Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Full Sail Bump in the Night review

Full Sail Bump in the NightWho's afraid of the dark? Not this beer blogger. I revel in darkness. That must be why I keep picking up these bomber bottles of Full Sail Brewery's dark beers. I bought this bottle on a whim due to my new found love for dark hoppy beers. This review will examine Full Sail Bump in the Night - a Cascadian Dark Ale. This was part of their 2011 Brewmaster Reserve series.

Bump in the Dark was rated at 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs. It came only in 22oz bombers and is generally available from January through March, so this bottle had been on the shelf for about 8 months. Was it still fresh?

I'm not sure why there is a controversy over this "new" style. To me, it doesn't matter if you call it an American Black Ale, a Black IPA or a Cascadian Dark Ale. Putting more hops in beer is nothing new here in America. Seems like breweries would put an entire acre of hops into one bottle if they could.

Appearance: Bump in the Night poured a medium brown with dark red edges. The pour yielded a nice 2 to 3 finger tall light tan head that lingered for quite a while. While it appeared dark from a distance I could just barely see through the entire glass, so it's not quite as dark as other beers of this style. Swirling the glass brought back some of the head and a trace of lacing, but the lacing quickly slid away. This beer looked more like a brown ale or porter, but not a black ale.

Aroma: Immediately upon opening, I could sense a lot of rich aromas. There was both a big amount of dark roast along with a fruit-like citrus, pine, a bit of wild grass or flowers and to me, a hint of smoke. As I swirled the glass, even more rich aroma came out - just a lot more of everything.

Mouthfeel: Recently, I've been leaving out the mouthfeel section in the beer reviews, but this one was notable enough to mention. Bump in the Night was medium bodied, initially creamy smooth, but was then immediately drying on my tongue. The lingering roast clung to the front and the back, dried out my senses and left me with a sense of low humidity. While it had a creamy front end, the back end left a dry yet clean trail.

Taste: Here is where I had some upfront expectations. Previous ales of this type were very hoppy, this one hit me with a ton of nutty roasted malt, a hint of bitter sweet cocoa and coffee. The IBU level might be elevated, but the hops were not the star here, the malts were. This is a less heavier Cascadian Dark Ale than I anticipated, yet it was still quite enjoyable.

Overall: For me, I was expecting a bit more from this brew. It was definitely not like the other dark Cascadian's I've had. It was it's own unique animal. I had let it warm up a bit before partaking but I sensed it would have been good both cold out of the fridge and warmed up a bit. It certainly had enough of the dark chewy malt taste I find in many stouts. I like how the extra hops made a slight difference in the bitterness.

By the end, it had enough kick to get me warmed up and feeling good, so it's no light-weight. This would go great with steak, BBQ, even perhaps with a rich dessert. I'd still recommend it as a quality made brew. Note: If you're looking for a big hoppy brew then you might be slightly disappointed, but you'll still want to finish it. I certainly did.

I hope Full Sail keeps experimenting with this style. I would have liked to have tasted this beer several months fresher as it's not the type of beer that will last more than a year. Perhaps being around 8 months old dampened the hops a bit. I'll have to revisit this one next year when it's new on the shelf.

Pouring the Full Sail Bump in the Dark (video):

If you can't view the video via email, please visit the blog.

Related articles:
- Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout review.
- Full Sail Top Sail Imperial Porter review.
- Deschutes Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale review.

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August 2011 Colorado Beer News Article Summary

Colorado Beer NewsAugust was one of the busiest months for Colorado brewers. There were dozens of beer festivals, the beginning of the fall seasonal releases, brewery expansions and openings - you name it. Here's what happened around the Colorado beerosphere during the month of August 2011.

Fermentedly Challenged's Colorado Beer News is posted daily Monday through Friday each week. It is also summarized monthly during the last week of the month. If you have some brewery news you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily and other blog posts by email, sign-up here. Click on a date below to read the news from the listed breweries from that day.

August Colorado Beer News By Date / Brewery

August 01, 2011 - Aspen Brewery, Avery Brewing, Beer Bars, Crabtree Brewing, Crazy Mountain, Crooked Stave, Denver Beer Co, Gravity Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, Odell Brewing

August 02, 2011 - Beer Bars, Black Bottle Brewery, Black Cat Brewing, Books, Bristol Brewing, Echo Brewing, Faulkner Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Grand Lake Brewing, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Hardtail Brewing, Odell Brewing, Oskar Blues, Ouray Brewery, Pateros Creek Brewing, Ska Brewing, Trinity Brewing, Twisted Pine Brewing

August 03, 2011 - Avery Brewing, Backcountry Brewery, Beer Bars, Breckenridge Brewery, Crabtree Brewing, Crazy Mountain, Funkwerks, Great Divide Brewing Co, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Revolution Brewing, Telluride Brewing, Tommyknocker Brewery, Videos

August 04, 2011 - Arvada Beer Co, Asher Brewing Co, Beer Bars, Boulder Beer Co, Crabtree Brewing, Eddyline Brewing, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Great Divide Brewing Co, Odell Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Wynkoop Brewery

August 05, 2011 - Avery Brewing, Bonfine Brewing, Bull and Bush, Crystal Springs Brewing, Denver Beer Co, Dillon Dam Brewing, Hunters Moon Meadery, Left Hand Brewing, Oskar Blues, Pikes Peak Brewing, Ska Brewing

August 08, 2011 - Big Beaver Brewing, Copper Kettle Brewing, Eddyline Brewing, Funkwerks, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Left Hand Brewing, New Belgium, Ska Brewing, Steamworks Brewing Co, Trinity Brewing

August 10, 2011 - Aspen Brewery, Boulder Beer Co, Crabtree Brewing, Dolores River Brewery, Dry Dock Brewing Co, Great Divide Brewing Co, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Oskar Blues, Ouray Brewery, Renegade Brewing, Strange Brewing Co, Twisted Pine Brewing, Upslope Brewing

August 11, 2011 - Aspen Brewery, Avery Brewing, Black Bottle Brewery, CAUTION Brewing Co, CB Potts, Colorado Mt Brewery, Copper Kettle Brewing, Crabtree Brewing, Crooked Stave, Denver Beer Co, Equinox Brewing, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Pumphouse Brewery, Renegade Brewing

August 12, 2011 - Beer Bars, Black Sky Brewery, Bonfine Brewing, Coopersmith's, Del Norte Brewing, Denver Beer Co, Dolores River Brewery, Falling Rock Tap House, Left Hand Brewing, Oskar Blues, Pateros Creek Brewing, Renegade Brewing

August 15, 2011 - Beer Bars, Bierwerks Brewery, CAUTION Brewing Co, Copper Kettle Brewing, Crooked Stave, Del Norte Brewing, Denver Beer Co, Funkwerks, Kannah Creek, New Belgium, Renegade Brewing, Wits End Brewing

August 16, 2011 - Beer Bars, Crabtree Brewing, Denver Beer Co, Dry Dock Brewing Co, Elk Mt Brewing, Great Divide Brewing Co, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, New Planet Beer Co, Odell Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Rockyard Brewing, Upslope Brewing

August 17, 2011 - AC Golden Brewing, Beer Bars, Boulder Beer Co, Crabtree Brewing, Crystal Springs Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, New Belgium, Odell Brewing, Oskar Blues, Pagosa Springs Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Steamworks Brewing Co, Strange Brewing Co, Telluride Brewing

August 18, 2011 - Arvada Beer Co, Avery Brewing, Beer Bars, Bristol Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing Co, Equinox Brewing, GABF, Grand Lake Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, Oskar Blues, Rockyard Brewing, Silverton Brewery, Steamworks Brewing Co, Strange Brewing Co, Trinity Brewing, Upslope Brewing

August 19, 2011 - Asher Brewing Co, CAUTION Brewing Co, CO Beer News, Crabtree Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing Co, Fort Collins Brewery, GABF, New Belgium, Odell Brewing, Oskar Blues, Rockyard Brewing, Silverton Brewery, Trinity Brewing, TRVE Brewing

August 22, 2011 - Asher Brewing Co, Avery Brewing, Beer Bars, Boulder Beer Co, Breckenridge Brewery, Carbondale Beer Works, CO Beer News, Crabtree Brewing, Crooked Stave, Dad Dudes Breweria, Dry Dock Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Funkwerks, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Hall Brewing, Lone Tree Brewing, New Belgium, Odell Brewing, Ska Brewing, Steamworks Brewing Co, Twisted Pine Brewing

August 23, 2011 - Arvada Beer Co, Beer Bars, Bierwerks Brewery, CB Potts, CO Beer News, Crabtree Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Great Divide Brewing Co, Moonlight Pizza, New Belgium, Odell Brewing, Oskar Blues, Pateros Creek Brewing, Pumphouse Brewery, Renegade Brewing, Trinity Brewing

August 24, 2011 - Asher Brewing Co, Black Bottle Brewery, Butcherknife Brewing, CAUTION Brewing Co, CO Beer News, Funkwerks, GABF, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Odell Brewing, Ska Brewing, Telluride Brewing, Upslope Brewing, Yak and Yeti

August 25, 2011 - Avery Brewing, Bristol Brewing, Carbondale Beer Works, CO Beer News, Denver Beer Co, Dry Dock Brewing Co, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, GABF, Hunters Moon Meadery, Los Oasis, New Belgium, Odell Brewing, Upslope Brewing, Vine Street

August 26, 2011 - Asher Brewing Co, Avery Brewing, Beer Bars, CO Beer News, Del Norte Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Funkwerks, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Kannah Creek, Left Hand Brewing, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Rockyard Brewing, Silverton Brewery, Ska Brewing

August 29, 2011 - Beer Bars, Boulder Beer Co, CO Beer News, Crabtree Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing Co, Fort Collins Brewery, Funkwerks, Moonlight Pizza, Odell Brewing, Pagosa Springs Brewing, Pumphouse Brewery, Yak and Yeti

August 30, 2011 - Beer Bars, Boulder Beer Co, CO Beer News, Crabtree Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing Co, Fort Collins Brewery, Great Divide Brewing Co, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Left Hand Brewing, New Belgium, Pikes Peak Brewing, TRVE Brewing, Vine Street, Wits End Brewing, Wynkoop Brewery

August 31, 2011 - Arvada Beer Co, Avery Brewing, Beer Bars, CO Beer News, Colorado Mt Brewery, Crabtree Brewing, Dad Dudes Breweria, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Pateros Creek Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Rockslide Brewery

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Summit Beer Garden event during GABF

Summit Beer GardenThe list of GABF events keeps getting bigger and better. Looking for a new center of activity to hit during the GABF? Want to drink some great beer and chat with local brewers, listen to great live music and taste some incredible local food? You're in luck.

"Soda Jerk Presents" recently announced a new inaugural specialty Beer Garden event in Denver during the Great American Beer Festival to be held at the Summit Music Hall. Read on for all the details. A free to attend event that can't be missed. Special VIP tickets available as well.

For Immediate Release

Summit Music Hall reveals inaugural specialty Beer Garden

Annual event to coincide with Great American Beer Festival

Denver, CO, August 23, 2011: Summit Music Hall and Rueben’s Burger Bistro are excited to announce the first installment of a new yearly beer-aficionado event, the Summit Beer Garden which will coincide with the annual Great American Beer Festival at Denver’s Convention Center. Summit Music Hall, located in downtown Denver at the corner of 19th St. and Blake St. will help celebrate the festival occurring on September 29th, 30th, and October 1st by hosting over 100 beers from around the world. The free event will spotlight numerous breweries both foreign and domestic and will feature a unique array of gourmet sausages and live entertainment nightly.

Some of this year's featured brews are Funkwerks, Jolly Pumpkin, The Bruery, Omeregang, Mad River, Lost Abbey, Green Flash, Duvel, Bear Republic, Grand Teton, Monk's Ale, Ska, Oskar Blues, Orval, Chimay, Eel River, and Avery with many more to be announced, including many beers never before seen in Colorado and many featured in this year’s GABF. The beer garden, which will boast over 10,000 square feet of space will host at least 16 rotating taps. Many of the brewer’s and their representatives will also be on hand to personally give drinkers the inside scoop.

Summit Music Hall - 19th and Blake“There’s nothing like this in Denver,” says Rueben Verplank of Rueben’s Burger Bistro in Boulder. “We have this great space right downtown to showcase the world’s best breweries and incorporate great food and music to host this amazing event. We are very thrilled to bring this event to Denver this year and in coming years.”

The Summit Music Hall invites the public to come to taste some of the best beer from breweries around the world on September 29th, 30th, and October 1st from 4:00pm until 1:00am. VIP tickets will be available for purchase on More information on the event and the breweries involved is available at

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Additional info: Free entry, 21+ event. $1 and $5 beer and food tickets are available for purchase. Different pours are different amount of tickets, etc. VIP tickets are $20 and include guaranteed entry, skip the line, a private seated tasting area with prime views of the stage and exclusive beers not available in the bar area, and free drink / food tickets.

Find Chipper Dave to WinVIP Pass Giveaway: Be one of the first 3 people to spot me inside at the GABF and tell me "I'm Fermentedly Challenged" and you'll win 2 FREE VIP passes to that evenings event (includes beer and food). I'll be wearing my Fermentedly Challenged t-shirt at the Thursday night's GABF session and I'll be volunteering on Island H on Friday night and Saturday sessions. Hint: look for a Denver Bronco hat on those nights. That's me in the picture to the right. That's what I'll be wearing Thursday. I'll be in a volunteer shirt Friday and Saturday.

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Colorado Beer News 083111

Colorado Beer NewsToday is National Trail Mix Day. Hiking can be hard work. Why just bring along trail mix when you can easily port along some light-weight Colorado craft beer in cans! It's the last week of summer. What are you planning to do with brew over the long holiday weekend? Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Wednesday, August 31st, 2011.

This beer news is fresh off the Internet tap and direct to you. If you have some brewery news you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Dr. Bill Tasting (Denver) - the annual Dr. Bill beer tasting event at the Falling Rock Tap House will take place this year on October 1st, 2011 at 7:45pm. Once a year, Dr. Bill, the beverage coordinator at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens digs into his personal beer cellar and hosts a tasting for friends and craft beer fans at Denver's most famous beer bar.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) announces the return of their fall seasonal Hoptober Golden Ale. This medium-bodied ale has 5 different hops and is mixed with 4 grains including pale, wheat, rye and oats. Available now through October.

Pateros Creek Brewing Co (Fort Collins) is offering up their summer brew creation Lady Moon. Tonight they will be hosting Pints and Purls - a crafting and craft beer get together. They are open from noon to 7pm tonight.

Wednesday's Trivia Question: This front-range brew pub first opened in 1993 as a means to fill a void as a downtown neighborhood pub in a busy area swamped with restaurants. Nine years later they saw the need to expand to a second brewpub across town. Then in 2009 they wanted to expand into yet a bigger neighborhood in Denver. Name this brewery that split into three great locations.

Rockslide Brewery (Grand Junction) is hosting Ladies Night tonight. Ladies get any house drink for $2. Sorry guys, dressing in drag won't count.

Crabtree Brewing (Greeley) harvested over 1500 pounds of pumpkins last night in preparation for brewing up their annual Chunkin Pumpkin ale. Next year they plan to double that harvest. Stay tuned for some pumpkin brew!

Arvada Beer Company (Arvada) - work on building the brewery continues. Last night they moved the fermenters and the brewhouse into place. More sheet rock was put up along with some electrical and plumbing. Opening day is another step closer.

Hop Harvest - Many Colorado breweries are now processing pounds and pounds of fresh Colorado grown hops. Hops from the High Hops farm in Windsor have supplied to several local breweries including Grimm Brothers in Loveland and Pikes Peak Brewing in Monument. Other hop farms like Misty Mountain Hops, San Juan Hop Farms and Rising Sun Farms are also harvesting and selling fresh hops to local Colorado breweries. Look for many fresh hop ales to appear in September.

Grimm Brothers (Loveland) is co-hosting a beer dinner at The Pourhouse in Loveland on Tuesday, September 27th at 6pm. A five course meal paired with five different Grimm Brothers beers. Cost: $35 per person. RSVP at the brewery or restaurant.

5280 Magazine (Publication) announced their annual Autumn Edition Seasonal Six Pack. They chose 6 of the state's best beers and made them available at select stores in a special 6-pack. 1 bottle of each including: Ska Modus Hoperandi, Odell Cutthroat Porter, Wynkoop Silverback Pale Ale, Avery Ellie's Brown Ale, Boulder Beer Flashback India Brown Ale and Breckenridge 471 IPA. Look for it around the Denver metro area.

Renegade Brewing (Denver) may have been open for a couple months but they are going to throw a Grand Opening Party on Saturday, September 10th from 12 noon to 10pm at their brewery at 925 W. 9th Avenue in Denver. They will have live music, rare Renegade beers, food trucks and beer cupcakes. Mark your calendars and get ready to "party like a renegade".

Colorado Mountain Brewery (Colorado Springs) is calling all beer drinkers and running enthusiasts! Go to their brewery today for Blood, Sweat and Beers. Sign in at the brewery between 5:30 and 6:00pm today. You can either run/walk/job/skip/hop the 5k course or join Andrea Stiles for a long run on the Santa Fe Trail. After the run they will be offering a buy one get one special on all of their handcrafted brews as well as, offering 10% off of the food menu. To top the night off they will have complementary mini dessert samplers for the runners.

Avery Brewing (Boulder) is going to host a "Sweaty Sweater Party" on Wednesday, September 7th where they will inaugurate their first batch of Old Jubilation of the year into bottles. Wear your best (worst) holiday sweater, and if they judge it to be good (awful) enough, then you get a free pint on them.

Oktoberfests in Colorado - September and October mark the Oktoberfest season and dozens of Colorado towns are planning their own celebrations. Check out the schedule of known Colorado Oktoberfests.

The Mayor of Old Town (Fort Collins) - in honor of this weekend's Tour de Fat in FoCo, The Mayor is offering all New Belgium beers at $3 this Saturday. Ride in the tour then drop by for a brew.

Patrick's Irish Pub (Greeley) - congrats to Patrick's for being named the Greeley Tribune's "Best Local Bar" and "Best Place to Hang Out" in Greeley, CO for 2011. Also grats to Gordon's Liquor Mart for being voted "Best Liquor Store" in Greeley for 2011.

Dad and Dudes Breweria (Aurora) will tap a new batch of Blueberry Pomegranate Wheat and their popular Toffee Porter on Friday.

The Oskar Blues Ordeal - is four days of bus tours featuring Live Music, Specialty Beers and Backstage Access to all things Oskar Blues. Visit the original Oskar Blues Grill & Brew in Lyons, the 50 acre Hops & Heifers farm, Homemade Liquids & Solids Restaurant and The Tasty Weasel Taproom in the Brewery. Daily September 28 - October 1st. Details at: Oskar Blues

Summit Beer Garden (Denver Event) - a new event is being planned during the GABF in downtown Denver - the Summit Beer Garden - September 29 - October 1. Each night from 4pm to 1am come to a free event with live entertainment. There will be over 100 beers, brewery reps and a huge sausage food table available at the Summit Music Hall on Blake Street. Details here.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tap Hunter to sponsor GABF after parties

Going to the GABF? Then you'll want to also hit the after parties - and is throwing a couple of them you'll want to check out. The official TapHunter blog released a post today listing two upcoming GABF after-parties. Read on for the details below: GABF After Parties

It’s back, and it is ON. The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado celebrates it’s 30th year by selling out in a record-setting seven days, testament to the surging number of craft beer enthusiasts and their overwhelming desire to ferment, gather and imbibe. The one-week sellout is also a nod to the technological advancements that have occurred since the festival began in 1982. Thirty years ago, the announcement went something like this; “Beer festival. Stop. Denver Colorado. Stop. Tickets 15 cents. Stop.” This year, you could open the e-mail, and have your ticket confirmation in your in-box within minutes. If you’re one of the unfortunates without a golden ticket, fear not, opportunities to attend VIP festivities in and around the GABF abound. Find out how to get on the VIP guest list and drink for a dollar a beer at the hottest parties below.

The festival which ends at a relatively early 10p.m. will overflow into two exclusive parties thrown by Tap Hunter which are sure to become legendary. To get one-dollar craft beers at the most exclusive VIP Party events after the festival, keep reading.

The after parties will be a mix of beer gurus, judges, newcomers, business owners’, brewers, and people who just plain love good, craft-beer. These parties will be fun, packed, and filled with festival big-wigs. Make sure to be on the list before they fill up.
To get “on the list”, RSVP via the form below. The first three hundred people to RSVP will get $1 craft beer, compliments of Tap Hunter, the developers of the craft-beer finding application.
The party sponsor, Tap Hunter’s mobile technology platform tells you what’s on tap and where from your computer or mobile device … and hey, isn’t that why you bought a smart-phone in the first place? See you there, and make sure to get on the VIP LIST BELOW.

Thursday’s party details:

Where: Renegade Brewing Co., 925 West 9th Avenue, Denver, CO.
When: Thursday, Sept. 29, 10p.m. – 12:00a.m.
Put me on the VIP list at the door, and sign me up for one-dollar beers all night

Friday’s party details:

Where: Star Bar, 2137 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80202.
When: Friday, Sept. 30, 10:30p.m.- 1a.m.
Put me on the VIP list at the door, and sign me up for one-dollar beers all night.

Remember: You MUST RSVP via the form below to get in the door to be entitled to $1 craft-beers. Yes, one dollar. Don’t miss the after-party events of the season. See you there.

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(Find the form at:

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Colorado Beer News 083011

Colorado Beer NewsToday is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. There's nothing like the aroma of marshmallows flaming over a smoking fire. Why not extend that thought with a good smoked porter! What are you planning to do with brew over the long holiday weekend? Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Tuesday, August 30th, 2011.

This beer news is fresh off the Internet tap and direct to you. If you have some brewery news you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Crabtree Brewing (Greeley) is asking for some volunteers to help them harvest pumpkins for this year's Chunkin Pumpkin brew tomorrow evening at 5pm at the Boyles Family Farms in Gill, CO. Contact the brewery via Facebook and let them know if you can help. They'll host pumpkin contests as well as offering up some beer, food and fun.

Dry Dock Brewing Company (Aurora) - Fridays at 3pm are Firkin Fridays at Dry Dock. Every week a special limited firkin of brew is tapped. Another is usually tapped between 7pm to 8pm. This Friday, September 2nd come taste their Mango Pale Ale.

Great Divide Brewing (Denver) is hosting their regular last Tuesday of the month Beer and Cheese Pairing at the brewery today. Five brews will be matched to five artisan cheeses. Cost is $18 to participate. RSVP to the brewery.

Tuesday's Trivia Question: This small Western Colorado brewpub got its start in 2005 with the help of two local families and offers not only fresh craft beers but also classic Italian food favorites. They won a Gold Award at the 2008 World Beer Cup for their Standing Wave Pale Ale. Other regulars include: Black's Bridge Stout, Broken Oar IPA and Lands End Amber. Who is this Colorado brewpub?

Cranknstein (Fort Collins) is working feverishly to finish construction on Fort Collins' newest bicycle and brew bar. They hope to have their grand opening this Labor Day weekend. Swing by 215 North College Ave Unit A and cheer them on.

Wit's End Brewing Company (Denver) will soon be Denver's newest nano-brewery at 2505 W 2nd Ave, Unit #13. Last minute additions are being made in preparation for a grand opening coming very soon. Stay tuned for word on opening day.

Vine Street Pub & Brewery (Denver) is set to kick off their 1st ever Belgian Beer Month - September 1-30. Each day will bring new Belgian-style brews on tap. Special events: September 15th - come to a Belgian Beer 101 class. September 17th - Belgian Block Party 1pm-9pm including Brewer's Olympics.

Four Corners Folk Festival (Pagosa Springs) is this weekend September 2nd to the 4th at Reservoir Hill Park in Pagosa Springs. Come listen to great folk and bluegrass music and enjoy some cold craft beers as well.

Tour de Fat (Fort Collins) - New Belgium Brewing's Tour de Fat will once again be meandering and pandering through the streets of FoCo on Saturday, September 3rd spreading the good word about the positive societal offerings of the bicycle. In 2011 they hope to drive their message even deeper by bringing you the biggest, most enjoyable traveling bike festival. Ride ends at the New Belgium brewery with music, theatrics and beer! New course this year! Details at the brewery web site.

Pikes Peak Brewing (Monument) will soon reap the harvest of the hop fields near Windsor, Colorado and produce a fresh hop beer. On September 3rd at 12pm you can hang out on the beer patio in Monument and help pick Centennial hops off the fresh cut vines. You will then be invited to help throw the hops into the boil kettle for this new brew. Stop by 1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive to help out.

Denver Rare Beer Pub Crawl (Denver) - an informal gathering of geeks will crawl a select number of pubs and sample 1 beer per stop in this event sponsored by on Wednesday, September 7th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Stops include: Ale House at Amato's, Denver Beer Company, FreshCraft, Wynkoop Brewing and Falling Rock Tap House. Get some comfortable walking shoes, you'll need em. Details on Facebook.

TRVE Brewing (Denver) - new brewery in planning has ordered their brewing equipment which should arrive in December. Brewery location is still being researched. Grand opening planned for sometime in mid-2012.

Left Hand Brewing (Longmont) was named "Best Brewery at the Show" at the Brew at the Zoo fest in Louisville, Kentucky last weekend. Left Hand was awarded a trophy that is reminiscent of their 400 Pound Monkey.

Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) will release their seasonal Common Ground - an amber ale brewed with coffee on Friday, September 2nd. FCB joined forces with Jackie's Java and blended in 3 varieties of coffee into this ale.

City, O' City (Denver) - this Denver cafe/bistro/beer bar has been undergoing renovation during the month of August and will soon re-open with new staff and a new attitude. Target re-opening the first full week of September.

Wynkoop Brewing (Denver) - their Rail Yard Ale will now be available at all Denver Bronco home games at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. You'll be drinking it fresh out of the can at Mile High while you cheer the Broncos to victory.

Grimm Brothers (Loveland) is in need of a few volunteers to pick hops from fresh hops vines at the brewery. Contact the brewery directly. They'll provide you beer for your service. Help is needed today and tomorrow (Aug 30 and 31).

Boulder Beer Company (Boulder) - Hey all you cornholers! And you know who you are - Boulder Beer is sponsoring a Cornhole Tournament at the brewery on Tuesday, September 6th at 5:30pm. It's a free tournament. Limited number of teams may enter. Get this: 1st place wins a keg plus two tickets to the Beer Rave later that month. You must pre-register. Email webguy [at] to sign up. Hurry!

Beer Tweet of the Day: @oskarblues - QuadZILLA, now wreaking havoc down at the Tasty Weasel!! Come help.

A Taste of Colorado (Denver) - the annual food festival is this weekend, September 2nd through the 5th, in Civic Center Park in Denver featuring selections from over 50 Colorado restaurants. There will also be a Colorado Beer Garden (Broadway & Colfax) with a selection of Colorado small-batch beers in "taste" sizes. The Colorado Craft Beer Radio guys will be there doing a live remote.

Great American Beer Festival (Denver) is just 30 DAYS AWAY!!! Start preparing for the biggest and best 30th anniversary of one of the biggest beer fests in the world. September 29 - October 1.

GABF After Parties (Denver) - is sponsoring two GABF after-paries in Denver. Check out the details in the article. One party will be held at Renegade Brewing (Thurs) and the other at Star Bar (Friday) in Denver. First 300 sign-ups get $1 craft beers.

Great Divide Brewing (Denver) - The Beer Lounge is back in action this year at the brewery during GABF. They'll have live music, food carts and, of course, Great Divide beer. Come by and put your feet up before, during or after the GABF!

All Colorado Beer Festival (Colorado Springs) - The 5th Annual All Colorado Beer Festival is now accepting applications fr4om volunteers. Go to their website to volunteer. Two sessions, Saturday November 5th.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Colorado Beer News 082911

Colorado Beer NewsHappy More Herbs - Less Salt Day. Reminds me of a nice herbal Saison. That would taste good right about now, besides you'll need one - it's Monday. When will these hot dog days of summer ever end? Did you take advantage of all the beer fests over the weekend? Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Monday, August 29th, 2011.

This beer news is fresh off the Internet tap and direct to you. If you have some brewery news you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Sporting News Grill (Denver) - on September 11th during the Broncos game they are giving away 2 Club Level tickets to the Broncos-Bengals game on September 18 as well as access to the pre-party at Mile High Station! You must be present to win, so plan on being here to watch all the games!

Colorado State Fair (Pueblo) announced the list of winning craft beers at their annual Foam Fest last weekend. Check out all the winners in the article. Grats to all of the winners - well done! Special awards included:

- Dry Dock Brewing (Aurora) took home a Gold and "Best in Show" at the Colorado State Fair for their "U Boat Hefeweizen".

- Crabtree Brewing (Greeley) won Gold and the John Hanley Memorial Award at the Colorado State Fair for their "Syzygy Barrel-aged Black IPA".

Yak & Yeti (Arvada) is planning a Chili Pepper Wheat beer for their Wednesday Wheat creation at 4pm on the 31st. If you've heard of dry-hopped beer, then you should try this dry-peppered beer. Made from dried Guajillo chili peppers.

The Mayor of Old Town (Fort Collins) will host Battle of the Beers tonight at 7:45pm featuring a face off of porters with Grimm Brothers Master Thief vs. Pateros Creek Cache la Porter.

Monday's Trivia Question: This small start-up brewery got its start as an idea in 2009 and was originally going to be named "(i.e.) Brewing Company" but after careful thought the two owners decided on a different name. They eventually opened in 2011 in Denver and sell beers primarily through a local restaurant. What is the name of this brewery?

Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) is now offering Hop Collins: a light ale brewed w/ squash blossoms, cucumber & basil from The Gardens on Spring Creek. Now available in their tap room.

Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) has set the date for their upcoming Halloween Party for Saturday, October 29th. Stay tuned for more details.

Designated Driver of Colorado Springs - safely brought home 94 cars and their owners on Friday and Saturday night. Great job Colorado Springs and THANK YOU to all their fantastic volunteer drivers!

Pagosa Brewing Company (Pagosa Springs) just had a 7 award weekend. They took 6 medals at the Colorado State Fair and another at a brew fest. CSF Gold for: Honeymoon, Poor Richard's, Springs Hop. Silver for Chile Verde and Bronze for Baltic Porter and Abbey Grand Cru. Plus the Golden Growler Award for Best Light Beer at the San Juan Brew Fest!!!

Labor Day Weekend Driving (Colorado wide) - just a reminder that the Colorado State Patrol will be out in force all weekend long looking for aggressive, reckless and drunk drivers. DUI checkpoints will be set up all over the state. Don't drive drunk! Instead use a designated driver this weekend. DUI's cost well over $10,000 - don't get stuck with that bill.

Boulder Beer Co (Boulder) - tickets are now on sale for the upcoming Boulder Anniversary Beer Rave on September 10th from 2pm to 6pm. Tickets are $25 for all "underground beers" - stuff you can't buy in stores. Help Boulder celebrate their 32nd Anniversary. Proceeds help feed Boulder's hungry and homeless on Christmas day.

Moonlight Pizza (Salida) - Moonlight Monday today for Ruby Mountain Day School. 10% of all sales will go to Salida's newest school! Taste some great brew and pizza too for a good cause.

The Pumphouse Brewery (Longmont) Their Beer of the Day is the Firestone Double White. Enjoy a $1 house pint of it with the purchase of any burger. Can't do better than a buck!

Funkwerks (Fort Collins) - out of respect for the Maori people, Funkwerks has decided to change the name of their Maori King beer to "Southern Tropic". No additional details were available as to when the new labeled beer would appear on shelves. Behold the power of the Internet and social media.

Rocky Mountain Goat Roast (Greeley) - last weekend was the annual metal band music fest held at the Crabtree Brewing Company in Greeley. Apparently, some of the fans who stayed at a local hotel (Hampton Inn in Greeley) decided to burn their hotel rooms, pull down hotel curtains, cause fights in the hallways and force the hotel to ban any future relationship with the brewery and event coordinators for package deals in the future. This may mark the end of the RMGR music festival in Greeley for the unfortunate acts of a few unruly fans.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Colorado State Fair 2011 Craft Beer Awards

Colorado State Fair

There were many winners announced this weekend at the 2011 Colorado State Fair Craft Beer Awards. Dozens of Colorado and out-of-state breweries and close to 600 beers competed for Gold, Silver and Bronze in 26 different categories. The following list was released Sunday, August 28th, 2011. Congrats to all the winners for their great beer!

2011 Colorado State Fair Winners

1 Full Sail Brewing Company - Full Sail LTD03 - Hood River, OR
2 Full Sail Brewing Company - Session Premium Lager - Hood River, OR
3 Rockyard Brewing Company - Lynx Light lager - Castle Rock

1 Rockyard Brewing Company - Dutch - Castle Rock
2 AC Golden - German style Pilsner - Golden
3 Yak and Yeti Brewpub - Namaste Pilsner - Arvada

1 Tommy Knocker Brewery - Vienna Amber Lager - Idaho Springs
2 Del Norte Brewing Company - Manana - Denver

1 Arvada Beer Company - 59'er - Arvada
2 Durango Brewing Company - Durango Dark Lager - Durango
3 Full Sail Brewing Company - Session Black - Hood River, OR

1 Tommy Knocker Brewery - Butthead Bock - Idaho Springs
2 Main Street Brewery and Restaurant - Schnorzen Boomer - Cortez
3 BierWerks - BierWerks Dopplebock - Woodland Park

1 Bell's Brewery Inc. - Oberon - Galesburg, MI
2 SKA Brewing Company - True Blonde - Durango
3 Golden City Brewery - Clear Creek Gold Pale Ale - Golden

1 BierWerks - BierWerks Altbier - Woodland Park
2 Backcountry - Switchback Amber - Frisco
3 Golden City Brewery - Legendary Red - Golden

1 Amicas - Rex's Amber - Salida
2 SKA Brewing Company - Ska Special - Durango
3 SKA Brewing Company - Pinstripe - Durango

1 Shamrock Brewing Co - Scotch Strong Ale - Pueblo
2 Dry Dock Brewing Company - Crooked Shillelagh - Aurora
3 Dry Dock Brewing Company - Three Heavy Wee Heavy - Aurora

1 Silverton - FC Ice Pick - Silverton
2 Elk Mountain - Ghost Town Black - Parker
3 Arvada Beer Company - Engine 1 Pale ale - Arvada

1 Pagosa Brewing Company and Grill - Poor Richard's Ale - Pagosa Springs
2 Dry Dock Brewing Company - SS Minnow Mild - Aurora
3 Pikes Peak Brewing Company - Brits Are Back - Monument

1 AC Golden - Baltic Porter - Golden
2 Renegade Brewing Company - Another Thrill - Denver
3 Pagosa Brewing Company and Grill - Simonovich Baltic Porter - Pagosa Springs

1 Arvada Beer Company - Nikoli Stout - Arvada
2 Pikes Peak Brewing Company - Summit house Stout - Monument

1 Amicas - Headwater's Ida - Salida
2 Pikes Peak Brewing Company - Elephant Rock Imp. IPA - Monument
3 Arvada Beer Company - Goldline IPA - Arvada

1 Dry Dock Brewing Company - U Boat Hefeweizen - Aurora - Best of Show
2 Shamrock Brewing Co - Shamrock Hefeweizen - Pueblo
3 Rockyard Brewing Company - Wildcat Hefeweizen - Castle Rock

1 Pagosa Brewing Company and Grill - Spring Hop - Pagosa Springs
2 Phantom Canyon BC - Continuim White - Colorado Springs
3 Pagosa Brewing Company and Grill - Alpine Abbey Grand Cru - Pagosa Springs

1 AC Golden - Chard Sour - Golden
2 AC Golden - Merlot Sour - Golden
3 Crabtree Brewing Company - Berliner Weisse - Greeley

1 Rock Bottom - Fallen Angel - Colorado Springs
2 Rock Bottom - Belgian Golden - Colorado Springs
3 SKA Brewing Company - True Blonde Dubble - Durango

1 Amicas - Nigel's Rather Large Ale - Salida
2 Twisted Pine Brewing Company - Bough Breaker Barley wine - Boulder
3 Renegade Brewing Company - Old Renegade - Denver

1 Strange Brewing Company - Cherry Kriek - Denver
2 Dry Dock Brewing Company - Paragon Apricot Blonde - Aurora
3 Main Street Brewery and Restaurant - Honey Raspberry Wheat - Cortez

1 San Luis Valley Brewing Co- Valle Caliente - Alamosa
2 Pagosa Brewing Company and Grill - Chile Verde Cerzeva - Pagosa Springs
3 Dry Dock Brewing Company - URCA Vanilla Porter - Aurora

1 Crabtree Brewing Company - Syzygy - Greeley - John Hanley Memorial Award
2 Rock Bottom - Avasta ya Rogues - Colorado Springs
3 AC Golden - Barrel aged Russian Imperial - Golden

1 Rock Bottom - Silver Mullet - Colorado Springs
2 Pikes Peak Brewing Company - Devil's Head Red - Monument
3 AC Golden - India Pale Lager - Golden

1 Pagosa Brewing Company and Grill - Honeymoon - Pagosa Springs

1 Three Rivers - Red Apple Flyer Cider - Farmington, NM

1 Golden City Brewery - Root Beer - Golden
2 Golden City Brewery - Rhubarb Lime - Golden
3 Golden City Brewery - Ginger Ale - Golden

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hop Harvest Time in Windsor Colorado

Colorado Hop Harvest TimeGet ready for Hop Harvest Time! With the coming of September and the hop buds are maturing on the vine, it's the season for cutting the vines and reaping the bounty of hops once again in Colorado.

I paid a visit out to Windsor, Colorado and went to the High Hops Brew Shop at The Windsor Gardener - 6461 Hwy 392. I was in need of some homebrew supplies and also wanted to check out the hop field next door to the shop.

High Hops is located just on the west side of town on the main drag in Windsor near the 17th Street corner intersection. High Hops has a couple of acres of land reserved for hops. Right now, they have about half the acreage planted and plans for expanding next year.

High Hops has about 32 different varieties of hops at their farm. One of the best growing hops on the farm are Cascade hops, one of their most popular varieties.

I couldn't help myself and took a few shots of their crop that will be harvested next week at a Hop Picking Party on September 4th from 12pm to 6pm. See the details of their party here. If you stop by that day and help out you might just win some great prizes including GABF tickets.

For you hop lovers, here are a handful of shots I took of the hop crop from this year.
Click on a picture to enlarge. Enjoy!

Hops Hops Hops Hops
Hops Hops High Hops Brew Shop

Bonus video of the hop crop:

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Related articles:
- Hops are a growing cash crop in Colorado.
- Choosing a Fermenter for your Homebrew.
- Testing the Blichmann Boilermaker brewpot.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Win 2011 GABF tix by picking hops

High HopsSome people are cotton pickers, but around Colorado this time of year the smart ones are hop pickers. And if you like harvesting hops and are still looking for tickets to the GABF then here is an event you might just want to look into.

High Hops at the Windsor Gardener ( is a fairly new homebrewing shop located at 6461 Hwy 392 in Windsor, Colorado. They also grow a lot of hops on their own farm! Over 30 varieties of hops are grown on site and they are looking to expand their operations further.

This year, they need your help in harvesting hops. They've put together a contest and the best hop picking team of two will will tickets to the Great American Beer Festival. For every pound of hops your team picks you get to keep 2oz of them!

The contest will be held at the Windsor Gardener on Sunday, September 4th. Pick hops from 12pm to 5pm. Food, tours and winners will be announced between 5pm and 6pm. See details in their flyer below. Happy Hop Picking!

Click to enlarge
Click on the image above to enlarge for details.

If you can't view the video via RSS, come to the blog for a viewing.

Related articles:
- Homebrewing beer outdoors on a hot day.
- Choosing a brew kettle for homebrewing.
- List of Colorado Homebrew Supply Stores.

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Colorado Beer News 082611

Colorado Beer NewsHappy Cherry Popsicle Day. Added bonus: It's Friday! And before Rebecca Black starts singing - better grab a beer and toast to a well earned weekend. Also, get ready for one of the biggest beer fest weekends of the summer. Congrats - your weekend is finally here. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Friday, August 26th, 2011.

This beer news is fresh off the Internet tap and direct to you. If you have some brewery news you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) came up with a new tongue twister: ”Peter picked a prickly pear and paired it with a passion fruit. ‘Perfect! Pitch it in!’ he proclaimed. Now we have this pleasing prickly passion saison brewed with fruit juices and french saison yeast to our brewmaster’s picking.” - This saying will grace the label of their upcoming Prickly Passion Saison - part of the Lips of Faith series.

Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) also got approval for a new brew label for their upcoming beer: "The Incredible Hop - Imperial Belgian Style IPA". Coming soon to a bottle near you.

Falling Rock Tap House (Denver) just release their 2011 GABF Schedule of Events. Read all about it in this article on Fermentedly Challenged.

Friday's Trivia Question: This Colorado brewery is known for their 1968 Cadillac limo parked in brewpub's parking lot. They brewed their first batch of beer in 1997. The brew pub's location has been a standard for 40 years. Name this drink spot with a warped copper top bar who was started by two stockbrokers in 1971.

Del Norte Brewing (Denver) is participating in a Food and Beer pairing tonight at Arrowhead Golf Course in Littleton.

Oskar Blues (Longmont) will be pouring beers at Cheeba Hut during the Greeley Block Party today on 16th Street between 8th and 10th Avenues. 55 bands on multiple stages. Music starts at 2pm and goes til midnight. Free schwag & music if you find the Oskar Blues guys at Cheba Hut. Details on the Greeley Tribune article.

Grimm Brothers (Loveland) will be releasing their Sooty Brother today at 1pm at their taproom. Limited seating today as they are moving things around on the fork truck in the back so get there early.

Funkwerks (Fort Collins) has apparently made the natives angry. Their recent release of a beer called Maori King has gotten the New Zealand native people a bit upset, so much so they flooded the Funkwerks Facebook page with complaints. See full story on

Asher Brewing (Boulder) says that Top of the Hill Grill West will be at the brewery this evening serving up some awesome BBQ. Goes perfectly with a pint of Asher beer!

Kannah Creek (Grand Junction) announces that Chill Pils is back on tap! A classic German Style Pilsener Lager. Stop by, relax and take a Chill Pils. It's going to be another hot one in GJ today.

High Hops at the Windsor Gardener (Windsor) a homebrew and hop farm is sponsoring a hop picking contest on Sunday, September 4th. The best team of two who pick the most hops wins tickets to the GABF! For more details read the article here.

Avery Brewing (Boulder) says: "Attention Sour Ale Fans! If you haven't been to the Avery Tap Room recently, then you better make it quick... we're running low on Eremita I, the first of our new draft-only barrel-aged sour beers." This is a taproom only brew and get it while it lasts.

Rockyard Brewing (Castle Rock) - the official Buddha Nuvo release party is tonight at 5pm at the brewery. This is a rare chance to try this unique and delicious pumpkin saison. (review)

Left Hand Brewing (Longmont) announced the first tapping of their Oktoberfest beer for this year - now at their tap room. Tis the season to be festing.

Ska Brewing (Durango) - watch for Local Series - Hoperation Ivy #20 - Wet Hop I.P.A. coming soon to Colorado only. New label on Facebook.

Silverton Brewing (Silverton) will be pouring at two beer festivals this weekend including: Grillin' & Chillin' in Ouray, and also at the San Juan Brewfest in Durango. Brew fest details on the August beer fest calendar.

Cicerone Certification Program - The list of fall and winter exam sites have been released. Colorado will be host to two exams in 2011. The first will be on September 29th in Denver at Miller Distributing during GABF week. The other exam will be on December 3rd in Boulder at the Brewers Association Warehouse. Get certified, get studying!

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Falling Rock rolls out 2011 GABF Events

Falling Rock Tap HouseYou know it's almost GABF time when the Falling Rock Tap House releases it's annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) schedule of events.

The word came out late last night from Chris, the owner of Falling Rock on what's on the docket for this year's GABF week. Traditionally, the GABF wouldn't be complete without 1st stopping by one of Denver's icons.

The following is a newsletter directly from Falling Rock Tap House itself. Read on for the big line-up of events at one of the beer beer bars in the world:

GABF 2011 Falling Rock Events

Monday Sept 26th

5pm 14th Annual GABF Kickoff Party. The Countdown Clock that’s been running since early January will reach Zero at 5pm & Falling Rock will tap into around 10 special kegs to get the week started right. Which Kegs ? Not really sure, we’ll wait till the dust settles in the next weeks & start releasing names as I decide (& unbury them in the stash).

Tuesday Sept 27th

6 pm - Boulevard Brewing - We’ll tap into a couple of special Smokestack Series beers. Come Meet Head Brewer Steven Pauwels And taste some of his best work on tap.

Wednesday Sept 28th

4pm - Anderson Valley Saison & Imperial Boont Amber. Join us for some of Anderson Valley’s Newer offerings an American take on a traditional Belgian Style and a suped-up version of the beer that made them famous.

9pm - Elysian Pumpkin Beer Festival hits the Falling Rock Taphouse Join Dick Cantwell and the Elysian Brewing Team for a pre-GABF Pumpkin Beer Throwdown Find out what happens when the nation’s most pumpkin obsessed brewery teams up with one of Denver’s premiere beer bars! Come by the Falling Rock and have your pick of 10 Elysian pumpkin beers on tap including Night Owl, The Great Pumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Dark o’ the Moon Pumpkin Stout, Hansel & Gretel Ginger Pumpkin Pilsner, Mr. Yuck Sour Pumpkin, and Coche de Medianoche – a Mexican themed pumpkin ale with cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, chilies and roasted pumpkin seeds – to name a few. There will also be collaboration and guest pumpkin beers and a very, very special surprise!

11pm - Stone Brewing Collaborations - We’ll tap 4 of Stone’s Collaborations with other breweries including the Hwy 78 Scotch ale (Green Flash/Pizza Port Carlsbad/Stone),Japanese Green Tea IPA (Baird Brewing Co. Japan Ishii Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co., San Diego), 2 more are coming & when I find that message.

Thursday September 29th

1pm Boulder Brewing Neapolitan Porter. Come on out & try a Small Batch from the oldest Microbrewery in Colorado. The Neapolitan Porter is their Planet Porter aged for 3 months in oak barrels with Vanilla, Chocolate & Strawberries.

2pm - Anchor Brewing Come on out to try some of Anchor’s Newer offerings.

Keep your eyes open on this space for a VERY Special World rePremiere of something from overseas….

10pm - Full Sail Stash & Rarities – Join Head Brewer John Harris to crack open a few rare kegs of Brewmaster Specials Like some Older kegs of Barrel Aged Yummyness… I Think there’s like an ’06 somewhere back here if I can just lift this keg…

11pm - Green Flash Brewing – The Folks out at Green Flash are sending in some of their really Special Kegs. I just went out to the opening of their new Brewery & got to go through their list of special releases…. More when the kegs get into my cooler.

Midnite - Shorts Brewing For the First time outside of the Great American Beer Festival, Shorts will be available on tap. We’ll Have Kegs of Huma-Luma-Licious, Bludgeon Yer Eye, Key Lime Pie, Spruce Pilsner, & Bourbon Wizard.

Friday September 30th

12pm - Sierra Nevada Harvest Release (Kill-A-Keg) – Our Annual insanity of releasing Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Ale (made with wet, Fresh-from-the-Fields Hops) & seeing how fast we can pour a keg of beer.A few years back we noticed that we were pouring a keg pretty quick (like a 15.5 gal keg in about a half Hour) & we wondered, ‘just how fast CAN you pour a keg?’ The next year it was 20 minutes or so, the next 15, then 12 minutes. Last year it was a new record: 9 minutes 53 seconds. I’ll look to better that time this Year, One Man, One Keg & a bunch of glasses… After the first keg goes well tap into some more at a more leisurely pace. At 12:30pm - we’ll release the Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale (the same style of beer made with Malt and hops grown on the property).

2pm - Avery Brewing – Try some of the Avery rarities on tap including aged kegs of Beast, Samaels and whatever Adam and Breese will let out of the brewery.

3pm - Rogue Brewing – We’ll tap into Double Chocolate Stout & John John Hazelnut, Just in case you’re interested.

5:30pm World Re-Premiere of Courage Russian Imperial Stout (bottles). This beer hasn’t been made since, I believe, 1993. The Youngs/Wells Brewery now owns the rights to it & has Re-made the beer (one of the brewers on that brew is now the head brewer at Youngs/Wells). Wont be released for another month or so, so here’s your chance to try it out. Less than 1000 cases will be coming to the US.

10pm (Upstairs) He’Brew Celebration - We’ll have JewBelation 15, 15:15, & HopManna Plus Jeremy Cowan (the owner/Idea Man behind He’Brew) Will be here with his book Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How it took 13 years, Extreme Jewish Brewing, and Circus Sideshow Freaks to make Shmaltz Brewing Company an International Success.

10pm (Downstairs) Colorado Huge, Exotic, Esoteric, Rare, SOCIAL (CHEERS). Join us for a benefit for the Colorado Brewers Guild with special guest Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head pouring some Palo Santo through a Randall filled with Coffee. 10 Beers unavailable anywhere else during the fest will be poured by breweries such as Avery (IMMITUS barrel Aged Sour), Oskar Blues, Ska, Pagosa Springs, Odell (McMurray), Boulder (Mortimer- a barrel aged blend of Mojo IPA & Planet Porter), Great Divide (A Love Supreme, Barrel aged Saison with Brettanomyces), Left Hand (TNT Weizen Dopplebock)& Ashur (Funbarrel IPA). Wristbands for this event will go on sale about 9pm downstairs, Cost $40 for 1/2pt pours of all 10. Limited number of wristbands available

11pm (Upstairs) Alaskan Brewing 25th Anniversary Celebration. We’ll have kegs of their 25th anniversary Imperial Stout is brewed with an array of local ingredients and flavors to add dimension and celebrate Alaskan’s history and home. Alaska birch syrup from Wasilla lends a deep, almost tart character to the dark malt profile, while fireweed honey from Delta Junction adds a delicate sweetness and floral notes to the aroma and finish. The slight addition of our in-house alder-smoked malt alludes to the distinctive roasted flavor of turn-of-the-century malting practices, without overpowering the more subtle flavors of this dynamic anniversary brew.

Saturday October 1st

8pm - Firestone Walker - A new Arrival to the Colorado Market, Join Head Brewer Matt Bryndelson & others for some special kegs (and a cask) of Firestone Walkers amazing beers.

10pm - New Belgium – When the GABF is over, we tap into special releases of New Belgium’s Beers. This year I went to the brewery & did a blending session with Lauren Salazar, & Eric Salazar. Each of us made our own blend of La Folie. We will release the three versions (appropriately they will be called 1, 2, & 3) and give time for all to sample. After people have had the time to taste them I will ask for applause as a vote on your favorite. Only then will we open the envelope and disclose the Blenders. This should be interesting. I’ll also pull out a couple things from my stash of New Belgium Beers.

All of the kegs are in and we're ready to GO!

Also, if you haven't noticed we have a new updated website that includes some of that Facebook / Twitter stuff. We've been trying to post new beers on tap as we hook things up during the week. we are going to really try to keep that stuff going during the Fest, so it just might behoove you to sign up for that kind of stuff ahead of time because it might be one of the ways if you aren't sitting w/in sight of the chalkboard that you will know what's just been tapped...

I'm tired of typing, I think I'll have a Beer.

Chris - owner, Falling Rock Tap House

Related articles:
- GABF week at Falling Rock Tap House. (2009)
- Video tour of Falling Rock Tap House.
- Falling Rock taps Pliny the Younger. (2010)

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peak into the future with Crabtree Brewing

Crabtree QR CodeI have seen the future and the future is digital, at least it will be for Crabtree Brewing. A new Digital Age Series of beers are on the horizon.

During a recent visit to Crabtree Brewing in Greeley, Colorado I was lucky enough to talk with the owners Jeff & Stephanie Crabtree during one of their Saturday afternoon bottling sessions. They were busy putting corks into 750ml bottles of one of their new creations.

After a few questions about the future of his brewery, Jeff was kind enough to pull out a proof sheet of some of the upcoming beers they planned to release later this year. Some of these beers have already been bottled and some are about to be.

Most of the bottled beers at Crabtree Brewing are about to get a facelift. Just last Saturday, Crabtree debuted their new Syzygy Barrel-aged Black IPA, due to hit stores this week.

During my visit, they were bottling a new brew called Crabtree Peachtree Cherry Wheat. This brew will be available this fall as one of the Digital Age Series.

Crabtree Beer Labels Crabtree Chunkin Pumpkin

What makes a brew a digital age brew? Take a close look at the new labels. See anything in common? It's those quirky looking black and white squares called QR codes. These codes will be part of the new beer labels and will give the prospective owner a unique way of tapping into the beer even before the bottle is opened.

QR Codes can be scanned in by most modern hand held devices like an iPhone or an Android device. These codes contain a web URL that will lead you to either a special web page about the beer or even a video that will tell you all about the beer itself.

Jeff Crabtree sees QR codes as a way of empowering the consumer and giving them additional information about the product that may help potential customers make a better buying decision.

Each new label design's QR code will lead them on a new path on the internet. Most will lead them to a specific page on the Crabtree web site. Some pages have yet to be fully developed and will evolve over time as technology progresses.

Crabtree BarrelsCrabtree Peachtree Cherry Wheat

So what else is on the horizon? Several of their taproom only beers will soon become bottled and released. Beers like:

- Syzygy Barrel-aged Black IPA - in stores this week - reviewed here.

- Peachtree Cherry Wheat - with Colorado peaches and cherries - (Fall 2011)

- Stephanie's Oatmeal Raisin Cookie - another barrel-aged dark brew - Late 2011

- Orange Blossom Cezanne Saison - farmhouse style ale with O.B. honey and rye - soon! @ GABF

- Berliner Weisse Ale - an unsweetened version of their tap room ale. @ GABF

- Chunkin Pumpkin - in 4-packs - due to be brewed in the next couple of weeks.

- Serenity Amber Ale - new label now in 6 packs - in stores this week!

- Eclipse Black IPA - Syzygy with the barrel aging - in 16oz cans - late 2011

If you can't view the video via RSS, please visit the blog.

Plus many more surprises are in store. Just look around their tap room. Those barrels in the back have some rare limited edition beers that will be hard to get.

Related articles:
- Crabtree releases it's Chunkin Pumpkin.
- Crabtree Boxcar Brown and Twisted Creek Wheat review.
- Crabtree beers getting new look.

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Colorado Beer News 082511

Colorado Beer NewsToday is National "Kiss and Make Up Day"! Pucker up and try a sour beer today and share it with the one you love. Get ready for one of the biggest beer fest weekends of the summer. It's Thursday and you're almost to the weekend. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Thursday, August 25th, 2011.

This beer news is fresh off the Internet tap and direct to you. If you have some brewery news you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Vine Street Pub & Brewery (Denver) is getting close to opening their brewing facility in Denver. Sister brewery, Mountain Sun (Boulder) has opened up a new Facebook page to let everyone know about Vine Street's new brews.

Equinox Brewing (Fort Collins) says it's Firkin day! Today's firkin is Señor Delicioso. Mr. Delicious Oatmeal Stout conditioned with lime zest. Muy bueno. The firkin will be tapped at noon.

Hunter's Moon Meadery (Severance) has finally gotten initial label approvals for two of their products. Several more labels are still pending. They are also getting the final paperwork to get Organic certification. Look for their products soon.

Thursday's Trivia Question: Which Colorado brewery creates the following beers? Wildernest Wheat, Paradise Pilsner and McLuhr's Irish Stout?

Los Oasis Latin Grill & Cerveceria (Boulder) was recently written up in 5280 Magazine about their recent opening in Boulder. Check out the article. They offer happy hour from 4pm to 6:30pm every day. They also have a new website:

Great American Beer Festival (Denver) is only 35 days away. What plans have you made for that week? Dave from Fermentedly Challenged will be at the GABF for all sessions. Find me Thursday night on my sampling run. Then the other 3 sessions I'll be pouring beer as a volunteer. Hope to see many of you there!

Denver Beer Company (Denver) was featured in an article about saving the Colorado wilderness areas and our water on

Tidbits: First there were East Coast and Colorado earthquakes, then a new hurricane is heading for the east coast, and now the Rockies have won 5 straight games. Must be a sign. But of what? Don't worry, relax and have a homebrew (or Colorado craft brew).

Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) has several used bourbon barrels for sale. They are $50 (plus tax), and are available at the brewery. First come, first serve (must be present to purchase and no reservations). Stop by the reception area if you are interested!

Carbondale Beer Works (Carbondale) - There's a new CBW beer on today! Say hello to Redemption Amber Wheat: Light amber in color with a bit of fruity wheat flavor and a slight kick - 6.4% ABV.

Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs) stated today that 2 new 102 bbl tanks were being delivered today. It's the first step towards their upcoming Ivywild relocation project slated to open mid-2012.

Upslope Brewing (Boulder) began canning a fifth beer this month, but it will only be served in at Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace, the Boulder restaurant operated by the Big Red F Group. Centro will hold a Top Rope launch party today beginning at 4pm; cans are $3. There will also be food and drink specials.

Dry Dock Brewing (Aurora) is hosting another "Geeks Who Drink" trivia night on Wednesday, August 31st at 7pm at the brewery. Compete as a team with your friends for some cool prizes.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) received a keg label approval for a new Lips of Faith Ken's Ale - a beer brewed with natural flavors and weighs in at 4.9% ABV.

Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) still NEEDS a few more volunteers for this weekends party at their brewery. FREE T-shirt, Pint glass, and 2 FREE beers on us. E-mail

Designated Driver of Colorado Springs - is a new free service in Colorado Springs aimed at helping you get home if you happen to imbibe a bit too much. Save a life (or yours) and don't drive drunk. Let them drive you and your car home. Drivers work for tips only. Sponsored by: Bristol Brewing, Trinity Brewing, Phantom Canyon Brewing and many more local businesses. For details - visit or call 719-650-3450.

Avery Brewing (Boulder) will be tapping a special taproom only brew called Summer's Day IPA on Friday, August 26th. It's an IPA spiked with tangerine peel.

Back on tap:
- Denver Beer Company - Kaffir Lime Wheat - 12pm Friday
- Renegade Brewing - Galaxy Single Hop Pale Ale - today
- Eddyline Brewery - Raspberry Wheat

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti Imperial Stout review

Yetis seem to get around. And this time, the Yeti had traveled to Belgium and back. With so many Yetis to choose from, did Great Divide have another hit in it's portfolio? Being a stout lover, I was anxious to find out.

One thing I like about Great Divide bomber bottles is that they are stamped with a "Bottled On: date. With a date of June 17, 2011, I knew this bottle was just over 2 months old. This helps for aging and determining freshness. Although with an imperial stout this brew could stand up for a long time if needed. This brew had a 9.5% ABV rating to boot.

I've tried three other versions of Great Divide Yeti: regular, oak-aged and chocolate. I was curious if this version would be that much different than the others.

Appearance: Belgian Yeti poured nearly black with a generous light-brown head. It was moderately carbonated, but that's ok for the style. The pour left a nice clingy lacing around the glass. Held up to the light I couldn't see much at all but darkness. Mmmm.

Aroma: Ah, now here is what I was waiting for. Gone was the usual huge roast, molasses and coffee. In it's place was a more fruity and spicy nose with the roasted malt in the background. As I swirled the stout in the glass, I got a fresh whiff of yeast funk and a bit of coffee. This beer had a nice diverse range of aromas.

Taste: Belgian Yeti started out with a semi-sweet fruity taste and fell gracefully back into it's classic Yeti imperial stout brand. The Belgian yeast added several spicy notes and a bit of funk. This version was just enough of a departure from the mainline Yeti to distinguish itself as it's own identity. The immense roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and even some toffee are all still there and delicious. The yeast simply adds another layer upon this treat.

Overall: Great Divide has an enviable line of hits that they've developed. It seems there may be no limit to what they can try next with the Yeti. Was this version of my favorite? Let's say it's a close second in the four I've tried. I can enjoy a Yeti almost any time of year and this one is definitely worth trying and buying again.

Related articles:
- Great Divide Titan IPA review.
- Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Great Divide Oak-aged Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager review.

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