Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Upcoming Falling Rock events Jan-Feb 2010

Falling Rock Tap HouseAs you recall from last week's article, New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado announced the release of their new Ranger IPA. Now the folks at Falling Rock Tap House in Denver Colorado want to host a release event for this new beer. Below are the details from Falling Rock's latest newsletter detailing out the upcoming event plus a couple of other upcoming tidbits. Read below for the official word from Chris at Falling Rock.


Falling Rock Tap House Announcements

Howdy Folks,
Hope everyone had a good holiday season. Here's a few things that are happening here at the Falling Rock:

Friday January 29th 5pm. New Belgium Ranger IPA Denver Public Kickoff.

So it's about time that the State's Largest Craft Brewery (& 3rd largest in the US) FINALLY makes something Hoppy. Simcoe, Cascade and Chinook make up the hop profile in this 6.5% ABV beer (hop level is 60 IBUs). “Beer Rangers are our beer sales folks and they had long wanted an IPA – something with a lot of hops. This beer was created for them and as a tribute to all they do out in the market.” (Just wanted to give a shout-out & thanks to Jamie) The website for New Belgium says that they are releasing it on February 1st, But you can check it out on tap Here a few days early.

Tuesday February 2nd 7:30 pm 13th Annual Barleywine Dinner.

Cheryl will be cooking up a storm & I'm digging deep into my stash for a few aged special treats (Like some Alaskan Barleywine & Dogfish Head Old School from '09) $50 if purchased by Sunday the 31st, $60 after (if Available)

Wednesday February 3rd, Dain Bramage Begins again.

It's Barleywine Season Here at the Falling Rock & Many will be on tap With past vintages also. Also a special Bottle list of Barleywines from the Stash will be made available (VERY limited quantities)

More stuff coming, Talk to you Later,

Chris

Related articles:
- GABF week at the Falling Rock Tap House.
- Video tour of the Falling Rock Tap House.
- Ranger IPA from New Belgium.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Avery Brewing is next to move to canned beer

The canned craft beer revolution has picked up another recruit in Colorado. This time, it's the Avery Brewing Company of Boulder, CO who announced this week in a Westword article that they will begin to put four of their craft beers into cans this spring.

Avery will join the likes of Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Ska, Upslope, Wynkoop and others in the state who have decided that by offering another alternative packaging will help make their beers available in more places where bottles cannot go.

In the Westword article, Adam Avery stated that four of their beers including Ellie's Brown Ale, India Pale Ale, White Rascal and a yet to be released new beer will be the initial brews going into cans.

Think about it, this move makes sense. Cans are easier to recycle and cost less to make and transport. It helps to reduce shipping costs which can help to hold rising costs down. I look forward to trying these beers again from a can.

If it weren't for the bold step that Oskar blues did over 7 years ago to put their beer in cans we might not be seeing this trend happen. Cheers to Avery Brewing for taking this next step. Let's hope more and more craft brewers follow suit.

Related articles:
- Inaugural Boulder SourFest coming in February 2010.
- Avery Brabant review.
- Avery Mephistopheles' Stout review.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

September 2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

September 2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

Here is a list of the upcoming Colorado beer festivals, beer dinners, tapping parties, seminars and related events that are known or planned for the month of September 2010. These listings are updated every week, so stop back often to see the latest happenings with beer in Colorado. Dates and events are subject to change. If you know of a Colorado event that you don't see here, please leave a comment and let us know. I'll be happy to add it.

Note: Most dates for September 2010 events have not yet been finalized. The following list is intended to give an indication of the recurring events that are typically held each year.


GABF Week Events
Stay tuned for all the dozens of events surrounding the 2010 GABF.

Great American Beer Festival (GABF)
September 16-18, 2010
(Thu-Fri)
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO
The 29th annual GABF is even earlier this year! Don't miss out on one of the biggest beer festivals on earth. Last year over 470 breweries and 2400 beers were on hand along with 45,000+ fans. This year is expected to be as big as ever. Get your tickets EARLY starting in late June as this event usually sells out by late-August. Hang out after the fest each day in LoDo for several before and after GABF parties. If you can only attend one Colorado beer festival this year - make it this one!
www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com

Denver Rare Beer Tasting II
September 17, 2010 (Fri)
Wynkoop Brewery (tentative host)
Denver, CO
Downtown Denver will once again host a premier tasting of rare and exotic beers on Sept. 17th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Wynkoop Brewery to benefit the Pints for Prostates campaign. The 2nd Denver Rare Beer Tasting is taking place in Mile High City during the annual Great American Beer Festival when thousands of beer fans will be in the city. The event will feature a select group of more than 20 of America’s top craft brewers each pouring a legendary beer. These very special, rare and exotic beers will be presented by the brewers who created them to an extremely limited audience. Money raised by the event goes to support the Pints for Prostates campaign, created in 2008 by Rick Lyke, a drinks journalist and prostate cancer survivor. The campaign uses the universal language of beer to reach men with an important message about the need for regular prostate health screenings.

Roughly 450 tickets will be available for the event. Admission, which includes unlimited beer samples, hors d’oeuvres, a commemorative tasting glass and the chance to meet some of America's top brewers, is $55 in advance and $65 at the door (estimate). Tickets can be purchased online (info TBA) and at the Wynkoop Brewery. For information call 800-977-BEER or visit www.ustoo.org/pints.



Additional events will be added as they become known. Please report additions or corrections to Chipper Dave (see email on the side column).

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August 2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

August 2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

Here is a list of the upcoming Colorado beer festivals, beer dinners, tapping parties, seminars and related events that are known or planned for the month of August 2010. These listings are updated every week, so stop back often to see the latest happenings with beer in Colorado. Dates and events are subject to change. If you know of a Colorado event that you don't see here, please leave a comment and let us know. I'll be happy to add it.

Note: Most dates for August 2010 events have not yet been finalized. The following list is intended to give an indication of the recurring events that are typically held each year.

14th Annual Keystone Bluegrass & Beer Fest
July 31 - August 1, 2010
(Sat & Sun)
River Run
Keystone, CO
7:30PM Friday Night Concert at the Pavilion at Keystone
12-5PM - Beer Garden and Festival
1-5PM - Beer Tasting
Keystone brings the wonders of Appalachia to the Rockies. Down-home cooking, frothy flavors and mountain-music are just a piece of the pie. In a whirlwind of hillbilly luxuries, folks gather while microbreweries from Colorado and beyond showcase their unique blends of hops and barley. Visit the beer garden and unwind and savor a cold one. Enjoy acoustic bluegrass music accompanied with beers. Live music on 3 stages. Inflatables and wacky activities for the kids. Ticket info TBA. Web site.

Craft Lager Festival 2010
Early August , 2010
(Sat)
Manitou Springs, CO
(Details coming soon)
www.craftlagerfestival.com

3rd Annual Brewgrass
Early August , 2010

Old South Pearl Street
Denver, CO
(Details coming soon)
www.oldsouthpearlstreet.com

Gnarly Barley Brew Festival
Early August , 2010
(Sat)
Larimer Country Fairgrounds
Loveland, CO
(Details coming soon)
Web site.

Greater Boulder Beer Festival
Early August , 2010
(Tentative)
Millennium Harvest House
Boulder, CO
(Details coming soon)

Winter Park Beer Festival
August 11, 2010
(Wed)
Hideaway Park, Downtown
Winter Park, CO
(Details coming soon)
Web site.

Bohemian Nights at the New West Fest
August 20-22, 2010
(Fri-Sun)
Old Town
Fort Collins, CO
Approximately 137 years ago Fort Collins was established along the banks of the Cache la Poudre River and this August the community will celebrate this birthday with Northern Colorado’s largest festival, Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. The 2010 festival will be held August 20, 21 & 22 in Historic Downtown Fort Collins. In its 22nd year this FREE weekend showcases over 300 arts, crafts and food booths, Kids' World, Kids’ Music Adventure, a children's carnival, two beer gardens, and seven stages of continuous entertainment highlighting Northern Colorado and the Front Range’s wonderfully talented artists. Web site.

NedFest 2010
August 27-29, 2010
(Fri-Sun)
Nederland, CO
NedFest 2010 is the 12th annual three-day outdoor music and microbrew festival with camping located in the mountains of Nederland Colorado, just 17 miles west of (3,000 ft. above) Boulder. It happens at the end of August and the music featured is in the Bluegrass, Jazz, Jamband and World Beat genres, or moreso, a sound that blends these styles and others together. Up to six bands perform each day on one stage with acoustic 'tweener sets between each band. www.nedfest.com

Rocky Mountain Irish Festival
August 27-29, 2010
(Fri-Sun)
The Ranch
Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex
Loveland, CO
The Rocky Mountain Irish Festival brings a magnificent cultural event for the entire family. It’s an event with rich history and culture showcasing musicians, dancers, pipers, storytellers and so much more. Treat yourself to stories of famous Irish actors, authors, from freedom fighters to brewers and saints. Warm your heart and soul with Irish storytellers while nourishing your appetite with fabulous Irish food. Enjoy a freshly poured pint of Guinness from the world famous “Gig Rig” boasting thirty two taps offering Guinness, Harps and Smithwicks. Take in a professional whiskey tasting scheduled through out the weekend. www.fortcollinsirishfestival.com

Colorado State Fair Foam Fest
August 27, 2010
(Sat) Estimate
Pueblo, CO
(Details coming soon)
www.coloradostatefair.com

12th Annual San Juan Brewfest
Late August , 2010

Durango Mountain Resort
Durango, CO
(Details coming soon)
www.cookmanfood.com/brewfest


Additional events will be added as they become known. Please report additions or corrections to Chipper Dave (see email on the side column).

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July 2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

July 2010 Colorado Beer Festivals

Here is a list of the upcoming Colorado beer festivals, beer dinners, tapping parties, seminars and related events that are known or planned for the month of July 2010. These listings are updated every week, so stop back often to see the latest happenings with beer in Colorado. Dates and events are subject to change. If you know of a Colorado event that you don't see here, please leave a comment and let us know. I'll be happy to add it.

Note: Most dates for July 2010 events have not yet been finalized. The following list is intended to give an indication of the recurring events that are typically held each year.

4th of July Celebrations
Weekend of July 2-5th, 2010
(Fri - Mon)
Various Breweries
Check back here often for updated news on the many celebrations at numerous Colorado breweries and cities.

Summerfest in the Rockies
July 9-11, 2010 (Fri-Sun)
Civic Center Park/Downtown
Loveland, CO
SummerFest in the Rockies is a community event that is held annually the second weekend in July in downtown Loveland. SummerFest in the Rockies kicks off on Friday evening with a wine tasting and entertainment on the plaza at the Foote Lagoon. Participants enjoy live entertainment from a local/regional band and tasted Colorado’s finest wines. Saturday and Sunday activities included a beer/wine garden, live entertainment, vendors, arts and crafts booths and activities for the whole family. SummerFest also includes a car show on Saturday and Sunday for people to enjoy on Washington Street. We will also launch fireworks on Saturday night to conclude the day’s festivities. Beer garden Saturday 11am - 10pm, Sunday 11am - 5:30pm. Web site.

14th Annual Colorado Brewers' Rendezvous
July 10, 2010 (Sat)
Riverside Park
Salida, CO
The Colorado Brewers Guild, a trade association dedicated to the Colorado craft brewing industry, facilitates beer educational activities in Colorado. No other nation offers as many different and exciting, flavorful beers as the United States, with thousands of different ales and lagers now available to Americans in all regions of the country. The Colorado Brewers Rendezvous is an excellent opportunity for everyone to tap into the rich heritage and tradition of American brewing, as well as the unique flavors offered by Colorado brewers. Event open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Web site.

Breckenridge Beer Festival
July 17, 2010
(Sat)
Main Street Station
Breckenridge, CO
The festival is located at the Main Street Station, on the south side of Breckenridge at 505 S. Main Street. Beer lovers rejoice! Samplings from 20 microbreweries and over 40+ craft beers. Beer sampling from 1pm - 6pm for $25 (estimate) in advance or $30 (estimate) at the gate. Live music from three live bands on the "Summit Stage". No pets allowed. Web site.

Summer Brew Fest
July 23, 2010
(Fri)
Mile High Station
Denver, CO
A Denver beer fest with unlimited samples of the best regional suds from more than 25 breweries and 75 different beers. Live music to be included. The Summer Brew Fest will celebrate Colorado's finest craft beverages. There will be a special VIP session that starts at 6pm for $40 in advance or $45 at the door and lets you sample beers with a smaller crowd for an extra hour. Then the regular session starts at 7pm and will run until 10pm. Regular ticket price is $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Web site.

The Springs Beer Fest
July 24, 2010
(Sat) 11am - 6pm
Antlers Park 31 W. Pikes Peak Ave
Colorado Springs, CO
This fest, formerly known as Foam Fest, will be one of the Springs' best beer fests of the year. Tickets available online soon. Check the Facebook page for further details.

14th Annual Keystone Bluegrass & Beer Fest
July 31 - August 1, 2010
(Sat & Sun)
River Run
Keystone, CO
7:30PM Friday Night Concert at the Pavilion at Keystone
12-5PM - Beer Garden and Festival
1-5PM - Beer Tasting
Keystone brings the wonders of Appalachia to the Rockies. Down-home cooking, frothy flavors and mountain-music are just a piece of the pie. In a whirlwind of hillbilly luxuries, folks gather while microbreweries from Colorado and beyond showcase their unique blends of hops and barley. Visit the beer garden and unwind and savor a cold one. Enjoy acoustic bluegrass music accompanied with beers. Live music on 3 stages. Inflatables and wacky activities for the kids. Ticket info TBA. Web site.

Additional events will be added as they become known. Please report additions or corrections to Chipper Dave (see email on the side column).

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ranger IPA and Dark Heather Saison from New Belgium

New Belgium Ranger IPAWhile visiting the New Belgium Brewery web site I was drawn to two beers that were being highlighted and are new to the scene in early 2010. The first beer is part of their Explore Series and is called Ranger India Pale Ale (IPA). The second is a beer that's become part of New Belgium's Lips of Faith Series and is called Dark Heather Saison. Read below for details on these debuting beers.


Ranger India Pale Ale

Ranger IPA is a tribute to New Belgium's Beer Rangers who help spread the good news about New Belgium beer across this mighty land. New Belgium describes this beer as follows:

New Belgium’s foray into the true American India Pale Ales. Bring out the hops! This clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavor from start to finish, Ranger is a sessionable splendor for all you hopinistas. Thank your Beer Ranger! 70 IBUs, 6.5% ABV. Coming to where good beer is served and sold February 1, 2010!"

While New Belgium isn't known for big hoppy beers, they are known for producing beers with big bold flavor. For you IPA lovers out there, February 1st can't come soon enough.

Here is a link to an official press release on Ranger IPA on BeerAdvocate.

Dark Heather Saison

New Belgium Dark Heather SaisonOn the other side of the coin is New Belgium's Dark Heather Saison. The Lips of Faith Series keeps getting more broader and bolder. This beer is describes as:

"This winter saison starts with pale and black barley malts creating a deep midnight hue with reddish highlights. The beer is spiced with cardamom, heather and black pepper for a touch of sweet that fades to a warm, peppery finish. Target and Saaz hops accentuate the spicing while the peppery notes balance nicely with the fruitiness of the saison yeast. The resulting dark saison is a lovely tongue tingler for those long winter nights. 7.5% abv."

New Belgium is known for adding a wide variety of spices to their beers. They go out of their way to find the right mix of ingredients to add more life to the taste.

Look for these beers where New Belgium bomber beers are sold soon. This winter may be a cold one but it doesn't have to be a dull one. Cheers.

Related articles:
- New Belgium keeps getting greener. (Solar panels)
- Touring New Belgium's Liquid Center.
- New Belgium Dark Kriek review.
- New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale review.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout review

Full Sail Black Gold Imperial StoutIt's been a while since I've visited a beer from Full Sail Brewing in Oregon but when I spotted a 22oz bottle of their Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout, a Bourbon Barrel-aged Brewmaster Reserve 2009, I couldn't resist picking it up. This style of beer is one of my favorites anyway and having it as an aged beer made it even more appealing.

Black Gold Imperial Stout was brewed back in February 2008 and then aged for 10 months in a Kentucky Bourbon barrel. This big 10.5% ABV / 65 IBU beer would certainly take on some characteristics of the oak with hints of bourbon and vanilla. I was anxious to try it out.

Appearance: As in most imperial stouts, Black Gold poured dark at night with just a slight reddish brown edge. The pour yielded a decent 2-finger tall light brown head that quickly evaporated. Swirling the beer in the glass didn't produce much lacing but there was some that stuck around on the glass.

Aroma: Oh man! This is where Full Sail Black Gold really shines. The moment I took my first whiff I was in love. The bourbon barrel characteristic is really dominant here. I could pick up on the bourbon, vanilla, dark rich malts and a bit of heat from the alcohol. The smell almost reminded me of a Samuel Adams Utopias from the vanilla. This beer smelled creamy (if you could imagine such a thing).

Mouthfeel: Full Sail Black Gold was every much as creamy as the smell would indicate. It was full bodied, low level of carbonation, almost chewy, and with a slight drying effect on the back end. I got a slight mouth watering effect at the end as well (oats?). It was just what I was hoping for in an imperial stout. Nothing weak about this brew.

Taste: Here again is where Full Sail Black Gold shines. This imperial stout is full of rich chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and caramel malts. There was some heat from the high ABV but not enough to distract me. It has a decent amount of bitterness to it but was blended well with the malts to make it a nice complex and satisfying drink.

Some oaked ales don't have the right characteristic but Black Gold seemed to have the right mix of oak, bourbon and malts. This beer is a real stand out in my book. I enjoyed this beer right from the start. I was hooked from the aroma up front. Put this beer in a snifter glass and just enjoy the full aroma.

Overall: I'm giving this beer a big thumbs up. It's already one of my most favorite beers of 2010 and likely would stand up to any imperial stout out there on the market. I certainly hope that I can find another bottle of this. Please Full Sail, make more of this beer in the future.

Did anyone else enjoy this beer as much as I did? What other oak-aged impy stout would you compare this to? Please add your comments below. Thanks.

Related articles:
- Full Sail Top Sail Imperial Porter review.
- Left Hand Oak-aged Imperial Stout 2009 review.
- Avery The Czar Imperial Stout review.
- Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout review.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Great Divide Brewing Company January 2010 news

Great Divide Brewing Company
Winter may be upon us but that is no reason to slow down at Great Divide Brewing Company of Denver, Colorado. Their most recent newsletter has news of several returning seasonal brews including Claymore Scotch Ale, Hoss Rye Lager and their Barrel-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Read on for all their latest details.


The Big News - Happy New Year!

We want to thank all our fans once again for helping make 2009 such a great year for us; in addition to releasing almost a dozen new seasonal beers and increasing our production capacity by 50 percent, we increased our volume of beer sold by 34 percent last year, so thanks to all of you!

As great as last year was, we're planning on making 2010 even better. We're starting by bringing two of our favorite new seasonals from last year, Claymore Scotch Ale and Hoss Rye Lager (which won a bronze medal at last year's Great American Beer Festival just barely after its first release!) into our year-round lineup of six-pack beers. And we also loved last year's new Saison so much that we decided to give it a proper name, Colette, and put it in Claymore's place as our winter/spring seasonal six-pack. Stay tuned for more info on these beers, but look for each of them to hit shelves in mid-February.

Great Divide YetiWe're also pleased to announce that we'll release this year's batch of Barrel-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout on January 15th. In case you've forgotten, this special release of Yeti has been aged in Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels for nine months and then bottle-conditioned, giving it a substantial whiskey character as well as deep notes of oak, chocolate and dark fruit. This very limited release will be available in 750-milliliter bottles at the Tap Room and select retailers for a short time only, so make sure you dust off your snowshoes, because this particular Yeti is definitely worth the hunt.

Related articles:
- Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Great Divide Hades Ale review.
- Great Divide Saint Bridget's Porter review.

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Ready for Stout Month 2010? Mountain Sun is!

Stout MonthThe coming of February can only mean one thing at the Mountain Sun breweries and pubs - it marks the return of Stout Month! All three establishments: Mountain Sun, Southern Sun in Boulder and the Vine Street Pub in Denver will be hosting a month long celebration of all things dark. Dark beer that is. As in stouts!

Their recent newsletter spells out all the details. Take a look at the line-up of dark beers they have in store for the month of February. It should be worth a visit during the shortest month of the year. There are practically enough stouts to try a different one every day of the month.

House Stouts:
•Nitrogen Belgian Dip Chocolate Stout
•Nitrogen Korova Cream Stout
•Nitrogen Old School Dry Irish Stout
•Yonder Mountain Stout
•Thunderhead Stout and Oak Thunderhead Stout
•Dropkick Stout
•Cherry Chocolate Dip Stout
•Trickster Stout
•Usurper Imperial Stout
•Nihilist Imperial Stout
•Addiction—a NEW Coffee Imperial Stout

Guest Stouts:
•Stone Imperial Stout
•Belhaven Imperial Stout
•Deschute’s Imperial Stout
•Avery Czar Imperial Stout
•Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
•Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
•Port Brewing – Old Viscosity
•Moylan’s Dragoon Stout
•Bear Republic – Big Bear Stout
•Victory Donnybrook Stout
•Port Brewing Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout
•Stone 12th Anniversary
•Ska Brewing – Steel Toe Stout
•Pumphouse Brewery – Collaboration and more
•Port Brewing – Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout

This Year’s Homebrew Winner:
•Mint Chocolate Stout—Congratulations to Adam Boggs who will guest brew his recipe at the Mountain Sun.

Related articles:
- Boulder Beer's Obovoid review.
- Rogue Shakespeare Stout review.
- Young's Double Chocolate Stout review.
- Samuel Adams Cream Stout review.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

CAUTION: Brewing Company coming to Denver

I was visiting the Colorado Brewers Guild web site today and took a look at the membership list when I spotted an entry I hadn't seen before. There was a new brewery listed curiously called CAUTION: Brewing Company.

CAUTION: Brewing Company is a small start-up just in the process of getting their brewery business going. They formed an LLC in early 2009 and have plans to open a brewery in Denver, Colorado sometime in 2011.

The founders of CAUTION: Brewing Company are Danny Wang of Lakewood, CO and Bettina Fey of Denver, CO. According to Danny, "CAUTION: Brewing Company started as an idea on January 2nd, 2009 at New Belgium Brewery by two oft-maligned dreamers. Join us for the ride of your life and keep your eyes on the screen. You won't want to miss a thing."

The original name of the business was (i.e.) brewing company but after further thought they decided on the name CAUTION: Brewing Company. According to their blog: "The name reflects our personalities, the philosophy behind our brews, and the brand direction we're taking."

CAUTION: Brewing Company recently acquired the original 5 barrel pilot brewing system from Odell Brewing in Fort Collins and will be using that to brew some of their beer with. Danny states that they are proud to be designing the rest of their brewhouse around perhaps the most well known system in craft brewing, and a piece of Colorado brewing history.

They have a blog called: Of Hops, Barley, Yeast and Water and they've laid out the story of their humble beginnings. They've also registered a domain and put up an initial page at: www.cautionbrewingco.com. This page redirects to their Facebook page currently.

Their business information is listed as:

CAUTION: Brewing Co.
12445 E. 39th Ave., Unit 314,
Denver, CO 80239
(970) 315-BREW (2739)
info@cautionbrewingco.com
@cautionbrewing on Twitter

Update 1/16/2010: Their new address is listed as:
12445 E. 39th Ave. Unit 314.
Denver, CO 80239
(970) 315-BREW
Production-only facility for now - try their beers at Lao Wang Noodle House - Denver. Officially opened: June 2011

At the moment CAUTION: Brewing Company plans to brew a beer for a specific restaurant initially (Lao Wang Noodle House - 945 S. Federal Blvd) and will also bottle and keg other beers for sale locally. Their brewing operations won't have a tasting room to start out with. They hope to have the brewery up and running sometime by mid-year 2010. They will begin tweeting on Twitter actively once they have their brewery space leased and they begin building the brewery. Stay tuned for more info on this new start-up.

Related articles:
- Equinox Brewing Company coming to Fort Collins.
- Asher Brewing opens in Boulder, Colorado.
- Pateros Creek Brewing Company coming to Fort Collins.
- Grimm Brothers Brewhouse coming to Loveland.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Oskar Blues reveals GUBNA - next beer in a can

Oskar BluesRumor has been going around that Oskar Blues brewery of Longmont, Colorado would be releasing a new beer destined to be in cans. Today on Facebook, Oskar Blues said the following:

"'GUBNA' NOW ON DRAFT IN LYONS: Emphasizing that complexity of character can arise from simple elements, this ale is made w/ 3 malts & 1 Summit hop. Dry hopping allows the 9.5% ABV brew to gently coax the citrus rind & grapefruit aroma to join the 100 IBUs. This beer greets you w/ a pungent citrus blast, provide a spicy yet round middle & finishes w/ a brisk, clean bitterness. MARCH 1st RELEASE DATE IN CANS!

GUBNA is an IMPERIAL IPA & will debut in a CAN on March 1st. It will rotate with TenFIDY Imperial Stout (November to March)."

Holy cow! This is going to be one big hoppy beer. Nice to know that when Ten Fidy goes on seasonal break that there will be another brew coming to fill in for the March to October time frame.

I haven't seen a can label design yet but you can bet it will be on display at their restaurants and tasting rooms very soon. It was tapped for the 1st time at their restaurant in Lyons last night (Jan. 6, 2010).

Has anyone had a chance to try this beer yet? If so, tell us about it here.

Oskar Blues at the Big Beers fest in Vail

The Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival is going on in Vail, Colorado this weekend (January 7-10, 2010) and Oskar Blues is bringing along 3 special brews just for that occasion.

First is ODB - Old Double Bagger Barleywine - just 3 months old but has a long life ahead of it. It weighs in at 13.2% ABV and 100 IBUs.

The next brew is a Sour Cherry Barrel-aged Ten Fidy. It's their famous Ten Fidy thats been aged in oak barrels along with 36 pounds of tart pie cherries. A slightly lactic character and weighs in at 10% ABV.

Lastly, O.B. is offering up their Velvet M-80 Gordon Ale - an imperial red/double IPA. It weighs in at 8.7% ABV and 60 IBUs.

Wishing I was up at the festival to try some of these. Look for extras at their tasting room and restaurants.

Update 1/15/2010: Beerpulse.com recently posted an image of the GUBNA can label. See it here.

Related articles:
- Oskar Blues celebrates 7 years of canning.
- Oskar Blues Liquids & Solids opened in October.
- Cellaring notes on Oskar Blues Ten Fidy.
- Oskar Blues Old Chub review.

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New Belgium keeps getting greener

New Belgium Getting GreenerSometimes being green just isn't green enough and when you're the New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins Colorado there's always room for improvement. The sky seems to be the limit and also the source of some of their power. New Belgium recently completed the installation and turn-on of a new solar array. Read the press release from Marketwire below and find out how the sun is now off loading their power needs at New Belgium.< Jan 05, 2010 13:09 ET Largest On-Site Solar Array in Colorado Now Live at New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Flips the Switch in Time for a New Year

FORT COLLINS, CO--(Marketwire - January 5, 2010) - New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale, announced today that the largest privately owned solar array in Colorado has gone live.

The 200 kW system will produce 16 percent of New Belgium's peak electrical load and 3 percent of their total electrical energy use. The array is part of the brewer's commitment to Fort Collins' FortZED initiative, a public/private partnership that aims to create the world's largest "active zero energy district" through Smart Grid and renewable energy technology.

Boulder-based Namaste Solar was contracted for the integration, which began in late August. The New Belgium packaging hall now holds 870 panels, and engineers estimate it can power the bottle line for up to eight hours on a sunny day.

New Belgium, along with several other Fort Collins entities -- such as the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, Spirae, Inc., Brendle Group, Advanced Energy, and Woodward -- responded to a request from the Department of Energy to demonstrate peak load reduction. The partners were one of nine groups nationwide to receive such a grant.

"We feel very fortunate to participate in this ambitious local effort. By leveraging the contributions from our partners and the Department of Energy along with our own investments, we'll reduce our peak electrical load by over two-thirds," said New Belgium Sustainability Director Jennifer Orgolini. "This solar PV installation is an integral part of the portfolio because we lower our peak use by lowering our base."

New Belgium became the country's first brewery to subscribe to 100 percent wind powered electricity in 1998 and can produce up to 15 percent of its electrical needs by capturing methane from its process water treatment plant to fire a co-generation engine which produces heat and electricity on-site.

About New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces seven year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information, visit www.newbelgium.com.


Related news sources:

FortZED to take major role in city's 'smart' effort - The Coloradoan - Jan 1 2010

Solar array is up, running at New Belgium brewery - The Coloradoan (Jan 7 2010)

New Belgium Brewing Announces On-Site Solar Array - Marketwire (Aug 21 2009)

New Belgium Using Smart Grid to Time Energy Production - Environmental Leader (Jan 4 2010)

Colorado Brewery Completes PV Array - Solar Industry Magazine (Jan 6 2010)

Odell Brewing also installing solar panels:

Odell Brewing Company also has installed new solar panels on their new expansion. According to their tweet on January 7th: "Thankful for this cold but SUNNY day - Our new Photovoltaic (Solar) installation will generate over 1/3 of our energy and goes live today!"

With a third of their energy coming from the sun, they're give another boost to Fort Collins during high energy demand days this summer. Read more about Odell Brewing's solar panels.


Related articles:
- Touring New Belgium's Liquid Center.
- Tasting room notes from New Belgium.
- New Belgium Dark Kriek review.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Left Hand Brewing's 2010 release schedule

Left Hand Brewing CompanyLeft Hand Brewing Company has been busy making plans for 2010 all during the holidays and has recently published their plans for this year in their January 4th newsletter. If you haven't gotten on their newsletter list yet, don't bother because they are switching to all social media outlets for spreading the word in the future (Twitter, Facebook and their blog).

The following is a snippet from their latest (and last?) email newsletter. Lots of changes coming to their beer labels over the coming months. Read on...


"2010 is a going to be a crazy year. Lots going on that we’re excited about! First – this is the year that you’ll see updated packaging on all of our beers – it’s been a while, and we really need a face lift. So, be on the lookout for the new stuff rolling out all year. Plus, we’ve got a brand-spanking new, year-round beer affectionately called 400 Pound Monkey coming your way sometime in late January. Packaged in 6pks and kegs, we’re really excited about this new beer. It’s an IPA, but this one ain’t like them others. Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone else is having, right? Using hops of a different color, earthy and herbal, well-balanced by bready malt. The result? An English-style IPA that separates itself from the ubiquitous bunch. Cartloads of bitter monkeys flinging wasteful amounts of bananas into the jungle – we’re so done with that."

2010 Left Hand Seasonal Release Schedule

Chainsaw Double Sawtooth
Available – Late-February
Packages – 22oz bombers & kegs
Back from a 2-year absence, Chainsaw kicks off 2010 with a new logo, but still the same bad-ass beer. It attempts to address an old saying that has plagues mankind since its inception. Many times we've heard "more is not always better." Invariably the person on the other side of such a statement scowls at the ramifications. Here at Left Hand we realize that life cannot be reduced to or understood in absolute terms. Our 2008 version attempts to take exception with such broad statements about the human condition. Chainsaw is a connoisseur version of our award-winning Sawtooth Ale, designed to befuddle silly generalizations about life. It opens with toasted malt, toffee and fruit flavors, yet closes with a swirling effect of garden herbs, cardamom, dry port and black cherry. Full-bodied, 9.0% alcohol by volume.

Good Juju - formerly Juju Ginger
Available – Late-February thru July
Packages – 6pks & Kegs
A little Juju voodoo – fresh ginger kisses the lithe malty body, copulating with the hop in this pale ale ancestor. Emancipate yourself from the dead of winter, none but the vernal equinox can free the light. A refreshing frivolity. Hey mon. Shuccha fwangaa! Better a witch doctor than a trouble maker. Quit yor’ bitchin’ an’ get to witchin’. Check out the new label on Beerpulse.com.

Twin Sisters Double IPA
Available – Late-May
Packages – 22oz bombers & kegs
Also Back from a 2-year absence, Twin Sisters comes back with a vengeance & a new logo. Named after the Twin Sisters peaks in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, Twin Sisters Double IPA is a double IPA Left Hand-style - double the hops also means double the malt in our book. The sisters grab your nose up front with its sweet piney and citrusy aromas. An assertive attack of sharp, flinty hop flavors takes you from dreaming about wildflower honey to the tongue awakening earthy, bitter hop resins that swirl in to finish. Balanced with a robust, malty backbone, Twin Sisters is incredibly drinkable. Full bodied, orange copper in color, with 9.6% ABV and 87 IBU's.

Oktoberfest Marzen Lager
Available – Late-February thru July
Packages – 6pks & Kegs
This is no festivus for the restuvus – on the contrary – we start brewing in the Spring and it takes a full two months to reach lagered perfection. Biscuity, malty goodness dominates upfront while the noble pedigree hops lend a properly spicy, dry finish. Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi. Time to roast your chicken and upend your stein before the air gets crisp, the leaves flame and fall and the skies fade to black. Auf geht’s!

Midnight Project Collaboration with Terrapin, Brew #3
Available – September
Packages – 22oz bombers & kegs
Sometime around midnight in a city nobody can agree on, the idea for Terrapin and Left Hand to brew a collaboration beer was born. Year one was a black rye lager called Terra-rye’zd, brewed @ Left Hand, and last year was an espresso milk stout called Depth Charge, brewed @ Terrapin. This year it’ll be brewed back @ Left Hand, but we have no idea what we’re going to brew! Hold on, it’ll be a wild ride…

Warrior IPA
Available – Late September
Packages – 22oz bombers & kegs
The vibrant aromatics and flavors that are derived from the use of exuberant amounts of fresh flower hops are what helps create and set apart this most unique beer. 100% of the Fresh Hops are grown right here in Colorado – from Rising Sun Farms in Paonia, CO (there are a few other varieties from our hop farm here @ the brewery, as well as from local growers right here in our area, but the majority are Cascades). We use Warrior hops for bittering, and Goldings for dry hopping. True to our fundamental belief system, the strong hop character is balanced by a strong malt foundation, allowing for an approachable, drinkable IPA that finishes amazingly clean. The beer is full-bodied, bronze in color, and tips the scales at 6.6% alcohol by volume and 60 IBU's.

Fade to Black, Volume II
Available – Late October thru February
Packages – 6pks & Kegs
Our non-traditional, kick-you-in-the-ass ale that mirrors the available sunlight from October thru March. The name will stay the same (as well as the packaging) each year, but the style won’t. Ah, wouldn’t you like to know what Volume II will bring? You’ll have to wait until the fall…

Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Available – Late November
Packages – 22oz bombers & kegs
We be a-rackin’ the Imperial Stout into Heaven Hill Brandy barrels early in 2010, and will blend it with un-aged Imperial Stout to woody perfection. At 22 degree plato and 10.2% ABV, it’s the perfect warmer for those cold winter nights. Enjoy the complex flavors revealing hints of raisin, black licorice, coffee, dark chocolate, and, of course, a hint of brandy.

For a list of Left Hand sponsored beer events, check out the 2010 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events calendar listings.

Related articles:
- Left Hand tosses Snow Bound for Fade to Black.
- Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout review.
- Left Hand Sawtooth Ale review.
- Tour of the Left Hand tasting room.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti review

Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged YetiFew imperial stouts that pass this side of the Rockies get past me and when I spotted this bottle at my local brew shop I knew I had to try it. I've reviewed a few others like it but this beer had a unique flavor twist that I didn't realize it had until I tried it. Today's beer review is from Denver's Great Divide Brewing Company and is their Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, a big brew weighing in at 9.5% ABV.

From what I gathered from the bottle and their web site, Great Divide brews this version of Yeti for a summer-time release. So I know this beer had aged about 6 months already. I assumed that this beer was a chocolate infused version of their regular Oak Aged Yeti. I was partially correct, it does have added cocoa nibs and an attempt to tone down the hops a bit.

I assumed this would be just a bit more chocolaty than their regular Yeti. What I didn't see until I tasted it, that Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti added cayenne pepper into it as well. This would prove to be a different experience than I was expecting.

Appearance: As I did expect, Chocolate Yeti poured extremely dark, near black. It had very faint ruby edges that you could only see if you held it up to a bright light. The pour yielded a huge brown head that I had to stop from overflowing the edge of my snifter glass. The lacing was also excellent on the glass. It looked great.

Aroma: OK here is where things started getting interesting. I had already set my expectations very high with this beer. I expected to get a huge nose full of chocolate in this beer and in a way I did. It had an ample nose of chocolate, plus some definite coffee tones, but there was something else in it that seemed odd.

I at first attributed it to the oak and thought the wood had imparted a strange spice to it but I then realized it was more than just an alcohol whiff, there was some other kind of heat going on in this beer - the cayenne pepper. As the beer warmed, this pepper smell became more and more apparent. It almost distracted me completely from the chocolate.

There was a hint of vanilla from the wood but it was almost completely masked by the chocolate and pepper.

Mouthfeel: Chocolate Yeti had a full bodied feel, somewhat creamy and the usual tongue coating that most imperial stouts give. The beer had a slight drying effect and a bit of heat on the finish. This imperial stout seemed to attack the middle of the tongue with the pepper, more than what I would normally expect from a spice.

Taste: Initially when this beer was cold, Chocolate Yeti had a nice big chocolate and roasted malt flavor. But the cayenne pepper spice kicked in almost immediately after and dominated the rest of the sip. There was some coffee notes also. As the beer warmed, so did the heat from the cayenne pepper. A bit of vanilla later came out from the oak as well.

My lips actually felt like they had a slight burn going on, not from the alcohol but from the pepper. The pepper seemed to dominate this beer more so than the chocolate. It was not was I was expecting. Chocolate and pepper just didn't seem like a good mix to me. I was growing more hesitant to keep drinking this as the beer warmed.

I felt that this beer had to be paired with some food as just solo wasn't cutting it for me. I had some fresh baked banana bread available and I tried some of that and alternated a bite with a sip. The banana bread took some of the bite off the cayenne pepper and made the experience more enjoyable.

By itself, the cayenne pepper was a major distraction for me. I was wanting a full rich molasses, chocolate and coffee experience. I got some of that but ended up giving my full attention to the spicy heat.

Overall: I've got very mixed feelings about this beer. Apparently my expectations were quickly changed once I started tasting this beer. If I had brewed this beer myself, I definitely would not have added cayenne pepper to this beer. I might have considered adding spice to a lighter styled Belgian beer perhaps but not an imperial stout.

When the beer is very cold, it seems to mask the cayenne a bit but watch out when it warms up. Whoa. Normally, imperials stouts get better as they warm, but this beer did not for me. While I was able to finish the entire 22oz bottle (with a little help from a family member who also complained of the pepper heat), I just didn't enjoy this bottle as much as the other Yeti's from Great Divide.

If the brewery labeled this as a Chocolate beer I simply didn't want or expect to get spicy hot peppers in the mix as well. I guess I should read the label a bit more closely next time. While it wasn't as hot as a chili beer, it was decidedly too hot spiced for my liking. Perhaps I got a bottle with a bit too much pepper in it?

I'm giving this beer a Yellow caution light. If you are expecting Chocolate Yeti to be like a Nestle's Quick - you're dead wrong. If you were expecting some bitter chocolate and coffee, yes you do get that, but expect a little south of the border in this beer as well.

Sorry Great Divide. I normally like your Yeti's but this one is not on my repeat buy list. Now I see why they make this in summer. Did anyone else have this same experience as I? Was this too peppery for you as well? I wanted more chocolate but just didn't get it.

Related articles:
- Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout review. (regular version)
- Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Great Divide Saint Bridget's Porter review.
- Upcoming winter barrel aged releases from Great Divide.
- 12 Top imperial stouts you must try.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

While some breweries expand some pull back

For those of you who are fans of the beers from Steamworks Brewing Company and don't live in the southwest corner of Colorado, your supply of Steamworks brew is about to run out.

Fellow Colorado beer blogger Soggy Coaster over at Beer at 6512 posted an entry about the hard times hitting Steamworks Brewing Company of Durango, CO. Up until yesterday, the brewery had two brewing facilities, one in Bayfield, CO and the main one in Durango, CO to make and distribute their beers to several different states.

As of today, Steamworks Brewing has effectively shutdown it's Bayfield operation and in addition has decided to no longer sell it's beers beyond Durango and a select number of local accounts in southwest Colorado.

What this means is, those of us in the rest of Colorado, as well as the states of Texas, New York, Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico and Arizona, Steamworks beer will no longer be able to buy fresh in stores.

It's sad to see a brewery what makes such great beer like Steamworks cut back as severely as they did. Apparently there is quite a high level of overhead in maintaining an interstate business, even in the beer world.

A Durango Herald article further explains Steamworks' situation. While Steamworks isn't sure if they'll ever go back to shipping out of state they haven't ruled out working with a contract brewer who could help them reproduce their recipes elsewhere.

So say goodbye to the Bayfield, Colorado plant but please keep visiting their brewery in Durango and help them out. Steamworks web site.

Are there breweries near you like this?

Do you know of any local breweries also facing hard times? Are there any breweries scaling back or closing in your area? Let me know about them as I'd like to know more. Perhaps we all can take a closer look and help find out what is happening with them and possibly see a way to prevent this from happening elsewhere.

Buy local my friends. Once your local breweries start scaling back or closing down then your choices start to become limited.

Related articles:
- Spruce Goose to fly at Steamworks Brewing.
- Steamworks Brewing wins medals in Australia.
- Steamworks Colorado Kolsch review.

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Fort Collins Brewery news January 2010

With the arrival of the new year comes word from the Fort Collins Brewery of their latest and greatest newsletter. There's new brew on tap, some new specials and a few snapshots of the construction going on at their new facility.

One of the newest brews is their Tahitian vanilla-spiked Brown Bevvie. This unique twist on their regular Awl'Right Brown Bevvie will be served up from a wooden firkin on January 13th for one day only.

Besides their normal line of regular beers, FCB is now featuring several special beers on tap. Steinbier, Double Chocolate Stout (regular and also on nitro tap), Awl'Right Brown Bevvie, Big Shot (holiday seasonal) and their Wassail.

Progress continues on their new brewery facility set to open as early as May 2010. The new location is literally a stone's throw to the east from Odell Brewing on East Lincoln Avenue. Check out this article for further updates on their building plans.

Click the image below for a bigger view at their January 2010 newsletter.



Related articles:
- Coffee and beer collide in new FCB brew: Common Ground.
- FCB debuts 1900 Amber Lager.
- Notes from the Fort Collins Brewery tasting room.
- 60-second video tour of the Fort Collins Brewery tap room.

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January marks the return of Odell Red

Odell Red AleIt was back in early 2009 that I reported that Odell Brewing Company of Fort Collins had decided to drop their old Extra Special Red Ale and replace it with a new seasonal Odell Red Ale. Now the time has come once again for this big hoppy red ale to return for a second year just for few months.

Odell Red Ale is a bold hoppy brew that will get your attention right away. It's not for the timid or meek. It's got enough citrus and pine flavor to satisfy the biggest hop lover.

Odell Red Ale weighs in at 6.5% ABV with a respectable 50 IBUs. The Red season begins January 9th with a tapping celebration in their newly remodeled tap room from 11am to 6pm. Odell will give away a free six pack to whoever shows up in a clever goat costume. Wonder if growing a goatee will count? Hmmm.

Thereafter, you can enjoy Odell Red Ale from January through April when it will be time for their next seasonal, St. Lupulin to appear for summer.

Look for Odell Red Ale in stores mid-January. Six packs will run you somewhere between $9.49 and $9.99.

Related articles:
- Odell expansion news & Woodcut No. 3.
- Odell controls Mountain Standard Time.
- Odell releases India Barleywine.
- Odell offers Bourbon Barrel Stout and more.

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