find some more.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Odell Brewing Co - Myrcenary Double IPA

    I have always been a big fan of Odell Brewing Co, and likewise a big fan of India Pale Ales. So I was extremely anxious to try Myrcenary. What better place, then to go to the source and have a pint at the Odell taproom.

    Myrcernary is a 9.3% ABV Double IPA that was named after Myrcene, which is a component of the essential oil found within the hops plant. The idea being that Odell Brewing wanted to created a Double IPA utilizing the hop varieties that have the largest amount of Myrcene in them.

    As it is first poured, Myrcenary is a clear golden color with a tint of orange. It has a thick creamy white head that when dissipates, leaves a beautiful lace. The aroma is of resiny hops and pine mixed with tropical fruits. The flavor has very strong American hops characteristics full of floral and citrus flavors such as grapefruit and orange. I would take a guess that it has some Amarillo and Cascade hops in the recipe. It is very bitter and yet well balanced. Although this is a high alcohol beer, the hops and malt mask any hint of alcohol warmth, making it a dangerously drinkable and refreshing beer.

    Overall, this is a wonderful IPA that easily captures the citrus and floral flavors that I love. I enjoyed this so much that I would go as far to say that it is right up there as one of my favorite Double IPA's and has earned a place of honor in my fridge.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Fort Collins Collusion 2011

    In honor of American Craft Beer Week, Nine breweries from Ft Collins, CO joined together in what may very well be the largest collaboration of beer ever made. OK, I actually don't know if this is even remotely true, but nine seems like a lot of breweries to work together and create a beer.

    In April, brewers from C.B. & Potts, Coopersmith, Crooked Stave, Equinox Brewery, Fort Collins Brewery, Funkwerks, New Belgium Brewing Co., Odell Brewing and Pateros Creek Brewing got together and created what has been named Collusion 2011. They used ingredients that were sourced locally such as Schezwan peppercorns from the Old Town Spice Shop, as well as Elderflower and Chrysanthemum  from the Happy Lucky’s Teahouse. The ingredients were then brewed at both the Coopersmith and Equinox Breweries.

    In a town that prides itself on its exceptional breweries, this has created quite a stir in Ft. Collins. I had the opportunity to sit down at Funkwerks to try the Collusion 2011. It is a Pale Ale with strong herbal aroma, the appearance is a hazy golden color with a creamy white head. When I first tasted the beer, I was taken back by the strong peppercorn flavor. It also seemed to have a back flavor of ginger, even though I do not believe there is any ginger in the beer. The floral and herbal flavors were reminiscent of a tea as they overpowered any hint of malt.

    Although the Collusion 2011 has received some wonderful reviews and is obviously a creative and well brewed beer, It was not really my cup of tea, (pun intended). This may be because peppercorns and ginger are two flavors that I have never been overly fond of, especially in my beer. Regardless, The people of Ft Collins and the brewers should be very proud of what they have created and the example they are setting for the rest of the country. Keep it up, I can't wait to try Collusion 2012 in the next year.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Freshcraft - Fresh Food, Craft Beer

     Over the last week, I did what many overly obsessed beer drinkers did, I used American Craft Beer Week as an excuse to go out and drink some great beer. One of the places I was lucky enough to visit was Freshcraft in Downtown Denver. When I say lucky, I mean it, as I just happen to drive by and see it after I had left the Great Divide Brewery. Since I was getting pretty hungry, it seemed like the perfect place to stop.

    The idea behind Freshcraft is a simple one, yet very rare. The idea is to have great food and great beer in one place (shocking, I know). When I first sat down at the bar area, I was greeted by Ariana who was extremely pleasant and kind enough to recommend some favorites from both the food and beer menus. I ordered a sandwich called the Fresh Pretzel Turkey Baja, as I didn't want a huge meal. Let me tell you that it hit the spot. This is not just a sandwich but a soft pretzel bun stuffed with slow roasted turkey, cheese and tomato, oh yeah.

    Now I just need to wash it down with something. A beer perhaps? Freshcraft has 20 craft beers on tap plus somewhere along the lines of 100 or so bottles to choose from. I decided that a nice Myrcenary Double IPA from Odell Brewery was the way to go and was not disappointed. As I sat there eating and drinking my beer, I was silently reprimanding myself for not coming to Freshcraft sooner. I assure you, I will be going back very soon.

    Freshcraft is located at:

    1530 Blake, Suite A
    Denver, CO 80202

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    New Belgium Brewery (Lips of Faith Series) - La Folie

    There is no doubt that Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewery got this one right. I had heard many wonderful things about this beer and was still pleasantly surprised.

    This Sour Brown Ale has the aroma of sour cherries,  with notes of lactic and slight vinegar. When poured you see a crystal amber brown color with a thin tan head that creates a beautiful lacing that last throughout the beer. At the first sip I can pick up the complex flavors of the cherries and apples and what I would almost describe as cran-raspberry. This is followed by a strong sour tartness that is overwhelming at first, but keeps you coming back for more.  It is all brought together and balanced out with a nice woody oak flavor.

    If you are a fan of sour beers such as a Flanders Red, the La Folie will knock your socks off. Although New Belgium makes some wonderful beer, I would go out on a limb to say that this is my new favorite.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    The Mighty Cost of Utopias

    About every 2 years or so, Jim Koch and the brewers of the Boston Beer Company, continue to push the boundaries of brewing by releasing Utopias. A beer that has evolved into a 27 % alcohol by volume, cask aged, behemoth of a beer. This limited edition beer that is bottled by hand and individually numbered has become a collectors item for many a beer connoisseur. Now the 2011 Utopias is going to be hitting the shelves of a liquor store near you, for a whopping $150.00 per bottle.

    This makes me wonder where do we go next and when do we draw the line. As a beer lover I would love the opportunity to try even a 2 oz pour of Utopias...and maybe... with that one little sip, the clouds will part, the heavens will open up and just maybe I will have a realization that this is unlike anything that has ever previously touched my lips and a single tear shall fall.
     But getting back reality, I think that there is a better chance that I would say wow that is a really strong beer and mighty tasty, now what else could I have spent this $150.00 on.

    I am certainly not knocking Jim Koch and the Boston Beer Company for being pioneers and continuing to push the level of what is possible with beer. But as a consumer I just can't seem to justify shelling out that much coin for a beverage, even one that may be as life changing as Utopias.

    Twisted Pine - Ghost Face Killah

    If you were in Colorado yesterday, you may have noticed that it was a pretty lousy day, cold and rainy.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I spent the morning outside helping my brew club install some water lines for the Hop Yard at the Rock Yard in Castle Rock.

    Luckily enough, someone much smarter than I, thought ahead and brought along some beer. I have to say that I have been contemplating trying this beer since it was released, but I was a tad bit apprehensive as I don't handle spicy food very well.  But given that it was 35 and drizzling, I couldn't have asked for a better climate to try what Twisted Pine has labeled the "Hottest beer this side of hell."

    If you are not familiar with this new release, Ghost Face Killah is a chili beer that is absolutely loaded with peppers. This includes serrano, jalapeno, habanero, fresno, anaheim and of course the rediculously hot ghost pepper. At first taste, I was getting a bit nervous as the heat began to increase but then planed off to a deliciously hot and yet somehow enjoyable level. I have to say that I have never been a big fan of chili beers in the past. I think that many times too much emphasis is put into the chili's and not enough into the beer. This is definitely not the case with Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah. The malt actually comes through to create a wonderfully tasting beer with a nice chili heat and flavor. Don't get me wrong, the heat is definitely there. But it is not crippling.

    I don't know that I could drink more than one in a sitting. But I am looking forward to having another Ghost Face Killah sometime very soon.

    Welcome to Craft Beer of Colorado

    As today is the first day of American Craft Beer Week, I felt that it would be appropriate to also be the start of a new blog dedicated to beer. As I am sure most of you are aware, Beer Blogs are not new, nor are they rare in any way. There are many extremely talented writers and journalist who provide better info than most newspapers (well at least back when there were newspapers).

    So why, oh why, did I decide to jump on the beer wagon? Well I guess that the best answer to that question is the fact that I enjoy talking about  beer and this will give me a forum to do it.

    Although Craft Beer of Colorado is obviously based in Colorado, and I also firmly believe in the old mantra of "Drink Locally, Think Globally"; this blog will be discussing and reviewing beers from all over the world.

    So grab a beer and help me on this new journey of beer blogging.