Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crabtree Brewing taps their Braggot

Crabtree BraggotBack in October, I had received word that Crabtree Brewing Company of Greeley, Colorado was coming out with a new seasonal brew that was going to be in the style of a braggot. I reported then that the brew was going to be out in December. Today, I got a new email from Crabtree Brewing that today, January 17th, 2009 was their official tapping day of their new "Crabtree Braggot".

I drove across town to the brewery right before lunch and found them to be open. The owners, Jeff and Stephanie Crabtree were there opening up the brewery for the day and invited me in. I told them that I had just read their email announcement about the Braggot and couldn't wait to try it. Jeff had just set up the first of the only 4 spare kegs they had made of this special seasonal brew and told me that I had the honor of being the first customer to be served a glass of their brew. Wow nice!

I plan to do a formal review of this beer soon as they are just about to release their limited run of 200 cases of Crabtree Braggot to liquor stores in the next week or so. They still have to put on the labels and dip the tops of the 22 oz bottles in hot colored wax before sending them off to the stores.

Here is a transcript of the email message that was sent out today describing their new brew:

Today is a wonderful day to visit the brewery! For the past three months I have closely monitored the newest, premium ale with anticipation. Today only the newest beer will be added to our lineup for your enjoyment.

So what is a Braggot? A Braggot is a honey ale brewed with a large sum of natural honey. Don't let the honey fool you, it's based upon the first and second runnings of an Imperial Stout and an English Mild. The nose is softly sweet with rich roasted barley and a thick, sticky head. The palate is bombarded with flavors of fresh honey, malt, tones of coffee, and finishes with a mild bitterness. Each time I sampled this beer a smile from ear to ear promptly arrived!

Crabtree is one of only a handful of breweries in the United States that makes a commercial version. Several key features of our Braggot is it's the first to be made with 100% Colorado grown hops and a unique blend of Clover and Orange Blossom honey from a local honey farm.

This is the best ale I have ever made and today I'm sharing this wonderful creation with you. I'm so proud of this ale it will only be served in glass! Stop by and visit with me about this wonderful ale and be the first to sample a Colorado grown Braggot!

Cheers, Jeff Crabtree.

Jeff handed me a fresh glass of their Braggot for me to try. All I can say is - WOW! This is going to be their best beer yet. It's dark and rich and has a nice blend of roasted malts and sweet honey. I can see why Jeff thinks this is going to be his best beer. It didn't take me long to finish off this glass.

I loved the braggot so much that I bought a full growler of it to take home and savor. The brew weighs in at 7.65% ABV and will be offered as a once a year seasonal offering. Jeff mentioned that after this batch is all gone, the next one would be offered up in the late fall.

Crabtree plans on offering up some new seasonal beers this year to compliment their line of flagship brews. Crabtree beers are currently in a limited distribution here in Colorado. If you are visiting Colorado and have already been to all of the other breweries in Northern Colorado, it is well worth your time to come to Greeley and find this hidden gem of a brewery on the east side of town.

I'll post more about this beer once it's released. Look for it within the next few weeks in selected Colorado stores.

Related articles:
- A braggot worth boasting about.
- Supporting my local brewery.
- Two brews from Crabtree Brewing.

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