Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alaskan Black IPA review

Alaskan Black IPAWhen the days are long and the sun stays up late, I occasionally reach for a beer from up north. I've enjoyed having beers from Alaska distributed here and when I spotted a single bottle of Alaskan Black IPA I thought it would be a good one to review. This is the 6th beer from this brewery that has made its way to the Centennial State and I was in the mood for something dark and hoppy.

Alaskan Black IPA comes in 6-packs and weighs in at 6.4% ABV and a respectable 65 IBUs. The beer color is graded at a full 100 SRM. The Black IPA is considered their Spring seasonal release. Good thing I spotted one just before summer hit. This beer has 8 different malts and is dry-hopped with Centennial, Calypso & Cascade hops.

Black IPAs seem to be getting more popular in this region and I for one have become a fan of them. I've certainly enjoyed Alaskan Brewing Company's other beers, especially their Smoked Porter and was eager to try this one.

Appearance: Alaskan Black IPA certainly poured like it was named. It was extremely dark, yet when held up to the light I got some dark mahogany edges around the glass. The bottle opened up with a nice hiss and seemed decently carbonated. The pour yielded a nice thick creamy head and kept its head well afterwards. Swirling the beer easily built up another fine head and left a nice clingy lacing.

Aroma: This brew certainly smelled like an IPA. There was a nice complex hop aroma including citrus and resiny pine. Mixed into the air was a slight hint of roast, perhaps some chocolate or coffee tones, but the hops were the star of this sniff session masking most of the dark malts.

Taste: While the hops dominated the aroma, the rich caramel malts took center stage on the taste. It reminded me of a rich dark porter, but with a big hop bitter finish. I could pick up on some coffee and chocolate taste. It started out semi-sweet and then hit me soon after with a resiny hop bitterness later. The beer seemed full bodied and nearly chewy. Just what I was expecting in this type of beer. The beer also had a nice creamy mouthfeel and slightly coated the back of my tongue.

Overall: Right from the start I enjoyed the smell and the taste of this brew. Even on a warm Spring evening I enjoyed drinking this dark ale. I'd wager this beer would be good both in cold months as well as warm ones. I tip my cap to Alaskan Brewing Company and am glad I can buy this beer here in Colorado. Now if I could only get my hands on one of those limited edition Imperial Stouts then I'd be all set. Definitely pick this one up, especially you hop lovers. Porter lovers would enjoy this one as well.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer as part of a build-your-own 6-pack at my local store.

Video showing the pour of an Alaskan Black IPA:

If you can't view the video via RSS or email please visit the blog or view it on the Fermentedly Challenged YouTube channel.

Related articles:
- Alaskan IPA review.
- Alaskan Smoked Porter review. (2008)
- Alaskan Summer Ale review.
- Alaskan Pale review.

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Slippin into Darkness - Black Swan takes flight

Twisted Pine Black Swan Black IPA
Twisted Pine Releases Black Swan Saison
Dark Farmhouse Ale is sixth release from Artisan Ale Project

Boulder, Colorado – May 31st 2012 – The production team at Twisted Pine Brewing Company has been busy in 2012. In addition to increasing the supply of staple offerings, Twisted Pine’s brewers have produced several seasonal beers and on June 2nd will look to release the sixth edition in their popular Artisan Ale Project in just six months.

Unlike traditional straw-colored, low gravity Saisons, Black Swan was darkened with special Belgian and German malts and strengthened to 7.7% ABV with natural brown sugars. Roasted malt and molasses mingle on the tongue with fragrant farmhouse esters for a flavor that Twisted Pine describes as “bold and rich, yet smooth as it glides across the palate as gracefully as the bird for which it was named.”

Esteemed Boulder artist Phil Lewis designed the piece featured on Black Swan’s label and will be on hand at the Twisted Pine ale house Saturday, June 2nd for the release party which begins at noon and lasts until 9pm. Lewis documented the entire creation process on his blog. Other works by the artist will also be on display Saturday and for the remainder of the month.

The Artisan Ale Project is Twisted Pine’s “year-long celebration of the artistic creativity which makes Colorado unique.” Each month in 2012, a different beer is labeled with work by an inspired local artist and a distinctive new beer is born. Furthermore, each beer release doubles as an art show for the month’s featured artist. Surreal Stout, Canis Lupulus and West Bound Braggot are just a few of the standouts so far in the series. Artisan Ales are only available in Colorado. More details are available at www.twistedpinebrewing.com.

About Twisted Pine Brewing Company

Based in Boulder, Colorado Twisted Pine Brewing Company has been handcrafting beer since 1995. They are the brewers of such favorites as “Hoppy Boy IPA,” “Raspberry Wheat Ale” and “Billy’s Chilies.” The ale house is a very popular local hangout and Twisted Pine is active with local charitable organizations and a strong believer in sustainable business practices. More information is available at www.twistedpinebrewing.com.

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Related articles:
- Twisted Pine Taps the Root.
- Twisted Pine Big Shot Espresso Stout review.
- Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah review.

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Colorado Beer News 053112

Colorado Beer NewsToday is World No Tobacco Day. A day to put away the smokes and clear the air a bit. Instead, have a pint of craft beer and celebrate the fact that we're one more day closer to the weekend! If you don't want to put away the smokes, celebrate Genghis Khan's birthday instead. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Thursday, May 31st, 2012.

Colorado Beer News is continually updated during the day (10am to 3pm) with new stories as they break, so stop back here often for all the latest. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Oskar Blues (Longmont) - The brewery just completed acquisition of the land that is also home to their Home Made Liquids & Solids restaurant this week. Oskar Blues had been leasing the property but decided the time was right to plop down $1.525 million and own the property. This will allow them to expand the restaurant and increase parking. Eventually, OB would like to use the rail line next to the restaurant and open up a beer train between Longmont and Boulder. For a complete story on this, check the Denver Post article.

Pateros Creek Brewing (Fort Collins) - Today marks the 15th and final week in their staff's Outlaw Contest. The final tapping today will be The Golden Finale by their beer slinger Alex. This is their Stimulator dry-hopped with Apollo hops. The brew taps at noon. Come get some before it's all gone. Get ready for their 1 year anniversary party happening at the brewery on June 9th starting at 4pm. Top 3 outlaws on tap, food, music and fun.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) - Next Door Food & Drink presents it’s first Grimm Brothers Brewery Dinner. June 4th, 2012. $35 per person plus tax and gratuity. There are still a few seats left. If you haven't been to Loveland's newest dining experience this is your opportunity to explore this great place. Chef Ricky and his crew are planning a night you won't forget. Call them at (970) 541-3020 to make your reservations. Restaurant located at: 222 E. 4th Street in Loveland, CO.

Great Storm Midsummer PartyGreat Storm Brewing (Colorado Springs) - Come join in the fun on Thursday, June 21st, to celebrate the longest day of the year, Midsummer. They'll have live music by Mark's Midnight Carnival Show from 5-7 pm, and starting at 11 am they'll be offering four new beers: Our summer seasonal, Midsummer Ale, a light, golden ale aged on lemon, lime and orange zest; Blue Spruce Juice, a small batch dark ale flavored with fresh, hand—harvested Colorado Blue Spruce tips; Assistant Brewer Stephen Shelton’s Dark Side Ale, a big malty dark English ale; and CAUTION: Brewing Co.’s Toaster Bat Black, a smoked, peated, robust porter. Located at: 204 Mount View Lane #3 in Colo. Springs, CO.

Left Hand Brewing (Longmont) - There's going to be plenty of good food available via food trucks outside the taproom this week. Thursday brings J.A.M.'s and their grilled cheese sammiches from 4pm-8pm. On Friday, SaltBox Food is back with gastropub offerings from 4pm-8pm. Then on Saturday, BedRock BBQ will be outside with their BBQ'ed selections from 4pm-8pm. Grab some and wash it down with a pint.

Great Divide Brewing (Denver) - The Denver brewery makes some wonderful brews and last night, Fermentedly Challenged reviewed one of their year-round favorites: Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager. This fiery orange-red brew has a lot of sweet spicy flavor. Check out the full review on the blog.

Carbondale Bread and Brew Festival (Carbondale) - This weekend marks the first annual Bread and Brew Festival. Over 16 breweries will be there pouring across two days (June 1st and June 2nd) at the Performing Arts Center at Third Street. Live music, bread making, homebrewing, great food and more. For details on this new festival, check their official webpage.

Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) - This day in brewing history 10 years ago marked the start of Odell Brewing making a special brew just for the Town Pump, the oldest bar in Fort Collins, CO. Today is the 10th anniversary of Town Pump Pail Ale. And to celebrate, the Town Pump is offering up $2.75 pints of this ale from 8pm to close today through Sunday, June 3rd.

Equinox Brewing (Fort Collins) - If this is Thursday, it must mean there is another firkin being tapped today. Starting at noon, stop in for a taste of Vernal Hefeweizen, an ale conditioned with Mandarin oranges. These firkins don't last long so the sooner you get there the better. Located next door to Hops & Berries at 133 Remington Street in FoCo.

Dry Dock Brewing (Aurora) - Heads up to all Dry Dock patrons! On Sunday, June 3rd until 6pm, Dry Dock Brewing will be closed for Mike and Donna's Wedding. Stop in after 6pm to get your fills that day.

Aspen Brewing Company (Aspen) - Make your plans now to kick off Chili-Brew Festival weekend with a beer pairing dinner at Ajax Tavern on Thursday June 7th @ 6:30PM. The cost is $55 per person, for a amazing five course meal paired with Aspen Brewing’s finest brews. Tell your friends, and make reservations, there is a limited number of seats available. Call Ajax Tavern to reserve your seat! (970) 920-6334. The dinner located inside The Little Nell at 675 East Durant Avenue in Aspen, CO.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) - Did you know that New Belgium also has a series of apps about their beer? They started out with an app about their Shift Pale Lager. Today they have a new app "Enjoy the Ride / Fat Tire" content. And coming in September, they'll have another app all about Ranger IPA. For Android - search for "newbelgium" and look for New Belgium on iTunes. ALSO - Want to win a Fat Tire cruiser bike? Use Twitter and Tweet your best story and include the #EnjoyTheRide hashtag and you're automatically entered in to win! Rules about this are at newbelgium.com/Enjoytheride.

San Luis Valley Brewing (Alamosa) - If you're headed down to Alamosa this weekend, stop by Cole Park on June 1st through the 3rd for Summerfest on the Rio. San Luis Valley Brewing will be pouring 6 different beers at the fest. Look for them set up right next to the big Bud semi-truck. On Friday night after the fest wraps up - head to the brewery for some live music from 9:30pm to 12:30am.

KB Kraft Beer (Colorado Springs) - The brewery is reporting that during the weekend their parking lot will be resurfaced and during that time they will not be open. They will, however, be tapping a cask ale on Friday afternoon and will stay open long enough to ensure that there are no leftovers.

Colorado Brewers' Festival (Fort Collins) - Tickets are now being sold for this year's festival. VIP tix get you in 1.5 hours early each day. Over 40 breweries pouring over 60 different beers. Live music, tons of food vendors and lots of outdoor fun! To be held in Civic Center Park downtown Fort Collins. It all happens on June 23rd and 24th starting at 11am (VIP) and 12:30pm to 6:30pm for the rest. More info at: www.DowntownFortCollins.com or call (970) 484-6500.

Looking for some music to go along with your beer? Check the Brewery Music Listings and see who's playing at your favorite brewery or beer bar in Colorado. Updated daily.

Beer Fest CalendarLooking for a beer festival? Check out the listings on the 2012 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events Calendar.

There's even more Colorado beer happenings and discussions on the Fermentedly Challenged Facebook page. Thanks for helping us grow to over 850 "Likes" so far in 2012!

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager review

Great Divide Hoss Rye LagerDon't let the word "rye" scare you. It won't bite, and may even surprise you. I found a single bottle of Great Divide Brewing Company's Hoss Rye Lager and wanted to try it. It's based off of German Märzen lager recipes and has been highly rated on the various beer sites. This is a year-round offering from Great Divide and recently had it's label redone to a more modern, contemporary look.

This bottle had a "bottled on" date of February 16, 2012 so I knew it was just over 3 months old and mostly fresh. The beer was brewed to just over 6% ABV and has won a few medals at various competitions over the last 3 years. I'm surprised I waited this long to try one.

I've recently gotten use to the taste of Rye in a beer. Rye beers are typically pale yellow to gold in color, but this one was made nearly red, much like it's label. Rye beers tend to have a touch of haze with a spicy, slightly acidic character and end in a sweet tone. These beers typically have a dry and crisp finish as well. How would this beer stack up to the usual style?

Appearance: Hoss poured a fiery orange-red and yielded just an off-white, slightly tan head that quickly dissolved. The beer itself was very clear with no visible sediment. There seemed to be adequate carbonation out of the bottle.

Aroma: Rye beers tend to have a wide range of aromas and Hoss came in on the spicy side with a dash of fruit and semi-sweet malts. There were some earthy tones to this beer coming from both the rye and the hops. Great Divide states that you might find some notes of cherry in this aroma, but I found that there was a sweet spice about this and perhaps some bits of dark fruit.

Taste: Served cool (not cold), this beer had some subtle spicy overtones and a low roasted maltiness. There was a bit of sweet caramel malt up front that gave way to some rye earthiness. I was reminded a bit of a pilsner taste but amped up with some biscuity flavor and an underlying bitter base. Hoss had a bit of a bite to it, a moderate body with a clean semi-dry finish. The brew seemed to coat my tongue just a bit with a lingering flavor of malts.

Overall: If it weren't for the fact that I've had a few rye beers before and knew what to expect, I might have thought this beer had a strange taste, but I've come to recognize what rye can do for a beer and have come to enjoy that taste. The last time I had this rye-like sensation was in an experimental rye saison from Black Bottle Brewery. I've come to enjoy it, but admittedly had to get used to the flavor.

This beer was easy drinking, yet with a complex flavor that made me want to slow down the pace a bit and enjoy it. Even at 6.2% ABV, it didn't feel like a big beer. It's strength may fool you at first, but savor a bit slower than other lagers.

I was very satisfied with this beer. It's a beer that I could drink at a ball game and also savor with some spicy foods at a nice dinner, or go the opposite direction and eat this with a sweet dessert. Great Divide seems to have found a good mix that won them a Bronze medal at the GABF in 2009. I'd definitely recommend it to a friend and would buy it again.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this single bottle as part of a build-your-own six pack.

Video showing the pour of Great Divide's Hoss Rye Lager:

If you can't view the video via RSS or email please visit the blog or view it on the Fermentedly Challenged YouTube channel.

Related articles:
- Great Divide Saint Bridget's Porter review. (2008)
- Great Divide Hades Ale review. (2008)
- Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout review.


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New Belgium wants everyone to Enjoy the Ride

New Belgium - Enjoy the Ride

Summer Campaign Celebrates Fat Tire, Bike Riding and Storytelling


Ft. Collins, CO, May 30, 2012 - New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, is ready to embrace the summer season with this year’s “Enjoy the Ride” campaign. As a follow-up to last year’s 20th Anniversary “Joy Ride” campaign where fans submitted their Fat Tire stories, this year’s Enjoy the Ride will share those stories on packaging, Point of Sale and online. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, friends of New Belgium will be able to Enjoy the Ride through bike giveaways, storytelling, socializing venues, social media and more. The Enjoy the Ride campaign is a fusion of Fat Tire love, the enjoyment of life, passion for bikes and socializing with friends in person and through social media.

Throughout the campaign, New Belgium will give away a total of 2,500 coveted Fat Tire cruiser bikes. The bicycles will be awarded in New Belgium markets, on the New Belgium website and through social media. People can experience Enjoy the Ride on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.newbelgium.com; at Tour de Fat and Clips of Faith; and by following local Beer Rangers to learn about store giveaways and events.

On www.newbelgium.com, you can visit the “Enjoy the Ride” page to discover a collection of fan-authored stories, photos, games and voicemails served up for enjoying and sharing. New Belgium will give away bikes to its most engaging friends and folks who create the coolest “beer-a-mid.” Random drawings will also be announced weekly.

Twitter lovers are encouraged to construct a 140-character “Enjoy the Ride” story incorporating #enjoytheride. New Belgium will follow the conversation and judge the best follower-generated stories. Though Instagram, followers can share a picture and tag it with #enjoytheride.

New Belgium also has a growing market of free apps for both iPhones and Android phones. Look for the “Enjoy the Ride” app to upload Instagram photos, read and share stories and even win a bike.

New Belgium encourages everyone to join in the fun this summer; there are several ways to participate and Enjoy the Ride.

• Follow #enjoytheride Instagram and Twitter feeds. Tweet your best story using #enjoytheride and you’ll be entered to win a Fat Tire cruiser.

• Read personal Fat Tire stories on all 12-ounce and 22-ounce Fat Tire bottles and postcoasters and even submit a story for consideration

• Get to know your local Ranger (in person or on Facebook) to see what’s going on in your neighborhood (rides, scavenger hunts, etc.)

• Watch the professionals Enjoy the Ride at the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge and support bike nonprofits through glassware giveaways at viewing parties

• Come tour the brewery and be prepared to share your Fat Tire love stories

• In the brewery’s Liquid Center, stop by the photo booth, now affectionately called the “Socialization Station”

For more information on the brewery and the Enjoy the Ride campaign, visit facebook.com/newbelgium or www.newbelgium.com, and follow @newbelgium.

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, Ranger IPA, Belgo IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey 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 newbelgium.com.

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Related articles:
- New Belgium brings back Somersault for another season.
- New Belgium Dig Pale Ale review.
- Danny Williams remembered in new collaboration beer.

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Colorado Beer News 053012

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Loomis Day. It's a day that celebrates Mahlon Loomis, a guy who got the first patent on wireless communications back in the 1800's. You might say his ideas were slightly ahead of his time. Cheers to that and Happy Hump Day! Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Wednesday, May 30th, 2012.

Colorado Beer News is continually updated during the day (10am to 3pm) with new stories as they break, so stop back here often for all the latest. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Trinity Brewing (Colorado Springs) - Recently, Trinity Brewing received an award from RateBeer for being the 24th best brewery in the world for 2011. Congrats to Jason and his crew on this wonderful honor.

Beer Factoid - According to Beer West Magazine, the city of Fort Collins, Colorado produces 70 percent of Colorado's craft beer and is home to the most micro-breweries per capita in the state. Read more in their article about Fort Collins.

Gravity Brewing (Louisville) - The brewhouse at Gravity Brewing just got a bit more crowded. Yesterday, they received a load of new equipment including their fermenters, a filter, a hot liquor tank and a glycol chiller. This just means opening day is just that much closer. Stay tuned for more news on their progress.

Pumphouse Brewery (Longmont) - Have you stopped in at the Pumphouse Brewery lately? They've got a new seasonal brew on draft - Cherry Wheat. A lightly malted beer with a hint of cherry. Also try some of their many other beers and pair one with a meal. Located at: 540 Main Street in Longmont, CO.

Colorado Craft Beer Show (AM 760 Denver) - Starting this Saturday, the Colorado Craft Beer Show with John Turk and the Gubna is expanding to a full two hours! They'll be broadcasting live from 12 noon to 2pm on AM 760 in Denver every week through the rest of the year. Tune in this Saturday as they will be broadcasting live from Avery Brewing Company and the Boulder SourFest. They will have some special guests as well. Next week, they'll be up in Lyons broadcasting from the Burning Can Festival.

Denver Beer Company (Denver) - Want to help grow some hops for this year's batch of Neighborhood Pale Ale? Tomorrow afternoon, May 31st at 5pm, Denver Beer Company will be hosting their 2012 Hop Swap, open to everyone. They will hand out traditional American Cascade hop plants for Denverites to grow in their own backyards. The certified organic hop starters from Fort Collins’ Summit Plant Labs are well suited to grow in Colorado’s Front Range climate. Once the hops mature in the fall, Hop Swap participants will bring their hop harvest back to the brewery where they will be used in a true “local” brew. Hop Swap farmers will have the opportunity to help Denver Beer Co. brewers craft a traditional American Pale Ale made with their own hops. 350 hop plants will be available first come first served.

Banjo Billy's Bus Tours (Denver) - This local bus tour company is offering up a Denver Brewery Tour Package. For $34, you'll be driven on a tour of 4 breweries, receive 3 pints of beer, and spend roughly 3 hours touring the inside of some of Denver's best breweries including: Wynkoop Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, Strange Brewing Company and Denver Beer Company. Tours begin at 5:15pm at the Wynkoop. Click here for more info on this tour.

Brewery Music - Looking for some music to go along with your beer? Check the Brewery Music Listings and see who's playing at your favorite brewery or beer bar in Colorado. Updated daily.

Colorado Cider Company (Denver) - Starting June 3rd, the Colorado Cider Company will be open on Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm along with their regular hours on Fridays (3pm to 6pm) and Saturdays (2:30pm - 6:30pm). Stop in and try one of their hard ciders. Located at: 2650 W. 2nd Ave #10 in Denver, CO.

Copper Kettle Brewing (Denver) - This Saturday, June 2nd from 12pm to 10pm - it's the return of their Dortmunder Lager. For all of you lager fans, CKBC will be bringing back their Dortmunder Lager. Malty, slightly hoppy and an overall good beer for a summer afternoon! Classic, clean, aromatic aroma and a slightly dry finish. Come join in to welcome back a Copper Kettle favorite! The Orange Crunch Food Truck will be out @ 5 PM with Philippine-style empanadas available to munch on.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) - Today at 4pm, they'll be cracking open a special firkin of Oak Aged Griffin. They'll be serving up $4 pints of this brew. You can also get some hot dogs too as The Daily Dawg LLC will be on hand serving up Vienna-style dogs for your eating pleasure.

Ska Brewing (Durango) - Mild to Wild Rafting and Ska Brewing are teaming up for the first ever Paddles & Pints Rafting Trip in Southwest Colorado! Two of the greatest things Durango has to offer are whitewater rafting and delicious craft beers. They are bringing the two together for a weekend of awesome Colorado whitewater rafting on the scenic and thrilling Piedra River combined with an evening of a Ska beer tasting and food pairing in camp. For more details on this check out the webpage.

Wynkoop Brewing (Denver) - Today and Tomorrow, The Wynkoop Brewing Co. will be hosting a blood drive for Children's Hospital from 9am-1pm each day. The best part, donate a pint of blood and Wynkoop will give you a certificate for a pint of fresh brew. Call the Wynkoop to get on the donation list. 303-297-2700.

Crabtree Brewing (Greeley) - Attention 462 Beer Club Members! On Saturday, June 16th at 4pm - Crabtree Brewing will be hosting their official Ménage à Trois release party. There will be free samples, appetizers and laughs. A toast will be held at 4:15pm for this double award winning Braggot style beer, made with a blend of their Boxcar Brown aged with plums in Merlot barrels, also blended with a whiskey barrel aged Oatmeal Stout, and mixed with a wildflower honey fermented with Boxcar Brown in Merlot barrels. It's a luscious trinity of bottle passion. Members may purchase up to 6 bottles of this brew at $6 a bottle (12oz). Club members should RSVP with the number of bottles to reserve by Wednesday, June 13th.

Cheeky Monk (Denver) - Join in between June 4-10 at the Colfax location to celebrate the seasonal farmhouse ales known as Saisons! They're bringing in some real treats from both Belgian & American crafters for you to kick off the summer! Also stop in the Westminster location on June 6th for a special Anniversary Celebration.

The Mayor of Old Town (Fort Collins) - Tonight is going to be a great night for Cigar Night at the Mayor. Stop by Edward's Pipe & Cigar Shop first. If you buy $20 in product you'll get a free beer at the Mayor. The cigar celebration will be on the patio starting at 6:00pm.

Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs) - Ready for a one mile footrace in Colorado Springs on June 30th? So is Bristol Brewing. Sign up for The Bristol Mile, pound the pavement and get a free pint on them (with registration). Early-bird registration is taking place now through June 1st and is just $15 per person. More info at the Victory Racing website.

City Star (Berthoud) - Trivia buffs! Stop in tonight at City Star for trivia in the taproom. The fun starts at 7:30pm. The winner(s) get $20 in City Star beer!

Horsefly Brewing (Montrose) - Stop by on Tuesday evenings for Community Tap Nights. Each Tuesday they choose a local charity and $1.00 of every pint sold goes to benefit that charity. On June 5th, the charity will be MRD Scholarship and on June 12th, the charity will be Montrose Animal Protection Agency. Located at: 846 E. Main Street in Montrose, CO.

Crooked Stave PersicaCrooked Stave Artisan Beer Project (Denver) - Cellar Reserve Members are preparing for their 2nd release from Crooked Stave in June. The next bottle to be released, Persica, was wax dipped today and will be given out the weekend of June 16th and 17th. Here is a picture of the new bottles. (Image courtesy Crooked Stave)

Beer Fest CalendarLooking for a beer festival? Check out the listings on the 2012 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events Calendar.

There's even more Colorado beer happenings and discussions on the Fermentedly Challenged Facebook page. Thanks for helping us grow to over 850 "Likes" so far in 2012!

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Left Hand Smokejumper Smoked Imperial Porter review

Left Hand Smokejumper Smoked Imperial PorterIt's been four long years, but Left Hand Brewing finally brought back one of it's highly requested beers from 2008 - Left Hand Smokejumper Smoked Imperial Porter. This beer won gold at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival, beating out the likes of Alaskan Smoked Porter.

Smokejumper was made in honor of the brave souls who parachute into wildfire areas and risk their lives to save people, property and wildlife and to put out some of the biggest fires around. It also is helping to promote the National Smokejumper Association. Many a toast was raised with this beer with the words: "Here's to smoke in your glass, not in the woods".

Smokejumper is a hefty brew that weighs in at 8.8% ABV and is rated at 50 IBUs. The smoky flavor comes from hand-smoked malts and some of the bitterness comes from Magnum and Mt. Hood hops. This beer is made so that it could be aged even further. Smoked beers tend to take on some wonderful characteristics with age. This bottle was fairly fresh as this was released back in late April of 2012.

Appearance: Smokejumper poured about as dark as they come, a 84 SRM color (black). The brew looked thick and it yielded a small, 1-finger tall brown head that quickly dissolved into just a thin ring around the edge of the glass. There was a very loud hiss when I popped the cap so I assumed it was bottle conditioned and adequately carbonated. Swirling the brew left just a thin, slippery lacing that quickly slid off the glass edge.

Aroma: Ah yes, there was a definite sweet, smoky aroma to this beer. A smell that reminded me of both a campfire, smoked meats (like bacon or jerky) and roasty malts. This is the type of smell that reminded me of cooking out during a camp-out. It was a very inviting aroma, one that I couldn't help but recognize as a smoked beer. The smoke is dominant, yet pleasant.

Taste: Smokejumper hit me with a big swig of roasted malt. The malt was semi-sweet, smokey in flavor and had a nicely balanced bitterness that was both spicy and earthy. If I held my breath and tasted this, the malts really came out and filled my mouth. It had a touch of a sweet molasses taste and big on roasted malts. Then when I inhaled deeply, the rich smokey aroma and flavor really come through. If not for the smoke, I could swear this was a wonderful imperial stout, yet it was missing the coffee-like tones.

Overall: This was a smoked beer that only took a sip or two to really get into. I was loving this brew almost right from the start. The big smoke flavor was a semi-shock to the system, but immediately after it mellowed out and the rich, complex flavors really shone through. I would easily compare this to other great smoked porters I've had at the GABF and here locally.

If you love smoky flavor, a beer with a lot of flavor, thick, chewy and rich - then this one you should seek out. I'm ready to go out and pick up a couple more bottles of this and age them for another year or two. Granted, this beer is excellent now, but I'm also curious on how it will hold up to time. At a big 8.8% ABV, this beer should last for several years in a well conditioned cellar.

My grats to Left Hand Brewing for putting out a wonderful smoked beer. It's not a brew to fear, rather one to seek out.

Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary bottle of this beer directly from Left Hand Brewing Company for review. I was not paid to endorse this product.

Video showing the pour of Left Hand Smokejumper Smoked Imperial Porter:

If you can't view the video via RSS or email please visit the blog or view it on the Fermentedly Challenged YouTube channel.

Related articles:
- Beer Week Sauce specially tapped by Left Hand Brewing.
- Get jumping for Left Hand's Smokejumper.
- Left Hand releases Smokejumper Imperial Porter. (2008)
- Alaskan Smoked Porter 2008 review.

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Colorado Beer News 052912

Colorado Beer NewsWelcome back from a long holiday weekend. Did you survive it OK? While it's Tuesday, it feels like a virtual Monday. Let's hope the week doesn't hit you in the face too quickly. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Tuesday, May 29th, 2012.

Colorado Beer News is continually updated during the day (10am to 3pm) with new stories as they break, so stop back here often for all the latest. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

TRVE Brewing (Denver) - The date has been set Denver! TRVE Brewing is planning to open their doors to the public for the first time on Saturday, June 9th at noon. According to their blog: "We’ll let ya walk around a bit and check the place out (though we’ll probably still have some finishing touches to put on the place). You’ll get a sample of Wanderlust, our Belgian-American Pale. Best of all you’ll finally be able to pick up the badass growlers we’ve been dying to get in your hands." - Note, this is just a sample opening primarily for their CVLT members. The official full opening with full-size beers will be on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 at 4:00pm.

Silverton Brewery (Silverton) - Stop by the brewery at 1333 Greene Street in Silverton, Colorado. They now are pouring 7 house beers! Beer is also available in cans and bottles. Come get some!

Ouray HydroFlasksOuray Brewery (Ouray) is now showing off not one but two new Ouray Brewery HydroFlasks. These stainless steel lined containers keep liquids (beer) cold for up to 24 hours, or hot liquids hot for up to 12 hours. They are available in 40oz and 64oz sizes. These are now available in their merchandise corner at the brewery. (Image courtesy Ouray Brewery).

Odell Brewing Company (Fort Collins) - Did you make the Small Batch Festival last Saturday? If not, you can get a great recap in pictures over on the Beertographer web site. There was a great turn out, 20 beers were on tap, and a good time was had by all.

Hunters Moon Meadery (Severance) - It takes a lot of honey to make mead. And not surprisingly, it also takes a lot of honey bees to make that honey. Owner Greg found a new swarm of honeybees to adopt over the weekend. Apparently a big swarm was hanging out near a playground in Boardwalk Park in Windsor this weekend. The swarm was about the size of a basketball and the bees were carefully collected and transferred to the fields around the meadery in Severance. Talk about "freebees"! - Also - come to their Hunters Moon Meadery Open House on Sunday, June 3rd from 1pm to 5pm in Severance. They'll be giving away free samples plus you can try out Mead Shaved Ice cones! RSVP to the meadery.

Loveland Aleworks (Loveland) - Their 1st and 2nd batches of beer are now bubbling away in the fermenters. This is great news as this means opening day can't be too far away now. Look for Loveland Aleworks to be opening sometime soon in June! The brewery is located at 118 West 4th Street in Loveland, CO.

Boulder Beer Hoopla Pale Ale canBoulder Beer Company (Boulder) - Look for their Hoopla Pale Ale to be available in 12oz cans starting in late July 2012. Here's a preview of how they'll look. (Image courtesy Boulder Beer Company).

Copper Kettle Brewing (Denver) - Today is Pints for Purpose Tuesday. $1 of each pint sold today goes towards the Make A Wish Foundation, helping make wishes come true for sick children. Who knew stopping in for a beer could help out a good cause?!

Blue Moon Brewing (Denver) - After being selected as top choice on social media, Blue Moon Brewing will soon release a new beer called Caramel Apple Spiced Ale. This was part of the "Craft the Next Blue Moon" program. This brew beat out Dark Chocolate Bacon Porter and Blackberry Tart Ale as the next one to release. Look for this to be available before the next blue moon on August 31, 2012.

Steamworks Brewing (Durango) - This Friday, June 1st, 2012 - Steamworks will unveil another in their popular Friday Firkins. This time they are introducing "Pinky Tuscadero", a brew with a unique pink tint. It's a variation on their popular Colorado Kölsch and is re-fermented with pink guava fruit puree and Champagne yeast. The firkin taps at 3pm this Friday and will drain fast. Get their early to try a glass. They are located at 801 E. Second Avenue in Durango, CO.

Twisted Pine Brewing (Boulder) - 4-packs of the new 16oz tall Hoppy Boy cans are now available at the ale house. Also, come thry their latest Brewer's Choice beer: Red Rye-der - a hoppy red ale weighing in at 6.1% ABV and 57 IBUs.

The Mayor of Old Town (Fort Collins) - Here are some facts you may not know about beer at The Mayor: "Did you know that of the 100 taps we have, we have no beers priced over $8.00. We have 3 beers at $8.00. The average beer price is $5.09 and we have 33 beers that are priced at $4.00 or less with 3 beers priced at $2.00. Can you guess what beer we've sold the most of over the last year?" - Stay tuned for details on their upcoming 1st year anniversary.

The Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) is teaming up with The Wapiti Colorado Pub in Loveland for a Beer Pairing Dinner this Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 6:00pm at the Mariana Butte Golf Course. This will be a five-course dinner and the cost will be $38 per person (+tax + tip). RSVP for this dinner at (970) 635-1985.

Pateros Creek Brewing (Fort Collins) - Stop in today and bring your growler. They're filling growlers for just 5 dollars today.

Ska Brewing (Durango) - Jonathan Shikes at the Westword is reporting today that Ska Brewing is planning on releasing four separate canned stout releases starting this fall. Look for the first one name "Autumnal Mole Stout" to hit shelves in September. The brew is made with peppers, cocoa and spices and blended into a wonderful dark stout. Three other stouts will also be released coming out either at a solstice or an equinox. For the full story, see the full article on Westword.com.

Amicas Pizza & Microbrewery (Salida) - Coming up the week of June 3rd through June 10th, it's Amicas 10th Anniversary Fun(d)raiser Week Long, Give-Back Celebration. There will be live music playing daily. 7% of all sales will be shared between Guidestone Farm To Table and S.O.S.S. (Support Our Salida Schools). Get discounts on merchandise, happy hours every day 3:30pm to 5:30pm with $3 pints. Located at 136 E. 2nd Street in Salida, CO.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) - Time for another firkin release! Tomorrow, Wednesday May 30th, Grimm Brothers will release their Oak Aged Griffin. They'll tap the firkin at 4pm and will go until it drains that same day. This won't be available the next day as their firkins are a 1-day only item. Stop in and get some before it's gone.

BierWerks Brewery (Woodland Park) - Starting this last weekend, BierWerks is now operating under their new Summer business hours. They are open 7 days a week starting at 11:00am each day. They close at 10pm Monday through Saturday and at 8pm on Sundays. Stop in for a beer!

Bootstrap Brewing (Niwot) - June is going to be another busy month for brewery openings in Colorado. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 20th for the opening of Bootstrap Brewing at 6778 North 79th Street in Niwot. It's located just south of Cottonwood Park Shopping Center. They initially plan to have their tasting room open Monday through Thursday 3pm to 8pm and Fridays through Sundays 12pm to 8pm. These hours will most likely change as they get more established.

Funkwerks (Fort Collins) - Recently during an interview with Beer City Television, Funkwerks revealed that they are looking to expand their distribution. Currently, they are distributing from Fort Collins down to Colorado Springs, but now are looking to expand to the Western Slope of Colorado and possibly add another state or two to their existing distribution. All of this could happen within the next year.

Looking for some music to go along with your beer? Check the Brewery Music Listings and see who's playing at your favorite brewery or beer bar in Colorado. Updated daily.

Beer Fest CalendarLooking for a beer festival? Check out the listings on the 2012 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events Calendar.

There's even more Colorado beer happenings and discussions on the Fermentedly Challenged Facebook page. Thanks for helping us grow to over 850 "Likes" so far in 2012!


This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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Odell Brewing promotes the value of play through UnBottled

Odell - The Great Ball Hunt
Fort Collins, CO – This week, Odell Brewing Company kicked off UnBottled. What is UnBottled? It’s the playful spirit within Odell Brewing that leads to collaboration, creativity and innovation. Play is what Odell puts in all their beers. And what they hope you get out of them.

There’s a growing awareness of the value of play, thanks in part to Stuart Brown’s book, Play; Kevin Carroll’s book, Red Rubber Ball; and recent marketing campaigns from companies like Keen (“Recess is back”) and Purina (“Play like a pet”).

But play has always been part of the Odell culture. They refer to their pilot brewing system as their “playground,” and their mission statement practically makes fun official. They invite anyone in the company to try their hand at brewing. And when they need to let off steam, they've been known to have shrink-wrap boxing matches or shoot hoops right there inside the brewery. At Odell, they know that play brings people together, loosens them up and forces them to think differently—and sometimes, to stop thinking so hard.

Playful experimentation has produced some of their most talked-about beers, including St. Lupulin, Myrcenary, Friek and the industry’s first-ever Twitter beer. Each year they celebrate this approach to brewing at their Small Batch Festival. And of course, they encourage fun and community every day in the taproom, through games, live music and a collective commitment to donate proceeds to a Charity of the Month.

For Odell Brewing, play isn’t a distraction from brewing. It’s a secret ingredient.

Here’s how you can play along:

Great Ball Hunt, June 2: Part treasure hunt, part pub crawl. Odell hides a bunch of UnBottled balls in their favorite pubs around Ft. Collins and Denver; hilarity ensues. The hints are dropping now on Facebook and Twitter.

UnBottled Sharing (June 2nd - July 7): Show the world how you get UnBottled. For every photo or video you post to the Odell UnBottled Facebook app, they’ll donate $1 to one of three non-profits: Trout Unlimited, United Way or Education and Life Training Center.

Playday, June 30: What happens when everyone everywhere plays on the same day? Only the best day ever! Make your pledge to play, starting June 3 on Facebook.

Join the fun at Facebook.com/OdellBrewingCo and twitter.com/OdellBrewing


About Odell Brewing Company:

Founded in 1989, Odell Brewing was started by Doug Odell, his wife Wynne, and his sister Corkie. Twenty-three 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. 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: 2012 World Beer Cup® - Silver for IPA. 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.

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Related articles:
- Odell Thornbridge Pond Hopper set for June release.
- There's some Shenanigans going on at Odell Brewing
- Odell Saboteur review.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Colorado Beer News 052512

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Geek/Nerd Pride Day. Originally set up to celebrate the release of the first Star Wars film in 1977, this day has evolved into a celebration of that inner geek in all of us. it's also Towel Day in celebration of the works of Douglas Adams. Go out and do something nerdy today. And why not - it's Friday and the start of a long holiday weekend here in the USA. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Friday, May 25th, 2012.

Colorado Beer News is continually updated during the day (10am to 3pm) with new stories as they break, so stop back here often for all the latest. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Elevation Beer Company (Poncha Springs) - Last weekend during their grand opening, Elevation Beer Company had over 1000 people attend! It was a huge success. For those of you who can't journey all the way to Poncha Springs, fear not! Their beer is bottled and is available at over 12 location around Denver. Try some at the following locations: Applejacks Wine and Liquor, Mile High Wine and Spirits, Highlands Wine and Liquor, Joy Wine and Spirit's, Mr. B's Wine and Spirit's, Lukas Liquor's, Biggie's Wine and Spirits (Conifer), Grapes and Grains, Amato's Ale House, Hop's and Pie, Rackhouse Pub, and Fresh Craft.

TRVE Brewing (Denver) - Upcoming brewery TRVE Brewing is getting closer to opening. Just yesterday they moved their very first batch of beer into the fermenter. This beer is named Wanderlust, a Belgian-American Pale. Stay tuned for news on opening day. They are located at 227 Broadway #101 in Denver, CO.

Lone Tree Brewing (Lone Tree) - Today and tomorrow from 5pm to 9pm at Nicolo's Pizza in Highlands Ranch - head brewery Jason will be on hand with samples of beer from Lone Tree Brewing and will be happy to talk about his beers with you. Stop in, try one and say hello!

The Springs Beer Fest (Colorado Springs) - This year's Springs Beer Fest will be held on Saturday, August 11th from 12 noon to 5pm in Antler's Park in the Springs. Over 25 breweries are expected to attend and pour. Tickets are $20 and are available online at Blacktie-Colorado. Mark your calendars now! Food and fun for the whole family.

Twisted Pine Brewing (Boulder) - Twisted Pine is turning 17 and they are throwing an anniversary party on Saturday, July 14th from 2pm to 7pm at the brewery parking lot. Try over 25 unique brews including the tapping of Twisted Pine's 17th anniversary brew. Live music from Danny Shafer, Longest Day of the Year and Hot Soup. The cost for all this fun is $25. See Twisted Pine for more details.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) - The event dates have been set for this year's Tour de Fat. Over 15 cities across the country will be participating. Here in Colorado, the Tour de Fat will be in Fort Collins on Saturday, September 1st and in Denver the next Saturday, September 8th. Mark your calendars and participate in one the of largest bicycle parades around!

Gravity Brewing (Louisville) - This new brewery, expected to open this summer, is one step closer to becoming reality. Their fermenters were just shipped this week from Oregon and should arrive in Colorado early next week. Stay tuned for more news on their upcoming opening. They will be located at: 1150 Pine Street, Unit B in Louisville, CO.

American Craft Beer Radio (102.3FM Denver) - Tomorrow (Saturday) on the show, Jonathan Shikes from Denver Westword, will be co-hosting with Gary V. Sitting in studio with them to talk about all of the up coming festivals this year will be Dustin from Avery Brewing Company, Boone from Bristol Brewing Company, Andy from Ska Brewing, and Elizabeth from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. It all starts at noon tomorrow on 102.3 ESPN.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) - Just one more day until Maifest at Grimm Brothers. They have a pile of door prizes to give out. Stop in anytime between 12 noon and 10pm. There will be plenty of food available from Bedrock BBQ, The Daily Dawg, and Cramer's Handmade Bread Company. Live music on hand from Steve Mancell. Games & activities for the kids too! Bean Bag Toss, Make Your Own May Basket and a Traditional May Pole Dance. Plus, it's the official release of their new beer - Little Farmer - a Maibock. Don't miss the fun this Saturday!

San Luis Valley Brewing (Alamosa) - Lots of news from the brewery this week. SLVB will be pouring beers at the Blues, Brews & BBQ Fest in Beaver Creek on Saturday May 26th from 1pm to 5pm. At the brewery that night, live music from Dr. Roberts (Beatles Tribute Band) at 8:30pm. They will also have a beer trailer outside pouring beers at SummerFest on The Rio June 1st thru June 3rd in Cole Park in Alamosa. At the brewery, now on tap is their new chocolaty & hoppy S & A Black IPA. Coming soon: Wildfire Red, and Setting Sail Kiwi Ale. They've added 4 new taps to their back bar with the focus being on BIG, BOLD, and BARREL AGED brews. Now pouring on 16 taps! Stop in. Located at: 631 Main Street in Alamosa, CO.

Rackhouse Pub (Denver) - Heading to Avery SourFest on June 2nd from Denver? Ride the bus from Rackhouse Pub. They've teamed up with Star Bar set up a bus on June 2nd that’s going to bring people from the Rackhouse up to Avery’s SourFest. The bus is $20 and they have about 30 spots left. Tickets for the bus are available on BrownPaperTickets.com.

Big Beaver Brewing (Loveland) - You already knew about Big Beaver's brews, but did you know about their BBQ Sauces? You can get hot-off-the-grill Brats at Big Beaver and add one of 4 different home-made BBQ sauces on top. They've got: Big Woody Double IPA Original BBQ Sauce, Tug the Pug Porter Sweet sauce, Wonder Wiener Wheat Mustard Infused Sauce and the Burning Beaver Ale Spicy Sauce. They also host BBQ/Beer events twice a month where they serve up pulled pork, brisket, and chicken sandwiches with sides of coleslaw, beans and cornbread.

Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) - Just a reminder, parking for tomorrow's Small Batch Festival from 3pm to 7pm is very limited. You are encouraged to ride your bike, or for $5 you can take the Hops and Shops Shuttle there. Finding alternative transportation will help avoid issues at the festival. Please leave your dogs at home.

The Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins) - A reminder - now through the end of May 31st at FCB - They will donate $1 to the Poudre Fire Authority for every taster try sold. Come in and grab a taster try and help out a good cause. FCB also has a new Sour Kraut (Berliner Weisse) on tap over at Cranknstein in FoCo. Try it straight or sweeten it up with some tasty syrups.

Echo Brewing Company (Frederick) - Tonight from 5-8 pm come by and get some wood fired pizza from Ablaze Food Truck! They will also be tapping their new Tri-Town Brown. Pizza and beer - what could be better?


Looking for some music to go along with your beer? Check the Brewery Music Listings and see who's playing at your favorite brewery or beer bar in Colorado. Updated daily.

Beer Fest CalendarLooking for a beer festival? Check out the listings on the 2012 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events Calendar.

There's even more Colorado beer happenings and discussions on the Fermentedly Challenged Facebook page. Thanks for helping us grow to over 850 "Likes" so far in 2012!


This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
Don't miss another article. Subscribe to Fermentedly Challenged by RSS today. If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing, re-tweeting, Stumbling or +1'ing this to let others know about it. Cheers!

Read the full article here...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Colorado Beer News 052412

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Morse Code Day. Who would have thought back in 1844 when the first Morse code message was sent that today we'd all be texting, messaging, emailing and GPS'ing. While some people still practice Morse Code, let's be glad that we don't still have to rely on it for long distance communications. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Thursday, May 24th, 2012.

Colorado Beer News is continually updated during the day (10am to 3pm) with new stories as they break, so stop back here often for all the latest. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Arvada Beer Company (Arvada) - It's going to be a busy weekend at Arvada Beer. Today the much anticipated release of their Double IPA. They've upped the malt and hops to make this an even bigger Double IPA. It goes on tap at 12 today. Then at 4pm the Brewers Limited Reserve, based on Saison de Davis, this is a very refreshing beer. 10 gallons until it's gone. On Friday, May 25th, they'll release Grandview Pilsner. They will be serving it for the next month instead of the Goldline IPA. Saturday, they have the Colorado Craft Beer Show broadcasting live at 12 noon. Come on down and join the fun!

Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs) - Happy Hour just got hoppier on Thursdays in May. Join Bristol Brewing tonight and on May 31st from 4pm to 9pm for $3 pints of their Compass IPA. Located at 1647 South Tejon Street in the Springs.

Colorado Brewers' Festival (Fort Collins) - The festival is looking for more volunteers to help support the annual Colorado Brewers' Festival on June 23rd and 24th. Do you want to volunteer? As a volunteer, you will receive a special edition t-shirt and a free admission into the festival at another shift. To volunteer, check out the handy volunteer registration form.

Pateros Creek Brewing (Fort Collins) - It's Thursday and it's time for another famous Outlaw tap! Today's Outlaw is by Nick who's been wood aging some SnowMelt (India Wheat Ale). The brew has a creamy mouthfeel with enough hop bitterness to balance it out. Come get a taste of "Back in Black Oak". It taps at noon and we'll see how long it lasts. Later today, listen to live indie folk music from Leland Sundries at 6pm.

Ouray Brewery (Ouray) - Announcing the Grand Opening of the OBC's new Tap Room and Riverside Beer Garden. It happens tomorrow, May 25th at 4pm. They'll be featuring gourmet wraps, chips and of course their beer! Hours will be 4pm to 8ish Friday through Sunday until June 13th. After that day they will expand to Wednesday through Sunday. Look for a party by the river!

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) - A reminder that on Saturday, May 26th from 12pm to 10pm it's MAIFEST at Grimm Brothers. There will be food from Bedrock BBQ, The Daily Dawg, and Cramer's Handmade Bread Company. Music from Steve Mancell. Games & Activities for Kids! Bean Bag Toss, Make Your Own May Basket, and more. Traditional May pole dance. And the release of Grimm's Maibock, Little Farmer! They hope to see a lot of you there!

J Wells Brewery (Boulder) - Thanks to a tip from a reader, there is another new brewery headed to Boulder this year. The new brewery, headed by brewer James Wells, is expected to be located at 2516 49th Street in Boulder, CO. Supposedly, this brewery will be open sometime in June. They are currently gathering the required city permits. Stay tuned for more info on this brewery. They do have a blog: jwellsbrewery.com/blog and a Facebook page as well.

Fort Collins Beer Pairing (Fort Collins) - Attention CSU Alumni - here's a new beer event for you taking place on Friday, June 1st from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Hilton Fort Collins - 425 W. Prospect. Join Colorado State University Alumni and friends for a new event - the Fort Collins Beer Pairing. From pilsners to porters, you will enjoy beer from local breweries paired with gourmet small plates. Also, there will be a speaker, Dr. Nicole Garneau who will talk about the history and science of brewing. Live music will also be on hand from the band Constitution. 7 different Colorado breweries will be on hand pouring beers each with a couple different beer selections. Please contact the CSU Alumni Asscociation at (970) 491-6533 or csualumni@ar.colostate.edu with questions or concerns.

Dillon Dam Brewery (Dillon) - It's Acoustic Night at the Dam tonight! Bring your instrument or voice for a great night of acoustic talent with Kendrick! And it's Ladies Night! Ladies drink free half pints from 9-11pm!

Tommyknocker Brewery (Idaho Springs) invites you to the Idaho Springs Summer Kick Off on Saturday, June 2nd. Free BBQ in the park. A parade starts at 11am. BBQ & Entertainment from 12pm to 3pm. All proceeds go to the Clear Creek County Victims Advocates. And of course, plenty of Tommyknocker beer and soda available.

Crabtree Brewing Company (Greeley) - Crabtree Brewing is offering $3 pints for all teachers today!! Especially for those of you in District 6... what better way to end the school year! Crabtree gives thanks for all the amazing work that teachers have done with our children this past year. See you after school today!

Oskar Blues (Longmont) - For those of you who've recently been to the Tasty Weasel, you'll know that construction is underway to expand their tap room. Walls were busted out this week and expansion has begun. Excuse their mess while construction is underway!

AC Golden Brewing (Golden) - Here's some news passed along by BeerPulse.com today. AC Golden Brewing Company’s Peche and Apricot sour beers will arrive tomorrow (Friday, May 25) in limited quantities at Mile High Wine and Spirits in Lakewood, Colo. The beers are part of AC Golden’s Hidden Barrel Collection. They were bottled throughout last year and have been cellared since then to allow bottle conditioning to occur. Peaches and apricots from Palisade, Colo., were used in crafting the beers. Peche won silver in the American-style Brett Ale category at the Brewers Association World Beer Cup earlier this month. Eight cases of Peche and 14 cases of Apricot will be available.

Festival Season Begins! (Statewide) - This weekend officially marks the beginning of the outdoor festival season and KDVR Fox31 has put together a video highlighting several of the big festivals happening in Colorado this year. Several of these include beer festivals. Check out the video below, or if you can't see the video, head to the KDVR web site for more.


Trinity Brewing (Colorado Springs) - Happy Hour Today from 2-6 PM! $2 off all House Brews (including Slap Your Mammy!!!) and a buck off snacks. AND::: Don't miss their beer release tomorrow at 5:00pm! Saison du Tomme!

Looking for some music to go along with your beer? Check the Brewery Music Listings and see who's playing at your favorite brewery or beer bar in Colorado. Updated daily.

Beer Fest CalendarLooking for a beer festival? Check out the listings on the 2012 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events Calendar.

There's even more Colorado beer happenings and discussions on the Fermentedly Challenged Facebook page. Thanks for helping us grow to over 850 "Likes" so far in 2012!


This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
Don't miss another article. Subscribe to Fermentedly Challenged by RSS today. If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing, re-tweeting, Stumbling or +1'ing this to let others know about it. Cheers!

Read the full article here...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Colorado Beer News 052312

Colorado Beer NewsToday is Lucky Penny Day. There's an old saying - "See a penny pick it up, all day long you have good luck". Find your lucky penny today and see if you happen into some good luck. Sure, a penny won't buy you anything these days, but it may help put a smile on your face if but for a moment. Here's what's happening around the Colorado beerosphere today Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012.

Colorado Beer News is continually updated during the day (10am to 3pm) with new stories as they break, so stop back here often for all the latest. If you'd like to subscribe to this daily by email, sign-up here.

Choice City Butcher & Deli (Fort Collins) - TONIGHT! A tapping party for Choice City Badonka Dunkle! $1 sliders & $1 off all beers! Design Contest ends at 6pm tonight. Draw the Tap handle for us! The winner will receive a free pint and 4 sliders every Wednesday until the beer is gone!

Wynkoop Brewing Company (Denver) - Children’s Hospital Blood Drive: The Wynkoop is looking for 70 big-hearted folks to donate blood at Wynkoop Brewing Co. on Wednesday & Thursday, May 30th & 31st, 9am-1pm. In exchange for your help, they’ll give you a complimentary pint at their place. Can they tap your vein? Contact Christine@wynkoop.com to get on the required signup list. And thanks for the bloody help. Don't worry, the volunteers taking blood don't sparkle and won't take more than is needed.

Del Norte Brewing (Denver) - Their beer Orale is off to a fast start this year, winning their first medal at their first competition. Del Norte got a Bronze in the Lager category at last weekends Grand Valley Beer Festival. Congrats to Del Norte!

Pateros Creek Brewing (Fort Collins) - The small brewery is looking to expand, but to do so they need your help. Pateros Creek is hoping to fund their expansion with help from the community. Take a look at the following video and check out the plans they hope to work on with the help of their loyal fans. Visit their page on CommunityFunded. If you can't view the video below, please check it out on YouTube. Also, get ready for their 1st Anniversary celebration coming up on Saturday, June 9th starting at 4:00pm. Music, food, games, new beers and more!


Odell Brewing (Fort Collins) - The Small Batch Festival is coming up this Saturday, May 26th from 3pm to 7pm at Odell Brewing Company. In order to help keep things rolling smoothly for this festival, Odell Brewing invites fest goers to review their Small Batch Festival FAQ on their website. It has some tips, recommendations, directions, info on parking and what to bring and not to bring to the festival.

New Belgium (Fort Collins) - Heard on the web. Beerpulse.com is reporting a new label approval for a new brew coming out of New Belgium called "New Belgium Planet Bluegrass Summer Bliss Lager". Sounds like a beer made specifically for a music event. As word comes out on this beer we'll be sure to pass it along.

Pikes Peak Brewing (Monument) - Word came down from FocusOnTheBeer.com yesterday that Pikes Peak Brewing is planning to release some beer in bottles. In a quote from the brewery: "On June 5th at 6:00pm we will release the Summit House Barrel Stout in 750mL bottles! They are each signed and numbered. Only 150; first come/first serve. This will also mark the first Tuesday we are open." - With such a limited release, the bottles are sure to sell out quick.

Breckenridge Brewery (Denver) - What's coming down the line next from Breckenridge Brewery? According to Todd Usry, look for them to re-release their 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout. Also, look for another collaboration effort with Stranahan's Whiskey to put out a whiskey barrel-aged version of their Vanilla Porter. Stay tuned for word on availability of these brews.

City Star Brewing (Berthoud) - There will be Trivia in the taproom at 7:30pm this evening! The winning individual or team will receive $20 in free beer. Their IPA, Red Necktar and Cowboy's Golden beers are on tap today. Feel free to bring in your own snacks, dinner, etc.

Tommyknocker Brewery (Idaho Springs) - Recently, three Tommyknocker beers won medals at the Australian Beer Awards. Their Tommyknocker Butthead Doppelbock took silver and their Tommyknocker Hop Strike Black Rye IPA and Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale took bronze medals. Also, during the Grand Valley Beer Festival last weekend, their Tommyknocker Saison took a silver medal in the competition. Grats on all these accomplishments!

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland) - The first of their firkins is being released today. Stop in around 4pm to try some dry-hopped Snow Drop. It's the first of many experimental firkins to come.

Looking for some music to go along with your beer? Check the Brewery Music Listings and see who's playing at your favorite brewery or beer bar in Colorado. Updated daily.

Beer Fest CalendarLooking for a beer festival? Check out the listings on the 2012 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events Calendar.

There's even more Colorado beer happenings and discussions on the Fermentedly Challenged Facebook page. Thanks for helping us grow to over 850 "Likes" so far in 2012!


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Oskar Blues - Sun King Brewery Chaka Belgian Style Ale review

Oskar Blues / Sun King ChakaTwo regionally different breweries, one collaboration effort, two different cans, same named beer. Oskar Blues of Colorado and Sun King Brewery of Indiana recently got together to collaborate on a Belgian-style ale and the product of that effort was named: Chaka - Belgian-style Ale. Due to a stroke of luck, I managed to get a hold of sample cans of the same beer from each of the two breweries to do a side-by-side comparison of the same beer.

Would the same recipe and similar cans result in a beer that tasted just the same yet being from opposite sides of the country? I wanted to find out. I opened up a 16oz can of both Oskar Blues Chaka and Sun King Chaka. Both beers were stored under identical conditions. Both cans arrived boxed with cold packs and freshness was all but guaranteed. Both beers had the very same ABV rating, 8% ABV. Both were in resealable 16oz cans, each brewery had never used this type of can before now.

Would distance, travel and different sources of water make for a different drinking experience with the same beer? Let's find out.

Appearance: I opened each can and did a side-by-side pour (see video below). Each brew appeared to be the same color, a dark rusty orangish-red. In each beer I got roughly the same amount of head, just slightly above 1-finger tall. One slight difference I noticed was that the Oskar Blues head managed to stay a bit more creamier looking and stayed built up a while longer than the Sun King version of Chaka. Both beers had decent clarity. No sediment, fairly see-through and had a decent amount of carbonation. Not much lacing stuck to each glass when swirled as it slid off fairly quickly. I may be imagining it, but the head on the Sun King beer looked just slightly darker than the Oskar Blues head, but perhaps that was due to the Sun King's head being slightly thinner.

Oskar Blues - Sun King Chaka side-by-sideAroma: Here is where I noticed another difference in the beers. The Oskar Blues beer had a bigger banana and fruit-like nose than the Sun King beer. It seemed that the Oskar Blues beer had a bit more sweet malt aroma than the Sun King. The Sun King seemed had a bit more spice to the nose. Could this be the result of a slightly different yeast strain or perhaps a minor deviation in the hops used? The Sun King brew seemed more "earthy", while the Oskar Blues beer was a bit more fruity. Both were pleasant smelling and inviting.

Taste: I took turned sipping the Oskar Blues for a while, then clearing my palate, and then sipping the Sun King brew for a time. I went back and forth and yes, I could tell some differences between the two. As in the aroma, the Oskar Blues Chaka had a slightly more fruity taste to it and also felt a bit more creamier in my mouth. The Sun King Chaka seemed a bit more toned down, less fruity, not quite as creamy. Yet both reminded me of the same recipe for sure. The Oskar Blues had a bit more "tang" in it, for the lack of a better word. No, the Oskar Blues Chaka wasn't soured, but it did seem to have a bit more flavor and zest. Both beers were nice semi-slow sipping beers. The 8% ABV was definitely noticeable (as they usually are). Both gave me a nice warming effect almost immediately.

Overall: If I had done this as a blind taste test, I probably would have preferred the Oskar Blues over the Sun King by a slight margin. Granted, it's the same recipe, but the water source, how the yeast worked in the brew and perhaps some slight differences in hop additions made for similar but different experiences. Granted, not too many people will have the opportunity to compare these two same-named beers side-by-side, so I consider myself lucky.

Both beers were fine examples of a Belgian-style ale. Both pack a lot of flavor and kick. I was pleased with both samples.

Disclosure: Each brewery sent me 1 or more samples of this beer for me to try and evaluate. I was not paid to endorse this beer, nor to write a favorable review. Yes, it was free beer to me, but I try not to let that influence my review.

Video showing the pour of both Oskar Blues and Sun King Brewery's Chaka Belgian-style Ale:

If you can't view the video via RSS or email please visit the blog or view it on the Fermentedly Challenged YouTube channel.

Related articles:
- Oskar Blues re-invents their 16oz can with Chaka.
- Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's IPA review.
- Sun King Batch 555 Isis Double IPA review.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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