Monday, October 31, 2011

Colorado Beer News 103111

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Halloween. Be watchful for those little ghouls and goblins as you venture out tonight. What does the ghost of Samuel Adams say? Brooooooo!!! Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Monday, October 31st, 2011.

If you have some Colorado brewery news items you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day (10am to 5pm) so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Kevin Baity Kraft Beer (Colorado Springs) announces that they will have new hours at their brewery taproom starting November 1st. Wednesdays and Thursdays 4pm to 8pm. Fridays and Saturdays 4pm to 9:30pm. Visit them at 3668 E. Bijou Street.

Funkwerks (Fort Collins) is going to be the focus of a Satellite Tap Room at West End Tavern in Boulder on Thursday, November 3rd at 6:30pm. There will be 10 Funkwerks beers on tap at West End. Cochon, Key Lime Rye, Saison, Mon Tresor, Hibiscus Resistance, Belgian Resistance, Cherry Saison, Casper, White and Tropic King. No better chance to try out all of Funkwerks latest creations outside of FoCo.

Ale House at Amato's (Denver) is hosting Trick-or-Beer tonight on their Haunted Rooftop at 2501 16th Street in Denver from 5pm to 9pm tonight. Join Breckenridge Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse for a spooky tasting event! Sample some wicked rare brews and trick-or-treat in style! $5 includes 6 tasters and one FREE pint!

City, O'City (Denver) is hosting their Halloween bash tonight! Musicos de los Muertos! DJ Cavem brings the musical goodness! Live art. 9pm til close. Come dressed as your favorite dead rock star and receive drink specials!

Copper Kettle Brewing (Denver) - stop in today between 6pm to 8pm with your best, most creative, interesting and funny costumes to win a free growler! Announcement at 8 PM for the best costume. Also their Belgian Dubbel will be released today as well. Start your Monday out right at the Kettle!

International Stout Day (#StoutDay) is coming up this week on Thursday, November 3rd. It's a day to celebrate everything dark (in beer that is). Celebrate at your favorite local brewery, pub, bar or restaurant and order a stout. Raise a toast with the rest of the world to the dark drink we call the stout. Cheers! Follow the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #StoutDay

C.B. & Potts (Colorado-wide) - Stop in today for their Pints & Half Pints Monday special. All Potts beers are just $2.99 from open to close, served in their 18oz glasses. And then for the Half Pints (kids) all Kids' Meals are just 71 cents! Offer good today only. Restrictions apply. See Facebook for details. Also, at their Fort Collins site, $100 cash will go to the best costume tonight along with $1 beers and Potts Bingo starting at 9pm.

Royal Gorge Brewing Company (Canon City) - Another brand new brewery is coming to Canon City, Colorado. On Thursday, November 3rd, the Royal Gorge Brewing Company will celebrate their Grand Opening at 413 Main Street in the same location as the old McClellan's brewery was. They'll have 4 brews on opening day including: an IPA, a Kolsch, an English Style Brown Ale, and a Rye Pale Ale. Also in the works is a winter seasonal called Gingerbread Ale. Please welcome Royal Gorge to the Colorado brewing community!

Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) is hosting a Mountain Standard Bash on Saturday, November 5th starting at 4pm to commemorate the release of this season's Mountain Standard Double Black IPA. Live music by Kenny & Baute from 4-6pm. $5 raffle tix to win an OZ customer Odell snow board! Stay and watch a Teton Film at 7pm "Under the Influence". Plenty of Games and Giveaways also. Food trucks available and more!

Breckenridge Brewery (Denver) is hosting a release party for their very rare beer named "Cab Ride" at the brewery on Saturday, November 12th. Cab Ride is a golden ale aged 14 weeks in cabernet barrels. The brewery has packaged just 240 hand-numbered 750ml bottles with cork and wire bale closures which will be sold, first come first serve, starting at 1pm that day. Doors to the tasting room open at 11am, and place-holding numbers will be given as people arrive for the sale. While they wait, craft beer fans can enjoy brewery tours and tastings of Small Batch beers that include Cab Ride as well as an oak-aged Porter, PeachFork Wheat, and a sneak taste of their 2011 Christmas Ale. The first 20 people in line will earn $10 in Taxi Cash. And one lucky individual will win the ultimate prize, a 2-hour tour for their self and a group of friends on the Denver Patio Ride, a 15-person, bicycle powered party bus which takes patrons on a downtown Denver pub crawl. Facebook details.

This Week's Beer Events in Colorado:
* Dark Days of November - November 1-30 - Odell Brewing - Fort Collins
* Fishwerks Beer Dinner - November 1 - Jax Fish House - Fort Collins
* Firestone Walker Pint Night - November 2 - Trinity Brewing - Colorado Springs
* International Stout Day - November 3 - everywhere - Colorado #StoutDay
* Rocky Mt. Brew Fest@CO Ski & Snowboard Expos - November 4-6 - CO Convention Center - Denver
* All Colorado Beer Festival - November 5 - CO Springs Expo Center - Colo. Springs
* 2nd Annual Boulder Brew & Music Festival - November 5 - Fox Theatre - Boulder
* Colorado Cheese Festival - November 5 - Arapahoe County Fairgrounds - Aurora

For details on these events, visit the November 2011 CO Beer Fest Calendar.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) is hosting a Snow Day giveaway contest. Every time it snows at their brewery in Fort Collins, they'll give away 10 glassware gift packs to folks who have uploaded their Snow Day photo to their web site. 1. Snap a fun photo of your Snow Day Winter Ale, 2. Enter your info in their handy form, 3. When it snows, they'll pull 10 winning photos & ship glassware. Check out their entry form. Snow Day Winter Ale released November 1st. It may snow there next on November 2nd. Buy some and be ready!

Avery Brewing (Boulder) announced plans for a new brewery to be located on a 5.6 acre plot in north Boulder at 4910 and 4920 Nautilus Court nearby to Asher Brewing Company. The plans call for a 30,000 square foot facility complete with a restaurant and gift shop. The site is not without controversy as a nearby school has already voiced objection to the plans. See full article in Westword.

This post is constantly updated throughout the day from 10am to 5pm. Stop back later to catch up on all the days Colorado Beer News!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boulevard Dark Truth Stout review

Boulevard Dark Truth StoutOnce the snow hits, my tastes turn towards dark beer. And when I spied a 4-pack of a stout that I hadn't seen before - I grabbed it. Today's beer review comes from Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City, Missouri. They've produced a variety of beers called their Smokestack Series, and this was was their Boulevard Dark Truth Stout. Several beers from Boulevard are available here in Colorado.

Dark Truth comes in a 4-pack only, but used to be available in 750ml bottles. This brew is classified as a Imperial Stout, but with a Belgian twist. The brew weighs in at 9.7% ABV and a big 60 IBUs. The EBC rating is a dark 225. Dark Truth is produced year-round. Boulevard Brewing suggests drinking this brew from a tulip glass. The bottle had a "Best By" date of 04/28/13 - meaning this brew should last at least a couple of years in your cellar.

Boulevard Brewing describes their beer as an "...exotic, inky concoction, the almost magical creation of our alchemist/brewers, who have turned humble grains - barley, wheat, rye, and oats - into pure, black, liquid gold. Layers of complex flavors slowly emerge from the glass: espresso, roasted fig, crème brûlée. Belgian yeast provides a plum-like fruitiness, noble German hops reveal spicy, herbal notes, while the rich velvety mouthfeel mellows to a dry, smoky finish." Wow, that's a mouthful to live up to.

Boulevard Dark Truth StoutAppearance: Dark Truth Stout poured nearly black and built up a big 3-finger brown head in no time. The head seemed to last a long time and a thick lacing stuck well to the side of the tulip glass. This beer poured thick and I couldn't see any light get through on the edges. It's about as dark as you can get for an imperial stout.

Aroma: This beer had a lot of wonderful roasted chocolate malt and dark fruit aroma. I couldn't pick up on much coffee in the nose like I usually do in imperial stouts, but rather this brew had just a slight Belgian-yeast smell and a hint of spiciness to it. I got the feeling this stout would be a bit sweeter just from swirling the brew in the glass and breathing deep. Lingering in the background was a hint of campfire-like smoke, a nice touch.

Taste: I was careful not to drink this brew too cold. Imperial stouts should be allowed to stand for a bit and breathe. There was definitely a sweet fruity taste up front that was immediately followed by a dark roasty texture. The sweetness was nearly a bit tart at first, but once I got used to that the smooth texture of the various malts came through.

My tongue got slightly coated as I would expect, yet it was smooth, slightly drying and thick bodied throughout. This was not a very smokey beer, but rather, it gave the impression of smoked malts and twisted it wildly with the dark fruits and spice of the yeast and hops. The sweetness stuck around from start to finish on this beer.

Overall: I had sampled one of these beers a few days earlier before I sat down to fully review it. At that time, I hadn't known about the Belgian-yeast and thought it to be a bit sweet. Now that I know about the strain of yeast I can understand why this beer tasted the way it did.

I enjoy almost all imperial stouts I've tried and with each one I've seen something different. Boulevard did a good job in creating a hugely dark, roasty and sweet imperial stout with a hint of smoke that became more noticeable as it warmed. The sweetness of the brew seemed to out do the 60 IBUs that were put into this brew and I felt it was just a bit unbalanced. I would have liked to see a bit more coffee notes in this brew and a bit less dark fruit and tartness.

Still, on a cool day, this beer was satisfying. Dark Truth Stout was an enjoyable slow sipper of a stout. I might suggest splitting this 12oz bottle into 2 servings due to it's potent ABV value and pairing it with a dark chocolate raspberry ice-cream or other sweetened dessert.

It's nice to know that no matter how many imperial stouts are out there, each one definitely has their own unique characteristics. Expect a slightly funky sweet twist to this imperial stout and you'll be a repeat customer. Try this for #StoutDay on November 3rd!

Video showing the pour of Boulevard Dark Truth Stout:

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Related articles:
- Great Divide Belgian-style Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Imperial Stout review.
- Oskar Blues taps Smoke on the Water and Ten Fidy.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

Wishing all of you ghouls and goblins a safe and wonderful Halloween. There are plenty of parties and celebrations going on. Remember to watch for those little ones running around your area. Be sure to enjoy responsibly and don't over do it like these pumpkins did below. Your body will thank you for it later. Have fun, but not too much fun.

Don't be a drunken pumpkin this year!

Click image to enlarge. Thanks to Google Image Search for this compilation of drunk pumpkins.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Dark Days of November to pour at Odell Brewing

The days grow shorter, but the dark brews grow stronger. Odell Brewing is giving into the Dark Side in November and turning over most of it's taps into dark beer wonders. Every day in November there will be specials, with dark firkins and live music on Wednesdays and tasty brews never seen before that will stick around all month long. Welcome back this treasured time and sample some of their darker temptations. Check out the poster below for clues as to what you'll find at their tap room in Fort Collins during the dark days of November. Can't wait! And on November 3rd, International Stout Day (#StoutDay), this will be the perfect place to be!

Odell's Dark Days of November

Odell Dark Days of November
Click to see a larger image.

Related articles:
- Turn the clock back with Odell Mountain Standard Double Black IPA.
- Odell Frieks out once again.
- Odell marks the return of Bourbon Barrel Stout.

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Colorado Beer News 102811

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Frankenstein Friday and International Bandanna Day. Put on your favorite bandanna, grab your buddy Frank and go grab a stein with him. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Friday, October 28th, 2011.

If you have some Colorado brewery news items you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day (10am to 5pm) so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Meadery of the Rockies (Palisade) - Had some mead lately? The bees were busy all summer long just for you. The Meadery now has their Chocolate Cherry Satin back in stock. It's been their #1 seller this year. Also they have a supply of other meads including some wonderful Spiced Mead. Check out their products on

Arvada Beer CompanyArvada Beer Company (Arvada) - Today's the day! Arvada Beer Company officially opens it's doors. Doors open at 11am and close at 11pm. They're hoping to see a lot of you there today. Remember to tell the person at the door that you are a friend on Facebook and they'll buy your second drink (limit one per person). The brewery is located at 5600 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada.

Kannah Creek Brewing Company (Grand Junction) - New brew alert! Tapping at 3pm today: The Strong Ale. It is a maltier and stronger version of our pale ale. Unlike our pale ale they do not dry hop this version to achieve a good malt and hop balance using Summit hops exclusively. It is dark amber in color with a noticeable warming affect…just in time for the change in weather. So get out of the cold and stop in for a pint.

Avery Brewing (Boulder) - The initial sale might be over but there is still some Rumpkin to be found. Come and get the first Rumpkin on draft at THE PINYON in Boulder. Rumpkin Draft Release and Costume Party this Sunday from 4-7! $25 gets you fall inspired appetizers, cheese and meat samples provided by Cured and a 10oz pour of Rumpkin. Best costume wins a Rumpkin 6-pack. Party on. They only have a few kegs for the whole state so come get your Rumpkin!

Weekend Tastes (Around Colorado) - here's a sampling of what brews you can sample at select breweries across Colorado this weekend:
- Big Beaver Brewing: Red Beaver and Black Cat Porter
- Denver Beer Company: Vanilla Pumpkin Porter - today 4pm
- Odell Brewing: Friek - a returning favorite
- Bristol Brewing: Winter Warlock on nitro!
- Vine Street Pub: Nitro Java Porter, Annapurna Amber, XXX Pale Ale and more
- Telluride Brewing: Tempter IPA - with 5 kinds of hops
- Carver Brewing: Bryant's Best - for their Halloween party
- Crabtree Brewing: Oatmeal Stout - mmmmm
- Southern Sun: Saison D'ete - last keg
- Steamworks Brewing: The Devil's Fruit Basket

What are you drinking this weekend?

Odell Dark DaysOdell Brewing (Fort Collins) announces the return of Dark Days November - An Odell Brewing Black Pint Affair. It's a Total Eclipse of the Taps celebrating Darker Days and Brews all month long at their tap room. Events include: Firkins and Live Music every Wednesday. Special dark brews on tap: Bourbon Barrel Stout, Mt Std Double Black IPA, Nitro Cutthroat Porter, Cranberry Oatmeal Porter, Mash of the Titans Milk Chocolate Espresso Imperial Stout, Chocolate Mint Porter, Raspberry stout, Dark wit, Pumpkin Ale, Beet Porter, Vanilla Porter, Imperial Brett Stout, and Bourbon Barrel Aged 90 Shilling. What a better way to give in to the Dark Side!

C.B. & Potts (Fort Collins) - Spend Halloween at Potts! On Monday, October 31st at 11pm, be wearing your best costume for a chance to win $100. Drink $1 Potts beers from 9pm to close. Exlcusively at the Fort Collins location - 1415 W. Elizabeth.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) is participating in the DnalevoL Fall Beer Dinner on November 9th at 6pm at the Wapiti Colorado Pub at 701 Clubhouse Drive at Mariana Butte. 5 different beers paired with 5 food dishes. The first 32 reservations are entered to win a 3 day trip to Las Vegas! For details, see the Facebook event.

Freshcraft (Denver) will be tapping a very special firkin at 7 pm on October 31st in celebration of Halloween – FrankenSKA’s Monster Porter. Ska Brewing Company's head brewer Thomas Larsen created this delicious monstrosity by taking Nefarious Ten Pin Porter and adding gobs of Halloween candy to the cask for secondary fermentation – including candy corn & pumpkin Reese’s peanut butter cups. This one is truly a monster – in a good way! Thomas will be in from Durango as well to talk (and drink) beer. They will be giving away some cool Ska Brewing gear to the best dressed – extra points for those that come wearing Ska themed attire.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) is in the midst of expanding to build a new canning line. This new line will allow 16oz cans to be produced. Confirmed this week - both Fat Tire and Ranger IPA will be among the first beers to go into the new 16oz cans. (Re:

This post is constantly updated throughout the day from 10am to 5pm. Stop back later to catch up on all the days Colorado Beer News!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Colorado Beer News 102711

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Cranky Co-workers Day and American Beer Day. Know what will cheer them up? Take them out for a local craft beer after work today! Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Thursday, October 27th, 2011.

If you have some Colorado brewery news items you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day (10am to 5pm) so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Arvada Beer Company (Arvada) is opening tomorrow, Friday October 28th! Since they passed 1000 Facebook fans, tell the hostess at the door that you are a fan of theirs on Facebook and you'll get a 2nd beer free when you buy one. Limit one per person per day. They'll be open at 11am tomorrow with 6 beers on tap: Rolston's Golden Ale, Olde Town Brown, Poolhall Porter, Mexican Lager and Goldline IPA.

Ale House at Amato's (Denver) - This coming Monday, Halloween, October 31st from 5pm to 9pm - Join Breckenridge Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse at the Ale House in Denver for a spooky tasting event! Sample some wicked rare brews and trick-or-treat in style! $5 includes 6 tasters and one FREE pint!

C.B. & Potts (all locations) is celebrating American Beer Day and National Potato Day today October 27th with $2.99 Blonde pints and $3.00 Fry Combos. Head to Facebook for a coupon to present when ordering.

Beer with mint - Two Fort Collins breweries are offering up firkins with mint as an ingredient this week. Pateros Creek brewed up a Peppermint Porter in their Outlaw tap this week. And Equinox Brewing has a firkin tapping today called Mint Chocolate Chip Sunset Stout. Both brews are in limited quantities so act fast.

The Library Sports Grille & Brewery (Winter Park) - Warm up with one of their beers and some chicken wings. Today all day long - $8 for a Pint and a Pound of Wings.

Copper Kettle Brewing (Denver) - Don't forget about their Halloween party and new tap release on Monday, October 31st! Don't let your costumes go to waste only using them once. Come show CKBC your most creative, funniest costume and win a free growler! Belgian Dubbel release this Monday! Party runs from 6pm to 8pm Monday.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) - Tis the season to help others. Support New Belgium's "The Glass That Gives" drive. Buy a NBB glass and some of the proceeds can be given to one of several different charities. Details here.

Great Divide Brewing (Denver) - Westword broke the news that Great Divide will be replacing Belgica with another beer this winter. Nomad, a Bohemian Pilsner will debut in January in 6-packs. This brew won't be ordinary by any means, Great Divide plans on making this a big full-flavored brew. Read the full article on Westword about this upcoming addition.

Mountain Sun (Boulder) - Stout month may be coming up in February, but the folks at Mountain Sun are already busy brewing dark beers. They've got a Walkabout Stout and Addiction Coffee Imperial Stout already brewing in their tanks. If you can't wait til then, don't worry, #StoutDay is coming November 3rd.

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New Belgium launches The Glass That Gives Holiday Program

New Belgium BrewingThe coming of snow and winter often brings out the best in people. New Belgium is launching a holiday program that aims to help others by donating a portion of the sale of glassware to those in need. Please read the following press release to read about this new holiday venture from New Belgium Brewing.

New Belgium Brewing Launches “The Glass That Gives” Program This Holiday Season

Purchases of Stylish Belgian Glassware Support a Variety of Nonprofits

Ft. Collins, Colorado, October 27, 2011 – A glass filled with beer is joyous any time of year, but add a splash of philanthropic giving and it tastes even better. New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, is giving back during the gift-giving season by offering beer globe glasses that benefit nonprofit organizations. Each winterized two-pack gift box is available for $8.99, with $1.00 from each purchase going to one of four participating beneficiaries. Visitors to can select “The Glass That Gives” to purchase glassware and designate which organization they would like to support.

New for 2011, New Belgium will roll out smaller 12/14 oz. glasses (12 ounces to the line, 14 ounces to the top) in addition to the classic 16/18 oz. globes (16 ounces to the line, 18 ounces to the top). Many bars will also feature the glasses with a new rack specifically designed for the New Belgium globes.

The nonprofits benefitting from “The Glass That Gives” program include:

• Water Keeper Alliance (, whose mission is to provide a way for communities to stand up for their right to clean water and for the wise and equitable use of water resources, both locally and globally.
• People for Bikes (, whose mission is to make bicycling safer, more convenient, and appealing to everyone.
• Organic Farming Research Foundation (, whose mission is to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems.
• Save the Colorado Foundation (, which is focused on supporting environmental organizations working to protect and restore the endangered Colorado River.

In addition, New Belgium is asking people to upload images of themselves with their New Belgium glassware to New Belgium’s Facebook page ( For every photo uploaded, New Belgium will donate $1.00 to one of the selected nonprofits. Even better, every time it snows in Ft. Collins, New Belgium will handpick a few fans who have uploaded to receive their own glassware.

New Belgium’s globes, which were first introduced in 2009, continue to fly off the shelves. Built from stem to lip to enhance the beer tasting experience, the globe shape captures and directs the beer’s aromas toward the nose, while a narrow opening benefits the foam; the logo etching on the bottom of the glass provides nucleation, designed to refresh and release flavors and create a continuous stream of bubbles; and it is all balanced atop a sturdy stem to keep hands from warming the beer and to allow for unobstructed viewing pleasure.

“The Glass that Gives program is a great way to give a stellar gift to the beer drinker in your life while giving financial support to a worthy cause,” said New Belgium Brewing Spokesperson Bryan Simpson. “It’s like double dipping on gift-giving.”

Visit New Belgium’s holiday party at to buy globes and other goodies. The glassware will be available from November 1 to December 31.

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 nine year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit, Ranger IPA, Belgo IPA 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


Related articles:
- New Belgium Glass That Gives program is going strong.
- New Belgium VIP tasting highlights 092911.
- New Belgium gave Joy Rides to thousands.
- New Belgium pulls off a Clutch Kick.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crabtree Serenity Amber Ale review

Crabtree Serenity Amber AleAmber beers don't excite you? Should they? Or should they simply satisfy you? I was looking for a beer to drink as an after work treat. I believe I found one in Crabtree Brewing's Serenity Amber Ale.

Serenity is one of Crabtree's classic standards. It's been on tap at the brewery for years. Funny how something I've tried in the past can go unreviewed for so long, but I finally got my chance when I picked up a 6-pack this week when I was looking for something easy drinking for my own private happy hour.

Serenity has a new label this year and is available in 12oz 6-packs for the first time. Previously only available in bombers. It weighed in at 6.1% ABV and at a noticeable 45 IBU, higher than most ambers. By design it was brewed to be unfiltered and slightly hoppy. It's also brewed right here in my own town of Greeley, Colorado.

Appearance: Crabtree Serenity poured a dark amber color and had a very small off-white head. The beer was very cold so I wasn't surprised that the head wasn't bigger. I like to start a beer sampling cold and see how well holds as it warms up. Once the head disappeared, this brew almost looked identical to a Coca Cola in appearance only with a bit less bubbles and the ability to see right through it. For an unfiltered beer, this brew had clarity. It did have nice amber red edges around the glass.

Aroma: Before the time I used to explore a lot of different craft beers I initially started drinking brown ales and ambers. This beer has all the wonderful aromas of rich malts and a touch of sweetness. Having a little more IBUs than most, I could also detect a slightly citrus and spice in the nose. This smelled like a good old classic amber with a bit of hop.

Taste: Serenity has a true solid malty taste. It was only slightly sweet, light to medium bodied and had just enough bitterness throughout to balance the malt. I'm glad Crabtree decided to put in a few extra hops as this seemed to be the best mix for balancing out all the sweet malts. This brew was easy drinking, tasted clean and finished clean. This was a good whistle wetter, meaning, it didn't dry out my mouth, rather it hydrated it.

Overall: The beer by itself was satisfying. It didn't blow my socks off, but then again it wasn't not supposed to. In my experience, most ambers taste a lot alike. Crabtree made this one stand up as well as all others.

All too often I've found too many beers these days that try to be over the top with everything. It's nice to know that I can still find a beer that's made traditionally, without all the extra shock, yet worthy. Serenity was good and would just be right for just about any kind of occasion. This beer drank like a session, but with just enough ABV to sneak up on me at the end of the bottle.

This brew would go well with most American food at either a lunch or dinner. I'd pair it more with red meat than with white meat. This could even go well with a hearty salad or even with a light dessert. I enjoyed that Serenity gave me a clean and satisfying malty brew experience. I'd definitely get this one again.

Video showing the pour of Crabtree Brewing's Serenity Amber Ale:

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Related articles:
- Crabtree Berliner Weisse Ale review.
- Crabtree Boxcar Brown and Twisted Creek Wheat reviews.
- Crabtree releases their Chunkin Pumpkin.

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Colorado Beer News 102611

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Mule Day. If you live in Colorado, you're gonna need a mule to help clear all the broken tree branches and snow from last nights storm. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Wednesday, October 26th, 2011.

If you have some Colorado brewery news items you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day (10am to 5pm) so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Dad and Dude's Breweria (Aurora) - Join them next Tuesday, November 1st for their 1 Year Anniversary! They will be taking over the taps and releasing some amazing beers. D&DB will have a Russian Imperial Stout (their 100th batch), an Imperial IPA (their 500th batch), a Chocolate Pumpkin Saison, a barrel-aged Porter, a Belgian Tripel, and a Cognac-oaked Belgian Dubbel. In addition, they'll have a few of their regular beers as well.

Renegade Brewing (Denver) - Join in for the Renegade Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 29th at 6pm! Beer prizes for the scariest, funniest, best look-a-like, best beer themed, and sluttiest, yes sluttiest, costumes. Dressing slutty seems to be a staple of Halloween so we figure we might as well reward the person who does it best.

The Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) - due to the wonderful snow Colorado received last night they will be running specials today on PINTS and half PINTS in the Tasting room! Come on in and share this great snow day with us.. Also, Bugs,Buggers, and Brews in the house tonight! 4-6pm

Crooked Stave (Fort Collins) is releasing a new beer today in the Funkwerks tap room! Surette will be released at 4pm today and will be available both on draft and in bottles. Also, Funkwerks is pouring a special version of Mon Tresor today. Come in get a full or half glass of their limited Pumpkin Spiced Mon Tresor!

Wit's End Brewing (Denver) is proud to announce their 1st commercial tapping of their beer at The Kitchen Cafe in Boulder. Look for Jean-Claude Van Blond to be on tap starting today in Boulder.

CarbondaleBW (Carbondale) has their brewer, el Jeffe, busy working. They are cranking up an IPA today. Also they're kegging the Punkin' Ale and serving it up on the Nitro Tap tomorrow. It's like Pumpkin Pie in a glass. Stop in to listen to Hell Roaring String Band tonight. Show starts around 8pm and no cover.

Oskar Blues (Longmont) says "Show Us Your Cans". On Friday, October 28th at Lodo's Bar & Grill (Denver) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm - if you can build the best "Beeramid" (beer pyramid) then you could win $25 to Lodo's and $25 to Home Made Liquids & Solids. Win or lose you can still get $3 Dale's and Old Chub cans all night.

Also from Oskar Blues - you can earn a FREE Oskar Blues pint glass in 2 easy steps. 1. Show up at Buffalo Wild Wings in Thornton tonight between 5-6:30pm. 2. Order an Oskar Blues G'Knight Imperial Red Ale and the glass is yours to keep.

Pateros Creek Brewing (Fort Collins) - despite all the snow, Pateros Creek will still be open today, so their Pints and Purls activity is still on for today. After you get done shoveling snow, stop in for a brewski in their warm tasting room.

Left Hand Brewing (Longmont) This Saturday night: Zombie Prom! Come drink beer at Left Hand and listen to music all decked out in your finest Halloween attire. The party will start around 5pm, and continue into the evening, with an after hours concert with Kort McCumber beginning at 8pm.

Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) has a hot brew planned for this cold day. Today Odell will be serving up a firkin with a Ghost Pepper version of their 5 Barrel Pale Ale. It's hot peppers baby! While your pepper burn is going on, you can listen to HWY 287 playing in the tap room from 4 to 6pm.

Shamrock Brewing Company (Pueblo) is through a Trick For Treat Halloween Party on the evening of Saturday, October 29th at the brewery. Show them your best trick and they'll give you a treat. Best tricks of the night can earn $20, $30 or even $50. Tricks must be safe to perform and approved by Shamrock before attempting. Lots of drink specials. Live music from 10:30pm to 12:30am. Get to 108 W. 3rd Street in Pueblo.

Renegade Brewing (Denver) - in a continuing series of articles and videos, recently interviewed founder Brian O'Connell and his thoughts for the future. They might not distribute their beer now but it's something being considered for the future. View the article/video at

Strange Brewing (Denver) is having a snow day special! Come in for $2 off all growlers all day long! Also, happy hour all day on Wednesdays at Strange Brewing.

Snow DaySnow Day (statewide) - it's officially a snow day here in Colorado, at least here in Greeley, CO where we got over a foot of heavy snow. Heavy enough to snap several large branches down and cause a mess. And it was just 80 degrees 2 days ago! That's Colorado for you. Most breweries are staying open today and are offering you specials if you are brave enough to venture out after your shoveling is done. Here's the scene from Fermentedly Challenged HQ.

This post is constantly updated throughout the day from 10am to 5pm. Stop back later to catch up on all the days Colorado Beer News!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Colorado Beer News 102511

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Sourest Day and also Punk for a Day Day. So while you're wearing your worst outfit and acting rebellious, grab one of the sourest ales you can find and punk out! Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Tuesday, October 25th, 2011.

If you have some Colorado brewery news items you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day (10am to 4pm) so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

BierWerks Brewery (Woodland Park) will host the 2nd annual Holiday Cheer Christmas Beer Homebrew Competition going on in December. Entries accepted until December 15th at BierWerks (also drop-off at The Brew Hut/Dry Dock in Aurora between December 10-15). A special party will then be held on December 17th to announce the winners. $5 entry fee - AHA sanctioned event. More info.

All Colorado Beer Fest (Colorado Springs) is coming up very soon on Saturday, November 5th. Do you have your tickets yet? Two separate sessions and dozens of Colorado breweries will be in attendance. Don't miss this last big brew fest of the year in Colorado.

Pumphouse Brewery (Longmont) is hosting a Pumpkin Carve-Off on Saturday, October 29th at 10pm in the Red Zone next to the brewery / restaurant. Sign ups begin at 9:30pm. You could win FREE BEER!!! Participation is free, but space is limited. Each participant must sign up in person. Working in teams is encouraged! Must be 21+ to enter.

Pateros Creek Brewing (Fort Collins) originally sold and delivered their first kegs of Cache la Porter exactly 1 year ago today. That officially makes them 1 year old today. Wish them a happy 1st anniversary!

Kannah Creek Brewing (Grand Junction) - speaking of anniversaries, Kannah Creek is also having one today. They are celebrating 6 years of fantastic beers, food and faithful fans and staff today. Everyone wish them well as they celebrate their Kannahversary!

Upslope Brewing Company (Boulder) - not to be outdone - Upslope will be celebrating their 3rd anniversary on November 5th at a party at the brewery from 2pm to 9pm that day. There will be live music, food and lots of rare Upslope brews on tap. Stop on down for some tastes you can't get from their canned brews.

Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) is going to FRIEK OUT! This Saturday, October 29th in their tap room will mark the return of their Friek, the 2011 GABF Gold Medal winner in the Wood & Barrel Aged Sour Beer category. Live music, local food. Prizes for the FRIEKiest costumes. Party starts at 1pm and goes til 6pm. Food by strEATs mobile bistro 1pm to close.

Twisted Pine Brewing (Boulder) is considering putting together a musical compilation album of local artists to compliment the enjoyment of their beer. Anyone interested in participation whether artist, record label, music dabbler, etc let them know. They would love to get better acquainted with their local artists. See Facebook.

Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs) is sponsoring a beer dinner tomorrow, October 26th at The Blue Star at 6:30pm. Cost is $65 per person. Rumor has it that it may be the last place you can get some of their Venetucci Pumpkin Ale this year. Info at: Constant Contact.

Avery Brewing (Boulder) - on the heals of their successful Rumpkin barrel-aged brew will come their next in a trilogy of their annual Barrel-Aging Releases. This winter, Avery will release their Uncle Jacob's Bourbon Barrel Stout. Later on, a third as yet to be named brew will complete the trilogy. Also look for a new label for their seasonal release of The Czar Imperial Stout this year. Check out their Halloween party on the 31st at 6pm at the taproom too.

Carver Brewing Company (Durango) - Carver will host their Halloween Party on Saturday, October 29th at 9pm. Live music from Waiting On Trial. $4 pints. 21+ only showing and there is no cover. Keg giveaway and prizes for best costumes. Also - Powerhouse Porter is now on tap at Carver Brewing! This is a fantastic beer, using 20 pounds of our Organic Aroma Coffee in the brew, giving this dark, roasty, rich brew a little kick!

Dry Dock Brewing (Aurora) - guess what's on tap? Half Moon Pumpkin Ale is on again! Also available from their beer engine as well. Stock up before the snow hits. Growlers of Stranahan's Porter and Braggot available too.

Cranknstein (Fort Collins) - FoCo's newest beer bar/cafe/bike shop may have opened a while back but they're going to throw a GRAND OPENING PARTY anyway on Saturday November 5th all day long until closing. Come for a day full of beer/coffee/bicycle related events and fun! Plus a little live music! Downtown Ft Collins at 215 North College Avenue.

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery (Boulder) wants you to know their latest tap line-up. Come in for: Nitro & CO2 Colorado Kind Ale, Nitro Old School Stout, Bombshell Blonde, Annapurna Amber, Resinous Rye, Nitro & CO2 Java Porter, Smoke Screen Porter, Dropkick Stout, Franklin’s Strong Golden, XXX Pale, F.Y.I.P.A, Take One Stout, Quinn’s Golden Ale, Blackberry Wheat, Saison Payaso & Super Kind.

Steamworks Brewing (Durango) is planning to tap a special firkin on Friday, November 4th at 3pm. This time it's a Pumpkin Pie Firkin - based on their award winning Steam Engine Lager and mixed with roasted pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Firkins kick quick so be there around 3pm to get a pint from this 9 gallon batch.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Turn the clock back with Odell Mountain Standard

Odell Mountain Standard Double Black IPAJust as we prepare for the upcoming time change, Odell Brewing is releasing their seasonal Mountain Standard Double Black IPA on November 5th. This is a big brew and will only be available in 4-packs. The following is a press release from Odell Brewing released today.

It’s Mountain Standard Time!
Odell Brewing Celebrates the Season with New Four Pack

Fort Collins, CO. – On November 5, 2011, Odell Brewing will celebrate the return of darker days with the arrival of Mountain Standard Double Black IPA. This year, the brew returns as a four pack offering.

Named for the time zone in which the brewery resides, Mountain Standard Double Black IPA features hops grown on Colorado’s western slope. In late August, the brewery production team ventured west to hand select the hops used. Cascade and Chinook varietals present a robust hop aroma and essence that complements the rich and roasty malt backbone.

According to the Draft Magazine review, “this brew’s enduring malt character and citrus hops illustrate how the two ingredients can find equal footing, even in a bold version of the emerging style.”

Odell Brewing will host a “Mountain Standard Bash” on November 5th to kick off the brew and celebrate Colorado’s ski and snowboard season. The outdoor event begins at 6 p.m. and will feature samples of the brew, live music, food trucks, a variety of local ski and snowboard purveyors, and a screening of the Teton Gravity Research film, Under the Influence. The brewery will also raffle a custom Odell Brewing snowboard by Oz Snowboards with proceeds benefiting the CSU Snowriders.

Mountain Standard Double Black IPA will be available November – early spring in the brewery’s ten state distributor region.

Founded in 1989, Odell Brewing was started by Doug Odell, his wife Wynne, and his sister Corkie. Twenty-one years later, the culture of family and collaboration still thrives fostering a brewery full of beer-centric people. It is this passion for beer that inspires Odell Brewing to create quality, hand-crafted, innovative brews. In 2010 the brewery completed its fourth expansion, adding a wood-aging cellar, a 750 ml bottling line, and a 76 kilowatt photovoltaic system capable of providing 25% of the brewery’s peak energy demand. As a regional craft brewery, Odell Brewing is committed to serving the communities in which it distributes by sourcing local raw materials, and through its charitable giving program known as Odell Outreach. Odell Brewing was recently named a “Top Company of 2010” by ColoradoBiz Magazine and is an award winning brewery, nationally and internationally: 2011 Great American Beer Festival® - gold medal for Friek. 2010 North American Beer Awards – gold medal for Woodcut No. 3. 2009 BrewNZ Awards – gold for 5 Barrel Pale Ale. 2008 World Beer Cup® – gold for IPA. 2007 Great American Beer Festival® – gold medal for IPA.

# # #

Related articles:
- Grapes vs Grains dinner at Austin's American Grill - featuring Odell
- Odell Brewing Frieks out once again.
- Odell marks the return of Bourbon Barrel Stout.

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Colorado Beer News 102411

Colorado Beer NewsToday is United Nations Day. Let's get united and share a beer today with our fellow earthy inhabitants around the globe. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Monday, October 24th, 2011.

If you have some Colorado brewery news items you'd like included in the daily Colorado Beer News post please contact me today. This page is constantly updated during the day (10am to 4pm) so stop back here often for all the latest news. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Asher Brewing Company (Boulder) - Everyone's invited to the Asher Brewing Company's Halloween party this Saturday, October 29th from 6pm to 12 midnight at the brewery at 4699 Nautilus Court in Boulder. There will be live music from 18 Switchbacks starting at 7pm. RollinGreens will be serving food starting at 6pm. Prizes for best costumes and of course plenty of great Asher's beer.

Avery Brewing Company (Boulder) - Don't forget - Rumpkin Draft Release and Costume Party this Sunday from 4-7pm at The Pinyon in Boulder! $25 gets you fall inspired appetizers, cheese and meat samples provided by Cured and a 10oz pour of Rumpkin provided by Avery Brewing Company. Best costume wins a Rumpkin 6-pack. Party on. They only have a few kegs for the whole state so come get your Rumpkin on!

Renegade Brewing (Denver) - not to be outdone, Renegade is having their own Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 29th from 6pm to 10pm at the brewery. Come kick off Halloween weekend with some tricks and treats from Renegade! Beery prizes for the best costumes! Also, Renegade will be closed today for a private event. They will be back open to the public on Tuesday.

Grand Lake Brewing (Grand Lake) has a lot of new offerings. The taphouse is now serving breakfast Saturday and Sundays from 8am til noon. November is FREE beer month - buy any 6-pack at the brewpub ad receive a free 7th bottled beer or 12oz draft. Plus, an All You Can Eat Pizza Buffet at the taphouse Sundays 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm. Mondays also from 5pm to 9pm. All for $12 for adults or $6 for kids.

Loveland Ale Works (Loveland) - This brewery under construction is busy refurbishing it's future facility at 118 West 4th Street in Loveland. Owner and head brewer Nick Calloway and crew have been hard at work renovating a 100+ year old complex to convert it into a microbrewery. Check out all their latest efforts on their Facebook page. Look for them to open by early 2012.

Arvada Beer Company (Arvada) is busily preparing for their grand opening on October 28th. They've got a special offer, if you "Like" them on Facebook and are one of the first 1000 to Like them they will let you Buy a beer and get the second beer free. Simply show them your name on their Facebook Like list. This offer good only until October 31st. See you opening day at 5600 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada on the 28th!

Crooked Stave (Fort Collins) will be releasing their 4th bottled beer, Surette, this Wednesday at Funkwerks brewery in Fort Collins. Come out at 6pm for a tapping and bottle release party. Surette is their wood-aged farmhouse brew and is made with malted barley, wheat, oats, Rye and Spelt and then aged for months on oak foeder. Check it out this Wednesday!

CAUTION: Brewing (Denver) - What are you doing the evening of Sunday, Oct 30th? Come by the brewery at 5pm for a tasty Halloween treat! They are debuting their newest Halloween brew - Toaster Bat Black! Imagine a big, dark, crazy, smoked, well malted and hopped robust porter. Halloween in a glass! Stop by the brewery in costume for a special treat at the brewery. See you there!

Ouray Brewery (Ouray) - Who wants to win a $50 gift certificate to the Brewery? Show up this Saturday between 6pm-9pm in the most fantastic, ghostly, haunted costume. They will take your photo with your brew and the staff will vote for their favorite costume for the night. Musician Andrew Wynne will announce the winner at 9 pm at the brewery.

Fieldhouse Brewing Company (Colorado Springs) might not be open yet but they are busy brewing up new test recipes that they hope will be on tap when they open next year. They're brewing up a Honey Wheat, a Golden Cream Ale, and a Bourbon Vanilla Porter (just brewed today). Look for special tasting events coming soon.

Austin's American Grill (Fort Collins) is hosting a Grapes vs Grains Dinner on Thursday, November 10th at 6pm. This four-course meal will be paired with both a select wine and Odell beer with each course and you get to vote on which pairing wins at the end of the night. Details at this article.

Golden City Brewery (Golden) will present an encore release of their highly popular Hatch Chile Beer tomorrow, Tuesday October 25th at the brewery. This fall classic brew won't last long. If you missed out the first time this will be your last chance.

Copper Kettle Brewing Company (Denver) - mark your calendars. On Monday, October 31st, they will be hosting a Belgian Dubbel Release party and a Costume Contest from 6pm to 8pm at the brewery. Free growler to the best costume of the night. Watch MNF in your Halloween gear.

Aspen Brewing Company (Aspen) is in the process of installing a brand new canning line this week. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the week. Look for their IPA and Blonde in cans in time for Thanksgiving.

The Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) has some tasty tappings awaiting you. On November 4th they will release their Double Chocolate Stout on Nitro! Also, at their Halloween Party (Saturday, October 29th at 2pm-7pm) they will have their Bourbon Barrel-aged Doppelbock available.

Crabtree Brewing (Greeley) is holding their annual Halloween Party on Saturday, October 29th from 5pm to 11pm. Join in for laughs, beers, great food and FUN. All with no cover charge. They'll be doing a Potluck this year. Everyone is invited to bring their best dish to share with everyone. Potluck runs from 5pm to 7pm. Live music from 7pm to 10pm. $250 in prizes to be given away for best potluck dish, best costume and more.

Rocky Mountain Brew FestRocky Mountain Brew Fest (Denver) - a new brew fest is being scheduled at The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo this year during November 4th through November 6th. Colorado skiers and riders are passionate about their powder, their resorts and their favorite trails. Many of them are equally passionate about their favorite beers, brews and ales. So, at this year’s 20th Annual Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo, the first, and hoped-to-be annual, Rocky Mountain Brew Fest debuts. For an additional $25 ($20 if you purchase in advance online before midnight, Nov. 3), Expo visitors can sample dozens of handcrafted beers and ales during one of four 3-hour tasting sessions during the weekend. Session #1: Friday, Nov. 4 from 6-9 PM. Session #2: Saturday, Nov. 5 from 1-4PM. Session #3: Saturday, Nov 5 from 5-8PM. Session #4: Sunday, Nov. 6 from 2-5PM. Info at - A limited number of separate Brew Fest tickets for each session will be available for $20 if purchased online in advance by November 3rd, or $25 at the door if space is still available.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) is expanding, in fact they plan to double it's current production. An additional 2500 square feet in the unit next door has opened up and Grimm Brothers grabbed it. Three new barrels soon to arrive will help up their production to 30 or 40 barrels a week. Also a new year-round brew is coming called The Griffin, a hefeweizen. Look for their distribution to expand to Boulder, Longmont and even Denver soon.

Oskar Blues (Longmont) recently was the subject of a Longmont Times Call article about their current expansion construction. Entitled: "Oskar Blues HQ expands", the article gives details about their upcoming new canning line that will have the option of producing 16oz cans in 2012, including Deviant Dale's IPA. The new line is revamping about 1/8th of it's existing warehouse. Along with the new canning line, six new fermentation tanks will also be added. Life is good for Oskar Blues after earning 3 medals at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.

This post is constantly updated throughout the day from 10am to 5pm. Stop back later to catch up on all the days Colorado Beer News!

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15 Holiday Gift Ideas for Homebrewers

Holiday Gift Ideas for Homebrewers
Beer festival season may be cooling down, but homebrewing season never ends. It's the time of year for special seasonal ales and lagers and many choose to brew it themselves. Chances are that special person in your life is looking to get started in brewing their own or are looking for something unique to liven up their holiday mashing and lautering sessions.

If you're stuck for a holiday gift idea for your homebrewing friend or loved one then Fermentedly Challenged has come up with several ideas that just might make that budding young brewer of yours a whole lot happier for the holidays. These gifts range in value from $14 and up, something for every holiday budget. (Click any image below to enlarge)

15 Holiday Homebrewing Gift Ideas

Digital Scale#1 - All-Purpose Digital Scale - Homebrewers need to measure out ingredients with a weight capacity of up to 11 pounds for malts and as less than 0.1 ounce for hops and additives. Get a scale that can handle it all and with accuracy. There are several models ranging between $15 to $50 dollars. Price a digital scale.

Refractometer#2 - Refractometer - this handy device instantly measures the sugar content of a sample which helps determine specific gravity, on the Brix scale, of unfermented wort by measuring the degree that light passing through the sample is bent. And it only requires a few drops of wort instead of a flask full with a hydrometer. Can be used for beer or wine. Models range between $32 to $120. Price a Refractometer.

Erlenmeyer Flask#3 - Erlenmeyer Flask - One way to improve a batch of beer is to help ensure the wort has plenty of yeast to get a quick fermentation started. A 1000ml or 2000ml Erlenmeyer Flask along with an airlock and stopper can help create and environment for plenty of yeast ahead of time. Erlenmeyer Flasks normally come in either a 1L or 2L size and range in price between $14 to $25. Stoppers and airlocks sold separately and are less than $10. Optional stir plate for the advanced brewer costs around $80. Price an Erlenmeyer Flask.

Homebrew Starter Kit#4 - Basic/Deluxe Brewing Starter Kits - For the homebrewer who is just starting out, you can easily give them a kit that has just about everything they'll need including, fermentation bucket, bottling bucket, bottle capper, airlock, siphon, hydrometer, no-rinse cleanser, hoses and more. Kits range between $75 to $170 - includes all the basic items for fermenting and bottling your brew. Brew kettle, heat source and beer recipe ingredients not included. Price a Starter Kit.

Brew Kettle#5 - Brew Kettles - Making beer requires a well made boiling kettle large enough to hold your entire batch and then some. Kettles can be made of copper, ceramic, aluminum or stainless steel. Most are pre-manufactured but some can be made from an empty keg. Brew kettle sizes range from 5 gallon up to 55 gallon for those large batches. Costs start as low as $38 up and go all the way up to $620. Check out this article on How to Choose a Brew Kettle.

Coil Wort Chillers#6 - Wort Chillers - Once the wort is done boiling you'll need a way to cool off the liquid fast before you can pitch your yeast. Wort chillers come in either a copper coil form (immersion chiller) from $50 to $165, or in a plate chiller like the Therminator for $199 or a Shirron Plate Chiller around $100. Coil wort chillers come in different sizes. Be sure to get one sized appropriately for the brew kettle and batch size you are using. Price a coil wort chiller.

Bottle Tree#7 - Bottle Tree - Bottle washing can be a lot easier when you have an easy way to way and drain bottles. Bottle tree models hold up between 27 to 90 bottles upside down for draining, drying and storing. Prices range from $21 up to $50. Optional Bottle Rinse attachment cost around $20. Price a Bottle Tree Drainer.

AHA Logo#8 - AHA Membership - give the gift of membership to the American Homebrewers Association. Members get an annual subscription to Zymurgy magazine for homebrewers, local pub discounts, entry into local and national homebrew competitions, and access to buy tickets for the GABF members-only session. Purchase a gift membership online.

Conical fermenters#9 - Stainless Conical Fermenter - an ultimate gift for the advanced homebrewer. These advanced units are built to last. They won't scratch as easily as plastic, and won't allow light or air in. They allow for sediment to be drained separately from the beer and can be purchased with optional leg stands. Stainless steel model sizes range from 7 gallon up to 42 gallon capacities. Prices range from $600 up to $1700. Price a Stainless Conical Fermenter.

Kegging System#10 - Basic Kegging System - Sooner or later you'll want to skip the bottling process and go directly to kegging. Corney kegs allow up to 5 gallons. Expect to spend around $125 new for keg. Add add an extra $100 to $200 for a CO2 tank, regulator, tubing and faucet heads. Basic kits start around $260. Used systems can be much cheaper. Half-size 2.5 gal keg injector systems start around $180. Price a Kegging System.

Blichmann BeerGun#11 - Blichmann BeerGun - For those who already keg their beer but want to bottle up several containers of carbonated beer, try a Blichmann BeerGun. The BeerGun from Blichmann Engineering is a handy bottle filler that eliminates the complication and cleaning of traditional counter pressure (CP) bottle fillers used to fill bottles from kegs. The BeerGun eliminates the complication of CP fillers, while purging a bottle with CO2 and filling it with minimal foaming and carbonation loss. With the optional accessory kit, the BeerGuncosts around $100. Price a BeerGun and accessory kit.

Blochmann HopRocket#12 - Blichmann HopRocket - The Blichmann HopRocket is an incredibly innovative, feature packed hop infusing tool! Not only can it be used as a hopback, it doubles as an in-line hop infuser (Randalizer) for your beer dispensing system and triples as an in-line filter! Definitely cool and can enhance the taste and aroma of your beer. The HopRocket costs around $135. Price a HopRocket.

Outdoor Burner#13 - Outdoor Burners - Eventually, most homebrewers will want to head outdoors and use an outdoor burner than can quickly bring 20 gallons or more of liquid up to a boil quickly. There are many models are available and cost from $49 up to $140 and put out between 80,000 to 180,000 BTUs. Bayou Classic is a popular model. Read an article about the Bayou Classic SP-10.  Price a Bayou Classic SP10.

Wort Transfer Pump#14 - Stainless Steel Transfer Pump - When you need a pump for brewing, you want something that is versatile, food grade, and able to take the heat. Wort transfer pumps are versatile, and will handle everything from just-boiled wort to cooled beer or wine. Most can handle liquids as hot as 250 degrees F., and still be FDA approved (food grade). These pumps are more than enough for brewing, as boiling wort has a temperature of 212 F at sea level, and less as your elevation increases. Models available cost around $140 to $170. Price a Stainless Steel Transfer Pump.

Carboy Parka#15 - Carboy Parka - Worried about moving that full glass carboy? Get one of these protective neoprene covering with sturdy straps for easier carrying. Blocks out light, helps maintain temperature and helps you avoid dangerous drops and breakage. Carboy Parkas cost between $53 and $75. Price a Carboy Parka.

Even More Gift Ideas

Jet Bottle Washer - attach to sink for a high pressure bottle rinse. Less than $17 with adapter.

Extract Recipe Kits - Buy boxed recipe kits for making any of your favorite beer styles. Costs range from $31 up to $50.

Homebrew Supply Gift Certificates - If you can't decide what your favorite homebrewer needs why not get them a gift certificate to their favorite homebrew store. Spend as little as $25 or as much as you like.

Homebrew Class - Here's a great way to get someone started in homebrewing with a lesson on how to brew their own beer. Lessons or classes can sometimes be FREE with a reservation or up to $50 depending on the sponsoring homebrew store or instructor.

Homebrew Books - There's a variety of books available on the subject that covers basic homebrewing all the way up to advanced topics like recipe creation and yeast propagation. Books range from $15 to $50 or more.

There are endless possibilities for gifts for the homebrewer. Are there any other homebrewing gifts you want to add to your list this year? Post a comment and let us know.

This article uses links to High Gravity Homebrewing & Winemaking Supplies out of Tulsa, OK - a reputable business that has been serving homebrewers for years. Commissions earned from links to this store help to pay expenses for this blog.

High Gravity Homebrewing & Winemaking

Related articles:
- Choosing a fermenter for your homebrew.
- Creating a yeast starter for homebrewing.
- Putting together the home brewery.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crabtree Berliner Weisse Ale review

Crabtree Brewing Berliner Weisse AleGreeley finally has a Gold Medal winning beer from none other than the Crabtree Brewing Company. It took them nearly 6 years, but hard work has paid off with their Crabtree Berliner Weisse Ale.

Crabtree's Berliner Weisse took gold at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival in the German-Style Sour Ale category. This beer weighed in at just 4.3% ABV and was brewed with 60% wheat, 40% barley and fermented with both a German weizen yeast and Loctobacillus.

Sour beers are more popular than ever these days and Crabtree came up with a good one. This is the 1st in their anticipated line called The Digital Age Series. The label takes full advantage of QR codes. When scanned, it takes you to a video

Appearance: Crabtree's Berliner Weisse Ale poured a pale yellow with a small bright white head that fizzled down to nothing in just a second or two. There was plenty of carbonation in this beer however. The brew was slightly hazy which is common for this style.

Aroma: Here I got an immediate nose of wheat and light funk of lactic acid with slightly fruity overtones. It was an inviting aroma for a slightly soured ale.

Berliner Weisse posterTaste: I must admit, I've been drinking this beer all summer and fall. This been been my favorite take home growler brew from Crabtree. Their Berliner Weisse was light, crisp, almost bubbly and very very sessionable. Either from a bottle or on tap, this brew tasted refreshing with a nice tangy bite that wasn't overpowering.

Overall: Back when this brew 1st came out I was an instant fan. My preference of this beer stems from my love of sour ales and this one makes drinking a wheat beer very enjoyable. I'm surprised it took me this long to finally write up a review of it. There's no need for any syrup to make this beer better, it stands well on its own.

I asked Jeff Crabtree if this brew will become a year-round beer. He admitted that he wasn't intending it to be year-round, but with it's recent success at the award tables he may need to let it stick around a while longer. I sure hope he makes it year round as I'll probably be his best customer.

Video showing the pour of Crabtree Berliner Weisse Ale:

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

Related articles:
- Crabtree Brett Orange Blossom Saison review.
- Crabtree Syzygy Barrel-Aged Black IPA review.
- A Braggot worth boasting about.

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