Saturday, August 2, 2008

Supporting my local brewery - Crabtree Brewing

Crabtree Brewing Company circa 2008I'm a self confessed brewery newsletter fanatic. Every brewery that I've sample beers from I'll probably have signed up for their newsletter if they have one. Because of these newsletters, you can learn quite a bit about special events and new beer tappings that come along. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with the owners Jeff and Stephanie Crabtree a while back and enjoyed sampling their beers at the brewery on the east side of town. It's nice having a local brewery close by. I enjoyed their beers and signed up for their newsletter.

The other day I opened up a short newsletter from Crabtree Brewing Company of Greeley Colorado. They wanted to let everyone know about a special limited batch brew they had just released on tap at their brewery. This brew was called Steph's Raz-A - an amber ale infused with raspberry. This sounded good, and with the heat sweltering above 100 degrees here in Greeley for the 2nd straight day, I needed no other excuse but to head down to Crabtree for a sampling.

When I got there I was greeted once again by Jeff and Stephanie. Stephanie told me this was her 1st brew recipe that she brewed herself. I immediately asked for a sample. Wow. Nice! This brew is a dark amber in color but not heavy by any means. It came out of the tap nice and cold. It had a nice raspberry aroma. Not too strong but just right. It's not very bitter and has a semi-sweet fruity taste to it. I really enjoyed it. I'm so glad I subscribed to their newsletter otherwise I'd never have seen this beer as they don't (yet) sell it in stores.

I had the opportunity to once again talk with owner and head brewer Jeff Crabtree. We had a wonderful conversation all about beer and what he's thinking about next. He's been working hard on improving his beers and told me that he's made several changes to his brewing process recently which will result in improving the taste of his beers. Jeff is an avid reader of the beer forums on the internet and loves getting feedback on his beer.

Jeff invited me to try one of his Belgian strong ales. Their Golden 8 brew is a nice 9% ABV Belgian golden ale. It had a wonderful Belgian aroma and had a nice kick to it! It reminded me of one of Avery Brewing's Little Rascal.

It was great to talk with Jeff about his brewing operations and his upcoming plans. Jeff is planning to harvest his own home-grown hops soon to make a special brew for an upcoming block party event in September. It is going to be filled with 5 different types of hops. Jeff has grown just enough hops at his home to make a full 400+ gallon batch of his planned wet-hopped brew. I look forward to sampling that brew in September.

It's nice to visit and support your own local brewer. It's too bad that every town doesn't have it's own brewery. I encourage everyone to head down to your nearest brewer and see if you can talk with one of the brewer's there. You'll end up learning a lot about the business of beer making and might just sample something new every once in a while. As for me, I ended up buying a new growler's worth of that new Steph's Raz-A amber ale. I'm sampling it now as I write and I'm glad I bought some. It's nice to know I'm drinking something rather unique that not many other people have gotten to sample.

Related articles:
- Crabtree Boxcar Brown and Twisted Creek Wheat.
- Crabtree Jeff's Pale Ale review.
- A braggot worth boasting about.

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