Cannonball Creek Brewing Company | Brewery Review


Location: Golden, Colorado

The Scene: Tucked at the base of the Foothills, Cannonball Creek is quite possibly the closest brewery to the mountains without actually going into the mountains. It’s setup to welcome families (including pets) but has a beer list that will make any beer geek happy. The staff at the bar is warm, welcoming and extremely knowledgable. You can have beers with a group of friends or enjoy the view and a beer by yourself – if you are on the West side of town this brewery needs to be on your list of places to visit.


The Beer List: When perusing the beer list the first thing that stands out to you is the number of award winning beers. If you aren’t sure where to start, create a flight based on that information alone. The list doesn’t have a huge variety of styles, leaning more towards Saisons, IPAs and Pales Ales but the variety within those styles insures that any beer drinker can find something to fit their palate.


The Best: If you are looking for something really different I would suggest the Rosemary Sourdough Saison. The beer that grabbed me was Trump Hands IPA, most of the time I don’t enjoy session IPAs because I feel like the essence of the IPA style gets lost but that did not happen with this beer. It was light, hoppy, with a crisp finish that asks you to take it home in crowler.

What am I going back for? The patio. It was full on my visit so I didn’t get a chance to sit out there. Next time, I am bringing my dog and getting there early so we can set up and enjoy a full afternoon.


Overall Brewery Rating:     8.5 spades out of 10 

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Get Your Radler On | Mini Style Exploration

Let’s Talk About The Radler

The Radler pairs well with our style of the month, the Pilsner, because without a Pilsner the Radler would not be possible. The Radler is a special beer however, it’s a style without truly being it’s own style. A traditional Radler (sometimes called a Shandy) is the combination of a blonde lager such as a Helles or Pilsner mixed with lemonade or another drink that is lime-lemon in nature. Newer versions of this style have elected to use Ale as the base beer as well but you don’t see it as often.

The break down between the beer and the “mixer” ranges from just a splash to nearly 50-50 creating a tart and sessionable beer. This style generally pops onto the scene in April and is around until the end of July.

Below is The List of Radlers We Are Drinking This Summer:

Roadie Grapefruit Radler

Great Divide Brewing Company

 ABV: 4.2%

Taste: This beer gushes with grapefruit flavor that can be traced to their use of grapefruit puree. It’s light, a bit sweet and made to drink all day long.

Lightshine Radler

Wibby Brewing 

ABV: 4.5%

Taste: The combo of their Helles and fresh raspberry lemonade comes together for a tart, crisp session beer. Immensely refreshing but full of deep flavors.

Coloradler

Bonfire Brewing

ABV: 6.1%

Taste: The ale base stands out in this beer. It’s a bit tart with the lemon but the overall flavor floats with mint. It’s more subtle than the other two beers and while it has the higher ABV, you would never know.

If you can’t find one these beers you can also grab your go to blonde lager and mix in some fresh lemonade. Mix the best ingredients to get the best finished product.

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Mother’s Day Brews | Breweries Hosting Mother’s Days Festivities

Get Mom A Great Beer

Mother’s Day makes people think of brunch, cocktails, flowers and spoiling Mom. And it should be all of those things but where is the rule that says you can’t enjoy treating your Mom on Mother’s Day? You know your mom well enough to know if bringing her to a brewery would put you on her good list or not but before you present the option make sure she knows it will still be all about her.

This isn’t just any Sunday at the brewery. This is Mom’s Sunday at the brewery.

Below is a list of breweries making Mom number One on May 14th

1. Ratio Beerworks

What: Mother’s Day Cupcake & Beer Pairing

The Details: A flight of three cupcakes to pair with three beers


2. Station 26 Brewing Company

What: May Bluegrass Brunch

The Details: Live music, food and a patio to keep Mom entertained


3. Grist Brewing Company 

What: Mothers Day Brunch

The Details: The 5280 foodtruck will be in full effect along with Beer Cocktails


4. Two22 Brew

What: Mother’s Day Beer Bloody’s and Breakfast Sandwiches

The Details: Great food, beer and the promise of a little something special for Mom


5. Blackshirt Brewing Company

What: Mother’s Day Red Beet Porter Tapping

The Details: Mother’s Day is known as the last frost in Denver so they are welcoming the veggies and flowers of spring with this unique beer for Mom.


6. Chain Reaction Brewing Company 

What: Mother’s Day at Chain Reaction Brewery

The Details: Farmer in Hive foodtruck is offering a special menu for Mom to pair with whichever beer she prefers.

Cheers to Mom!

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5 Gallon Pale Ale | Homebrew Update

Bring On The Next Beer

It has been a while. In fact our last post about homebrewing was a little bit over a month ago. This was almost done on purpose, there hasn’t been enough time lately to brew and more importantly we were busy gathering input and feedback from our friends on the first batch.

 The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. People have enjoyed it, a couple have even asked for a second which was a welcome surprise. Most people even agreed it was in the proper style category. A common theme was that it was very drinkable and had a good taste but that the flavor could use a boost. There were a lot more positives to take away than was first anticipated in our original tasting.

This brings me to our next brew. For our next five gallon batch we are going to take what we learned with the first experience and use it for a Pale Ale. The actual brew date is to be determined but it is going to absolutely happen in the month of May. We will be using the same brew set up and the same brand of ingredient kit. I also plan on trying out a one gallon beer and adding in my own fruit as a small side project. May is going to be busy which is only fitting for the reason below.

National Homebrew Day

Sunday May 7th is national homebrew day so if you were looking for a good reason to brew a batch of beer this weekend, this is it. If you are looking to hang out with your fellow homebrewers and learn a some brew tips this is also your weekend. Most, if not all local homebrew shops along with a couple of breweries are participating in a BIG brew day on Saturday, May 6th to celebrate the holiday. I will be stopping by The Brew Hut here in Aurora to check on all the homebrewers and their setups early on Saturday.

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May – The Pilsner | Beer Style Exploration

What is a Pilsner?

A pilsner is a pale lager. It’s called a pilsner because it originated in the town of Pilsen in Germany. The pilsner is also often called a blonde style beer. Like all lagers it is brewed with a particular type of yeast that is known as a bottom fermenter and is kept cold during this process.

What does that mean to you?

The pilsner is a great light and refreshing beer for summer. The flavor will be beer at its most basic and allows those ingredients to come to the forefront. With it’s low ABV it will be drinkable all day long. It is bitter but not like an IPA and will pair well with any outdoor adventures.

What to look for in a good Pilsner:

Visually: First and foremost is should be crystal clear. It should also be light in color and is often categorized as straw colored or light gold with a robust head.

Aromatically: The aroma should have hints of the lighter malt and will often be floral or even spicy from the traditional hops used during the brew.

Taste: The first thing people will notice about the taste of a pilsner is the carbonation. The flavor will have a light malt backbone that will let the bitterness of the traditional hops to show through. The beer should be a crisp with a dry-type finish. Most importantly this is a clean beer, allowing the four basic ingredients (water, yeast, hops, grain) of beer to shine.

ABV: This is a sessionable beer and should fall into the 4% to 6% range.

Style Variations:

German Style

Czech Style

European Style

Colorado Breweries for Pilsner Recommendations:

Bierstadt Lagerhaus

Oskar Blues Brewery

Prost Brewing

Avery Brewing Company

Left Hand Brewing Company

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Beertography | Best Shots in April

Here Are Our Favorite Shots From The Month of March

Photo Tip of the Month: 

Use different props at the brewery or wherever you are drinking and taking a picture of your beer. It could be as simple as a coaster or you can dig through holiday decorations to create a full scene. This is a nice way to create variety in your pictures.


Breweries Featured in this Post:

Casey Brewing and Blending

Werk Force Brewing

Declaration Brewing

Roaring Fork Beer Company

Black Shirt Brewing

Oskar Blues Brewery

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HAWKBILL | Beer Review

India Pale Ale (IPA) – Burial Beer Company

This is a beer blog dedicated to the Colorado Craft Beer scene but what you might not know is that Burial Beer Company has made a cameo. TRVE Brewing has not only partnered in collaborations with Burial (based in Asheville, NC) but was kind enough to the beer drinkers in Denver to act as an importer and distributor. I am not as familiar with Burial as I should be but I trust TRVE so I had to try the full lineup.

Tagline: Theorized of pilsner, oats, rye, and a blend of six otherworldly hops, this IPA is dry-hopped twice and fermented on our house yeast.

Made to quell our innermost fears. Derived from our most outward desires. 

Visual: Slightly hazy in its straw color with an incredibly fluffy head.

Aroma: Hop forward. It’s citrus but more complex than that, the combination of the hops (along with the dry-hopping) gives off hints of tangerine, grapefruit etc. Each sniff takes you down a different, intriguing path.

Taste: As expected the hops hit your palate first. It’s followed by a light malt backbone and a creamy mouthfeel from the oats. Bitter like you would expect from a more traditional west coast IPA but not as intense. You aren’t left with too much bitter and the fruit still lingers.

ABV: 6%

Overall Beer Rating:     8.5 spades out of 10

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Casey Brewing and Blending | A Beer Experience

The Trip

When you think of visiting a local brewery to try out a couple of beers you don’t often imagine yourself making a three-hour drive. Most of the time, quite honestly, driving that far for a particular beer would seem almost foolish. In Colorado there are so many great beers why would you make the trip? You have to make it.

We often talk about the best of the best when it comes to different styles, locations, patios etc. No conversation is complete without mentioning Casey Brewing and Blending. It’s become almost mythical in its reverence. It’s spoken about in whispers. Have you been? Have you had their beer? When are you going?

You can’t get the best of what they offer anywhere outside of the brewery. You can’t get into the brewery unless you buy a ticket for the tour. It’s $20, groups are capped at 20 and you get two unimpeded hours at the brewery. It’s worth it, do it.

The drive is also worth it. Plan your trip around the weather. I went to visit just as the last of the skiers were getting off their lifts and the first signs of spring were blooming. The drive was beautiful, driving down the I-70 corridor is often a joy for all of your senses. Plans stops along the way. Sure the destination is important but why not take time to enjoy it all. We ate breakfast at Marion’s of the Rockies in Idado Springs and stopped at Bonfire Brewing Company in Eagle to check out their tap-room. The journey might be doable in a single day but take the time to enjoy it if you can.

The Tour

Our tour was the early one. Just before 11am on Friday morning we pulled up and we shocked to find ourselves alone. We were also surprised to find the brewery essentially carved into the side of the canyon overlooking the Roaring Fork river. I am not certain if any other brewery has such a picturesque view.

We were greeted by John. To call him the tour guide would be a huge disservice. He was the ambassador and the guru for the brewery. His knowledge was only overshadowed by the excitement and pride exuded as he discussed every beer, every process.

There were only seven of us, which made the experience that much better, it was our private tour. We got to learn about their barrels and the growth from 60 to 250. We saw the bottling process and spotted a few magnum bottles waiting for their fill. We also explored the local ingredients with 99% of the beer ingredients coming locally.

You walked away from the tour with a new-found respect for their process, their belief and their product.

The Beers

Our Tasters:

Fruit Stand – Blackberry – Triple Crown

Casey Family Preserves – Plum – Laroda

The Cut – Grape – Baco Noir

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the beer tasting was the fact that I was with a group of people who also wanted to enjoy the experience. One by one, couple by couple we all bought bottles and shared with the group. One couple even brought down a beer from Tree House brewing (where they are from) to share among everyone. Because of the generosity and the beer love that was flowing I also go to try several other amazing beers from Casey’s in-house only list.

Additional Beers Tasted: 

Sleeper Series – The Cut – Emeraude Nectarine

Sleeper Series – The Cut – Italian and Duarte Plum

Dry Hopped Oak theory – Citra and Simcoe

Vintage Fruit Stand – Chardonnay

Funky Blender

Casey Family Preserves – Montmorency

Next time I will be bringing a crowler of Cerebral or WeldWerks to share with the group, an offering of something else local. A large number of people do actually come from out-of-town, mixed in with the locals.

The Reflection

To say it’s hard to put into words the enjoyment of my time at Casey would be trite and unfair. It would be better to say that I am appreciative. In a world where breweries are popping up all over the place and sometimes it feels like a race to the newest and best, Casey has slowed down. There is no rush, there is only the underlying principals of doing what’s best, doing what’s right and doing it the way they want. Their beers are uniquely their own but to learn about them gives you an even deeper appreciation.

The ingredients, the process, the beer and even the tour are exceptional, well thought out and show the ultimate dedication to their craft.

I’ll be going back in September – even more excited than I was for my first trip.

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This Weekend | Make It A Beer Weekend

Beer Events Around Denver | April 21-23

In and around Denver there is always something good going on when it comes to beer but every once and while there is a spectacular weekend. We felt like we should be doing a better job keeping our followers informed of the myriad of events around town.

Moving forward, whenever there is a good weekend, filled with multiple events will we make sure to let you know. This is about more than just the big festivals but celebrating the smaller, local events our great beer scene provides.

Anniversaries:

Copper Kettle Turns 6 – A three day event featuring sour barrel Saturday and a special Maple Snowed In on Sunday.

Comrade Brewing Company Turns 3 – They are celebrating with 20 beers on tap including some special barrel aged beers.

Bottle Releases:

Petite Sour Peach – Crooked Stave – 4/21/17

Rocket Sled & Reheat – Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales – 4/22/17

Islay – Avery Brewing Company – 4/23/17

Festivals Coming Up:

Hops for Homes – 4/22/17 – Support the beer house built by buying a ticket and enjoying great Denver beers at Great Divide’s RiNo Location

Belgian Brew Fest – 4/29/17 – Sample all types of Belgian styles beers, hosted by Bruz Beers.

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Beer Books | April Edition

Wood & Beer

A Brewer’s Guide

The first couple of months of the year we selected books that focused on the basics of beer. The basics of style, brewing and general beer debauchery. As we move along we will continue to suggest books that keep the perspective of beer on a higher / fun level but every once and a while we are going to throw something in that may only attract the beer nerds.

The book for April falls into that category. Wood & Beer – A Brewer’s Guide is written by Dick Cantwell and Peter Bouckaert. Two brewers with a wealth of experience, a collection of awards between them and a never ending passion for how beer and wood play together. This book seemed particularly appropriate this month since we are focusing on sours, wild ales etc. and all of those beers have a wood connection.

If you have ever wondered why things are barre- aged a certain way this is the book for you. If you have ever wondered what the difference is between American Oak, French Oak and European Oak then this is the book for you. You see the barrels in every brewery you walk into today, whether they are peaking out from the back or on display in the taproom, this book will break it down for you.

After you finish it, pop up to New Belgium in Fort Collins and check out the type of wooden barrels Bouckaert gets to play with on a daily basis.

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