Sunday, September 16, 2012

High Hops Brewery debuts with soft opening

High Hops BreweryOfficial or not, a new brewery in Windsor had their doors opened this weekend and began pouring beers. High Hops Brewery did a soft opening this weekend and began showing off their beers in their tasting room inside of the Windsor Gardener shop at 6461 Highway 392 just on the western edge of the downtown area.

It was seemingly the perfect weekend to open. The city was celebrating their Oktoberfest down at Boardwalk Park next to the lake. While polka music was playing near downtown, out on the western outskirts the High Hops Brewery was starting to pour their own beers.

While no tours of the new brewing facility were available, at least not until their official Grand Opening in October, their small, yet cozy tasting room was open with 5 initial beers on tap. They were offering beers either by the pint, by sampler glass or tray, or by growler for take home. While my better half was busy exploring the garden center there at the Windsor Gardener, I decided to try their sampler tray and see what was on tap.

The Beers

High Hops beersFor their soft opening, High Hops had five beers on tap. A few of their upcoming flagship beers were still not available at this time, but that didn't matter to me, these five beers had plenty of variety.

The first was called The Golden One, one of their flagship offerings. This was a lemon pilsner weighing in at 5.7% abv. This was not ordinary pilsner. It had a big bold taste and a bit of lemon in the background. This is going to be one of their most popular beers I could tell right away. Very flavorful and refreshing. (3.5 stars / 5)

Next in the sampler was a beer called Power of Zeus, an American Pale Ale. This had a decent amount of hops in it and had a nice light copper color. This beer weighed in at 6.4% ABV and was a decent example of a Pale Ale. (3 stars / 5)

High Hops Hop FarmThe third beer was their Fresh Hop Ale. This beer is considered an English Bitter infused with wet hops, Nugget I believe, and the hops were grown there on site at the High Hops hop farm. This beer definitely had a very unique hop aroma and was their most power beer weighing in at 7.8% ABV. While I enjoyed the beer, the hop aroma was a bit overpowering. (2.5 stars / 5)

Next came their darkest beer called Hoppy Stout. This beer took a classic stout recipe and put in a lot more hops than ordinary stouts have. This beer had around 50 IBUs, about double the standard amount. The beer had a nice roasty aroma with a big nose on hops as well. It reminded me almost of a Black IPA, only with the dark roasted malts still taking center stage. This beer was measured at 6.2% ABV. (3 stars / 5)

Finally, I saved the hoppiest beer for last as they tend to do a number on your palate. This beer was called Dr. Pat's IPA, a double IPA that weighed in at 7.5% ABV and had around 92 IBUs! This beer had a deep copper color and gave off a big hoppy aroma! Nice. Glad I saved this one for last as it definitely attacked my taste buds with hoppy goodness. (3.5 stars / 5)

High Hops Brewery buildingI talked with the staff there and they told me that there other flagship beers would be available by their grand opening. Those include: The Honeyed One, an American Red Ale with honey; The Noble One, a Belgian-style ale with noble hops; and The Dark One - billed as a "devilishly" delicious Milk Stout. Look for those to be available in October.

High Hops also offered those who dare a gadget that infused Cascade hops into any pint of beer that you order. For about $3 more, you can run your pint through a device that will give your beer an extra dose of citrus and pine aroma. This mini-randalizer device isn't designed to give your beer more bitterness, but rather a bigger boost of hop aroma. I saw a couple of patrons trying that out.

Other than the beers, the tasting room has several big windows overlooking their 2-acre hop farm and also offering up a beautiful view of the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains. Longs Peak takes center stage out the window. Inside there is room enough for about 20-25 people to sit. But you can also take your beer outside on the western side of the building to enjoy it on their nice big patio. I'll have to try the patio next time I'm there.

Outside the homebrew shopI was definitely impressed with the quality of beer being offered. I'm definitely heading back there when they have all of their flagship beers on tap next month. For you homebrewers out there, they also have a homebrew shop on the southwest corner of the building too. The brewery itself is housed in a brand new building on the north side of the property.

Some pictures except for those marked otherwise were courtesy High Hops Brewery and their Facebook page. Visit them also on their web site at:

High Hops Brewery
6461 Hwy 392
Windsor, CO 80550
(970) 686-9771

Related articles:
- Hop Harvest Time in Windsor Colorado. (2011)
- Hops are a growing cash crop in Colorado. (2012)
- Loveland Aleworks plans Grand Opening celebration.

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog. Don't miss another article. Subscribe to Fermentedly Challenged by RSS today.