Guanella Pass Brewery | Brewery Review

Location: Georgetown, Colorado

The Scene: Just off of I-70 there is a nice little mountain town that you can stop in before making your final ascent towards the Divide and Eisenhower tunnel. Parts of it feel like you are transported back into time with the quaint design of the homes – well preserved through many winters. Georgetown is also the last stop before making your way up to Guanella Pass and the “easiest” Fourteener in Colorado in Mt. Bierstadt. Just recently the town got its first brewery in Guanella Pass Brewery – by itself it should be considered a destination. Tucked away in a building that has seen a few things – its views are immaculate and you forget you are minutes from one of the busiest highways in the country. As soon as you walk in you know you’ve hit the neighborhood spot – its energy is great and the beers are on point.

The Beer List: While the core beer list isn’t huge – it ensures that there is something for any beer drinker. There’s an IPA, Pale Ale, Stout, Rye Saison, Wheat and a Black American Ale. The throwback designs for each beer are a fun touch as well. Go dark or go light but either way, make sure to enjoy one of them on the patio while the heat is still on.


The Best: My favorite beer was Season Pass – the Pale Ale. The beer was flavorful – citrusy and nicely layered in its taste. It was hard to pick though – Grey Wolf Mountain the Rye Saison was also special but didn’t fit my laid back vacation mood like the pale ale.

What Am I Going Back For? To spend more time. This was a last minute stop on my journey after a long day of four-wheeling and I only got to enjoy a quick flight on the patio. I need to get back – belly up to the bar and take the time to enjoy the full-size beers and the set up inside with the brewery equipment.


Overall Brewery Rating:     8 out of 10 spades

Posted in Brewery Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beertography | Best Shots in July

Here Are Our Favorite Shots From The Month Of July 

Breweries Featured

Westbound and Down Brewing Company

Denver Beer Company

Two22 Brew

Peak to Peak Brewery and Taproom

Dry Dock Brewing

Cerebral Brewing

Launchpad Brewing

Posted in Random Beer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beers in a Tulip | Proper Glassware

The Glass

The Tulip

Beer Style Recommendations

Imperial IPA

Belgian Dark

Belgian Pale Ale

Beligan IPA

Biere De Garde

Lambic – Fruit 

Saison

Farmhouse Ale

Scotch Ale

Wee Heavy 

Quad

The Reason

This glass is designed to first maintain and enhance the head of the beer. The bulb-like shape also allows the drink to gently swirl the beer allowing the full aromatics of the beer to come forward. Similar to the snifter it holds stronger style ales (hence its size) but its additional shape allows for these beers to have their true aroma and taste to shine.

Posted in Beer Knowledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beer Books | July Edition

Radical Brewing

Recipes, Tales & World Altering Meditations In a Glass

Written By Randy Mosher

As you may or may not have noticed our last homebrew just sort of ended. There was a seemingly successful brew day and the yeast got busy but then I didn’t offer any further updates. Let’s just say that the timing was bad and with the hot weather this last batch of beer did not meet a useful end. For a little while, this got me thinking about whether or not my foray into brewing was the right approach. Quite simply how dedicated was I to this brewing venture and what were the pros and cons of moving forward with it or shutting it down?

The fact my line of thought even traveled this way caused concern. I began to wonder if I was just playing (enjoying good beers and good people) and not taking it as seriously as I had set out to do. The answer was just that – I got wrapped up in the good times and trust me I’ve had some great adventures of late but let some of the important stuff slip. This blog and this whole enterprise is dedicated to understanding what makes beer great in the state of Colorado and the brewing is critical to that understanding.

To get back on track I picked up Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. The way Mosher writes invites you to join in – it almost transports you. He takes you from the basics to adding fruits (and chile) all the way to the idea of going pro. Now I don’t harbor any ambitions for that (for now) since I have so much to learn and so much to practice but it has me excited again. If you are looking for another book to get into it on back into it Radical Brewing is a must read.

 

Posted in Beer Knowledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Periodic Brewing | Brewery Review

Location: Leadville, Colorado

The Scene: Leadville isn’t exactly on the way to anywhere unless you are looking to get away in the mountains. This is what makes it great – it’s not just off of I-70, although there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s a journey. Now I will admit I hadn’t been up to Leadville in over 10 years – can’t believe it was that long and I was surprised at what I found. It has grown and it’s still growing. It’s more than just a cute little mountain town, although don’t worry it hasn’t lost its charm. Part of that growth is that Leadville now supports a brewery. Periodic Brewing is just off of the main drag and has taken over what can be assumed to be a significantly older building. Walking in feels like meeting a friend for a beer at their house. The staff is friendly and there are any number of great seating set ups to allow you to enjoy the company, to people watch or to just enjoy the best of Leadville.

The Beer List: The first half features in-house beers from Periodic Brewing but they also have multiple guest taps to increase the variety. On this trip, I stuck with the house brewed beer. The styles ranged from Pilsner to Amber to Double Black IPA and even featured a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout. No matter your beer preference there should be something for you. I got the vibe the beers rotate quick and there something new all the time. Enjoyed what you had? Take home a crowler.The Best: I enjoyed my flight but I will have to say that the beer that stood out to me the most was the Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout called Barrel Aged Night Run. Even though it was 9.6% it wasn’t hot from the fresh barrel that stored it and the flavor was rich and layered. Perfect for a “chilly” summer day in the mountains.

What am I going back for? The escape – the ambiance and the overall vibe. It was just different than your average brewery and I am not sure if that’s because it’s in a small town or perhaps one of the highest breweries in the state? It was different, the beers were enjoyable and since it was part of my way home to Denver I didn’t feel like I got to spend enough quality time.

Overall Brewery Rating:     8 spades out of 10

Posted in Brewery Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

July – The Kriek | Beer Style Exploration

What is The Kriek?

The Kriek is a Belgian style of beer that is made by adding/fermenting cherries (sour) to a Lambic. Which of course doesn’t mean much unless you know what it means to be a lambic beer. A Lambic beer, which has been around for hundreds of years, is a typically sour and dry beer that is fermented spontaneously with airborne yeast. The truest Lambics and therefore Krieks are said to come from Belgium since the airborne yeast is native to the country. The addition of cherries (sugar from fruit) causes a refermentation emphasizing its unique flavor.

What does that mean to you?

This is not going to be your average beer and you should know that before taking your first sip. If you have never had a sour beer understand that the first sip will overwhelm you with flavors. It will be tart, sometimes pucker worthy and there will be a little bit of funk. In a Kriek you should expect the cherries to be prevalent – some may be more understated while others will burst with flavor but they will be there. Best advice for this type of beer and to be open-minded and ready to try anything. 

What to look for in a good Kriek

There are a lot of common characteristics that make up a tasty Kriek. It should be tart, it should be dry and crisp. The cherry flavor should show through but still be balanced. Sometimes they may even taste like cherry pie. Embrace some funk and a little bit of sweetness is to be expected. It should also have medium to high carbonation.

Colorado Breweries for Kriek Recommendations

New Belgium Brewing Company

Odell Brewing Company (they combine the Kriek with its raspberry cousin)

Strange Craft Beer Company (Wheat beer base – different take on the style)

Posted in Beer Knowledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bad Mama Java | Beer Review

Blonde Coffee Milk Stout with Vanilla – High Hops Brewery

When I wander into a liquor store now it becomes more and more difficult to find something I haven’t tried and something that is out of the ordinary unless it’s the newest seasonal from my regular breweries. I wasn’t in the mood for that and this awesome can from High Hops Brewery caught my eye – how could I pass it up? This beer was more than I hoped it would be – looks like it’s time to plan a trip to Windsor to see what else they’ve got.

Tagline: This is the closest thing you can get to a vanilla latte in a beer.

Visual: Pours with a nice frothy head. The color is a silky copper with hints of orange, red and gold. It’s just a pretty beer.

Aroma: Vanilla hits you first followed by the coffee. Only the slightest hint of its beer base – no malts or hops jump out but if you go in for a deep sniff those things are there.

Taste: Smooth, luscious and light. The tagline could not be more correct. This beer is a vanilla latte in a can and you certainly have no idea as your sipping it that it clocks in at over 8%. The vanilla and french roast take center stage with minimal bitterness and a malt backbone that allows those first two flavors to pop. Dare I call this a breakfast beer? Absolutely.

ABV: 8.5%

Overall Beer Rating:     9 spades out of 10

This rating is based on it being a non-traditional style of stout. 

Posted in Beer Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outer Range Brewing Company | Brewery Review

Location: Frisco, Colorado

The Scene: The brewery is quite literally just a jump from I-70 in Frisco but you would never know it. It’s small but comfortable and has a huge glass door that opens up to a spacious patio that overlooks the nearby peaks. The place is everything you would expect to find in an eccentric small town brewery but with a modern flair (the design says it all). It’s also easy to see the ambitions of this brewery are anything but small. Dog-friendly and relaxed it’s worth stopping by even if it’s just for one beer on your next trip up or down I-70.

The Beer List: The beers fall into two categories – Belgians and IPAs. On the surface that would seem limiting but it’s not. Each saison had its own touch, the strong ale was distinct and the sour made a statement. Then came the much talked about IPAs – from traditional to super juiced doubles, these IPAs can stand their ground with any IPA currently produced in Colorado.

The Best: While it’s always hard to pick a favorite – on this day it was Final Summit – the French Farmhouse and Rustic Ways – Double (Hazy) IPA. Both were bold and made a statement in a different way. Together these two beers demonstrated the versatility of the brewery.

What am I going back for? The mountain vibe, the mountain view and those fine IPAs. There is just something special about enjoying a juicy IPA in the sun in the higher altitude – it just feels right.

Overall Brewery Rating:     8.5 spades out of 10

Bonus Beer Review – In The Steep 

Unlike our other beer reviews, this one is going to be a bit more relaxed. This first canned offering from Outer Range is the kind of first release that breweries only hope to have. In the Steep is an all Citra- hazy juice bomb. The mouthfeel was creamy, the hops burst on your tongue and it ended with a fruity brightness that pushed the bitter to the back of the flavor profile. At an ABV of 6.9% – it’s almost sessionable – this beer is the type of beer that Haze Chasers lust over.

Overall Beer Rating:     9 spades out of 10

Posted in Brewery Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beertography | Best Shots in June

Here Are Our Favorite Shots From The Month of June 

 Breweries Featured

Denver Beer Company

New Image Brewing

Paradox Beer Company

Casey Brewing and Blending

WeldWerks Brewing Company

Outer Range Brewing Company

Powder Keg Brewing Company

 

Posted in Random Beer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Craft Breweries Get Their Seal | Craft Beer Update

The Seal of Approval

Photo provided by the Brewers Association on Facebook

It’s no surprise with the overwhelming response by craft beer drinkers to the seemingly endless run of buyouts that the local breweries would make a stand. After Wicked Weed was acquired by InBev most took to their social media to state their beliefs and establish their positions moving forward.

While we don’t know if this will hold true forever with the economy of beer being every-changing we can certainly appreciate their small business-big plan independence. Today the Brewers Association announced their first ever Craft Brewer Seal. Moving forward these dedicated homebrewers can literally mark their territory.

This change may not reach out to the average drinker who just wants something cool – nor will it affect the craft beer fan but it will hopefully get that most sought-after drinker. The middle man – the person who loves craft but isn’t married to it, the very people companies like InBev are trying to steal.

We all know people are far more influenced than they care to admit by labels and by placing this seal on all small-independently brewed craft beers there’s hope those people will stand firmly with craft beer.

Only time will tell but this small move is a big statement for Craft Beer.

Posted in Random Beer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment